Hi Minamere ~
After going to all the trouble of putting a website up, of course
you'd want people to be able to find your site in the search engines -
I noticed you aren't listed with the Open Directory Project or other
search engines, either. I couldn't find you in any of the following:
* All The Web
* Alta Vista
* MSN Search
* Netscape Search
or * Yahoo
The fact that you're not included in any of the major search engines
would lead me to believe your site may be fairly new. In any case,
you'll probably want to submit to those, too, and submission is
If you have submitted your site using Google's "Add URL" submission
tool as my colleague has suggested, you may have noticed that Google
makes no promises about when or whether your page will actually appear
in its index,
"we cannot make any predictions or guarantees about when
or if they will appear."
Because of its technology, Google doesn't consider the "Add URL" page
the best way to get your page listed in its index, though; but Google
does offer webmasters specific recommendations and suggestions which
increase the chances for inclusion in Google's directory.
So How *DO* You Get
Your Site In Google's SERPs?
Google explains the best way to get listed in its "Webmaster Information":
"The best way to ensure Google finds your site is for your
page to be linked from lots of pages on other sites.
Google's robots jump from page to page on the Web via
hyperlinks, so the more sites that link to you, the more
likely it is that we'll find you quickly."
and explains how pages are ranked in search results in "The Basics"
"The method by which we find pages and rank them as
search results is determined by the PageRank technology
developed by our founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin."
Google's technology is explained in its technology in "Our Search:
"The heart of our software is PageRank?, a system for
ranking web pages developed by our founders Larry Page
and Sergey Brin at Stanford University. And while we
have dozens of engineers working to improve every aspect
of Google on a daily basis, PageRank continues to provide
the basis for all of our web search tools."
and its PageRank in "PageRank Explained"
"PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the
web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of
an individual page's value. In essence, Google interprets
a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for
page B. But, Google looks at more than the sheer volume
of votes, or links a page receives; it also analyzes the
page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are
themselves "important" weigh more heavily and help to make
other pages "important."
Important, high-quality sites receive a higher PageRank,
which Google remembers each time it conducts a search. Of
course, important pages mean nothing to you if they don't
match your query. So, Google combines PageRank with
sophisticated text-matching techniques to find pages that
are both important and relevant to your search. Google
goes far beyond the number of times a term appears on a
page and examines all aspects of the page's content (and
the content of the pages linking to it) to determine if
it's a good match for your query."
Links to minamere.com.au
There are two ways to check for links TO your site:
1.) Use Google's link: tool (by typing link:www.minamere.com.au
in Google's search bar; or
2.) Type your URL in the search bar, and click on "Find web
pages that link to it.
Unfortunately, there are no returns for pages linked TO your site.
Obviously, one of the things you need to do to increase your chances
in being found under the search terms you want is to make sure there
are links TO your pages from relevant sources.
The key word is "relevant", and Google specifically warns about using
link schemes and link farms in its "Quality Guidelines - Basic
"Don't participate in link schemes designed to increase
your site's ranking or PageRank. In particular, avoid
links to web spammers or "bad neighborhoods" on the web
as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those
and more strongly in its "Quality Guidelines - Specific recommendations":
"Avoid hidden text or hidden links"
There are many practical ways of establishing links which are
beneficial to you in your endeavor to get respectable position
placement on search engines. These methods may take time, but they
also help in establishing credibility and help with your page rank.
Approach like-minded or complementary businesses about linking to your
site (with a reciprocal link from your own). This works without
harming search engine positioning or page rank.
Articles on Link Popularity
Some excellent articles on how to establish the right kind of links
are available in Traffick's "Ten Steps to Building Links to Your
Site", Craig Fifield - 5/3/2002
and "The Right Way to Improve Link Popularity", By Paul J. Bruemmer -4/14/2002 -
"Link Building Is Important", which discusses link building from A to
Z and also provides a good reference page with linking resources.
The information contained in the above articles offer suggestions
which can be easily adapted for use on any website without resorting
to link farms. The differences in "good links" and those which may be
harmful are discussed, and the articles offer simple ways to get
started to the kind of linking search engines prefer.
Other Important Link Sources
Google also recommends submitting your site to the Open Project
Directory (DMOZ.org), and Yahoo!:
"If you are having difficulty getting listed in the Google
index, you may want to consider submitting your site to
either or both of these directories. You can submit to
Yahoo! by visiting http://docs.yahoo.com/info/suggest/.
You can submit your site to Netscape's Open Directory
Project (DMOZ) by visiting www.dmoz.org. Once your site
is included in either of these directories, Google will
often index your site within six to eight weeks."
Note that it may take six to eight weeks after inclusion in those to
be included in Google's index.
What Else You Can Do
Google has other recommendations in its Design and Content Guidelines:
"* Make a site with a clear hierarchy and text links.
Every page should be reachable from at least one static
* Offer a site map to your users with links that point to
the important parts of your site. If the site map is
larger than 100 or so links, you may want to break the
site map into separate pages.
* Create a useful, information-rich site and write pages
that clearly and accurately describe your content.
* Think about the words users would type to find your pages,
and make sure that your site actually includes those
words within it.
* Try to use text instead of images to display important
names, content, or links. The Google crawler doesn't
recognize text contained in images.
* Make sure that your TITLE and ALT tags are descriptive
* Check for broken links and correct HTML...
Using the above as serious guidelines - and you should -
www.minamere.com.au is missing the following:
* Text links on every page. If a visitor clicks to links from your
home page, he either has to find the 'back' button at the bottom of
your page or use the browser's back button to get to any other page.
You should have text links to the other pages on every page of your
site. The object is to make it EASIER for your visitors - and
ultimately, search engine crawlers - to navigate your site.
HTML - Back to Basics
Shari Thurow, one of the leading authorities in web design and search
engine optimization (and author of the book "Search Engine
Visibility"), recently made the following observation with regard to
"Clean HTML is absolutely imperative for search engine
indexing. Browsers are extremely forgiving when it comes
to displaying pages with "unclean" HTML (unclosed tags,
no quotation marks, etc.). Search engine spiders are
not so forgiving. Even something as simple as a missing
quotation mark on the <.a href="page.html"> can cause a
spider to not index text or a link." (See: Link Exchange
Digest, July 3, 2003, "Clean HTML")
She explained how errors in HTML can affect your ability to be
indexed, and ultimately, ranked.
Taking a look at www.minamere.com.au, there are some important items
missing and others which should be addressed to make your site
1. DOCTYPE Declaration
DOCTYPES are essential to the proper rendering and functioning of web
documents in compliant browsers. It is also essential for the search
engines to understand and follow the coding contained on your pages.
DOCTYPE is explained and discussed further in "A List Apart",
and in Web Design Group's article, "Choosing a DOCtype",
You do not have a DOCTYPE Declaration and you should add one to every
page on your site. Part of the problem is the use of Front Page 5.0
which is very proprietary.
The only browser in which it looks as you intended and designed it is
Internet Explorer 6. It doesn't even gracefully deprecate to older
versions of Internet Explorer, and on other browsers, such as Mozilla,
Netscape, Firebird, Opera, etc., it decidedly renders differently.
FrontPage 5 also inserts a character set, charset=windows-1252, which
is not compatible with every browser or system in use, so there are
some characters which do not render as you intended.
Google recommends using a text only browser, which will give you a
very sobering look at your site (and what it looks like, to some
degree, to search engine crawlers):
"Use a text browser such as Lynx to examine your site,
because most search engine spiders see your site much as
keep you from seeing all of your site in a text browser,
then search engine spiders may have trouble crawling
your site." [From Google's Technical Guidelines]
2. Proprietary Coding
Front Page 5 is also notorious for 'bulking up' coding which, besides
not being interpreted correctly by some browsers, tends to add to the
size of your pages. In many cases, straight HTML would accomplish the
same effect using less coding - the added bonus is it would be
interpreted better by both your site's visitors and the search engine
The Australian Human Rights & Equal Opportunity Commission has
established standards which are recommended for websites.
You can find further information on the commission's site in the
"World Wide Web Access: Disability Discrimination Act Advisory Notes",
and more information on International Accessibility Standards site here:
You might want to run each page of your site through Bobby, which will
give you a full context report of any portions of your site which do
not meet the minimum standards. If you make all the corrections
suggested, it will greatly enhance any search engine's ability to
crawl your website as well.
The Bobby analysis page can be found here:
4. Basic Design
The position of information you offer on your website, the width of a
line of text you want your visitors to read, the order in which you
present information and write the information are all considerations
to help you increase your visitor's visit to your site and the chances
of being included in the search engine indices.
For instance, the first thing a crawler encounters on your website's
contents is a clock. The purpose of this clock is what? What does it
have to do with the actual purpose and content of your site?
Likewise, the counter at the bottom adds nothing and is considered by
many to be 'amateurish'. You might look at it this way: do you really
want people to know that's all the visitors you've had to your site?
It adds nothing and doesn't necessarily project well, so you might
want to reconsider including that in your website design.
Design Information and Resources
I have included a couple of online resources with information on web
design which you might want to consider:
a.) Software Usability Research Laboratory's "Criteria for
optimal web design (designing for usability)" by Michael
b.) Link2city.com, "Effective Web Design"
Submitting to Search Engines
After you have established some links from relevant sites, and worked
on the HTML to make the site more search-engine friendly, and
determined the search terms you need to include and use within the
content of your site, you may want to submit to the important search
engines and directories.
For DMOZ.org, you will want to dig down deep enough to get where you
more appropriately should be.
Some search engines gather their own listings for the main results
they display. For example, Google crawls the web itself for the main
results it shows.
Other search engines use third-party search providers for their
results. For instance, the main search results at AOL come from
Google's crawler-based listings, rather than from work inside AOL.
Below are the top search engines as determined by Nielsen Net Ratings:
* Google -
* DMOZ -
* All The Web -
* Hotbot & Lycos InSite (requires registration)
* Yahoo! -
* Teoma -
MSN's search submit is located here:
which takes you to LookSmart, a "for-pay" listing, and can be found
If you are listed on other important engines, it is pretty certain you
will also be listed on MSN.com, or you can use the LookSmart
Google's Sources of Information
I am including important links from Google's site. This information
will help you understand Google's goals and responsibility to the web
searcher (and not the webmaster or site owner).
Webmasters who follow the guidelines and avoid Google's "Thou shalt
nots" usually have no problem getting listed and showing up under the
search terms they desire.
* Google Today (absolutely the best information you
can read about the "how and why" of Google's results
* How Do I Get My Site Listed on Google?
* My Web Pages Are Not Currently Listed (a good 'primer'
on how and why Google works so well)
* PageRank Information (covers both Google's PageRank and
* Webmaster Guidelines (contains both the dos and don'ts)
* Google Facts & Fiction (can you buy your way to a
high ranking in Google?)
* Search Engine Optimizers (some good advice on what to look
for if you're going to hire a Search Engine Optimizer)
* Frequently Asked Questions (pretty much what it says, but
definitely worth wading through)
Other Sources of Information
There is good information from many of the top search engine
optimization experts, such as
* Detlev Johnson, Search Engine Guide
* Danny Sullivan, Search Engine Watch
* Jill Whalen, High Rankings
* Shari Thurow, Web Pro News (and quoted all over the Internet)
have columns or newsletters to which you can subscribe and keep
abreast of the best way to use good content for better positioning in
search engine results.
In addition, Webmaster World - http://www.webmasterworld.com/ - has
discussion boards on most of the search engines. While some of the
discussions are anecdotal and/or questions for information, there is
usually enough discussion to keep abreast of what seems to be
There is an entire section devoted to Google at:
It never hurts to keep track among these discussions, but remember,
trying to optimize for search engines only is like trying to hit a
moving target. You'll notice among the more experienced contributors
to the discussions - plus the SEO experts listed above - that there
really is no substitute for content, relevant links and good HTML.
Google Search Terms
* Australian accessibility standards
* effective web design
* FrontPage 5 deprecation
I also relied on bookmarks and other resources used on a daily basis.
I realize this is probably more information than you expected; but
Google's responsibility is to deliver the most relevant information
for a search query. By deigning your site according to those
guidelines, you can help your chances of being a part of that
information Google will return for your desired search terms.
Good luck, and best wishes for a happy holiday season.
Google Answers Researcher