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Q: Web site optimisation ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: Web site optimisation
Category: Computers > Internet
Asked by: minamere-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 20 Dec 2003 21:06 PST
Expires: 19 Jan 2004 21:06 PST
Question ID: 289187
Why can't Google find my site and what needs to be done to allow it to
be found?

Request for Question Clarification by robertskelton-ga on 21 Dec 2003 14:31 PST
Have you submitted your site to Google using the form on this page:

If so, how long since you did and when was the first time?

Clarification of Question by minamere-ga on 21 Dec 2003 20:27 PST

Thanks for taking on my question. I haven't submitted my site using
the URL you referenced. I submitted the site to Google using a
submission tool used by the web hosting company that hosts my site.
The tool gave me an indication that this submission was accepted.

I did this about 6 weeks ago.


Subject: Re: Web site optimisation
Answered By: serenata-ga on 21 Dec 2003 20:38 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
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 -
especially Google!

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:

   * DMOZ 

   * All The Web

   * Alta Vista

   * HotBot

   * MSN Search

   * Netscape Search

   * Teoma

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
discussed below.

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:
Google Technology":

     "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

There are two ways to check for links TO your site:

1.) Use Google's link: tool (by typing
    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.

Establishing Links

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 (, 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
      You can submit your site to Netscape's Open Directory
      Project (DMOZ) by visiting 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
       text link.
     * 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
       and accurate.
     * Check for broken links and correct HTML...
   - ://

Using the above as serious guidelines - and you should - 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, 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
      Lynx would. If fancy features such as Javascript, ...
      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


3. Accessibility

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.), "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, 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, 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 - - 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

Clarification of Answer by serenata-ga on 21 Dec 2003 20:46 PST
Darcy ~

I noticed that you answered the query about submitting your site to Google.

Google specifically frowns on the use of automated submission tools:

From Google's "Quality Guidelines - Basic principles:"

     "Don't use unauthorized computer programs to submit pages,
      check rankings, etc. Such programs consume computing
      resources and violate our terms of service. Google does
      not recommend the use of products such as WebPosition
      Gold? that send automatic or programmatic queries to

and from Google's "Quality Guidelines - Specific recommendations:"

     "* Don't send automated queries to Google"
   - ://

and goes on to say,

     "certain actions ... may result in permanent removal from
      our index."
   - ://

When you are ready, you can submit your site again *** by hand ***,
and be very careful of using any submission tool, it may do more harm
than good.

Good luck,
minamere-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
Serenata gave a very detailed and thoughtful response to my query.  It
has provided me with many avenues to follow up on. Thanks Darcy.

Subject: Re: Web site optimisation
From: robertskelton-ga on 21 Dec 2003 23:13 PST
There are only a handful of search engines worth submitting to, and
going to the official submission page for each is the only way to go.
Third-party submission services do not make the process much quicker,
can't be 100% relied on and are often banned by the search engines in

The only engine worth submitting to that is not mentioned above is:


Keep an eye out for new engines from Yahoo and Microsoft in the next
few months. They are likely to capture up to 50% of the search market,
and would be worth submitting to, even if a small fee was involved.
Subject: Re: Web site optimisation
From: serenata-ga on 05 Jan 2004 13:00 PST
Hi Darcy ~

Thank you very much for the rating and the kind comments. Thank you,
too, for the generous tip.

Here's wishing you a Happy New Year

Subject: Re: Web site optimisation
From: anujji-ga on 08 Jan 2004 02:12 PST
These are the same information, whoch i was able to get on
what is new about this answer. The content is not at all relevant to SEO.

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