The Search Engine Game

Ill warn you from the beginning that this article isnt for everybody.  If you are a search engine guru then this isnt going to tell you anything you havent heard before, but if youre just getting into the whole webmaster thing (adult or not) then this article will help clear up some questions you may have about some of the major search engines out there. Now lets get to the good stuff...

Ill start out with the GoTo search engine.  Basically GoTo is a paid listing search engine where advertisers (you) bid for placement on each keyword.  If you are a bit confused about what Im talking about go to now search for "apple"... when the results come up you will see "(Cost to advertiser: $0.51)" at the end of the description for each listing.  This is amount is how much the advertiser is paying GoTo each time someone clicks on their link.  GoTo is the mammoth of all pay search engines, they also have agreements setup with AOL, Altavista, and a slew of other big name web portals.  These agreements mean that the top 3 ranks at GoTo, will also show up as "Sponsored" listings at all of GoTos partner sites.

GoTo is great when you demand results immediately. You can sign up for an account, get all your keywords in, and have people visiting your site within a few days. A good thing about GoTo is that it is truly targeted advertising, you only show up on search terms you want, and ones that are relevant to your website.  This makes for great conversion ratios.  As well as the targeted advertising, youre only paying for clicks, whereas compared to a banner rotation, where you pay every time your banner comes up on a page (per impression).  I personally feel that banners are a waste of time, since the general website surfing public has become so used to not paying any attention to banners.  I cant remember the last time I clicked on a banner. This is just my opinion though, if you want to try out some banner rotations the best places would be newbie portals like AOL, these surfers arent as banner conscious as the rest of us.

Some cons of GoTo would be that youre going to be paying a bunch of money if youre bidding high on any relevant keyword.  Say you want to get 5th spot for the search term "sex", you could be spending about 20 cents per click.  The term "sex" was searched for 3413756 times through GoTo a few months ago.  If only 3% of these people click on your link each month, you better be ready to pay roughly $20,000 dollars. On GoTo your best bet is to go with niche search terms.  Instead of sex, go for something like, "amateur sex", this will get you lower search volume, and send targeted traffic to your website. Just make sure youre sending these people to an amateur sex website.

The Open Directory Project

The Open Directory Project has been around since 1998 and is more commonly known as dmoz. Dmoz relies on volunteer editors to review and include websites into its directory. Submission is free, which is a big plus these days! The time from submission to getting listed on the site is generally 2-3 weeks. 

Well you cant beat that its free, plus their listings are indexed by a few major search portals such as AOL, Netscape, Google, and others.

This just might be me, but Ive run across a few bitchy editors that wouldnt accept my sites in certain categories.  If this happens to you, email dmoz about them. A lot of the time a person becomes an editor of a section, then turns down sites that could compete with their own site(s).  Bastards... Thats the only flaw Ive seen with dmoz... so far at least...

Hands down Google is the shiznit. Google is a great search engine from a searchers standpoint. It returns relevant results and has no advertising throughout the site (for now at least). The secret to their relevant results is their popularity ranking practice. This means sites that are linked to and from many other sites are listed higher up in their rankings. Since most people would generally not link to a junk site, this produces quality search results that are more relevant to what youre looking for.

One word can sum up Googles best pro, Yahoo! Googles listings are shown on Yahoo, which makes for tons of traffic if youre listed high up.  Google is also free to submit too, and submissions are generally indexed within 2-3 weeks. If you want high placement in Google, work on your link popularity. Place links on all your site to all your other sites. Also start requesting link trades with other sites similar to yours. Go ahead and try it out, it will do you wonders.

I cant really think of any Google cons. Hrmm... nope... unless getting a ton of traffic is a con, and if that is a problem for you, please email me.

If you dont know what Yahoo is, then you really need to turn off your computer and go find a real job, because you are just clueless when it comes to the Internet. Yahoo is the oldest and the most popular search directory around. Ive heard crazy success stories about people who have been listed on Yahoo, but to get listed on Yahoo you will need some money and luck. They recently got rid of their free submissions, and went to a pay per submission basis. This is a flat $200 fee for non-adult sites and $600 I believe for adult sites, which might I add is non-refundable. Even if they dont accept your site, they still keep your cash.

Once listed on Yahoo, depending on the category they put you in, you should receive a nice flow of traffic. And Yahoo traffic is very high quality traffic.

You can end up $200 or $600 bucks in the hole, with no website listed on Yahoo... Your cash is non-refundable.

AltaVista is a classic search engine. Their search algorithms arent the best, but they are ranked as one of the top 5 search engines every year. A listing in AltaVista is free and indexing can take anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks. To get a good listing in AltaVista, youre going to want to make sure that all your sites pages have some focus on your main subject (select about 10 keywords that are related and relevant to your sites content and use them on all your pages). Make sure you use META Tags that correlate with the text that is on your web page itself. Dont overload your META tags with a bunch of junk, rather stick to only the 10 or so key words that really focus on the content of your website. These types of websites are commonly referred to as theme sites.

AltaVista is still a very popular search engine and its still free to get listed.  Make sure you take advantage of what AltaVista has to offer.  They allow you to submit up to 5 different URLs per day, which is nice for those of us who are running a bunch of small sites.

Being a popular search engine is one of AltaVistas biggest pros, however its also one of its biggest cons.  Everybody and their mother submits their sites to AltaVista. Due to all of this search engine spam, chances are even if you have the most targeted website, you still may be ranked down low on AltaVista. I hate to say this but if you cant beat em, join em... your best bet for getting traffic is to make a bunch of small doorway pages and submit them. Try to appeal to certain niches and off the wall audiences to rank higher up.  The less competition the better.

Well, theres enough SE info for you to sleep on for now. Hope this helps everyone get a better idea on how to play the search engine game and good luck with increasing your traffic!


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