Understanding the Game of Search Engines

Raamakant S.
 


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When I started my e-business, I ask my web-designer friend to make a site which is really brainstorming. He did me a great favor and really made an excellent site. My site's design is fabulous, it's graphics are mind blowing and coding is superb. But now what? What I seen in the coming days, I am not earning a single penny because no one is visiting my site.

I think for a while that why all this is happening, then I make a search on Yahoo and see the first site which is coming on the top. It doesn't have a good design like mine but still he is making good money. Then I came to know that the site's design is meaningless if site's ranking on search engines is not good.

When it comes to search engine every ear just not hears it but listens it's every aspect and try to locate it's presence in his site. Well why not it be done as it is the place from where all of us get our business.

Every search engine has it's own criterion of ranking and it's clear from the fact that when you do a search on Yahoo or Google or any other search engines there results vary. Here is the listing of some of the Top Search Engines and a few noteworthy points about all of them. Know which engines get you more bangs for the buck?

Google

Google has increased in popularity tenfold the past several years. They have gone from beta testing, to becoming the Internet's largest index of web pages in a very short time. Their spider, affectionately named “Googlebot", crawls the web and provides updates to Google's index about once a month.

Google.com began as an academic search engine. Google, by far, has a very good algorithm of ranking pages returned from a result, probably one of the main reasons it has become so popular over the years. Google has several methods which determine page rank in returned searches.

Yahoo

Yahoo! is one of the oldest web directories and portals on the Internet today, and the site went live in August of 1994. Yahoo! is a 100% human edited directory, and provides secondary search results using Google.

Yahoo! is also one of the largest traffic generators around, as far as web directories and search engines go. Unfortunately, however, it is also one of the most difficult to get listed in, unless of course you pay to submit your site. Even if you pay it doesn't guarantee you will get listed.

Either way, if you suggest a URL, it is “reviewed" by a Yahoo! editor, and if approved will appear in the next index update.

AltaVista

Many who have access to web logs may have seen a spider named ‘scooter’ accessing their pages. Scooter used to be AltaVista's robot. However, since the Feb 2001 site update, a newer form of Scooter is now crawling the web. Whichever spider AltaVista uses, it is one of the largest search engines on the net today, next to Google.

It will usually take several months for AltaVista to index your entire site, although the past few months scooter hasn't been deep crawling too well. Unlike Google, AltaVista will only crawl and index 1 link deep, so it takes a good amount of time to index your site depending on how large your site is.

AltaVista gets most of its results from its own index, however they do pull the top 5 results of each search from Overture (formerly Goto).

Inktomi

Inktomi's popularity grew several years ago as they powered the secondary search database that had driven Yahoo. Since then, Yahoo as switched to using Google as their secondary search and backend database, however Inktomi is just as popular now, as they were several years ago, if not more so.

Their spiders are named “Slurp", and different versions of Slurp crawls the web many different times throughout the month, as Inktomi powers many sites search results. There isn't much more to Inktomi then that. Slurp puts heavy weight on Title and description tags, and will rarely deep crawl a site. Slurp usually only spider’s pages that are submitted to its index.

Inktomi provides results to a number of sites. Some of these are America Online, MSN, Hotbot, Looksmart, About, Goto, CNet, Geocities, NBCi, ICQ and many more.

Lycos

Lycos is one of the oldest search engines on the Internet today, next to Altavista and Yahoo. Their spider, named “T-Rex", crawls the web and provides updates to the Lycos index from time to time. The FAST crawler provides results for Lycos in addition to its own database.

The Lycos crawler does not weigh META tags too heavily, instead it relies on its own ranking algorithm to rank pages returned in results. The URL, META title, text headings, and word frequency are just a few of the methods Lycos uses to rank pages. Lycos does support pages with Frame content. However, any page that isn't at least 75 words in content is not indexed.

Excite

Excite has been around the web for many years now. Much more of a portal than just simply a search engine, Excite used to be a fairly popular search engine, until companies such as Google seemed to have dominated the search engine market. As of recently, Excite no longer accepts submissions of URL's, and appears to no longer spider. To get into the Excite search results, you need to be either listed with Overture or Inktomi.

Looksmart

Getting a listed with Looksmart could mean getting a good amount of traffic to your site. Looksmart's results appear in many search engines, including AltaVista, MSN, CNN, and many others.

Looksmart has two options to submit your site. If your site is generally non-business related, you can submit your site to Zeal (Looksmart's sister site), or if you are a business, you can pay a fee to have your site listed. Either method will get you listed in Looksmart and its partner sites if you are approved.

Once you have submitted your site, and it is approved for listing it will take up to about 7 days for your site to be listed on Looksmart and its partner sites.

AOL Search

America Online signed a multiyear pact with Google for Web search results and accompanying ad-sponsored links, ending relationships with pay-for-performance service Overture Services and Inktomi, its algorithmic search provider of nearly three years.

Ok, now you have got a better understanding of search engine’s game and finally you come to know which search engine is best for you and which one is leading in today's Internet World. In nutshell, the thing which every e-entrepreneur wants is Top Search Engine Ranking. Isn't it right? So take some time to register with these search engines as soon as possible and watch the traffic grow.

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