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At 08:42 AM 6/11/01 -0400, RoseMarie/Al Sarra wrote:
> > My introduction to an AT mail list was on ATML because
> > TrailPlace dominates the search engines.
>My question is this - How does one engineer such a thing so that the search
>engines select one site over another?? Is there something our list owner or
>some other knowledgeable person could do to counteract or neutralize this
>tendency - - or move Backcountry.net higher up in the pecking order?
>Al (Draggin' Anchor)
There are several ways to accomplish this. One involves the meta files on
the web site pages. A meta file is not shown by the browser. It's
basically a catalog of words you think someone looking for the type of site
you are publishing might enter in a search field. It's used by search
'spyders' to locate and catalog resources. The broader the range of words
you put into your meta files the greater your chances of coming up in a
search. When search engines go out looking for hits on the search words
the more matches they find on a site the higher it will come up on the
list. If you want to see a meta file, bring up website then under "View"
choose "Page Source". You'll see the keywords the author has entered on
the <meta lines at the beginning of the code.
If you've ever run a search and found upteen listings of the same site
(different pages thereof) it was because the search engine found the search
words on all the pages the pages that came up.
Someone else already mentioned getting others to link to your site. That
will bring indirect hits. Some interest groups set up 'link rings' or
groups of people who mutually link to one another to expand
exposure. Given his lone wolf mind set I think WF is unlikely to do that.
Getting your name out in relation to the topics your site covers helps
too. If you can get media coverage (WF does publicity) you can get hits
from the articles that get published on the web. Not to mention posting
lots of stuff to a public mail list. Try a Google search on "Saunterer" or
"Al (Draggin Anchor)". Those both come up on the 1st page. Didn't know
you were famous, did ya?
Lastly there are those places that offer to get your site noticed. This is
based on the fact that not all 'search engines' actively search the
web. Some are actually only indexes of collected information. I believe
Yahoo started that way. I don't know if they still work like that. These
'search engines' feed back the sites that have been submitted to them by
the webmasters or by those outfits that charge to make submissions for
you. I recall spending several hours submitting my site to
search engines when I first put it up.
There is a real art to 'positioning' your site on the search engines but
basically the wider web of references to you and your site the
better. Having 7 URLS with overlapping topics is a great ploy and
guarantees that TP will only increase in exposure.
WF has always taken a high profile approach to his web presence and I
admire his webmaster skills. He's very good at positioning and at site
design. If he chose to use his skills commercially I'd bet his income
would be well into the 6 figure range. Ryan, on the other hand, has taken
a more low key approach. He is (I think, based on observation) primarily
interested in providing a service to a particular group of people (us) with
a particular interest (hiking the AT, IAT, CDT, etc.) and doesn't feel that
his has to be "THE WEBSITE" for absolutely everything related to the
AT. Ryan can tell me if I'm wrong but I'll be surprised if he says I
am. The difference in their approaches is the essence of the difference
between AT-L and ATML.