Robyn's Web Tips for New Web Masters


Google

Generating Traffic

Last Updated: 4/5/06

Content
Search Engines
Links
Reciprocal Links
Web Rings
Groups
Mailings and Newsletters
E-mail Signatures


Content

Nothing will bring more traffic to your site than having original, unique information that visitors can use. See my web tips section for more on that.

If you have good contact, news of your web site will spread by word of mouth (or rather word of mouse click).


Search Engines

Most traffic your site gets will come from search engines. There are two ways a search engine will know of your existance. You can tell them, or a site of importance that the search engine is crawling on can link to you. Crawling is where the search engine indexes a web site and its content to add to its search. This is normally done every 2 or 4 weeks by a particular search engine. So, changes to your site will not come up Letting the search engines know about you is what I call search dumping. You will want to dump your web site on the major search engines. Here is a list of them. I have not given the specific page you will have to find to add your site to the search engine as they may change that URL over time.

Google.com
Yahoo.com
Lycos.com
Askjeeves.com
Alltheweb.com
Hotbot.com
Teoma.com
Altavista.com

If you have the time, it is pretty easy to notify these engines of your site. There are many companies offering to search dump for you for a fee. They are most likely not worth it. The majority of your traffic will come from Google alone. The site Searchenginewatch.com has tips on getting your site onto search engines and increasing its popularity. It also gives details on how to notify the various search engines.

You can pay to have advertizing on any of these search engines and/or to have your site appear higher up on the search list (closer to the first page brought up). As your site becomes more known (more clicks to it and out of it), it will advance up the list of sites in your topic. A site also has more importance if it has more content/words to search.


Links

There are many sites out there that are nothing but links. Most are useless. But all web sites should have relevant links. The more links in and out of your site, the higher up your site will go in the search engine listings to some extent.

Links can be embedded in text, provided in lists, or listed on pages just for the links. I have used all three methods.

You do not have to ask a site for permission to link to their page. If they did not want the page to be public, they would not have created it.

Links can be text or image links such as clicking on a banner. Image links attract more attention but are not obviously links out.

One of the hardest part of having many pages and links as I do is maintaining those links. People delete or move their web sites all the time. I really cannot keep up. Try to verify links on occasion by clicking on them. For links that no longer work, either delete them, find the new location, or find an archived version. To find the new location, enter the title or specific topic of the site into a search engine. Often sites move without leaving a message on the old page. If you ever move your site, search for those who linked to your site, and let them know to change the link. I did that to some extent but there were just too many out there to do them all so many people still have links to my defunct URL. To find an archived version (the way the page looked in the past) of a site, go to archive.org and enter in the URL. Most sites will be on there unless they have paid to have their history erased from existence (big sites do that).


Reciprocal Links

A reciprocal link is where you notify someone with a relevant web site that you would like to trade links with them and link to their site, and they put a link to your site. Such requests should be personal and mention something specific about what you liked about their site or something. I get link requests that are irrelevant ("Hey we put up a link to your great site on our page. Please link to http://www.thishasnothingtodowithyoursiteatall.com"). Most of those are link lists on pages with no content. Many are automated. To catch the eye of a webmaster, make your request specific and show that you actually went to their site and liked it. You can ask for a link to your site on someone's site but do not make it conditional. Do not say, "Hey, I'll link to your page if you link to mine." If they have a site that your viewers would find relevant, just link to it even if they do not link back.

To boost your search engine popularity, try to get major sites, forums, etc. to link to you. Try to find an e-mail of the site creator (more so than the web master if they are different people) or if the site has an option to add a link. It is easier to get links from sites run by a single person than a huge site where they usually ignore you.


Web Rings

In joining a web ring, people can find web sites in your topic area. You can join an existing web ring or create one of your own. The main web ring site is Web Ring. There are rings for everything.


Groups

You can join or create a group. This will get you corresponding with people who care about the same topic. One of the largest group sites is Yahoo Groups.

Forums are another option. You can join or create a forum as well. Unlike groups, the messages are posted on a forum website instead of being sent via e-mail.


Mailings and Newsletters

Offering a free mailing or newsletter is a good way to attract attention. You can mail catalogs, newsletters, or other information. The mail can be snail mail (post office) or e-mail. If you provide interesting things in the free newsletter or whatever, it will keep people coming back to your site.


E-mail Signatures

Everyone who has a web site that they want to share should have it included in their e-mail signature. Keep the signature pretty short and do not brag too much! Most groups, forums, etc. do not want people to advertize their site, especially if it is commercial but usually find it acceptable to have the site mentioned in an e-mail signature. Once in your e-mail, anything you send out will have that information on it.





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