It is always the first question that clients ask after creating their website, in one format or the other, how do you get traffic from search engines?
I still believe and my first advice is backlinks. In this article, I will not discuss the importance and the power of backlinks; you can look up my articles about backlinks and how to obtain them. However, I want to clarify the difference between engines and directories because in most cases your backlinks building project will most likely start from web directories.
If you are trying to get traffic from search engines to your new website, the thing that is most likely to confuse you at the beginning is the difference between search engines and web directories. It will even become more confusing when I tell you that if you need more results from search engines you need to submit your website more to web directories!
Yes, you work more on web directories to get more results from search engines!
As a start, know that even if you are in search engines’ databases, this does not mean you will get traffic to your website. To get the traffic, you will need to be in the top results. I believe that submitting to search engines does not move you any step forward in this prospective.
Well known search engines such as Google, MSN and Yahoo use very complicated methods to calculate who shows up on the top of results for a specific search term. These search engines, like many if not all others use very complicated software and algorithms to bring websites to their databases and to sort them accordingly. The ultimate goal of search engines is to give the person who is searching for a term a perfect match at the top of the results. If you want an analogy, Google would be perfect as a search engine if the searcher lands on the perfect match for his search term every time without having to press the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button.
Unfortunately, computers and therefore software cannot think like humans and hence cannot figure out what exactly a searcher is looking for when he or she types a term. This limitation forces search engines to use what computers are good at doing, “computing”. Computers can count and compare very fast, and that’s basically what search engines does.
Search engines use software called “crawlers” to go out and look on the internet for website. Then after storing it in databases, it compares the data collected to produce and sort the results. This procedure is called ranking.
At the very basic level, the ranking logic is this: because there is billions of websites and because there is millions of results for most search terms, if the crawler finds more instances of a given website around the internet it deduces that this website is more popular. Furthermore, if this website when found is relating more to a specific term, then it is most likely a better choice as a result for that term.
Now, to use this knowledge to the advantage of your website you must do two things to rank higher in search engines:
1- Make your website appear more often on the internet when the crawler is out looking for websites.
2- Make your website relate to the search terms that relates directly to the subject and the content of your website.
Before I go anywhere further, I have to mention that to succeed, these two things are inseparable and must be considered as two parts of the same thing. In other words, if you want your website to rank higher for a specific search term, you must work to get the crawler to find your website more often on the internet and at the same time relating to that term when found.
Among the many ways to accomplish this task, you can start doing that by submitting your website to web directories.
Web directories do not use “crawlers” or any “ranking” methods. If any, they sometimes use sorting such as sorting alphabetically, sorting by the date of website submission or similar. Better web directories are usually better at categorizing websites that are submitted or added to them. The data that web directories collect about websites is very limited when compared to the data that crawlers collect for search engines. The data that is usually stored about a website in a web directory database is usually limited to the website url, website title, a short description and maybe some relating keywords.
The most and foremost difference between search engines and web directories is that web directories are usually built by humans one website at a time (I said usually only because some web directories might clone other directories databases to produce a web directory).
Without going into the details, you must understand that the mass majority of the internet users searching the web use search engines to seek information and products and not web directories. Putting this fact atop the information you now know about how search engines work, you should be able to know why we submit websites to directories.
We submit a web site to a web directory so that when search engine crawler looks up the internet it finds a link to our web site. More web directories listing our web site will mean more popularity in the eyes of the crawler. It is our job in this case to both submit to as many web directories as we can and to make our listing relate to the specific search terms that relates to our website to get quality traffic.
We do that by preparing the data that almost every directory will ask us for when we are to submit a website. That is:
1 – The title that contains the search term that relates to our website.
2 – The short description that will also include the search term or a variation of that term.
3 – Few keywords that relate to the search term and the content of our web site.
It is a good idea to prepare several variations of the search term by researching keywords that relate to our website to include it in the title, description and the keywords of our web directory listing.
You can find thousands of web directories (by using search engines!) so don’t get lazy and keep submitting your web site to every web directory.
After a few months you will start seeing the traffic coming to your website from search engines by submitting to web directories!