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Posted on October 17, 1998

      ==================================================
      The Add Me! Newsletter        ** FIRST EDITION ***
      "Free Tips to promote your website"
    
      Add Me, Inc                   http://www.addme.com
      ==================================================
      
      ..................................................
      October 17, 1998                     Newsletter #1
      ..................................................
    
    
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    created to help everyone promote and market their website. The 
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                .....THIS WEEK'S ARTICLE.....
    
    
    
                    SEARCH ENGINE UPDATES
                    =====================
    
    
    RECENT NEWS
    ===========
    
    1. Excite and Web Crawler will now be using Meta Tags 
    in their relevancy ratings. That leaves Lycos  as the 
    only major search engine not using Meta Tags. 
    
    2. In September, Microsoft launched its search engine 
    MSN Web Search. They are using the Inktomi service 
    (same as HotBot). It is currently in Beta and there 
    doesn't appear to be any way to submit your site at 
    the moment. We have 625 pages listed with MSN, so 
    they obviously got there through one of Inktomi's 
    other partners.
    
    THE IMPACT
    ==========
    
    This reinforces what we have mentioned before, and it's 
    worth repeating again: if you do NOT get into the major 
    search engines, in a  reasonably good position, you are 
    dramatically limiting your visibility on the net.  When 
    using one of these search engines, here is what you are 
    really using: 
    
        Search.com ............ you're using Infoseek 
        AOL NetFind ........... you're using Excite 
        GoTo.com .............. you're using Excite 
        LookSmart ............. you're using Alta Vista 
        Snap .................. you're using Inktomi (Hot Bot) 
        MSN Internet Search ... you're using Inktomi (Hot Bot) 
    
    So, if your site doesn't get well placed in the major 
    search engines, the effect is compounded throughout 
    the net.  So what should you expect in trying to get 
    into the major search engines?
    
    FIRST, BE REALISTIC
    ===================
    
    There are thousands of people running in the Boston 
    Marathon. And you decide to enter. You're 40 pounds 
    overweight and you haven't run more than five steps 
    since you were 12. (Why is everyone looking at me?) 
    What do you think your chances of winning are? 
    
    But what if you were really serious? What would you 
    do? Loose some weight? Start exercising? Do some 
    running? You'd start to optimize your body in 
    preparation for the race. 
    
    Will you win? Not likely. Maybe you've got a dream 
    of winning the marathon, but a more realistic goal 
    would be to finish the race and to place well. 
    
    The same is true of search engines. Do nothing. Don't 
    optimize your site. Don't add great Meta Tags and your 
    placement chances depend on luck. But do something and 
    you will definitely improve your position and you will 
    even have a shot at the top. 
    
    THE SIZE OF THE MARKET
    ======================
    
    The degree of success you will have, is affected by 
    a number of factors. Among them: 
    
                Your Site Design 
                Your Content 
                Your Title 
                Your Meta Tags, etc. 
    
    But, perhaps the greatest influence is the SIZE of the 
    market (i.e. search term) you are entering. If you are 
    trying to be in the top 10 when somebody does a search 
    on the word "computers" good luck! I did a search in 
    Alta Vista on "computers" and got 8,700,000 results. 
    Forget it. 
    
    So then I did a search on "PDQ123" and I got 3 results. 
    Really! (I have no idea what PDQ123 is, I thought I 
    just made it up).
    
    Sell computers? Hard to get well placed. Sell PDQ123 
    computers? Wow! What an opportunity to get a great 
    placement in that category. So now what you do is make 
    sure that part of your site (i.e. one or more pages) 
    is optimized to emphasize the term PDQ123 so that if 
    and when anyone does a search on that term ... you're 
    there!  You are not only there, you'll dominate the 
    category! 
    
    p.s. If you do sell PDQ123 computers, I'll even 
    guarantee you a TOP 10 placement. Maybe even a 
    TOP 5. How's that for confidence. Just send me the 
    bucks!
    
    
    ===================================================
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    THE BOTTOM LINE
    ===============
    
    If you optimize your site in an attempt to place well 
    in "computers" you will definitely improve your placement, 
    but you are going to have a real hard time getting into 
    the TOP 10 in all the search engines. Too big of a 
    market. Too many factors. Too many variables influencing 
    the listings. Doesn't mean you shouldn't try. It just 
    means it's hard to do. By the way, if you make it into 
    the TOP 200 of a large market, consider it good. 
    
    Where optimization works best, is if you can identify 
    smaller markets (i.e. search terms) and then aim for 
    a top ranked placement in those areas.
    
    Here's another example: a search on "flowers" revealed 
    1,900,000 pages. A search on "magnolia blossoms" has 
    132,000 pages. A search on "rose petals" has 6,800. 
    
    Yes you say, but most people will enter the term 
    "flowers". Yes they will. But it's like the Boston 
    Marathon. In this market we're not likely to win. 
    We'll do the best we can, but in the race for 
    "magnolia blossoms" we've got a shot at winning! 
    And in the race for "rose petals", look out!
    
    So try your best in the large, overcrowded markets, 
    but make absolutely sure that you pay particular 
    
    attention to the more specialized areas of your 
    business and you'll have a much better chance of 
    pulling in the traffic. 
    
    REAL LIFE EXAMPLE
    =================
    
    With the kind permission of Duane Shinn, here 
    are the results in Alta Vista of a recent 
    optimization that we did on his site. Duane 
    is a piano instructor and markets about 300 
    "teach-yourself" piano courses. So the site 
    was optimized to get the best possible placement 
    for the sale of his material. 
    
       http://www.playpiano.com - 17 pages were optimized 
    and submitted
    
     SEARCH TERM             POSITION     # OF HIS PAGES
                                          LISTED OUT OF 
    
     piano courses				
    				7	17 our of 25
     cassette piano lessons		
    				4	17 our of 25
     piano lessons cassette		
    				4	17 our of 25
     chord strategies		
    				1	12 out of 12
     keyboard lessons video		
    				17	17 our of 35
     learn the piano		
    				18	17 out of 45
     play the piano			
    				72
    				
     keyboard lessons		75
     video piano lessons		
    				99
     piano lessons video		
    				102
     piano			    
    				not in top 200
                                                                                      
    
    
    In a number of categories, we were able to dominate 
    the first 25 or 35 listings, meaning that anyone doing 
    a search on these terms would be inundated with Duane's 
    listings. But on the word "piano" we don't even show 
    up in the first 200 listings.
    
    So we may not win any visitors when someone does a 
    search on "piano" but if they look for "piano courses" 
    we win, hands down. 
    
    THE OPTIMIZATION PROCESS 
    ========================
    
    There are a number of components that make up a Site 
    Optimization Program. But we have categorized the 
    process into 3 stages. 
    
                Navigation 
                Page Design 
                Meta Data 
    
    In future articles we'll take a look as some of these components.
    
    
    Article by Len Canning (candocdx@lemaze.com), founder 
    of LeMaze Resource Center(http://www.lemaze.com). LeMaze 
    lists in excess of 14,000 marketing and web development 
    resources. And for those who don't have the time or 
    inclination to do it themselves, they provide an array 
    of marketing services. Like a Free Meta Tag Analysis for 
    your site, check out our  Free Meta Tag Analysis 
    (http://www.lemaze.com/Features/Submit_Forms/tag_analysis.htm). 
    
     
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