Search Engine Frustration? Join the Club.

Tom Snyder photo by Tom Snyder on Mar 17, 2000

I’ve previously addressed the issues of how to correctly construct your site for maximum findability in the search engines.

The bad news is that you can do absolutely everything right, and still get zeroed. Despite valiant, proper and persistent efforts to score a top ranking, many site owners find themselves fighting against an enemy whose logic eludes them.

If you’re frustrated by a lack of good placement in the search engines, you’re not alone. Here’s why:

Yahoo decides who gets in (and who doesn’t) on a whim…They can’t even promise you that they’ll even look at your submission (unless you’re willing to pay them $199… and even then, that doesn’t guarantee that they’ll include you… they’ll just guarantee that they’ll subject you to their whim within 48 hours).

Excite has still not indexed a majority of new submissions since October of last year. They currently appear to only be spidering existing sites in its index right now and ignoring new submissions. (formerly Infoseek), has announced that they are repositioning their portal to focus more on the entertainment industry. Therefore, heavier emphasis will be placed on the entertainment and leisure sections of the search engine and they plan to phase out some of their non-entertainment categories. Are you registered with Unless your site has to do with entertainment or leisure, get ready to kiss your hard work goodbye.

AltaVista is making pages disappear for awhile only to re-appear days or sometimes weeks later. No explanation and no remedy.

Late last year, there were reports that sites being submitted to MSN were being rejected. The error returned warnings that the page had already been submitted from that domain in the last 24 hours and would not allow you to submit again. That would be fine, except, this error was reported to come up even though the user had NOT submitted in the last 24 hours, or may have never even submitted at all. and Thunderstone automatically find new sites and index them, even before they’re ready to be indexed. Thousands of “Under Construction” pages on new sites get indexed by these search engines, and then can’t be corrected when the real site goes live.

Companies that guarantee you top placement may actually be preventing you from getting in at all. These services all have an identifiable IP address that a search engine can easily discriminate against, and many are.

To keep up with all the latest strategies (and work around all the obstacles), I’ll be adding a new member to my staff this month who will have search engine registration as one of their primary duties. Clients with search engine registration as part of their maintenance plans will benefit by having someone whose goal it is to promote high placement by keeping up on the latest news and strategies.

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