How do I get my page listed in search engines? In order to get your page listed in search engines, you need to submit your site to the engine you want to be listed with. This is done by going to the search engine site, and finding the "add URL" link. If you can't find a link, try searching the site for "add URL." The best thing to do is to get your site listed in Google. The other search engines will pick your site up after they know it's listed in Google. Also, you need to have meta tags on your page. A meta tag is something that lets people know what is on your page, and gives keywords about your site so the search engines know what's on your page. This is what my meta tags look like:
<META NAME="keywords" content="html tutorial,html,web page, free guest books, free counters, kids,children,resources,design,home page,html help">
<META NAME="description" content="HTML help and web page design for kids and beginners in an easy to understand format, web page resources including free guest books, free counters and free web space.">
You put these tags in between the </title> and </head> tags. Keep the description short, and don't use too many keywords. In order to be listed you don't need to pay lots of money. You just need to go right to the search engine's main page and look for a link that says "add URL" or "suggest a site." Just click on the link and it will give you directions on how to fill out the form. Not all of the search engines index pages with meta tags, but it is a very good idea to have them on your page. Yahoo and Yahooligans are the hardest engines to get listed with. Other popular search engines include Google, Mamma, Dogpile, Altavista, MSN, and alltheweb.
Here's a nifty little Web site that will tell you how "popular" your Web site is compared to other sites: popuri. I think it's pretty cool, and just gives you some idea how your site ranks in the more popular search engines. Alexa also ranks Web site traffic, although not as effectively.
You can find my auto meta tag builder here. Just fill in the blanks and it makes your meta tags automatically.
How do I get my page to load faster? After you've made your graphics, or after you've chosen graphics to use, the best way to make your page load faster is to make the file size of your images smaller. You can use the Dynamic Drive image optimizer for free. It reduces the file size of your images. Also, reducing the number of images on your site will reduce load time.
Use CSS instead of tables or frames for site layout. Tables and frames tend to take longer to load.
Remove excess white space in your HTML code. Extra white space will increase the time it takes your site to load.
Use an external style sheet instead of an internal one.
How do I get more hits? Getting more hits to your site can be very difficult. You need to have a site that people want to come back to, a site that is unique, and a site that is useful in some way. Try some of these tips to help bring more visitors to your site:
- I cannot stress this enough, do something that is uniquely YOU. Present your material in an original way. It is so tiring to me to see site after site, the same old same old thing. ME YOU WWW etc. It drives me crazy. Be creative. My site is colorful, yeah. People complain, oh well. BUT they do notice it, and they usually don't forget it. It's very different. Make your OWN graphics, don't borrow them from other people. No matter how basic your graphics are, as long as you do them yourself, YOU will be the only one on the Web with those graphics. Resist the temptation to get your graphics from a site that makes layouts and premade graphics, for a memorable site you need to make your own graphics. My little sister hand made her graphics, with her own handwriting, and came up with a really adorable theme. I've never seen another site that looks just like hers, and if I were visiting it for the first time, I probably wouldn't forget it. There's really no good excuse not to make your own, even if you think you're not good at it. In time you will improve if you keep at it. In order to make your own graphics, you'll need a special program. A good program for creating your own graphics is Paint Shop Pro, I made my first site with that, and that is the program my little sis used to make her site. If you can't afford Paint Shop Pro, you could always use a free program like Photo Plus. It's absolutely free for download. I like Paint Shop Pro better, but if you can't afford it Photo Plus is the way to go.
- Have a theme to your site, and lots and lots of original content. Pick your favorite subject. Learn EVERYTHING you can possibly learn about it, and write about it on your site. For instance, if you like cats, make a site about cats. Teach people about the different cat breeds, how to take care of them, the right type of pet to choose for your family.
- Sign guestbooks. When I first started my site, this was the only way people noticed me. I didn't have my site listed in even ONE search engine, but I had lots of visitors because I signed so many guestbooks. Make sure you look around the site first before you sign the guestbook. Nothing annoys me more than someone signing my book with "nice site, visit MINE." UGH I hate that. Mention some things you genuinely like about the site in your guestbook entry and the person will be more likely to visit yours.
- Join forums. Some forums allow you to advertise your site, some do not. My forum does not. Joining a forum and being a regular member, even if the forum does not allow advertising, is a great way to get people to start noticing your site. Being obnoxious and just posting all over the place, "look at my site, please visit my site," is a sure way to turn people off.
- Add your site to search engines. You can manually add your site to individual search engines. The best place to start is Google. Once you get listed there, all the other search engines will find you. If you can't find the "add url" link to add your site, just search for the phrase "add url" on the search engine you want to be added to, you'll find out there where you can add your site. Just a few pointers for getting a higher rank in the search engines. Google ranks your site according to how important other people think it is. If there are a lot of people who link to your site, you will be listed higher in the search engines. If you go to Google and type in "html help," you'll see that I come up as number 4 or 5 in a list of over 8,000,000 html help sites. That's a pretty good ranking. Google thinks my site is important. Now if my site, that Google thinks is important, links to YOUR site, Google thinks your site is important too, therefore you'll be ranked higher in their engine. For instance, I link to my little sister's site. If you type in the words "blinkie tutorial" into the Google search engine, you'll see that she comes up first or second. WOW! That's awesome, considering her site hasn't even been on the Web that long. Google uses a page rank system, other search engines use a less effective method using meta tags. Using meta tags on your site is a way to get a better listing in some search engines. One other tip, a central theme will get you ranked higher than a page all about yourself with no theme in sight.
- Affiliates. This is basically a link exchange. You put a link on your site to them, and they put a link on their site to you. I personally don't do this unless it's with another site that has the same amount of traffic as I do because of the whole Google/importance thing. You want to affiliate with someone who has approximately the same amount of traffic as you do.
- Webrings or "Cliques." A webring is a group of sites with a similar central theme. You place a code on your site, and someone can surf through all the pages in that Webring. I personally don't like this method because a lot of times people quit and the Webring is broken. If the ring is not well maintained, it can look very bad for your site.
- Time. You need a lot of time and patience to build up a site and a visitor base. It takes years and a lot of hard work and a lot of persistence. I think that everyone today wants something right now. Like the old saying, "good things come to those who wait." Be patient.
How do I copyright my site? From the moment you publish your site on the Web, as long as the content truly belongs to you, your site is copyrighted by law and you can use the © sign on your site. If you actually want some kind of real protection for your site, in the case of copyright infringement, you should have an official copyright from the Library of Congress Copyright Office. Without an actual copyright certificate you can press charges against someone for violation of copyright laws and collect money from the one who has stolen your work, but your damage amount is reduced considerably since the burden of proof of ownership rests on your shoulders. Registering a copyright for your site is good because you have a public record that you are the author. Under the law, your copyright will last for the duration of your life, plus 70 years after your death. You can print the forms you need from the Copyright Office Web site, and send in the filled out form, a copy of your site, and the amount of money they need (right now it's $30.00). Because of the changing nature of Web sites, you'll probably have to obtain a copyright once per year. I have to send my site in for copyright once a year.
Copyright violations are more serious if the person who steals your work is making a profit from it in some way, or is preventing you from making a profit from it because they're redistributing your work. In that case, if you decide to bring charges against someone who steals your work, they are charged with an actual criminal offense and the fines are steep. You can also sue for court costs, for any money they have made from your work, for any money you DIDN'T receive because they're using your work and redistributing it, and for removal of your copyright notice.
Work that is "influenced" from your site is copyright violation. Work that is taken from your site and paraphrased to make it sound like someone else came up with the idea is a copyright violation. It doesn't have to be an exact copy to be a violation of law, someone just has to think there's a pretty good chance that if they didn't see your site, their work would not have been presented in the same way.
Be secure and get an official copyright, someday you'll be glad you did.
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