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Newsletter Archive

June, 2001 Special Issue (1-1)

Issue 1-4 Contents:

Welcome
An Ounce of Prevention by Ken Foster
Submissions and Resubmissions, Part I by Robin Nobles
Using AltaVista as an example
Safe submission guidelines
Search Engine Strategies Returns to San Francisco August 16-17
Sign Up for this Newsletter
Other Issues

Hello and Welcome

Hello! This month we have the first in a special two part special on submissions and re-submissions by SEO Professional Robin Nobles of Academy of Web Specialists. Stay tuned next month for part two of her excellent article. Growing your e-business is our business!

Enjoy the May 2001 Special Edition.

An Ounce of Prevention by Ken Foster

Let's take moment to consider the Data folder in AddWeb. This is likely the most important component of the program, in that it is where the entirety of your profile information and corresponding history information is stored. Backing up this folder can save you much grief in the event of a system meltdown. As anyone with a modicum of computer experience is likely to know, data lost through whatever means, be it a program or operating system crash, a virus, a power failure or the like, can be a source of marked consternation. This is especially true when one is working with a program like AddWeb, where the accurate data is essential to the proper functioning of the program. Thus, it is certainly in one's best interest to have a back up on which to rely if need be. Here is a simple way for you to back up your critical Data files.

By default upon installation of AddWeb, the Data folder is found at C:\Program Files\AddWeb\Data. In the Data folder you will see many different types of files, though the particulars are not important in this case. The central idea is to save the folder as a whole, providing you with a back up of your information in the event of unforeseen disaster.

To back up the Data folder is a simple matter indeed. In it's most basic implementation, one can merely copy the Data folder from the AddWeb folder and paste it onto the Desktop or into another folder, preferably one for that specific purpose. Even better is to transfer the folder to another medium, such as a Zip disk. That will provide protection in the event of one of the most unfortunate situations, a hard drive crash.

If then, for some reason it becomes necessary, one can at any time import, or copy, the saved Data folder back into the AddWeb folder to restore AddWeb's memory of your business. Examples of this could include having to uninstall/reinstall the program or installing AddWeb onto a different computer.

Ideally, a back up of the Data folder should be made on a regular basis. Possibly every time a new profile is constructed, or after each submission run. For those more adept with the use of a PC, one might do well to have a "before" and "after" back up of the Data folder. If problems arise at a certain point, one would have the option to choose between the two folders to most appropriately remedy the situation at hand. Give it a try. It's a simple task that can help provide a bit more confidence that one's hard work is protected. That's it for this issue. I'll be back with more frustration saving tips in future issues. Until then, keep on submitting!

Submissions and Re-submissions . . .
How Often Should you Resubmit your Pages, and When? Part I
By Robin Nobles

Do you remember a time when submission strategies were fairly easy and worked almost across the board? Sure, we recommended manual submissions, and yes, we recommended daily submission limits, but the strategies were uncomplicated.

No more.

These days, knowing when, and if, to resubmit your pages is one of the most confusing areas of search engine positioning.

For example, some engines seem to place more relevancy on pages they find themselves. So, it's to your benefit to let the engines find your pages, rather than to submit them individually.

Do we need to resubmit our pages on a regular basis? And what if we submit a page and it doesn't get in the index? Do we need to submit the page over and over and over again until it finally gets in?

What about AltaVista, where we're told not to resubmit pages that haven't been changed or have been changed very little? How much is "very little"?

To write this article, I interviewed Jim Stob with PositionPro (http://www.positionpro.com). Obviously, anyone who operates a sophisticated submission service with as much success as Jim Stob knows the ropes on submission policies.

First, let's look at PositionPro to see why the service is such a good role model in how to submit pages. PositionPro has over 3,000 domains carrying over 1.3 million URLs in their system, and every one of their submissions comes from the same IP address.

What does that say to you? Because PositionPro submits every page from the same IP address, if they get in trouble one time, their entire operation is in jeopardy. "They can track us without any problem and shut us down," says Stob.

Jim has working relationships with many of the engines, which is why he is able to learn what they want to see in submissions and can walk the fine line to stay out of trouble. With his impressive list of clients, including Canada.com, it's obvious he's doing something right.

Using AltaVista as an example

We can learn a lot by tailoring our submissions along the same lines as PositionPro. Let's look at AltaVista as an example.

In the past, we were told to submit just one a page a day to AltaVista. But with AV's new submission procedure, we can submit more. How many can we safely submit? Let's look at how does PositionPro handles AltaVista.

"We submit five pages per domain per day, and we don't have any problems. Could we submit ten? Probably. Could we do it over a time period? No." explains Jim.

By the way, it might be interesting to note that PositionPro doesn't accept cookies. As you probably know, we've advocated cookie control when working with AV. Is this why they're able to submit five pages a day? Probably not. "I think if you talk to AV, they would be fine with five," Stob says.

What about pages that have had no changes made to them? Does PositionPro resubmit those pages?

"We only do a submission one time to start out. So, with a site that contains 50 pages, it will be fully submitted within 10 days," says Jim. Then, once the pages make it into the index, the service doesn't resubmit them again, at least as far as AltaVista is concerned.

After that, the spider will pick up any changes you make to the pages on its next spider run. But, let's say that you've made significant changes to your pages, and you want those changed pages picked up before the next spider run. At PositionPro, you can tell the service to manually submit your page. However, it won't allow you to resubmit the same page any sooner than 21 days since the last submission.

What if you submit a page and it never makes it into the index? Should you submit over and over again until the page gets in?

"No, that's inappropriate," explains Stob. "If I submit to AltaVista, and if it's not accepted, there's a reason that the page wasn't accepted. It wasn't because of the submission. The engine went in there, and their algorithm judged it not to qualify for their index."

So, what are your options? For one thing, keep in mind that the engines operate on a timetable - their timetable. Be patient and wait to see if the page makes it into the index. If it doesn't, before rushing out to resubmit, look at your page carefully and consider what additional optimization strategies you can employ to boost your chances at getting in the index. Remember: content is what the engines are after.

Safe submission guidelines

Based on the guidelines that have kept PositionPro out of trouble, let's create a list of "safe submission" guidelines that we can follow for our own sites.

We'll get into engine-specific guidelines later in this article, but for now, let's look at some general guidelines.

1. Submit new pages to the engines, and then wait to see if the pages make it into the engines' indexes. Remember that it can literally take weeks (months?) for pages to get into an index.

If the pages don't make it into the index, don't resubmit them, but look over them carefully to see if you need to employ additional optimization strategies before resubmitting.

2. Submit all of your important pages to the search engines that allow you to submit more than just the main page of your site.

Stob explains, "None of the spiders crawl as well as they say they do. Sometimes they do an excellent job, but in most cases, they don't."

3. After a page has made it into the index, unless you make significant changes to the page or the page has dropped from the index, don't resubmit it.

4. If a page is dropped from the index, wait for two weeks to see if the page is picked back up, and then resubmit it.

5. If you've made significant changes to a page, resubmit it, but no sooner than 21 days since your last submission. It might benefit you to play it safe!

6. Consider adding visible links to all of your important pages on the main page of your site. Give the engines something to spider!

What about using hidden links, which has been a popular strategy in the past? Stob says to begin to approach this practice with caution. "I believe AV is beginning to look for hidden links, so try to stay away from them. I'm not saying that you will have trouble based upon their spider. However, they do have people reviewing, and I believe they are looking at this closer."

7. Submit your pages manually, or use a submission service or software that mimics a manual submission. By that, we mean that the software or service waits for verification before submitting another URL. If you use a submission software program, make sure that you're able to choose the schedule for your submissions. If you can't, you may find yourself in trouble with the engines for over-submitting.

8. Keep in mind that if it takes too long for an engine to access your site, it probably won't get indexed.


In Part II of this article, we'll look at some engine-specific submission and resubmission strategies that will keep you out of trouble with the individual engines.


This article was written by Robin Nobles, Director of Training at the Academy of Web Specialists (http://www.academywebspecialists.com). Over the past few years, she has trained over 1000 people in her online and onsite courses in search engine positioning strategies and has written three books on the subject, which can be ordered through Amazon. For more information about her online courses, visit the Academy's training site: http://www.onlinewebtraining.com.

Robin Nobles, Director of Training The Academy of Web Specialists
http://www.onlinewebtraining.com
Offering certified online training and consulting services in search engine positioning strategies, search engine ranking tactics, and more--all from experienced specialists dedicated to helping you achieve success on the Web. Order my latest book, now available from http://www.searchengineadvice.com:
Streetwise Maximize Web Site Traffic, Build Web Site Traffic Fast and Free by Optimizing Search Engine Placement

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