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The Truth About Search Engines

Excite, Magellian, WebCrawler, AOL Netfind

Excite is the single most important Search Engine to have a good listing in. Excite also controls:

The name may be different, but a listing that appears in Excite on the first page of results will also appear in the same position in AOL Netfind. The fact that AOL is the single largest Internet Service Provider in the United States, and is also the place many people get their first look at the Internet, makes it a key area to have a good listing. As well, Excite and PointCast joined forces – with Excite indexing PointCast connections as of April 1997.

Getting good exposure with Excite means you will have exposure second only to a great listing at Yahoo in my opinion.

Submitting your website

When you submit your URL, Excite indexes it two weeks later. Excite asks that you submit only one URL (your top-most page). From there, Excite's robot will crawl through your site, indexing all related links. Indexing the full text of pages, there's no need to submit a list of keywords or description because they're generated automatically.

When you change your website

When you change your site it is not necessary to contact Excite; they will perform an automatic update (every two weeks). Excite's spider compiles the site summary by taking sentences that contain the dominant ideas/concepts of your home page directly from the page. Excite does not honor metatags because they believe it protects users from unreliable information.

To improve the relevance rating for your site for a particular Excite query, you will probably need to change the home page.

They do however look at the words in the Title of your document. Excite may take as long as 4 weeks to index your web site, so be patient and check often.

Does not like frames! The stop at the frameset and will not follow. Also, they love content and titles and ignore metas.

Excite works a bit different that many of the other Search Engines. Despite the differences some of the key items of good page design we have discussed in the past still hold true. Some things will likely always be important. I will cover the basics, then we will talk about specifics and a plan of attack for submitting to Excite.

A good title with your keywords in it is a must.

Unlike other Search Engines, meta tags do absolutely nothing at Excite. Since I am going to suggest that you either build a page just for Excite, or look for one of your pages that best fits the Excite model, you will be best served not using meta tags at all on the page you submit, or if nothing else, do not waste any time trying to tune up meta tags for Excite. It would be wasted effort better spent in the page body.

With exception of the page title, Excite only looks at words that are visible to the viewer of the page in question. This means heading text, page text, visible links or the clickable words in a page link. Excite does not consider comment tags, alt. tags, JAVA script or other items in the code that are not clearly visible when the page is displayed on your browser.

What kind of pages do well on Excite? Excite likes pages that tend to stick to emphasizing a particular keyword or keyword phrase. Pages with a high repetition of the keyword spread throughout the text of the page will do better than pages that cover many subjects or keywords. Be warned that clumping or repeating keywords over and over close together will likely have the reverse effect and get a spamming penalty.

If you look at the top pages for your keyword at Excite, you will very likely find pages that have the keyword often in the active links. There may even be a long list of links to other pages with many or most containing the keyword or keyword phrase. A good example here is to do a search for Gillian Anderson of X-File fame. If you look at the page in the number one position, you will see a great example of this method at work. Of 415 words on the page, Gillian appears in links 59 time, Anderson 53. Keywords in links work. The number 2 page is also a link list, and Gillian Anderson is a very popular search, in the top 100 most searched phrases, so this technique pulls a lot of weight. Still in doubt look at number 3. If you look at number four, you see it fits the model outlined in the paragraph above this one, the use of a high concentration of specific keywords.

If you look down this same page, you will see that the keyword is in most of the titles but not all, but is there another clue here if we look at the listings for the keywords? Notice the URL for the pages. Many pages have the keywords as part of the actual URL. An example would be the listings 2,4,5,6 7 and 10. This is not a coincidence, Excite seems to give pages with a keyword imbedded in the URL a higher position.

One last type of page that often does well is the pointer type page that has been discussed in the past issues (you know where to look it up) Pointer pages at Excite should use the keyword in the title and heavy use of the keywords as mentioned above. Any of your pages that focus on a specific keyword or have a heavy focus on one topic with high repetition of the keywords will do well. Listing #6 for Gillian is an example of this type of page. It happens to contain several links but they do no fall into the category of the keyword in the link as above. Shorter, highly focused pointer pages under 10K in size will also often do well in many cases. This type of page may be best if you are unable to come up with the long list of keyword link type pages. Sometimes it can't be done with niche products or services. This is an alternative method to try. Don't forget to work the keyword into the actual URL.

I hope this sheds some new light on the elusive Excite. I still find it to be one of the most challenging Search Engines. It also has the infuriating habit of dropping a good listing for no known reason, but, hey, no one said this was supposed to be easy!

Remember always: do your homework and look at the top listings for your keyword before you do anything to your page.

1st Timers/HomeCatalogueSupport/ContactAffiliatesLinks

...easy-to-use, intelligent, internet robot that builds a link directory and creates link trades for you!

The Truth About Search Engines


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