the quality of the link may be considered during ranking. New links are often ignored until they
have been in place for a time.
Because MSN relies heavily on page content, a web site that is tagged properly and contains a good
ratio of keywords will be more likely to be listed — and listed sooner — by the MSN search engine.
So, though it’s not the most popular of search engines, it is one of the primaries, and being listed
there sooner rather than later will help increase your site traffic.
Secondary search engines
Secondary search engines are targeted at smaller, more specific audiences, although the search engine’s
content itself is still general. They don’t generate as much traffic as the primary search engines, but
they’re useful for regional and more narrowly focused searches. Examples of secondary search engines
include Lycos, LookSmart, Miva, Ask.com, and Espotting.
Secondary search engines, just like the primary ones, will vary in the way they rank search results.
Some will rely more heavily upon keywords, whereas others will rely on reciprocal links. Still others
might rely on criteria such as meta tags or some proprietary criteria.
Secondary search engines should be included in any SEO plan. Though these search engines might
not generate as much traffic as the primary search engines, they will still generate valuable traffic
that should not be overlooked. Many users of secondary search engines are users because they have
some loyalty to that specific search engine. For example, many past AOL users who have moved on
to broadband Internet service providers still use the AOL search engine whenever possible, because
it’s comfortable for them.
Targeted search engines
Targeted search engines — sometimes called topical search engines — are the most specific of them all.
These search engines are very narrowly focused, usually to a general topic, like medicine or branches
of science, travel, sports, or some other topic. Examples of targeted search engines include CitySearch,
Yahoo! Travel, and MusicSearch, and like other types of search engines, ranking criteria will vary from
one to another.
When considering targeted search engines for SEO purposes, keep in mind that many of these
search engines are much more narrowly focused than primary or secondary search engines. Look
for the targeted search engines that are relevant to your specific topic (like pets, sports, locations,
and so on).
Putting Search Engines to Work for You
All this information about search engines has one purpose — to show you how they work, so that
you can put them to work for you. Throughout this book, you’ll find various strategies for optimiz-
ing your web site so it appears high in search engine rankings when relevant searches are performed.
But this requires that you know how to put search engines to work for you.
Search Engine Basics
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