Chapter 1. Surveying the Search Engine Landscape

In This Chapter

  • Discovering where people search

  • Understanding the difference between search sites and search systems

  • Distilling thousands of search sites down to four search systems

  • Understanding how search engines work

  • Gathering tools and basic knowledge

You've got a problem. You want people to visit your Web site; that's the purpose, after all — to bring people to your site to buy your product, or find out about your service, or hear about the cause you support, or for whatever other purpose you've built the site. So you've decided you need to get traffic from the search engines — not an unreasonable conclusion, as you find out in this chapter. But there are so many search engines! You have the obvious ones — Google, AOL, Yahoo!, and MSN — but you've probably also heard of others: HotBot, Dogpile,, Netscape, EarthLink — even Amazon provides its A9 Web search box on many pages. There's also Lycos, InfoSpace,, and WebCrawler.

To top it all off, you've seen advertising asserting that for only $49.95 (or $19.95, or $99.95, or whatever sum seems to make sense to the advertiser), you, too, can have your Web site listed in hundreds, nay, thousands of search engines. You may have even used some of these services, only to discover that the flood of traffic you were promised turns up missing.

Well, I've got some good news. You can forget almost all the names I just listed — well, at least you can after you read this chapter. The ...

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