4 Steps to a Robot?s Tea Party

Creating a new website is only the first stage in what is a long, arduous process to internet success. Millions of new websites, many of them intended to be commercial, are created every year and then????nothing happens. No, or very few, visitors come to the site. But what can seem worse, not even the search engines are in a hurry to come visiting. Most search traffic is likely to come from Yahoo and Google, and increasingly MSN. Yahoo and Google, though, have always taken a long, long time to bother to crawl your website with Googlebot and Inktomi Slurp. These are the robots that scour the internet listing website pages and storing them to provide the database for their search results.

Yahoo have, for a long time, offered a quick way to get considered for listing, but that has been expensive, too expensive for many. Now, though, there is a free and cheap way to get the search engine robots coming to your new site quickly. When I first tried this method last December, 2004, Yahoo's Inktomi Slurp and Googlebot were crawling my relatively new site within hours. They had both been before, but only briefly and intermittently for the couple of months I had been developing that website. From that day, GoogleBot, Inktomi Slurp and more recently MSNBot have been meeting every day, sometimes several times a day, on that website. It's become like a daily Robot's Tea Party.

What, then, is the secret? Well, it's not really a secret. I had read about Blogging, and the effects on search engine robot behaviour, in the middle of 2004. I kept it on my mind for several months before I decided to do something about it in December. I had a new site I had been revamping from my original draft, and wanted to get listed with the main search engines without all the submission obstacle course. I wanted to get quick results, and I was not to be disappointed.

Here are the steps that I took to entice GoogleBot, Inkomi Slurp and MSNBot:

1. I signed up at Blogger.com to create a new Blog. When signing up, ensure you give the correct details of your website and the access details Blogger will need to place on your website an HTML file and an Atom/XML file of your Blog.

2. Write your first Blog and post it. Try to use the best keywords for your website in the titles of this and subsequent posts.

3. Go to Feedburner.com. This is not an essential step, so you can skip it if you prefer. I use Feedburner for all my feeds. Feedburner will convert your feed (Blog) into the most suitable format for the reader, depending on which RSS viewer they are using. While RSS is not new, the ways in which it can be displayed are still in a state of evolution. Let Feedburner keep up with those developments and display your feed in the most appropriate way. Also, Feedburner provides some useful statistics.

4. Go to http://www.masternewmedia.org/rss/top55/ where you will find a list of RSS/Blog directories. Make sure you submit your Blog url (or Feedburner url if appropriate) to My Yahoo and Google first, followed by as many of the others as possible. Inktomi Slurp and Google should come visiting your website very quickly. Don't be too concerned if they are not as quick as they were in my case. More people are latching on to this idea now, and there is no guarantee that this method will still be as effective when you read this.

How to Keep the Search Engine Robots Coming to Your Website

Having baited the robots to visit your website, it is now up to you to keep them coming back, so they will by attracted to your site each day. The key to this is providing new content as often as possible, preferably every day. The Blog is a good way to keep the robots coming, but of course you should add other more substantial material to your site too. This can be done with your own original articles, or the articles of others who have agreed to syndicate their work. You can find many article directories on the net. If you just do a search for "article directory xxxxxx" (xxxxxx being your subject or keyword), you are sure to find some very quickly. I like http://www.ezinearticles.com/ , and I use them for my own articles and to find others. There are many more, though, for you to choose from.

Roy Thomsitt is the owner, webmaster and author of http://www.change-direction.com, a new website in late 2004, about working online in a home based business. He has a background in offline advertising, with practical experience of working from home in marketing since 1995, plus 2 years of experience with online marketing. He has a substantial background in financial and project management, implementing new office, accounting, computer and management systems. He is an English expat, now resident in the Philippines.

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