Re: How do search engines work?
Ok, I'll never understand how these things work. I submitted a web site to google about 3 weeks ago and it's finally been added to the google database, but it's not always there.
Submission forms to search engines are there only for those who will not be satisfied without using one.
For the most part it's pointless.
Google will add it to be spidered but won't add it to their index unless the page meets their criteria. Their criteria is one that is heavily weighed on backlinks.
There is only one search engine (Gigablast) with a submission form that actually gets you indexed (and sometimes even within 5 minutes).
Sometimes if I search on the website name the site will show up around 5th in the results. 5 hours later I'll search on the same name and it won't come up at all. Two more hours it'll be there again. It's like google is messing with me?
It's a distributed database, so sometimes you are getting results from one box sometimes from another.
Google's database updates also are not instant, so as Google is updating you will get different results based on which box your search results are pulled from.
Why does this happen? What factors cause google not to list a website in the search results?
When it doesn't meet their page rank criteria it will not be listed. They do **not** list all pages.
If they have indexed you but you show up sporadically it usually means you are getting results from different google databases.
Also, if you do a google search on meta tags in google one of the paid inclusion results that comes up says that meta tags are obsolete and Google doesn't use them anymore? Is this true?
Google uses Title tags very much. Google uses the description tag a bit. Google almost ignores the keyword tag entirely.
Meta tags are kiddyscript SEO. And they are ignored by any engine worth their salt. Caveat: Yahoo has said they want better meta data for use in their engine but how they want to use them remains to be seen.
Then I'd like to know why if Yahoo is powered by Google why wouldn't my site show up in Yahoo search results too?
Yahoo is no longer powered by google. Yahoo is taking on Google in the search wars.
They have recently combined the Yahoo, Alltheweb and AltaVista sites to use one Yahho-spidered database.
Lastly, is there any truth to the roomer that if you submit too many times to search engines they will put you on a permanent ignore list?
Yes, some will. But not Google, as they simply ignore the submissions. ;-)
They want to find your pages through links to them and they also use the Google toolbar to alert them to pages.
The submit for is pretty much just there so they don't get emails asking where it is.
I've heard it both ways. I've heard you have to be aggressive because the more you submit the more likely you are to get listed, and I've heard that they ignore you after 3 submitions. What's the truth.
The truth is that they simply ignore it for the most part.
Also, are sites like Zeal.com considered legitimate search engines?
No, Zeal is a directory that used to provide results to MSN. I edit some high ranked categories there but now the work is useless. MSN is going to be completely rid of them and Looksmart's distribution is now insignificant.
This is a website that will die or be sold. Looksmart has already been folding up overseas.
I just had to take a quiz to submit my site there. I got 19 questions out of 20 right so they said I can start submitting sites. Is it worth the time?
Depends on what you think your time is worth. Since they stopped feeding MSN I haven't deemed it worthwhile.