Indexes – There are three main types of search engines, Indexes, Directories, and Pay for View. Indexes are the most typical kind of search engine and most of this newsletter has been focused on placement within indexes.
Different Types of Search Engines
Indexing search engines use software to scour the web for links and content and “index” all of the found words and their associated web locations, assigning them rankings according to relevancy. They are very automated and simply input data into their vast databases and use the relevancy rules they create to determine how to list results from search queries. “Google,” and “AltaVista,” are examples of search engine indexes.
Indexing Search Engines
Directories – There are also some “search engines” that do not actually search engines at all. In fact, one of the most popular search engines, “Yahoo!” is actually a directory. A directory does not automatically add links to a database. Instead, it relies on human editors to look at sites and determine where they belong in the directory, and place links to the sites in their database. When you use Yahoo! to search the web, you are actually only searching the various categories, subcategories, and sites that Yahoo! has determined to be appropriate for cataloging.
Pay Per Click
Pay Per Click Some search engines require companies to pay for each visitor that they send to their site, allowing them to purchase the top placement for a specific keyword. For example, a company might bid 25 cents per click to appear at the top of the results listing for the keyword “cars.” However, if someone else comes along and bids 26 cents per click for the same keyword, then they will be listed above the first company. We haven’t ever used these search engines for our clients, but they can drive more qualified traffic to a site.
Often these search engines can generate excellent search results because they filter out inappropriate sites by requiring payment for placement. Overture.com is an example of a pay-for-view site. If you perform a search on the site, you can even see the amount of money that companies are paying to have you click through to their site. Depending on the keyword, these services can become quite expensive. Currently “debt consolidation” is Overture’s most expensive keyword, at roughly $7.00 per click.