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Answers to Your Questions About SEO, SEM, and Internet Marketing in General

SEO experts answer questions about search engines, directories, spiders, submissions, and the many elements of effective search engine optimization.

What exactly is search engine optimization? If I'm redesigning a website, when should I start thinking about search engines? Once you begin using SEO, how long until you see improvement in your search engine placement? What are meta tags? What are meta descriptions? What is the meta description tag? What are meta keywords? What is the meta keywords tag? Do search engines distinguish between keyword phrases and individual keywords in the meta keywords tag? Should I duplicate words in similar phrases? What are meta redirect tags or meta refresh tags? How important are meta tags now? HTML Title Tags for Search Engine Optimization & Web Usability Do search engines index ALT text descriptions for JPEG and other image files? Does the length of time that a site or domain name has existed play in search engine placement? We are planning to relaunch our website with a new design at the same domain name. How do we get the search engines to reassess us for the new site? Will changing our URL or domain name affect our search engine rankings? How can we change urls without losing the traffic we're already getting? We have launched a new version of our website and our rankings are rising and falling daily. How will we know when Google has fully indexed the new site? How can we tell how much progress Google has made in indexing the new site? I have two websites that mirror each other in content but utilize different keywords and meta tags. Will this help my chances for ranking or hurt them? What exactly IS a spider? Does the spider program run through all links on a Web page? Explain "link popularity" and how it helps exactly. How do I find out what my link popularity is, and who is linking to my site? What is search spam, or SEO spam? How can I report spam in the Yahoo! and Google results? What are doorway pages, and should I use doorway pages? What is "hidden text?" Can I hide text in HTML to get a top ranking? What can I do about Internet copyright infringement or trademark infringement by another Webmaster? Can plagiarism by another website hurt my rankings? How do you send Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notifications to AOL, Bing, Google, Yahoo!, and the other major search engines? Can a search engine index pages that are password protected? How do I submit my site to The Open Directory (ODP or DMOZ)? Will DMOZ accept several urls from the same domain (deeplinks) if the content or products are different? Is there a limit? How often should a site be resubmitted to the Open Directory (DMOZ)? I have subscribed to dozens of ezines re: search engine optimization, and purchased books. I want to narrow it down to one source that I can depend on, instead of dozens. What's the best source? If I do business in Europe, do I need to get listed on local search engines and directories? Is it true that using frames makes it harder for search engines to properly index my site? Is there a way to alert editors of search engines that we have new content? Is there any way to expedite the listing? My products are time sensitive and I need results sooner rather than later. Is there any way to prevent a spider from grabbing URLs that you want to keep off search engines? My URL is in Yahoo's Web page results, but not their directory results, so truly I'm not in their index. Yahoo ignores my request for assistance on this topic. What can been done? How can we get management's attention and committment to website improvement? How do I submit my site to the Google Directory?. The people buying placements for our website have called it search engine optimization. That's not really right is it? Is it possible to be placed first in a search engine without paying them directly? Is Yahoo still important to my site - if I'm purely B2B? Which is the most used search engine?