Because the Web runs on search engines, websites live or die depending on how high their names appear on search engine results. There's a discipline called Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and a lucrative consulting business whose practicioners promise you better rankings.
We've always been too cheap to pay for those services, so we have no idea whether they're worth the money or whether they're just con artists who'll charge what the market will bear for telling you what you can learn yourself for free. Since we have a very well visited site that breaks almost all the rules, we suspect the latter. We've never found a better way to get visitors than publishing something people want to read. That means you have to have something to say, but we've never had a problem with that.
Still, there are some stupid things you can avoid and some elementary things that take almost no effort, and the folks who wrote these articles have written them down for you.
- SEO Pages
- Articles about how to get your web page to appear closer to the top in searches on the search engines.
- How To Increase Your Readership
- By Dave Pollard. Pointed specifically at weblogs, but good advice for anybody who wants to improve traffic on their website.
- Search Engine Voodoo
- B. Mann Consulting's articles on search engine optimization.
- Articles, forums, FAQs, and a Google page rank calculator.
- Article by Robin Good on the best sites to submit your URLs and RSS pings to.
- 19 Common Mistakes
- that prevent your Web site from showing up on search engines. By Axandra.
- Google Information For Webmasters
- Straight from the horse's mouth on what to do and what not to do.
- Help the Googlebot Understand Your Web Site
- Gina Trapani's advice on bringing the stuff you want Google to index to the top of the pile and keeping Google from indexing the stuff you don't want it to index.
- Search Engine Ranking Factors
- A series of articles at SEOmoz on the things that are important to search engine spiders. 456 Berea Street has discussion of these articles, and other comments are at the author's own site.