It is an irony that as you grow in size in the Internet, you become more dependant on free form of advertising. Search engines contribute a major chunk of traffic for all small and mid size portals, until you establish your brand by which time you become one of the major players in your niche segment.
There is a paradox in this as Yossi Vardi – one of the founders of Mirabilis, the maker of ICQ has mentioned – “The value of any Web site is in inverse relation to what it costs to attract new users.” One of the major costs of running an internet venture is the cost of Ads and the bottom line is to find the elusive goal of finding the maximum return for your money invested in the ads.
Search engine results are, at the best of times fortuitous. Consider this typical example for the World’s leading software giant – Microsoft. (The domain Microsoft.com has been registered in 1991)
A search for the keyword phrase ‘software’ in Google does not show Microsoft in the first 50 search results.
In Yahoo Microsoft comes at 6th position for the same search. Interestingly in Microsoft’s own MSN search engine it is not there in the first 5 pages. Your mileage might vary as the search engines keep changing the order.
Even searching within your website pages, they don’t display pages in their original order of importance. This is more in evidence for a portal like Targetwoman. In our diet section, we cover almost all the major mainstream diets invented since the time of sliced bread. Yet a typical searcher rarely reaches the right page through the search engines. As we can glean from our server log files, they end up in the wrong diet section and invariably navigate to the appropriate article.
To help them traverse our thousands of articles pages, we had to build a search engine from the scratch ourselves. After much head scratching and drinking gallons of coffee, we are almost there – (not quite). ‘Browse by topics’ is one such tool intended to lessen the time taken to navigate inside the portal instead of reading the content.