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New Search Engine Ranking Algorithm - An Interview with
ExactSeek's Mel Strocen

By Shelley Lowery

ExactSeek.com has teamed up with Alexa to provide a brand
new search engine ranking algorithm that ranks sites based
on content relevancy and Alexa user popularity data.

This unique ranking system not only provides relevant search
results, but it also enables website owners to increase
their site's ranking in ExactSeek simply by increasing their
Alexa ranking.

ExactSeek.com, a Jayde Online company, is a search engine
and directory that indexes over 25,000 websites each day.
It currently indexes over 2 million websites and is
expected to exceed 5 million by the end of the year. 

Alexa Internet, an Amazon.com company, provides the Alexa
Toolbar -- an invaluable tool for the Internet marketer.
This little browser plug-in provides a wealth of
information, including site statistics, traffic data and
contact information for every site you visit. Best of all,
it won't cost you a dime. 

You can download and install the Alexa toolbar here:
http://download.alexa.com/?amzn_id=websource0c

I recently had the opportunity to interview Jayde Online's
CEO, Mel Strocen. The Jayde Online Network includes
ExactSeek.com, GoArticles.com, SiteProNews.com,
AllBusinessNews.com, EzineHub.com and FreeWebSubmission.com.
Jayde Online Inc. has been internet-focused from its
inception in 1998 and primarily involved in the publication
of email newsletters and the development of niche and
general search engines.

Here's what Mel had to say about the new ExactSeek search
engine ranking algorithm... 

Shelley: Mel, thank you for taking time out of your busy
schedule to talk with me.

Mel: Shelley, I appreciate the opportunity to provide some
insight on recent developments at ExactSeek and our new site
ranking algorithm.

Shelley: Now that ExactSeek has teamed up with Alexa, how
exactly will websites be ranked?

Mel: The main factors in determining website ranking will
be page content relevancy and the site traffic data provided
by Alexa Internet with the emphasis being on the former
versus the latter. It will be several weeks, or possibly
even longer, before we finalize the exact weight we give
Alexa data. What this means is that for the short term
webmasters might find their website ranking changing fairly
frequently. Think of it as ExactSeek's version of the
"Google Dance" :) 

Shelley: Prior to the new partnership, ExactSeek ranked
sites according to keywords displayed within the Title, Meta
Description and Meta Keywords tags. Will these tags still
play a role in ranking a website? Or, will sites be strictly
ranked according to content and their Alexa ranking?

Mel: Yes, Title and Meta tags will continue to play a role,
but not to the extent they did previously. The information
from these tags will be shown in the actual search result
listings and will also be compared to page content as an
additional check of overall relevancy. 

Shelley: As I'm sure you're aware, some "experts" may make a
case that Alexa rankings can be manipulated. How would you
respond to this analysis?

Mel: As mentioned, Alexa traffic data will be an integral
part of the ExactSeek ranking algorithm but not the dominant
factor, that being page content. Essentially, we've opted to
emphasize user popularity over link popularity. Either one
can be manipulated by savvy webmasters or SEO experts but,
in our view, user popularity is less subject to manipulation
over the long term because it is more difficult to
manipulate the surfing public than it is to manipulate SE
crawlers. The bottom line is that people will always be able
to better evaluate content than search engine spiders. 

Shelley: Will an increase in traffic from other sources
affect how a site ranks in ExactSeek?

Mel: Yes, the good news for webmasters is that regardless of
what they do to promote their websites, their efforts will
result in a better ranking on ExactSeek. So, increased
traffic from any source, be it ezine advertising, PPC
campaigns, search engine marketing, etc., will help boost
site ranking in our search engine. 

With other search engines, webmasters have been forced to
learn what is important to each engine and tailor their
sites accordingly. The beauty of ExactSeek is that
webmasters can focus on making their sites relevant to
people, not our search engine.

Shelley: How does ExactSeek's new ranking algorithm compare
with other search engines?

Mel: With the exception of Google, the major search engines
have offered little in the way of innovation. Factoring user
popularity into a ranking algorithm is ground-breaking. User
popularity is a far more reliable indicator of where
websites should rank and gives the surfing public some input
on the search results they see. 

Shelley: How will this new ranking system benefit website
owners?

Mel: I've already mentioned the most obvious ways that
webmasters will benefit as a result of our use of Alexa
traffic stats. Indirectly, they will also benefit as
searchers recognize the importance of user popularity in
delivering quality search results. More search traffic for
us will translate into more traffic for webmasters who have
listed their websites in ExactSeek. In addition, we will be
introducing other ranking factors specifically geared to
webmasters which will give them an opportunity to boost site
ranking in some very unique ways never before employed by
any search engine.

Shelley: Is ExactSeek.com the only search engine that will
be utilizing this new ranking system?

Mel: No, the new ranking system will be implemented on 6
search engines, those being ExactSeek, Aesop.com,
OnSeek.com, SitesOnDisplay.com, MaxPromo.com and Best-
SearchEngine.com. Four of these are using the new ranking
algorithm now and the remaining two will be within a week or
two. 

Shelley: What are your submission policies? Should a
webmaster submit just their main page or can they submit
additional pages? How often should they submit and how?

Mel: We prefer that webmasters submit primary URLs, but
additional pages can be submitted if they have unique
content and title and meta tags that reflect that unique
content. Once a URL has been incorporated into the ExactSeek
database, follow-up submissions are unnecessary. All URLs in
our database are recrawled monthly. We also provide
webmasters the option of scheduling their own recrawls with
our recrawl tool (http://www.exactseek.com/srank.html).
Using this tool, a webmaster can have sites recrawled on a
weekly basis.

Site submissions to ExactSeek can be made at:
http://www.exactseek.com/add.html

Shelley: It's been a pleasure talking with you, Mel. Thank
you for allowing me to interview you. 

Mel: My pleasure, Shelley. Thank you.

Since Alexa site rankings will play a major role in
determining how well your site ranks in ExactSeek, I highly
recommend that you download the Alexa toolbar -- not only to
track your site's status, but also to locate quality sites
for joint ventures and link partners. It's a win-win
proposition no matter how you look at it. 

Copyright Shelley Lowery 2003.
Shelley Lowery is the author of Web Design Mastery - An in-
depth guide to professional web design. And, Ebook Starter -
Do-it-yourself ebook design kit. Visit Web-Source.net to
sign up for a free subscription to Etips and receive a free
copy of the highly acclaimed ebook, Killer Internet
Marketing Strategies. http://www.web-source.net




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