Excite Changes Add URL Page

Excite has made some changes to its Add URL page to help it prepare for future regionalization and topical classification of web sites.

In addition to asking for a site's URL, the new page also asks submitters to classify the URL by language, geographical location and category.

The geographical information is being used to some degree to help Excite understand if a site should be included in its regional guides. For example, by default, Excite UK includes United Kingdom web sites that end in the country-specific top level domain of .uk. UK-specific sites that use other top level domains, such as www.british-airways.com, are included on a case-by-case basis. This new geographic option will help editors find sites that should be included in regional guides, although it does not guarantee that they should get in.

It is not necessary to submit a site to all regions, for it to be represented worldwide. Any site listed with Excite is available by default at all its regional guides, when users choose to search the entire web. It is only when they perform a regionally-specific search that some sites may be excluded.

As for the category option, this places a site in a pool that editors can review if they wish to expand directory listings for a particular topic. However, this pool isn't actively used, so don't expect to see your site appear in the Excite directory just because you've selected a category. Sites continue to be added primarily by editors hearing about good sites or seeking them on their own. There is no formal, effective submission process.

Remember, the Excite Add URL page is primarily designed for the submission of web sites, rather than web pages, for spidering. In other words, there is little gained by submitting each and every page from your web site. This can be helpful with other search engines, but at Excite, it has little impact on whether a page appears.

Instead, you should submit only your site's home page. If you've never been listed, you can then expect to see the home page (if it is the home page of a root domain) appear in about a week. In about three weeks, you can expect to see other inside pages appear, regardless of whether they were directly submitted.

I also recommend submitting one or two other key pages that link to other pages from within the site, something which Excite agrees is helpful. This way, if the spider has problems reading the home page, it has another option from which to begin its crawl of the site.

When submitting these extra pages, it makes sense to change the new Add URL category options to match those from when submitting the home page. However, Excite says there is no penalty if you should fail to do this.

Finally, webmasters continue to report problems with their pages "falling out" of the Excite index. The typical case is that pages may be listed, then disappear, then reappear a few weeks later. This has been the case at Excite for over a year, and it is likely to continue.

"As the web is growing, there's going to be cycles where content is coming in and out," said Excite search product manager Kris Carpenter. She added that the service is currently experimenting with ways to better determine which pages should permanently reside in the index.

What do you do if your page has disappeared? The best advice is to have patience. If it has appeared in the past, you can be fairly certain that the spider knows it exists, and so resubmitting really isn't necessary. It will likely reappear in the future.

If the page has never appeared, then submitting it directly at least helps bring the URL to the spider's attention -- though that's no guarantee it will be listed in the index. Submitting directly doesn't significantly improve the odds of a page being listed.

Excite Add URL Page

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