A portal provides an entry point to the Internet. It usually includes a search engine and/or directory. It also offers other services directly accessible over the Internet. With "Web 2.0", a whole slew of very customizable portals called "desktops" have come out.

Portal Types

When considering a portal, don't confuse search engines with directories.

There are variations of search engines and directories:

Submit your site to the big portals, then submit your site to portals that specialize in your field as well as geographically local portals.

Coding for Portals

Some meta tags used to be much more important because search engines utilized them. However in the late 1990s search engines switched to largely examining the content of the page itself instead of the meta tags.

Search Advertising

Driving traffic to websites via search engine advertising. Note that this is distinct from advertising on non-search engine sites. You should also manually list yourself in human-created directories (EG: DMoz.org) in addition to trying to make yourself searchable via robot-created search engines.

Coding for portals will help in natural searches but there are also ways to pay search engines like Google and Yahoo so that you have a paid link show up on the side of natural searches.

Determine how much a search advertising is worth to you.

EG: On average, 1% of clicks for "swords" results in an average sale of $300. If you assume that those sales would not have occurred without those clicks, then each click is worth this amount of sales: $300 * 1% = $300 * 0.01 = $3.

However if the idea is to maximize clicks, and your DB is fixed, then CPC is the only variable --hence minimize CPC to maximize clicks. These examples show why.

  • $1 DB @ $2.00 CPC = $1 / ($2.00/click) = 0.5 clicks
  • $1 DB @ $1.00 CPC = $1 / ($1.00/click) = 1.0 clicks
  • $1 DB @ $0.50 CPC = $1 / ($0.50/click) = 2.0 clicks
  • $1 DB @ $0.25 CPC = $1 / ($0.25/click) = 4.0 clicks
  • $1 DB @ $0.05 CPC = $1 / ($0.05/click) = 20 clicks

In this light, consider lowering your CPC for a competitive keyword phrase and spend on some of your DB on other keyword phrases that may give more clicks because of their lower CPC.

Beware. Always pick relevant keyword phrases. If you have competitors and your CPC is too low (resulting in ranks below 7), then you never get ranked and you'll get 0 clicks. Companies with big pockets will pick the most relevant keyword phrases and pay top dollar for them.

There are two important things besides paying for your ads: Choosing your keywords and making your ad. The latter is not my concern, but there are several tools for selecting keywords:

So unless you use Yahoo's FastTrack service, it seems that the process would be as follows:

  1. Come up with your own keyword phrases.
  2. Use the free Google's Sandbox, Overture, and Lycos to drum up more keyword phrases.
  3. Use WordTracker to quantify keyword phrases.
  4. Finalize the keyword phrases list based upon Google prices and such.

There are many sites that work on this sort of thing. Here are some, but I do not know if these sites are any good.

Links

Links that lead to off-site portals.

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