To be Found Online
This article will aim to explain the online game. It is a game, like no other. Domain names are the closest thing to real estate in the electronic word of ‘cyberspace’. One could rightly say that the domain name market is a stock market, yet to be so termed and not established as such properly. There are many domain name auction websites, domain name brokers, and escrow services to process financial deals for domain name transfers, even an option to set a parameter to acquire a domain immediately upon it not being renewed. What does this have to do with being found online?
To understand cyberspace one must know how real space functions – that is how the real world operates, in terms of its agreed upon social and business constructs. In the real practical world where you are is where you appear to be others. You have an address with distinguishes factors that seem to be unique and which set you apart from other people who have a similar presence in society. The same could be properly claimed about cyberspace.
To be found online one needs to have an online address, this is initially a numbered URL, which is issued by a registrar through the hosting process. One connects the domain name to the hosting space. This is similar to one’s house being located in a subdivision. One will likely build a website to appear at the online address that will be found using the domain name. One can also forward other domains to the main domain with or without masking. Masking means that the domain name typed in the URL bar will not change upon the redirect process from the domain name typed to the one arrived at when one visits the website to which the main domain is connected.
The preliminaries aside, let us discuss how one can be found online. If one wants people to visit one’s house, then one will invite them, either directly by calling them or by asking them in-person to kindly visit, or one can send out invitations. In the realm of cyberspace one can also invite visitors by sending them e-mails asking them to visit or one can create keywords that describe one’s website. If done properly a Search Engine will direct searchers to one’s website when matching keywords are entered. One will of course need to known by the Search Engine for the Search Engine to potentially refer visitors. To make oneself known, similar in principle to hosting a housewarming party, one will submit one’s website to Search Engines for consideration to be added to the searchable database.
Next a Search Engine will ‘crawl’ one’s website to review its content. If the Search Engine finds one’s websites to be fitting it will catalogue it for search-ability by searchers who browse the Internet and specifically the listing Search Engine. This process could be equated with requesting a listing with a chamber of commerce or business bureau so that potential customers could find a set company according to their requirements. The chamber of commerce will review the application and evaluate the business to determine if it should be indexed with their list of reputable businesses for search-ability by prospective consumers. A business bureau will likely assign a letter ‘A’ or grade to the business listed to let prospective clients know how it ranks in terms of providing excellence to customers.
To be found online one needs create an identity, just like in a person or a business in the real world. One will need to list one’s business with Search Engines, online business directories, phone directories, create a business Facebook page / group, create a business profile on LinkedIN; have a Twitter account for sharing of articles / blog posts that one will publish. Also, one will want to have an account on Tumblr and a Yelp business listing, among other social media outlets. Needless to say, if one does not have a presence then one cannot be said to exist, at least to others. It is in one’s recognizable and known presence and interconnectedness with others that one has an identity. Likewise, online one wants to exist. To do so one must have an online address, business listings and definitely many ads on various directories / ‘pennysaver’ websites and be liked on social media. Similar to being liked in the real world and having a good reputation, one will want to build a reputation online.
All of the aforesaid discussion about being found online has not fully ventured into the more technical aspects of having one’s website fully indexed. In addition to the simplified explanation provided there more highly technical requirements, such as: meta tags, tracking by Google Analytics and registering one’s website with Webmaster Tools. There is also fetching and rendering a website in Analytics, request for crawling and permitting robots to scan one’s website, to name a few of the many other options for increasing one’s ability to be found online.