The online adult business is largely dependent on search engines; if all adult websites were removed from search-engine listings tomorrow, revenue for the industry would crash.
In light of this, it is vital that adult webmasters learn placement techniques for search indexes and the art of being listed in the first few pages of a user search. The most difficult part of this task is not learning new technical tricks but instead unlearning many of the myths of search-engine placement.
The first major myth of search-engine placement is that submitting your website to 1,000 search engines is more effective than submitting your website to just a few. In reality, 90 percent of search-engine traffic originates from the Google, Yahoo, Iktomi, Dmoz.org and MSN searches. A good placement within these indexes is far more effective than 1,000 good placements on smaller search engines.
Of course, any adult webmaster has to focus on smaller search engines specific to their industry. Search sites like AskJolene.com, 69clicks, and Booble.com cater to the adult content provider and make submissions easy. Yet aside from these sites, it is still best to focus on the major search engines. Don't fall for auto-submission services that submit your website to 1,000 search engines unless the service is free. Spend a little more time and submit manually to the major search indexes.
A great website to learn about submissions is SelfPromotion.com. Here you can read articles on the latest suggestions on how to submit to Yahoo, MSN and Google. This site also has links to other great articles that you will need to study regarding each of the major engines. Another good site to learn how to maximize your exposure on the large engines is SearchEngineWatch.com.
Search-engine placement ultimately is more about money than the skill of submissions. If you can afford it, a Yahoo Directory Listing, costing $600 for adult sites, will make your job easier and ensure good placement within Yahoo. A cheaper method to increase search engine exposure is pay-per-click. With this marketing strategy, search engine companies bill a few pennies per click and allow customers to set a monthly ceiling.
Responding to pay-per-click demand, Yahoo now offers Search Marketing, which can be set up for as little as $30 initial deposit. The drawback of Yahoo's program is that adult sites are treated differently, restricted to a set of words considered adult, and cannot bid on other terms. "Yahoo maintains an adult database comprised of approved adult terms. We do not allow non-adult terms for adult sites," so they caution.
The most popular pay-per-click service is Google's Adwords. This program allows you, for a small amount of money, to target certain keywords that you think your customers would search with when desiring your web services. For instance, if your website is dedicated to horny gay clowns, you can list a series of specific phrases through the Google software and then bid small amounts of money per click.
The ironic thing about this whole science of search engine placement is that I could build an adult website and just advertise on Google Adwords and probably get more business than another adult webmaster who paid for a bulk submission to 1,000 websites and spent endless hours tuning his or her HTML until it was stuffed with the desired keywords.
This brings us to our next myth surrounding search engine placement: higher traffic implies success. In reality, success in sales is defined by revenue. Traffic volume is not the key metric but traffic quality is. Traffic quality is defined as the percentage of visitors to an adult site that becomes paying or clicking customers, adding to a revenue stream.
In terms of return on investment (ROI), traffic quality — not quantity — ultimately is the measure of how much money web advertising will generate.
For example, 100 visitors genuinely interested in horny gay clowns will generate more business for HornyGayClowns.com than thousands of visitors simply clicking on a term like "gay sex." This is why it is important to bid for less general search terms when you are paying for ads or your revenue will be burnt up by surfers who are only mildly interested in your services.
To increase the quality of your visitors, the art of keywords involves the implementation of very specific search terms. The online adult industry is competitive. Don't just use words like "sex" or "nude" or you will be buried in search results and those few who do visit your site might not have a penchant for clowns — or whatever you are featuring.
When you type in "sex" in Google you will receive a huge variety of websites, some having nothing to do with adult entertainment. If instead you type in "blonde blowjob queens" you will find some specific sites with exactly what you are looking for. There is no reason to compete with the largest adult websites for general terms. Instead, hone your area of interest and attract specific customers; become dominant with the keywords of your choosing.
Google affords the webmaster another tool to improve traffic quality by offering ad space through its Adsense program. Adsense encourages other websites to display Google ads for money. This means that the webmaster paying for ads can choose not to display ads on the generic Google search engine, but instead on specific sites that he or she feels contain higher-quality traffic.
When utilizing Google's Adsense customers to improve quality of traffic, a webmaster first searches for articles, competitive sites, boards, forums, etc. that relate to his or her content and display Google ads. After finding these sites — where the probability of paying customers is highest — the webmaster simply enters the URLs into the Adword interface. Now their website link, instead of appearing on generic searches, is displayed below a relevant website visited by potential customers.
Another myth of search engine placement is that Google and other search engines will simply look at your keyword tags and content and rate your site based on that alone. In reality, a huge factor of how Google will rate your site is the number of times that your site appears as a link on another site. If no one else in the world mentions your site, the Google search engine figures you must not be very important.
This axiom makes it vital that you participate in reciprocal link programs, banner ads and other tools to propagate your links to other websites that Google and others are spidering. The more your site is mentioned the faster your ranking will increase.
To give your adult site further weight, build 10 sites around it, based on similar keywords in the URL and title page. This way, your content is funneled to the commercial site. A great advantage of this strategy is that the sites you build around your main site can be risqué but not hardcore adult, thus allowing you to propagate them through mainstream cyberspace.
When you build secondary sites that funnel to your main commercial site, be sure to maximize your HTML. Do more than add keywords in meta-tags. You will need to put these keywords in your title, the frame of the browser, and most importantly in the text of your website. For instance, if horny gay clowns are your target keywords, you will need to mention these words frequently in the text of your website:
"Click here for our horny gay clown cam-rooms, the premier gay site where clown chat and horny cam parties start at $19.95 per hour."
Avoid easy shortcuts, such as building websites that simply redirect to your main site. Search engines have become more sophisticated and will penalize you for a redirect without original content. Original content in the body of your HTML, like the above example, is considered as important or more so, than meta-tags when search engines rank pages.
By itself, technical prowess and search-engine tweaking will not make an adult site popular. People visit a site because there is a buzz around it. Offer to write articles for online news services like XBIZ.com, post information about your website on forums, and issue a regular press release every other month.
Press release services like PRWEB.com or free services like PRLeap.com and XBIZ PR Blaster will drastically improve the frequency that your website is mentioned on the Internet. More importantly, the press release will propagate an article full of keywords and links to your site. People don't usually visit an adult website just because it came up on a search. Website popularity is based on word-of-mouth. Treat your URL like an exciting news story and not a storefront — only then will you have a chance to shine in the endless galaxy of online adult content.