How easy are business Web sites for potential customers to find? This paper reports on a survey of 60,087 Web sites from 42 of the major general and commercial domains around the world to extract statistics about their design and rate of search engine registration. Search engines are used by the majority of Web surfers to find information on the Web. However, 23 per cent of business Web sites in the survey were not registered at all in the five major search engines tested and 82 per cent were not registered in at least one, missing a sizeable potential audience. There are some simple steps that should also be taken to help a Web site to be indexed properly in search engines, primarily the use of HTML META tags for indexing, but only about a third of the site home pages in the survey used them. Wide national variations were found for both indexing and META tag inclusion.
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