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Promoting Your Palace with a Website

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Putting up a website about your Palace is one of the best ways to gain new visitors. But there are important things to do in order to make your site accessible and seen by web users across the world.

Getting Ready to Promote:


When building your website, be original. The more information you include the more hits you will get at your site and the more places you can be linked. If you're an experienced Palace Owner and visitor, you can add a tutorial or two, include some scripts for your guests cyborg files, add a gallery, give some advice to newbies, etc. The more types of information you include, the more hits you will get on your site and more places you will be able to link too.


Meta Tags:

Meta tags may be the single most important place to include information in order to help people find your website!

Meta tags, included in the header section of your html document are used to identify, index and catalog in the search engines. What you put in these tags will help determine if your site will come up when a user of the engine enters a query. Use them to your advantage!! I'll give some tips here but for more information on adding meta tags to your website go to your local library or bookstore and grab a book on HTML or go to:


The two meta tags that we're most concerned with here are the Description meta tag and the Keyword meta tag.

Description: The information in this tag is actually used by some search engines not only

to rate your site but also as a short blurb to tell searchers what they might find at your site. Use it like a little advertisement to make your site look interesting and make people pick

your site from their hit list instead of the one above or below it. Put keywords in it also but only in the context of the description.

Take the time now to write out a good description of your site. Think hard and be succinct. Make 4 versions: Long, Medium, Short and very short. Different sites have different word count requirements for your submission. Make each version really count and say as much as possible to bring people to your site in as few words as you can. If you take the time to do this before you start out on your quest to promote your website you'll be very glad that you did. You can use this information in your meta tags and later when you start to requests links and get listed in the search engines.

Choose your "short" description to put in your description meta tag. It should be short, concise and right on target as far as what your site is all about.

Keywords: This is the fun part. Open your word processor and your mind. Think about what your site is about and who might want to visit it. What words will they put in the search box of their favorite search engine that could lead them straight to you!

The keyword meta tag contains a list of appropriate words separated by commas. Start with the name of your palace perhaps, include other words that in general are right on topic such as chat, palace, avatars, chatting, chat rooms, chatrooms etc. Notice that you can use two words together and think about how people may spell (or misspell a word). If your Palace is called Somebody's Palace, include both somebody's palace and somebodies palace.

Now get more specific. Think about the theme of your palace and include words that will draw people interested in that theme to your site. An anime palace? Include anime, anime chat, cartoon, manga, etc. in the keywords if it's not in your palace name.

Remember that Palace is a world wide community. Include the languages spoken in your Palace. For example: English chat, Spanish chat, French chat, English, Spanish, French etc.

There is no limit here but don't go overboard. DO NOT repeat the same word over and over again and DO NOT use keywords that have nothing to do with your site. These tricks used to work, they no longer do. The search engines caught on and you may not be listed at all if you misuse the keyword meta tag.

To give you an example of keywords used for a palace website, here is the keyword meta tag information included in the Instant Palace Users Guide:

the palace, palace chat, the palace chat, thepalace, ThePalace, palaces, instant palace, comic chat, chats, chatting, chat rooms, chatrooms, tutorials, avatars, netiquette, chat etiquette, teens, kids, adults, cyber, manuals, free chat, virtual, virtual chats, online community, best, palace commands, web chat, webchat, online games, free chats, tips, virtual chat, screenshots, screen shots, avatars, avs, chat manners, palace developers group, paldev, paldev group, emoticons, acronyms, sounds, system requirements, screen names, chat names, alias, nicknames, talking, communication, communicate, communicating, palace communication, balloon chat, balloons, comic chat

This list is used on the intro page of the site. The list of keywords on other pages is smaller and more specific to the individual pages. It isn't necessary to use the same keywords on each page.

Spellcheck!! Yes, don't forget to spell check your keywords. You can do it in your word processor before you enter it into your html code. You want misspellings if they seem as if they would lead people to your site but you don't want anyone to miss your site because you made a typo and spelled palace as palace.

I would also suggest that you put your meta description and meta keyword tags right after the title tag and before any other header information. If you are using a program such as Front Page or Dreamweaver you will most likely have to change this manually.

There also programs available called Meta Tag Generators. They will run through your page and make you a list of keywords. These can be helpful in building your list but I wouldn't depend upon them entirely. They don't include "concepts", you'll be better at making your list of keywords than any generator if you give yourself the time to work at it.


Another important place to include keywords is in the title of your page. Search engines place high priority on words in the titles so get as many keywords as you can in there without making it obnoxious. This makes for huge bookmark titles but it's very good

in the search engines. To use another example from the Instant Palace Users Guide, here is the title used on the main page of that site:

Instant Palace Users Guide - Quick Start for Palace Chat

The most important keywords were used in the title, instant, palace, guide, and chat. you get the idea.

Offer linking images:

The day will come when you will receive an e-mail asking if someone can list you on the link page of their site. Be prepared! Make a page on your site with all the information that someone like this will need so that they don't have to take the time to write in the first place. Writing for permission, is, unfortunately not something many people like to take the time to do. But... if you have all the information handy right on your site they won't have to! Include permission to link to your site on the page and make up a few good linking images from your logo or whatnot for them to use if they use image links. Tell them an image link or a text link is fine, whatever they prefer. Thank them for linking to you and ask them, if they have time, to let you know that they did so. Believe me this will be worth your while and bring traffic to your site.

A Quick Run Through Your Site:

Before you even start to promote your site you want everything to be perfect! Spell check each page, check all of your links, check the site in different browsers and different versions of browsers. Ask a friend to go through the site and tell you if it is easily navigated or if they got lost. Run your pages through a website validator to see if you've made any mistakes in the html that will keep people from viewing your site the way you intend it to be viewed. There are many validators, I usually use 3 before I put up a site, but a good one to start with is Web Site Garage at: http://websitegarage.netscape.com/

Another is: Weblint Gateway at: http://www.cen.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/weblint

You might also want to think about running your page through Bobby, a website validator that checks your pages to see if they are accessible to the handicapped that use special computer tools and programs to access the web. Bobby can be found at: http://www.cast.org/bobby/

kk, you're good to go now. No wait! There's something important that you forgot to do!!!


Don't forget to add Instant Palace Access to your Palace!!!

This is very important! With so many java chat sites available, new visitors to your site may very well expect to be able to "click and chat" immediately! Make it possible by adding Instant Palace Access and a direct link to your Instant Palace to your website.

BE SURE that your staff is aware of the fact that you may be getting Instant Palace guests. Be sure that they understand the differences between IP and the client and how to help IP users have a great time at your palace! Make them aware that IP users may eventually be interested in getting the client if they enjoy their experience. An IP user that enters a Palace only to be greeted with the words "Get the client!!" at every turn my be a lost opportunity. Show them around your Palace, include them in your conversations and, when they're hooked, explain the differences they will find when they download and install the client.

Remember that some IP users may not want to download another program onto there already overloaded hard drive. They may be accessing Palace on their lunch break at work and not be able to add programs such as Palace to their computers. They may be new to computers and unsure about the whole procedure. Instant Palace may be just right for some people and the client isn't always the best answer. From personal experience I know this to be true. I've had the client for almost 4 years and still find myself using instant when I don't have access to my own computer. When you add IP your regulars can pop in from work or while on vacation from any cybercafe and you'll bring new users into the community that may otherwise never find us!

For more information on including Instant Palace Access to your Palace check the following links:

Instant Palace Developers Resources: http://eagles.chatserve.com/iphelp.html

Customizing Instant Palace: http://eagles.chatserve.com/ipcustom.html

The Instant Palace Users Guide (this is where you send your wiz's and IP users! to learn all about using Instant Palace): http://instant.palaceplanet.net/

The Instant Palace Directory (Get your Instant Palace listed!!): http://instant.palaceplanet.net/

The Instant Palace Mailing list (Ask questions, get help and help other users! To join, send a blank e-mail to: instantpalace-subscribe@yahoogroups.com


Get Linked!

Once your site is complete start thinking about getting links from other sites. It's a good idea to do this before you submit your sites to the search engines because your placement in those engines may be much better if your site is linked to from other places. This is a criteria for placement in many of the search engines.

Be sure to get your website listed and linked from as many sites as you possibly can.

Remember those 4 descriptions of your website that you wrote out? Get them out, you'll need them now. When submitting a request to be linked from someone's website, check out the site's link listings first and choose the best of your 4 descriptions to submit based on what you see there. A website owner may let you go crazy with your "long" description or they may only allow a very short one. Your chances of being linked will increase if you show consideration by submitting something they will want to add to their site.

Now where to get linked?

Start with the main Palace Portals and Hubs, many of them have sections for website listings. Palace Tools, Mandy's Web Medley and the Palace Mall are a few to start with. Just be careful to watch for the individual website requirements. Many will not list you if your site is simply a site about your individual Palace, but if you have a tutorial or something extra they may have a section for you.

And.. the only major Palace hub that I know of at this time that has a section completely devoted to individual palace web sites is Palace Planet!!! Be sure that your site is listed!

But don't stop there. these sites are frequented by palace users and you want to find those that have never heard of Palace also. Be sure that you're listed on the main chat link sites. One of the biggest of these is The Ultimate Chat List at http://www.chatlist.com/

Check through the categories and enter your Palace site url in those that are applicable.

To find more chat listing sites you can use any search engine and enter a combination of words such as +chat +links +directories +index etc. Think about including words that have to do with your palace theme. If you own an anime Palace search for +anime +chat +directories. You get the idea, use your imagination. And keep searching with different combinations of words.

A place to start is Yahoo. They have a small listing of Chat Directories at :


Now think about the theme of your Palace again. If you have a children's palace search for major Children's link sites. They don't have to be chat link sites. If your Palace theme is Fantasy look for some of the major fantasy site portals and request a link there. Art, Music, Cartoon Dollz, whatever your Palace is about, there is probably a major portal out there devoted to it.

When you've found a place that you want to be linked from, check the site to see if there is a way for you to add your link automatically. If there is, choose your best description and go for it. If not write to the web master and ask to be linked. Include your description and your url and any other information that you saw is being used in the links list of that site.

Be sure to get your url right!! Include the entire url, the http://, the www, whatever is necessary to get to your site. It's often very difficult to get this submissions changed once they are online. Check it twice and then again.

Think about making a page of links on your site so that you can have reciprocal links if you are asked to do so. Many site owners require this if you want to be linked so be prepared.

Something important!! If at all possible, keep an ongoing list of the sites that have links to your website. When you move your site, and that happens frequently, especially if you are using free web space, you will want to contact these sites and get your link changed if possible.


The Big Time: The Major Search Engines:

This should be easy after all you've been through to reach this point, lol. Get out your descriptions again and go at it.

Here's an important thing to think about. There are a lot of places out there that will submit your site to all the major search engines in one fell swoop for you. This isn't always a good thing. Every search engine has different criteria and you may not be listed as high in the hit lists if the same information is submitted to every site. You may be able to use a longer more telling description in some of the search engines. When you use a submit service, the same information is sent to every search engine. It's best to do this yourself and take your time about it. And remember it can take weeks and sometimes months for your site to get listed. That's just the way it is. But you'll be getting hits from all those places that linked to you in the meantime and this will move you up on the hit lists when your site does appear.


Where are the Search Engines?:

First you need to know where the search engines are! Sure you know about the big ones but do you know about the others? Do you know about the specialty search engines, the metacrawlers, the kids search engines, the regional search engines? What about the invisible web? Time to do a little more research.

For a vast resource of search engine listings visit http://searchenginewatch.com/

You'll find them all there! Just click on "Search Engine Listings" and start making your list.

You'll also find other valuable information on this site. Search engine submission tips, reviews, ratings and test data. Check the ratings to see which search engines are being used the most and make sure that you get on those sites.

Another place to look for search engines to submit your site to is All Search Engines at:


And for an extensive listing of non- English Search Engines :


Now you know which search engines you'd like to be listed on, here's what you do next.

How to get listed in the search engines:

Go to the search engine sites and look for a link to "add a site", "submit a site", Add URL, you understand. You'll often find this link at the very bottom of the home page of the site. In very small writing. I have no clue why they make it so hard, lol. You may have to use your imagination and browse the site a bit, trying the help pages or anything else that looks promising. If all else fails, write to the site and ask how you would go about submitting a URL.

These links will take you to a page with information on submitting. Take the time to read everything they have to tell you. Some want very specific information and you'll do much better if you follow their guidelines. then follow those guidelines, use your best description according to there standards, check your submission at least twice and go for it.

Then wait, lol. It may take a while but you'll see your listing on the search engine eventually.

Guides & Directories:

Guides and directories, unlike Search engines, are listings of sites by category. Guides usually focus on the best and top sites and directories focus on listing sites by categories.

One of the major differences to keep in mind is that these web resources do not "scour" the net looking for new sites, they do not index your pages by metatags or page text. They do not index your site at all. They use the information that you provide! So make it count. Get out those descriptions again and go to this page:


For information on submitting your site to the top Guides and Directories. Just click on a link in the left column to view information that will pop up in the main section of the site.

As is true with search engines, there are many Guides and Directories out there on the net. These are the top ones. If you have time, find others that relate to your Palace site and submit to those also.


Web Rings:

Yet another great way to promote your site. Webrings are groups of sites, all on a specific topic, that are linked together through navigation images placed on each site of the ring. Visitors on the ring can hop from one site to another through these navigation images. If you join a web ring, a user will find you as they travel the ring or by looking at the listings of all the sites included in the ring.

For a listing of Palace Webrings to join visit:




You might also want to join webrings related to your palace theme or to chatting in general. To find webrings that might fit what you're looking for try:

Yahoo Webrings: http://dir.webring.yahoo.com/join

Ringsurf: http://www.ringsurf.com/

Atomic Webrings: http://www.atomic-webrings.com/

50 megs : http://web-ring.50megs.com/cgi-bin/webring

CrickRock: http://www.CrickRock.com/

BraveNet SiteRings - http://www.bravenet.com/samples/sitering.php

MIMAnet - http://www.mimanet.com/cgi-bin/rings/main.cgi

The Rail (not exactly the same as those above, something different! Choose a "Train" and get on board! : http://therail.com/cgi/station

For more information on webrings see the Webring FAQ at: http://www.jamesshuggins.com/h/rng1/webring_faq.htm


More Promo Tips:

*Put a sig line in your e-mail with the url to the site. Ask everyone that you work with to do the same.

*Look into the "announce sites" on the web. These are directories of new web sites. The links are only temporary but getting listed can generate more viewers. You can find the top announce sites at:

http://www.tvpress.com/promote/new.htm (just click on any of the site names in the column on the left for more info on each one.)

*If you think your site is outstanding, why not submit it to one of the awards sites on the net? Here are a few to get you started:

Award-It - http://www.award-it.com/ The Mother of all award submission sites!! The "WoD" is a proud member of this fine group of sites. Multi-submit to several of the most coveted awards on the net.

Virtual Promote - http://www.virtualpromote.com/hotsites.html Jim Wilson lists lots of those cool awards you see on the net with links for submission.

Web Surfers Choice - http://www.concentric.net/~vmaffea1/hotw/index.html An award that is won not given! Surfers vote for the site of the week.

*Keep your site updated! When major changes are made to your Palace, add the information to your website. Staff changes and additions, event information etc. can make your site more appealing. If you haven't updated your site in 6 months it will show, believe me.

*Be sure to add contact information to your site. An e-mail link is absolutely essential. Check the account daily and answer any questions asked promptly. There's not a lot more frustrating than needing to ask a question and having no way to do it!

*Steer away from "bells and whistles" unless you really know what you're doing. A class or two in HTML and website design will be a big help here. There are certain things that make a web site look amateurish and certain things that make a site soar above the rest. Get on the net and read up on website design to avoid making fatal mistakes.

*Resubmit your listings if you make major changes or move to a new location. Be sure to check the submission guidelines to see if this is allowed and what exactly you should do. This is where that list that you made of where you've linked and listed comes in handy!

*Remember to add a "Please bookmark this site" to your page.

*Add banner or some type of image link to the front page of your site promoting the main large Palace Sites such as PalacePlanet, Palacetools, PalaceNews etc. You choose but keep in mind some web surfers like all the information they can get! Just keep it small and at the bottom of your page so that it doesn't detract from the look of your page. Make these links open in a new window so that your visitors don't lose your page!

*Go to the library or to your local bookstore and get a book or two on website promotion. I'd like to suggest 3 that I have found very useful:

"The savvy way to successful website promotion" by Derek Galon. this is my all time favorite website promotion book. I use it all the time!

"Increase your web traffic in a weekend" by William R. Stanek (although i don't think anyone could do all this in one weekend, lol)

Another book with lots of good info is "Creating stores on the web" by Ben Sawyer (my website design class instructor). The main focus of the book is e-commerce but it includes a lot of promotion info that works for all kinds of sites.

Well that's it! At least from me, lol. Good luck and have fun, promoting your website will ultimately promote your Palace and that brings in new visitors. And that's what it's all about!

i.b. (aka iby)

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