Thanks very much. I realize most of these problems are a result of
search engines getting spoofed or spammed. It just made it clear to me
that there is a wealth of relevant information out there that the
search engines fail to find and when I'm the "searcher", I won't be
getting the best results. I understand how "links to a site" could
indicate interest but is going to be less accurate providing relevant
information and much harder to do since somebody else has to be willing
to improve my search.
Since the site was done for "free" I didn't put much effort in baiting
the search engines. Simply made sure the keywords were used in the
text (not overused) and then submitted them to many search engines
(manually through the search engine 'add url' interface. I started
thinking about this more because I have a few "paid" sites to do and
they're going to have some expectations. Makes me a little nervous
when 1. The rules are not necessarlily logical and 2. You won't be able
to see the results of your efforts for weeks or months.
I appreciate all of your feedback and will start working on my Phd.