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   Secret Net Tools
To give you a taste of how cool the Secret Net Tools are (you have to contribute to get access to all of them), I've enabled your access to several of the simpler ones. Enjoy!

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License Pl8 Genr8tor

Google (my favorite search engine)

   Getting Started
Getting Started:
Welcome (Home Page)
Site Help
Site FAQ
Site Map
List of Sites
Create New Account

Tutorials: (read in this order)
Preparing your Pages for the Search Engines
Using Tooter to submit your site
Getting listed in Yahoo (and the other big indexes)
Paying for Traffic
Improving your Search Engine Rankings
How to (not) win Awards

Articles:
Trends in Submission
Virtual Vexation
The 500 Sites Fallacy
Page 1 Paranoia
Clickthrough Conundrums
SpamSpamSpam
The Gullibility Virus
A Marketing Course that Works?!
Accepting Credit Cards Online
Links of Interest
Glossary of Useful Terms
Random Nonsense
Woodhead's Law
Cool Domain Names
Why I let you decide how much to pay

Moral obligations?
Be Supportive!
Add your Award or Index
Make Money Slow! (by linking to me)
Suggestion Box
Advertising & Sponsorship

About the Site:
What's New?
How it works
Promotion Monitor
Our Awards
Best User Sites
User Comments

Believe it or not, 11.13% of the people who use SelfPromotion.com support the site!
Recent changes, improvements and bug-fixes:

01/10/03
This page is currently only of historical interest. You'll find recent site and search engine news on the main options page after you log in. What you'll find here is mostly a timeline of the early days of the site showing how it developed.
04/24/02
Gee, lots of internal tweaks over the last 8 months, the digital equivalent of replacing miles of duct-tape.
08/20/01
Boy, do I keep forgetting to update these pages. In the' last 6 months, I've added a bunch of sites, deleted some dot.com roadkill, added lots of internal tweaks, and implemented a new auto-resubmit feature for contributors.
00/11/13
Finally got around to updating the site so that it's fully HTML 4.01 compliant, along with fixes to make it nicer for Netscape (which has buggy style-sheet implementations until version 6.0)
00/03/21
I really should update this page more often. Added a cute tool to generate license plates, a bunch of sites, updated the data entry page so that it hilights new fields you have to enter, tons of internal speed tweaks. All this done over the past few weeks. From now on I'll not mention all the internal maintenance work I have to do every day...
00/01/18
Celebrated the fact that the world didn't end by building some more Secret Net tools. 2 of them interface with goto.com, the other one find interesting domain names.
99/11/25
I keep forgetting to update this page. Lots of minor tweaks to the site. I've also added some more indexes and search engines, revised the tips on getting into Yahoo, added a page on writing search-engine friendly html, and tons more.
99/09/14
Tweaked data entry to make it easier to find fields with errors.
99/09/07
Tons of internal changes in the last few weeks. I'm now doing a lot of database caching to speed up the site, which should improve response time considerable. Also rewrote a bunch of the captions on the data entry page to make field minimum and maximum lengths easier to understand.
99/08/19
More minor day-to-day tweaks. Now running 7 tooter robots, 3 rankulators and 3 multisubmitters to handle the demand! Divided the general indexes up into several subgroups so people wouldn't bite off more than they can chew.
99/07/08
Lots of minor tweaks to the site over the last couple of months. Made some multisubmitter improvements.
99/04/26
Tons of improvements, many new sites added. Updated the Yahoo tips page with new tips, plus tips on Open Directory and Mining Company. Plus a new article on Goto.com & RealNames.
99/04/02
A very strange database corruption caused the same data record to be repeatedly allocated to everyone who wanted to create a new record, which subsequently triggered my "using the wrong record" hack detector and bounced a lot of people to the home page. Thanks to the users who alerted me, dragged me into the office late at night, and provided the clues that allowed me to diagnose the problem.

Here are the gory details:

When a promotion record gets deleted, it doesn't actually get deleted. Instead, a flag is set to say "this record can be reused."

When a new record is created, the site checks to see if there are any reusable records available, and uses one if there is.

However, a database index file got corrupted somehow, so that even when a reusable record was allocated when someone created a new record, the index file didn't get properly updated.

So the next time anyone created a record, it went looking, found the other guy's record, and plopped it in the next user's account!

Then, when the first user tried to go to the site selection or data entry page, the site said "OK, you're user 1234. Fine. And you're trying to play with record 5678. Hold on there! That ain't yours! Maybe you're trying to hack the site, eh? Well, I'll bounce your butt to the index page!"

I've fixed the site so that even if the indexes get corrupted, it still works (it goes and checks the record before reallocating it to make ABSOLUTELY sure it's not in use, and emails me if there is a problem).

The moral. Don't ever trust your own database!
99/03/25
Added a few more indexes, including one new UK-based search engine.
99/03/15
Tons of the usual tweaks. The major one is that the site selection page now displays information about whether or not sites want things like mailing addresses, email addresses, real names, and so on. Oh, and our Help page is now in Latin as well.
99/02/20
The multisubmitter tool now can automatically submit URLs to all the major search engine, and schedule the submissions so that each new URL gets submitted on a different day (to avoid getting rejected for submitting too much). Also, award application is now only available to contributors -- the workload of rating sites just got to be too much!
99/01/02
Lots of minor tweaks over the last month. Today found and fixed a truly bizarre interaction between multiple copies of the Tooter submit bot that could result in more than one completion message being sent under certain circumstances. The conditions needed for it to occur were so unusual that it took about 2 months for me to notice it happening!
98/11/30
Just added a little feature to the Site Selection page. To help you submit to manual indexes (where you have to go and submit in person), many of the listings now have a link that will pop up a window containing information you'll likely need (assuming you've previously entered it). Instead of typing, you can just cut & paste.
98/11/29
Added an Account Status page that displays the current status of all your records and promotions, and emails you a copy. Tweaked the data entry so it does better error-checking of leading and trailing whitespace. You can now associate more than one email address with your account if you need to get multiple copies of notification emails.
98/11/18
Added another Tooter bot that runs at lower priority and only does retries. Lowered priority of Tooter bots during the day to improve bandwidth for users during peak hours. Made Tooter a little smarter about promoting to foreign indexes with geographical restrictions. Added a Woodhead's Law page for fun. Updated the Link Finder so that it runs in the background on my server like the Rankulator and emails the results to the user.
98/11/02
The email-address checking code now knows about all the root domains, and hopefully this will cut down a bit on mistyped email addresses; restructured the categories a bit, adding a shopping sites category (and some new sites!); updated my favorite links; and updated the list of sites.
98/10/28
Over the last month, I've recoded Tooter so it is multi-threaded and can submit more than one user's sites at a time; improved the Espionage tool so that it reports on word frequency; added more sites and awards (of course!); and made some internal efficiency tweaks in preparation for our move to a T-1 line in a few weeks.
98/09/29
Tons of tweaks to the data entry javascript to make the form even smarter. Plus a new contributor feature, Turbo Entry, and more sites added.
98/09/28
As usual, delinquent about updating this page. Lots of minor tweaks to the site internals in the last month, as well as quite a few new awards and sites added. I revamped the internation sites listings, although many of the non-english-language sites are still manual submits.
98/09/01
I've been very delinquent in updating this page. In the last month I've added a dozen or so sites and awards; made some minor bugtweaks; improved the process by which I send out grovelling send-me-money emails, and a few other minor things.
98/08/03
Made minor linkfinder improvements. Tweaked a bunch of internal routines to improve site throughput. Added glossary.
98/07/14
Added a couple of new sites, including Google, a new research search engine. Revamped the instructions on the Select Sites page, and also added the ability to manually mark any site as completed.
98/07/06
More sites (natch!); new option to list only the sites you haven't promoted to yet; new javascript to check off all the sites in the sitelist; new option to mark manual sites as completed (to aid in record-keeping).
98/06/22
Added server statistics page; cleaned up a bunch of award scripts; working on adding some more sites.
98/06/15
If it's monday, that must mean I've added a few more awards...
98/06/10
I've gotten lazy and haven't updated this page in a while, though I've been updating the site almost every day. Added many new awards, implemented newer and better secret net tools, split the site onto multiple servers to improve performance (your contribution $ at work!), and much more.
98/05/15
Added more awards. Tweaked the user interface (clicking on the bigger and smaller tabs while on the data entry page would cause a problem, so they no longer appear on that page).
98/05/14
Added a few more sites. Fixed a bug in the data entry procedure for one of the sites. Created a new Secret Net Tool - the Link Finder. Tweaked the user interface to make the Help a little easier to find.
98/05/13
Added 3 more sites. Improved the error messages in the URL check feature. Improved the description of the Category Autosetter.
98/05/12
Installed the new site look. Improved the Prettyprinter; it now is better at displaying stuff inside <SCRIPT> and other embedding tags without getting confused. Added a couple of new sites.
98/05/06
Improved the FFA Submitter; it now knows about almost 1000 FFA pages. Added some more awards and sites; now up to almost 200 awards, and about 115 sites. Whew!
98/04/21
Added a great new Secret Net Tool - the Keyword Diffuser. Added NerdWorld. Fixed a glitch in InterBIS submission.
98/04/18
My youngest has the chicken-pox, so I'm hiding out at the office! Added more awards. Implemented a font-size adjustment feature, some minor UI improvements related to awards, and a password mailer. Lots of minor tweaks as well.
98/04/15
Get your taxes done yet? I have, so I made a few modifications around the site. Removed an index or two that have gone offline, and updated the Lycos and LookSmart submitters.
98/04/07
Added a few new awards. Fixed a minor rankulator bug. Added a "list of sites" page.
98/04/03
Lots of little tweaks. Changed Yahoo to be a manual submit with a lot of advice on how to do it right. Site now detects if you are surfing in on a Mac or a PC and adjusts the font sizes appropriately for best appearance. Some efficiency hacks on Tooter. I also managed to mess things up so that data entered from about 9:30AM to Noon wasn't properly stored! That one got fixed fast!
98/03/29
Lots of maintenance work. The influx of Mac Evangelistas and the huge number of promotions they did resulted in my learning about a number of unusual failure modes for URL submission to some of the search engines. These have now been fixed.
98/03/25
A weird bug caused some people's queued promotions to not be actually queued for promotion. Still tracking it down, but these promotions are now in the queue. Also, What-U-Seek changed their addurl page, so that has been updated; if your promotion failed, try again.
98/03/24
Lots of minor tweaks over the last week. Added some more awards sites. Also added a new grouping of "Adult-OK" sites so that people promoting Adult websites would not waste time applying to sites that won't accept their registrations.
98/03/16
Added more awards sites. Also restructured all off-site links so they go through a redirection page; this ensures that these sites won't inadvertently capture your password or code number in the referer field (a potential security hole)
98/03/10
Added commenting ability so I can leave you messages when something needs your attention. You'll see them when you log in. Also added a new feature that lets you conveniently check your promotion status.
98/03/06
More tweaking here and there. Added 3 UK-based sites, 2 of which are UK only. And a few more awards, just for grins.
98/03/05
Added more awards sites. Made minor interface improvements to the site selection page to make it easier to read. Fixed the submit script for WebCrawler (they changed their Add URL procedure!)
98/03/03
Tooter now automatically retries promotions that fail due to the target site being down. Added Yahoo - Metro Area sites. Added some more awards.
98/02/23
Yet more awards added. Maybe 6 or 7.
98/02/21
Added about a dozen or so awards.
98/02/17
Did a lot of tweaking of the submit scripts so that when things go wrong, the report you get is more useful. Changed the data entry so it doesn't let you enter super-short descriptions (if the maximum is N words, the minimum is now N/3 words). Added the last few Australian sites.
98/02/16
Found and fixed a bug in the "request site review" code. Added MallPark and Yahoo - Australia/New Zealand.
98/02/16
Found and fixed a minor bug in the Autosetter caused by a flaw in the JavaScript quote-balancing algorithm (both Netscape and Microsoft screwed up!). Added about a dozen awards.
98/02/12
Improved the error checking on some site submissions. Made some updates to the internals of the Rankulator. Lots of minor tweaks here and there.
98/02/06
Improved the error checking on some site submissions. Redirected submissions to LinkMonster to their awards page, so you have a chance to get their Site of the Day award. Lots of minor tweaks over the last few days.
98/02/02
Added a lot more sites, including BuyItOnline. Restructured the navigation menus to make them more usable. Added an HTML PrettyPrinter to the Secret Net Tools.
98/01/29
Improved underlying database structure for faster performance. Added new "View HTML" feature for supporters.
98/01/27
Improved error checking on phone numbers.
98/01/25
Added PointGuide, and made some minor tweaks. Fixed a bug in the JavaScript caused by the introduction of the URL checker.
98/01/24
Major improvements to the Rankulator. It now is much more efficient, and also tells you the URLs of the first page returned by each query, so you can look at them to see how they got their ranking.

To assist in doing that, I created a new feature called Commit Espionage that fetches pages and extracts the important (to search engines) features.
98/01/23
Back from a business trip. Implemented site data copy and delete options, a pre-promotion URL-checker, and improved the rankulator a bit. Reworded things to make the concept of multiple records less confusing (I used to call them sites)
98/01/16
Fixed a bug in submissions to 411Locate. They should work now.
98/01/15
Over the last week, added a bunch of sites to the awards list. Awards are now pre-vetted to prevent spamming. Users with Netscape 4.x or Explorer 4.x can now benefit from some serious JavaScript enhancement of the data entry page; many fields with similar content are hotlinked so that when you change one, the other(s) change too. Even cooler, the Category Autosetter lets you specify a bunch of keywords, and it will find and select every matching entry on the entire page! A major hack IMHO.
98/01/06
Added WebDirect, NetGuide, BizCardz and One World Plaza.
98/01/05
Added BuildNet and Lycos Top 5%.
98/01/04
Made some tweaks to make the site look better on archaic browsers.

Restored LinkMonster and What's New Too after getting them working again.

Added WebVenture (Personal and Hotlist submissions), USA Online, TurnPike Emporium, InfoMarket and True North.
97/12/24
Completed conversion to the final SelfPromotion.com format. Made the data entry code smarter; it deletes leading and trailing blanks if it finds them. Also, all the error messages now have links to the fields containing the errors.

Temporarily removed LinkMonster and What's New Too because of some submission failures. I'll diagnose and fix them after the holidays. And the RBSE spider seems to be down, so I've removed it too.

Made " and ' valid characters in descriptions again. If there are sites that don't like this, I'll work around it somehow.
97/12/18
Passed the 50 site mark! Don't expect much work tomorrow, I have a date to see Titanic with my wife!
97/12/17
Made many changes to the data entry script in search of efficiency (it is the biggest and most complicated script in the system) Got it running maybe 30% faster, but be on the lookout for bugs and weirdness.

Added InfoBIS. The interesting thing about this site is that it has both main and subcategories, a huge number of both. So, I wrote a spider that goes to their site once a day and downloads all the categories and subcategories into my own local database. When you first enter your data, you can only enter the main category. After you energize for the first time, it will come back and ask you to fill in the subcategory.
97/12/16
The process of site addition continues.

Fixed a bug in LookSmart submission. Also, the menu of your sites is displayed on other pages, like the Promotion Monitor page.
97/12/15
Added a bunch of new sites.

Fixed a bug in Anzwers submission, also discovered a previously unknown restriction in Yahoo submission.
97/12/13
Added LinkMonster, New Riders', ProNet, What's New.

Site was down yesterday, my apologies.
97/12/11
Added CanLinks, HandiLinks, LEXICONN and InfoSpace.

Disallowed the use of the <, >, =, ", and ' characters, as well as the strings "href" and "src" in text fields, as some sites think this means you are entering html. The lack of ' is annoying, I know.
97/12/10
Added NetMall and Rex.

Added a links page, with links to other promotion resources.
97/12/09
Added Jayde Online Directory & JumpCity.

Enhanced explanation of how to enter the Comfind category, as it was confusing. If your Comfind submission failed, a bad category was probably the cause. Simply repromote to Comfind.

Data entry now checks for leading and trailing blanks in entries, and does not allow them.

Changed Yahoo data entry filters so that you can't enter a description that is too long.
97/12/08
New feature: The Rankulator! A nifty tool that automatically queries the major search engines with typical keywords and tells you how close to the top of the list your pages appear!

Fixed some spelling and grammar misteaks. If you find more, please tell me.

Data entry now correctly counts number of words and keywords in fields.

Locked scripts with semaphores, to prevent WebSiphon from running out of memory if the site gets overloaded.

Added Copyright and Email address to each page, so you can more easily bug me to fix things.

Tried to make it more clear that you can enter as much or as little of the data as you want, and each time you click ENERGIZE your changes will be stored on the server. So you can come back later and finish up.

In case you're wondering, all beta testers are automatically getting credited as having ponied up some bucks to support the service. Thus, the thankyou message.
97/12/06
Added Anzwers search engine.


About this site...
This site was developed on a Macintosh, programmed in WebSiphon, and served by WebStar. The author, on those exceedingly rare occasions when he does think, indeed thinks differently.

It looks (and works) better when you use version 4.0 or better of Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer, but can be used with any tables-capable browser.

SelfPromotion.com ©1997-2006 Robert Woodhead, All Rights Reserved. SelfPromotion.com™, Tooter™, Secret Net Tools™, MultiSubmitter™, Rankulator™, BaldSpotCam™, and ShareService™ are trademarks of Robert Woodhead. To get help, report bugs, or make suggestions, go here.