I can get into the Personal Web Page site builder. I created a "test" page and clicked on Publish then Home, then View my site. What came up was my URL and the "Coming Soon" message and the instruction to click here for the editor. In other words an endless loop that doesn't publish a site.
Is there some hidden mechanisms I'm not seeing? What is the trick to actually building a web page?
We seriously suggest not using Comcast's tool to build your pages. You can't easily back them up. It's a poorly implemented tool. It doesn't have very many features. On top of that, Comcast could take away the web page feature at any time. But if you use some other tool, you'll have a backup copy of your site on your home machine.
Answering the second question first, I just let the search engines find my pages. But I think someone posted within the last year about adding some search tag.
Some people use KompoZer or SeaMonkey. I've used iWeb for Mac which isn't free but used to be on some Macs. If you want to just do picture albums, try jalbum. If you don't need much, use your favorite word processor and save the result as a web page.
In any case, be sure to upload all supporting files.
With the comcast editor you can't embed meta tags to assist search engines. These tags go in the <HEAD> section of the html code which can't be edited on the comcast built pages. Search engines don't rely on them as much anymore anyway. Beth is correct that eventually the search engines should pick up the pages.