Search engine submission is a matter that often mystifies those who are new to the Internet. It is natural to scratch your head and wonder how you will get your website listed on the major search engines.
If you ask someone how to go about getting your site listed you are likely to hear many misconceptions about search engine submission. You may even be taken for a ride and end up needlessly parting with some hard earned cash. So, before this happens to you let’s examine some of the most common myths surrounding search engine submission.
1. Search engine submission is a very important matter
It would indeed seem that you submitting your site to the search engines is of utmost importance. After all, if your site is not in the search engines then how will anybody find you? Sure, you have to be included in the search engines but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you will have to actively “submit” your site. This is because search engines use their “spiders”, or robotic search programs to scour the Internet looking for new pages. If another site, that is already included in the search engines, links to yours, then when a search engine spider visits that site, it will follow the link to your site and gather your information.
So, if you are building a new site make sure that you get some links to your sites from already established sites. Ask your webmaster, your friends, other organizations and complementary sites for links. This will be enough to get you listed in the major search engines. You may still want to submit your site to make sure, but consider the other points before you go ahead
2. There are thousands of search engines that you should be listed in
“Get listed in 300,000 search engines” read the headlines for some submission advertisements. If you look at the traffic logs of most websites you will see that the lion’s share of traffic comes from a handful of search locations, such as Google, Yahoo, MSN and Ask Jeeves. There just aren’t thousands of search sites on the Internet. So, don’t pay money to be listed on these sites. Oftentimes, the sites referred to in these advertisements are seldom-visited free-for-all links pages. If you get listed on such a page you will not get much traffic, but you will get a lot of spam.
Concentrate on the major search engines and don’t worry about the non-existent phantoms referred to in the advertisements.
3. Monthly submission to search engines is a must
In the early days of the Internet, the companies that handled search engine submission warned the public that sites can be easily lost from search engine indexes and that to prevent this from happening it is important to resubmit your site every months. They also said that this was a good way to let search engines know about new additions to your pages.
It is not very likely that your site will disappear from a search engine for no reason at all. If your site is “down” for a considerable amount of time then it might be possible for your site to be dropped from the listings, but otherwise this rarely happens.
Also, you don’t have to resubmit your site to notify search engines about changes to your page or pages. The spiders of search engines regularly revisit pages that are already in the index. You can in fact create a “robots” meta tag and give instructions such as “revisit every 15 days” and this will accomplish the job better than a resubmission.
4. Automatic submissions are useless and you must submit manually
There is often a hot debate about whether manual submissions are better than automatic submissions. For Yahoo, MSN and Google it is now better to do it with a manual submission because all of these engines require you to fill in a code word that is displayed on the screen. These search engines instituted this procedure to block out automated spam submissions. So, for the giants of search, manual submission is the way to go.
What about the secondary sites? There are smaller search engines and directories. Some of them can be useful to you, especially if they represent a particular geographic area or business niche that you are aiming for. If the list of these secondary engines and directories becomes too large, then you may want to consider automated submission. There are some programs that do this or you can find submission services that are free or inexpensive, which brings us to the last myth.
5. You should be prepared to spend a lot of money to get proper submission
If you look at the first point you will see that you probably don’t have to do any submission at all to get your site listed in Google, Yahoo, MSN and Ask Jeeves. These are the search engines that will provide you with 90% of your visitors. So, do you really want to spend a good amount of money to reach the last 5 or 10 per cent of your possible visitors? Look around for a free or inexpensive service to take care of the secondary search engines, and if there are smaller search engines that are very important to your business, then visit them yourself and submit your listing. Save your money for other important tasks.