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Don’t fall for the ‘Submit Your Website to Hundreds of Search Engines’ Trap

May 28th, 2008 · No Comments

There are numerous schemes published, promising you high rankings for your website through submission to hundreds of search engines. Let us examine what the purpose of site submission to a search engine may be.

Search engines are in the business of building an index of published web pages so when a user searches for something it can deliver relevant results fast.  When a user submits a query to a search engine it’s the stored index that provided the results.  The better the results the search engine delivers, the more users it will have.  The more users it has, the more ads it can deliver, hence the more money it can make.  Having your sites’ pages in the search engine index is necessary for them to appear in the search results. 

Search engines are great prospectors; they have several ways to find your pages even if you do not submit them to any search engine.   One strategy they employ is collecting hyperlinks they find on any site they have indexed and schedule that linked site for indexing.  An example would be a listing in a trade show exhibitor’s online catalog containing your company info and a link to your website. 

Once found, your site will continue to be visited by a search engine looking for new content.  The rate the content is changed will contribute to the frequency of visits.  Remember that the search engines are in it for the money, so if you provide quality information frequently, they want to know about it.  You will not have to ask them to return, they will keep an eye on your site for fresh content without an invitation.

The ability of a search engine to index all your pages depends on your site navigation, how each page is linked to other pages.  Search Engines have adopted a standard XML format for a sitemap.  Adding one to your websites root directory will assure that the pages have a chance to be indexed.  You will find many sitemap generators online but you will still need your webmaster to upload it to your hosting site.  The path to your sitemap can also be added to a file called ‘robots.txt’ also placed in your root directory.  Search engines will still find your site and the pages that are interlinked with or without a sitemap.  Adding one makes their job easier.

What about the hundreds of search engines’ you will miss?  That’s another story worthy of an example.  The index is the place that stores and catalogues your webpage information; the search engine portal is where results are presented.  Yahoo and AllTheWeb are often listed in submission schemes in the list of search engines where your site is submitted.  The underlying index for both sites is the same one provided by Yahoo as stated on the http://www.alltheweb.com/info/about/index.  Google, Yahoo and MSN representing most of the known search world, maintain the three top indexes.  If you find that your site is somehow not indexed, by checking with the site: command (instructions here) you can add your site to the Google index free at http://www.google.com/addurl/ .

Adding your site to directories that you know prospects will use to find products in your category can be useful for traffic.  Sites like “ThomasRegister.com” will employ search engines to search their listings; however, they only search their paid inclusions.  Automated submissions to search portals and directories may just be a waste of money, and certainly do not boost your rankings in Google.

In summary, check to see if your site is in the major indices, if not use the free submission pages.  For added traffic make selected submissions to directories you know your prospects will use.  Constant resubmission to search engines will not serve any useful purpose.

Tags: RoadMap SEM · Search Marketing