Many years ago, when I was first learning about optimization and search engine submission, I looked everywhere on the Web for an easy tutorial that explained step-by-step how to submit a website to search engines and directories. I couldn’t find one and so I had to piece together the most successful process to use via trial and error.
Now there is such a huge amount of misinformation on the Web about search engine submission, I thought it was high time I wrote a basic tutorial to help webmasters sort fact from fiction.
Before You Begin
Before you can start to submit your site to search engines, you need to make sure it is ready for indexing. Use the following checklist to be absolutely sure your site is submission-ready:
To make your job of submitting easier, you also need to prepare a text file or spreadsheet listing the following:
It is particularly important to keep track of the email address you use when submitting your site, because some directories, like Yahoo for example, require you to cite this address if you want to make changes to your listing later on.
I like to use a text file created in Notepad for the above, but some people prefer to use a Word doc or a spreadsheet. It’s up to you. Remember to utilize your target search keywords as much as possible when creating your site descriptions. Or you can use parts of your optimized Title and META tags, as long as you don’t go overboard stuffing keywords and making your site description spam-like.
The site submission information I might prepare for a fictional Miami florist would look something like this:
You should also create a spreadsheet or Word doc listing all the search engines you plan to submit your site to, their URLs, a comments field (for chosen categories etc) and a date column. Then as you submit to each site, you can check it off on your list, writing down the date submitted.
You could even create another date column for when your site appears in the search engine so you can gauge how long the submission took to become active. It’s important that you keep track of this information so that you don’t accidentally resubmit to a search engine or directory that you’ve already covered. If you are submitting to a search engine using a paid submission option, always make note of your receipt number in case you need to follow it up.
Discuss this article in the Small Business Ideas forum.
April 21, 2005
Search Engine Marketing Columnist
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