Learn the difference between submitting your site to directories such as Yahoo! and getting your site spidered by search engines such as Google.

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1. How Will The Search Engines Find My Site?

There are basically three ways to get your site listed in a search engine:

  • Submit your site directly to the search engine using a free submit form.

  • Let the search engine find your site through links to your site from other sites such as directories.

  • Pay the search engine to index your site.


2. Submit Your Site Using A Free Submit Form

Some of the major search engines and most of the smaller search engines will provide a form that you can use to submit your site for free. With the smaller or thematic search engines, this is a good method to use.

For each search engine you'll just need to locate the submit URL form and submit your home page. There is no need to submit anything else. And, you don't need to keep submitting your site month after month. Re-submitting your site over and over after it has been indexed does nothing but waste your time. It will not improve your rank in any way.

Don't be surprised when you find that not all of the major search engines even provide a free submission form any more. Don't worry though. With the major search engines, submitting your site isn't even necessary. This is because the major search engines will find your site through links to your site from other sites. This is why it is very important to begin getting incoming links to your site as soon as possible. You should start by getting your site listed in the major directories.


3. Submitting To Directories - Help the search engines find your site.

For the major search engines, if you get incoming links to your site from other quality sites, your site will be found. The best way to be sure your site is found is by submitting to the major directories that are crawled by the search engines. This is a good approach for the search engines to take because sites listed in directories have already been reviewed by an editor and been considered to be worth a listing.

So, in addition to the traffic that the directories can send to your site directly, getting listed in the major directories is also important for getting your site found by the major search engines.

To get started, be sure to get your site listed in the following directories that are crawled by the search engines:

When you are submitting to directories, be sure to take the time to find the best category for your site and read the submission guidelines provided by each directory. By following their guidelines, you will improve your chances of being listed and decrease the amount of time it takes to get listed.

Obviously, there are many more directories where you can submit your site. These three are provided to get you started. After you've submitted to these directories, then you can begin submitting to other directories. Don't forget to find local or thematic directories that are relevant to the topic of your site. You will be able to find many in our list of search engines and directories.

It will take time for the search engines to index your site after it has been listed in the major directories. So, be patient and expect to wait at least a couple more months before your site starts appearing in the index of the major search engines.


4. Pay the Search Engines to Index Your Site

Paid inclusion is the process of paying search engines to index pages from your site. The primary benefit is not having to wait for the search engine to find and index the pages of your site on its own.

The topic of paying to be indexed is covered in our Paid Inclusion section.


5. Services To Avoid

There are hundreds of "companies" that make claims about submitting your site to thousands of search engines. You've probably received an email message from one of these companies that had a pitch along the lines of...

We Will Submit Your Site to 500,000 Search Engines for Just $29.95!!

Don't fall for this scam - it is a complete waste of money.

First, there aren't 500,000 search engines.

Second, even if they claim to submit to just a few thousand, there aren't that many that will accept your listing because the search engines they submit to are thematic search engines. For example, if your site is about real estate, you won't be listed in a search engine or directory that is focused on sports.

Third, they will submit your site to Free For All links pages that no one will ever use. Plus, these free for all sites are notorious for harvesting email addresses so they can send you spam.

I could go on and on with the reasons why these services are a terrible waste of money. If you are contacted by one of these companies in any way, don't fall for their sales pitch, just ignore them.


6. Services That Can Help

With the warnings about the submission services we've discussed, it is important to point out that there are some services that can help. They won't arbitrarily try to submit your site just anywhere. They will develop a linking strategy specifically suited to your site. If you hire a professional search engine optimization company, this will be part of the services offered.

A professionally developed linking and submission strategy won't be cheap. It takes a good deal of time and research to do this properly.

To learn more about getting listed in search engines and directories:

Recommended Articles:

  • Search Engine Submissions: Waiting for Results - The first step in search engine submission is to make sure that you are prepared to deal with both search engine spiders as well as search engine robots. There is a large difference.

  • Smart Search Engine Campaigns Begin With Directory Listings - One of the best ways to start your search engine marketing campaign is to get listed in the major directories first. Because a directory listing will make your site visible to the spider engines that are crawling for free listings.

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