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Once you've analyzed your site and optimized it as much as you can, it's time to submit it to the search engines, which is really pretty easy if you know what you're doing.

On this page, we discuss the following submission topics:
Must-Submit Search Engines - Manual vs. Auto - Patience is a Virtue

Must-Submit Search Engines
Let's face it, there are just some search engines out there that you have to be in. Surfers choose certain search engines for a variety of reasons--the size of the search engine, the ease of use, the popularity, or maybe they just don't know their options.

The following list consists of the top search engines in popularity, provided by Danny Sullivan and Jupiter Media Metrix. You should always try to get into these search engines if you can.

A problem arises though: if you don't want to spend any money on search engine marketing, you won't necessarily get into all of these search engines since some of them require payment upon submission, especially if your site is commercial.

To help you decide which search engines to submit to, the following list is ordered by popularity, and we've noted which ones will or might make you to shell out some clams for your submission.
1. Yahoo (paid for commercial sites, free for non-profit sites)
2. MSN (free and paid)
3. America Online (free)
4. Lycos (free)
5. Netscape (free via Open Directory Project)
6. Google (free via Open Directory Project)
7. Excite (free and paid)
8. iWon (free and paid)
9. NBCi (free and paid via Overture)
10. GoTo (Now Overture) (free and paid)
11. Ask Jeeves (free via DirectHit
12. AltaVista (free and paid)
13. LookSmart (free and paid)
14. Direct Hit (free)
15. Dogpile (free)
16. Bay9 (paid)
Let's not forget the other major search engines, which are ranked among the largest indexes and directories but aren't ranked in the top 16 most popular. They are:
  • FAST (All the Web) (free)
  • Inktomi (paid)
  • Northern Light (free)

  • Manual vs. Auto
    Many tools exist online that claim they will submit your site to hundreds, even thousands, of search engines. An important thing to remember is that these tools may not submit to all of the top search engines. Also, some search engines ignore submissions from automated submission software.

    As Gonzo from the JimWorld Search Engine Forums says, "NEVER use auto submit programs to submit to major engines...NEVER. You can be sure that you will get thrown out of the engine, sometimes for good."

    However, some disagreement exists on this point. Also on the JimWorld Search Engine Forums, sthenri200 says, "I don't see how [automated submission services] could hurt you as long as you do not automatically submit to directories. Directories need to be done by hand." stHenri200 goes on to say, "you need to make sure [services that add your site everywhere] are not re-submitting a URL to a portal where you are already listed, your URL could be dropped because of spam."

    As you can see, using automated submitters can be dangerous. That doesn't mean you can't use them to save time. Just make sure you can get a list of which search engines they submit to, and if possible, opt out of being submitted to the top search engines.

    In short, submit to the top search engines manually. See the Helpful Links page for direct links to the top search engines' submit pages.

    Patience is a Virtue
    As indicated in the previous section, if you submit your site more than once to some search engines, you may end up getting kicked out since they consider multiple submissions spamming.

    Enter your best ally, Patience. Some search engines, like NBCi, spider your page the instant you submit it. However, some edited directories, like Yahoo, can take excruciatingly long amounts of time to index a site. For example, Excite's basic paid submission can take up to eight weeks, and Yahoo has been know to take up to six months to index a site.

    Therefore, if you can't find your site in an engine you already submitted to, you might want to check out exactly how long the search engine says it takes to index submitted sites. If it's past the time they give, as the members on the JimWorld Search Engine Forums advise, go ahead and resubmit. However, if the time hasn't expired, your best bet is to wait.

    On this page:

    Must Submit Search Engines - Manual vs. Auto - Patience is a Virtue

    Home - Search Engines
    Optimization Tips - Helpful Links - Optimization/Submission Tools

    Contact Robin Morris
    Contact Robin Morris

    Original Content and Design by Robin Morris
    Copyright © 2001

    This page was last updated on November 28, 2001.
    This site is posted for information purposes only. I make no guarantees that your site will be number one in search engine rankings. However, following the advice given herein can only help. Good luck!