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The Reality of
Search Engine Submissions

by Robin Nobles

Over the last few months, search engine submissions have changed dramatically. So now is the time to analyze the way we're submitting our Web pages and to rethink our submission strategies.

Regretfully, I still see people paying big bucks to search engine submission services who will submit their pages to thousands of search engines for one "low price." What they aren't told is that the act of "submitting" their pages has nothing to do with top search engine rankings. Even taking a step back, submitting doesn't guarantee indexing.

Fact: The majority of traffic to your site will come from the major search engines like Google, Yahoo! search engine, and MSN. Therefore, submitting to "thousands" of search engines really isn't doing your site any good.

Let's take a serious look at the reality of search engine submissions. Do we need to pay a submission service to submit our pages to the search engines? Can the search engines find our pages on their own, or do we have to pay them to index our pages? Let's look at the variables and try to save you some money.


Search Engine Submissions . . .
Ways to Submit Your Pages

1. Don't submit! Let the search engines find your pages through links on other Web pages or Web sites.

To be honest, this is my favorite, most "stress-free" way to submit to the search engines. Think about it. You create your Web page and optimize it. You make sure to link TO the page from another page on your site, such as your site map. The idea is that when the search engine spiders your site map, it should find the link to your new page, visit the page, spider it, and index it. Can I guarantee it will happen? Of course not. That's why you need to monitor your spider traffic and your rankings to make sure that the page makes it into the search engine's index.

Search engine spiders were created to SPIDER the Web. That's their "job" -- to crawl the Web and index new pages. I have always found this method of "submitting" to be the most effective.

2. Submit pages through free add URL pages at the various search engines.

My main concern here is that the search engines have always said that over 90% of all submissions through free add URL pages is spam. I have never wanted my submissions to be lumped in there with all of that spam.

Therefore, personally, I stay away from free add URL pages. In particular, I never submit to Google through its free add URL page. Yahoo! search engine has a free add URL page as well.

3. Use Overture's Site Match to submit to Yahoo!'s family of search engines.

Overture's Site Match has taken the place of the old Inktomi, FAST, and AltaVista paid inclusion programs. However, Site Match isn't just a paid inclusion program -- it is also a cost-per-click program, with the cost being based on the type of industry you're in. You pay a flat fee for your site to be reviewed, and then you pay a cost per click as well. The paid inclusion spider crawls the page every 48 hours, so you're able to tweak it to try to get better rankings.

Site Match gets your pages into Yahoo! Web pages, FAST, AltaVista, Overture supplemental results, HotBot, and more, so the visibility is certainly impressive. It's important to note that Site Match pages are shown with the regular Yahoo! crawler results with no distinction between the two.

If a page is important to you and you're having problems getting it picked up by Yahoo!'s family of search engines, you may want to consider Site Match. However, it can certainly get expensive if you have a number of pages to submit.

4. Do we need software programs or search engine submission services that will submit our pages to thousands of search engines for one "low price”?

In a word -- NO!

We've already learned that the majority of traffic comes from the major search engines. Submitting to the important international or minor engines through WebPosition Gold 3 is a consideration. But submitting to thousands of search engines, many of which are "free for all" Web sites (pure junk), won't benefit your site at all. In fact, the only thing you'll notice is that your spam e-mail will increase 100%.

Save your money!

5. All of this is fine and good, but what if the site is brand new with no inbound links?

Get your site listed in a directory such as Yahoo! Directory or the Open Directory Project. Then, spend some time finding a few sites that will agree to put links on their sites to yours.

When we first set up Search Engine Workshops, we had absolutely no inbound links. I begged (literally) for inbound links. With six inbound links (count them: SIX), our Google PageRank went from a 0 to a 6. Understand that I place very little emphasis on PageRank. But my point is, we had six inbound links pointing to our site for the search engines to crawl and find our site. It didn't take long.

If you spend a little bit of time, it won't take long for you either.

So, take the stress-free approach with search engine submissions and . . .

1) Link to all of your important pages from another page on your site.
2) Get inbound links from another site pointing to your site.
3) Let the major engines find your pages on their own.
4) Monitor your progress. If a search engine hasn't indexed one of your pages, make sure to place additional links to that page in the pathway of the spiders.

Important Note: You may be using an SEO company to handle the optimization of your Web pages, including your search engine submissions. Does this mean you're paying too much for those SEO services? No. SEO work is extremely complex and very time consuming. A good search engine optimizer deserves every penny he or she earns, because he/she is ultimately bringing targeted traffic to your Web site . . . thus helping to make your online business a success. Instead, the purpose of this article is to educate you on search engine submissions in general, since so many people wrongly believe that the acting of submitting pages will get those pages to the top of the search engine rankings, which isn't the case at all.

In Conclusion . . .

So many Web site owners and SEOs make search engine submissions much harder than they have to be. Take a deep breath, direct the spiders through your Web site to make sure they are able to find your Web pages, and relax. Let the search engines do what they do best . . . spider the Web!

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Robin Nobles is the Co-Director of Training of Search Engine Workshops, where they teach "hands on" search engine marketing workshops in locations across the globe. They also offer Ultra Advanced SEO Symposiums for advanced search engine marketers who want to take their learning to a new level. They have opened the first networking community for SEOs called The World Resource Center for Search Engine Marketers and have expanded their workshops to Europe with Search Engine Workshops UK.


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