Once you have optimized your business Web site for indexing, you are ready to begin submitting your site to search engines. This process can be as easy or as complicated as you make it, depending on the options you use and what results you want.
There are many services that promise to submit your site to thousands of search engines or guarantee placement with different engines. These services may not be necessary to your site’s success, and your money may be better spent in other areas. But if you don’t have the time to submit your site on your own, this option may work for your company.
But be careful before you write a check to a submission company. Some search engines have accused submission companies of spamming, so do your homework and make sure the service is legitimate.
Although it’s been estimated that there are upwards of 3,500 search engines out there, the top four search engines — Google, Yahoo!, MSN, and AOL — garner the vast majority of traffic. That’s a big relief if you plan to submit your site yourself. These four big players are the obvious place to start.
To submit your site to Google, click here and enter your site’s URL and some carefully chosen keywords. Although Google has a powerful spidering technique that covers most of the Internet, it’s a good idea to submit your site for inclusion with your keywords, just in case.
Yahoo!’s submission process is simple, but it requires you to have a Yahoo! account. Once you’re registered and signed in, visit their submission page and select the directory where you would like your listing to appear. Inclusion can take a long time, and there’s no guarantee that your site will be listed after you have submitted your link. It’s all up to the discretion of the people at Yahoo! who review your site.
Go here to submit to MSN. AOL’s search is powered by Google and so submission to Google effectively covers inclusion in AOL searches.
From there, you can drill down to the second-tier engines, such as AskJeeves, Lycos, Excite, and others. One way to get listed on many of these sites is through Overture. For a fee, this Yahoo!-owned company can list your site on a variety of search portals, including MSN and, of course, Yahoo!
There may be other, smaller search engines in your industry. Adding your company to these industry-specific search engines can be invaluable. While their traffic won’t approach that of any of the major players, the people who use them are already looking for the kinds of goods and services you have. And a few targeted leads can be worth more than a boatload of untargeted searchers.
Once you have submitted your site, do check back regularly to make sure you’re appearing near the top of the results in the appropriate search categories. Don’t resubmit your site every week. Most search engines will view this is as search spamming, and they may even remove your listing.
If your site does not appear in the first few search results, or even worse, doesn’t appear at all, you’ve got some optimization work to do. Visit AllBusiness.com’s Online Marketing & Advertising section for the latest information on search engine optimization.