Basics of Search Engine Submission in a Changed Search World
by Mike Banks Valentine

To Search Engine Optimizers, who submit client sites on a regular 
basis to the search engines, it can seem as though submitting
sites via the standard forms at those sites is the most mundane
and routine part of our jobs. It's easy to forget the host of
small business webmasters out there who do it themselves and need
guidance through the maze of submission confusion.

It used to be a long and arduous task to submit to all search
engines, but it is now becoming increasingly unnecessary to 
submit your site at all! Some Search Engine Specialists are
advocating simply submitting to the Open Directory Project and
then waiting for the search engine spiders to crawl your site.
I propose a middle ground of dedicating about $150 to submit to
the paid inclusion programs then the Open Directory Project and
then wait to be spidered by the balance, whose numbers are slowly
dwindling as search properties are bought and sold and others
simply fade away or die in corporate mega-mergers.

Here's my latest article on the Overture purchase of both
Fast/AllTheWeb and AltaVista:

And a previous article about the purchase of Inktomi by Yahoo!

I have a list of submission URL's bookmarked in my browser, so
it is simply a matter of quickly scrolling through the list and
jumping to the next submission page. But since the advent of the
paid inclusion programs at many search engines, some webmasters
may think that paying is the only way to get listed anymore.


Submitting to search engines is usually done by visiting their 
front page and scrolling down to the bottom of the page where 
you will see a link titled 'Add URL' OR 'Add Your Site' or 
'Submit a Site' and must be done directly at each search engine. 
Here are the submission URL's for the top "crawler-based" search 
engines. Click on the links below and fill out each of the forms.
(look for the link that says "free submission") 

Make sure you submit to the two major directories as well!

The Open Directory Project is free 

Yahoo costs $299. I'll leave it to your budget to decide if
you'll Yahoo!

It used to be common to see ads everywhere offering to submit 
your site to 1500 search engines where third party services 
submitted your site for you. Search Engines began to see these 
third party submissions done by automated software as spam and 
stopped allowing automated submissions or ignored those 
submissions if they came from an IP address recognized as an 
automated service. Some search engines even began to thwart 
automated submissions by requiring submitters to enter a visual 
password presented on the page in a form field on that submission 
page to block the autobots from entry.

It has become standard industry practice to submit sites by hand, 
visiting each search engine and going to their submission page 
to fill out a brief form requesting that they index your site 
and include it in their database. It always takes time to get 
listed since there are constant new submissions as well as
regular resubmissions by sites with new content that they would
like to have "crawled" by that search engine. The following is
an article discussing the value of submitting manually by a
company that does that for you for a fee.

The alternative to free submissions is to submit your site to 
what are called "Paid Inclusion" programs which charge a fee
to include your site in their index. The great part about paid
inclusion programs is that they list your site within a week of
your paid submission and the three major programs cost between
$29 and $39 per URL for up to a year of inclusion in their 

Below IS the sign-up page for the top paid inclusion programs
at Inktomi, AskJeeves and Lycos. 

You can enroll in three separate programs from the above site.
The following link allows you to sign up for AltaVista Express
Inclusion, their paid inclusion program. 

The paid inclusion programs for AltaVista, AskJeeves, Lycos
and Inktomi will cost you just over $100 as of this writing
and get your site listed by all their partners within a week. 
Those partnerships are changing constantly but include the
largest portals and search properties online and paying for
inclusion in the four programs above get you listed at MSN 
search, AOL search,, and dozens of major portals. 
Here is a link to a list of more search engines, paid
inclusion programs and directories to submit your site.

None of these submissions are guaranteed to rank your site
highly, just to include it in their index. How to rank highly?
That project I'll leave to you, but you can get a great start
by visiting the search engine tutorial library at this URL: 

Submission Is Not Enough!

The most important of all activities involving search engines
is optimizing your web site with a page architecture that is
search engine friendly using keywords in the title tag, in the
header tags above your main body of text and in the first few 
lines of text on your page, then sprinkled about throughout the
body text at a rate of between three and five percent of total
words within the page text. If you have a page with 400 words
of text, using your keyword phrase between 8-12 times on the
body copy on that page would be best for optimal ranking. Use
that same keyword phrase to link to other pages within your
site that are relevant to that phrase and link to filenames
that use words within your keyword phrase.

Mike Banks Valentine is a Search Engine Optimizer 
specializing in ethical small business SEO

Search Engine Placement for Small Business