How do I Submit to Search Engines?

The term 'search engine submissions' is as the name suggests about submitting to the search engines, in order to get your site indexed by the search engines and web directories, so that people can find your site. Search engine submission is also known as search engine registration.

Search engine optimization on the other hand refers to search engine positioning and placement, a concept whereby you improve your site's design and content to achieve higher rankings in search engines. Do not confuse search engine submission with search engine optimization.

Free Submissions Don't Guarantee Inclusion

You're going to learn how to submit your Web pages to the search engines. Where possible, I will discuss free search engine submissions. Most search engines offer a 'paid inclusion' service which guarantees inclusion of your Web pages, for a fee. However, I haven't covered the paid inclusion topic in this course, so as not to confuse those of you completely new to search engine optimization. You'll find more information on paid-inclusion submission programs in my Search Engine Optimization Strategies ebook.

Please note that submitting your web site via free submission forms in search engines and web directories doesn't guarantee inclusion into an index. You may have to resubmit again and again get all of your Web pages indexed.

What are Web Directories?

Web directories are human edited lists of web sites organized into categories of topics and subtopics. web directory submissions are an essential part of the search engine marketing and optimization process.

I highly recommend that you spend a bit of time selecting appropriate categories and composing your web directory titles and descriptions, as they will ultimately determine the success of your listings in the directories, and can also contribute a major part to the success of your listings in the search engines as well.

Each web directory have its own set of editorial and submission policies. So study the policies carefully before making any submissions. I recommend you submit your web sites to the top web directories, before submitting them to the search engines.

The reasons are because:

  • it helps search engines to find and index your web site, as they often crawl the top web directories; and
  • some search engines place a great deal of importance on links to web sites from top web directories. This will help you search engine rankings.

There's only one recommended method of submitting your web site to the top web directories; by hand.

Search engine submission software claim to submit to web directories. But in reality you spend as much time entering your web site's information into the software, as you would do if you submitted directly via the web directory submission form. So bypass the software and submit directly to the web directories.

What are Search Engines?

Search engines are defined as a set of programs that includes:

  • a spider (crawler, bot or robot) that crawls the Internet retrieving Web documents, then follows links to retrieve other Web documents;
  • a program that creates an index from the documents retrieved by the spider;
  • a program that receives search requests, compares it to the entries in the index, and delivers the most relevant results to the user.

Search engines are the starting point for most people when they're looking for something on the Internet. As such, it's essential that your Web pages are indexed by the search engines. Otherwise, your Web pages simply won't appear in the search engine search results. Search engine submissions - also known as search engine registration - are important for getting your site indexed by search engines, but not as important as it used to be.

The reason is because more and more search engines, such as Google, do not rely on web site owners to submit their site for indexing. Instead they rely on finding sites via links from other web sites already in its index. Having said that, it's still a good idea to submit your web site to the search engines.

There are 3 ways to submit your web site to the top search engines:

  1. submit manually;
  2. Use submission software; and
  3. Use online submission services.

Manual Search Engine Submission

The process of 'manual search engine submission' means personally visiting each search engine and registering your Web pages. Some search engines have a policy of only accepted a limited number of Web pages each day, so you would have to return each day to submit additional pages.

Most search engine spiders only crawl a limited number of pages in a site. So if you have a large site you should register every important page of your site, which may require many visits.

Search Engine Submission Software

The alternative to the manual search engine submission process is to use search engine submission software or online services that simulate manual submissions. There is a very important distinction between the two, as most search engines have banned automated search engine submissions. If a program or service does not simulate a manual submission, your submission will likely be ignored or rejected.

I use 'Internet Business Promoter'. It simulates manual submissions, which like I said is important. But it's also helps report my rankings in the search engines.

Search Engine Submission Services

Online search engine submission services are similar to their software counterpart except they are hosted online rather than on your computer. Just like search engine submission software, online search engine submission services should also simulate manual submissions. Many online search engine submission services are very basic in design. They claim to submit your site to thousands of search engines. That is just marketing hype, so please ignore such claims.

The fact of the matter is there aren't that many search engines on the Internet. Of the thousands of search engines these online submission services claim to submit to, the vast majority are either small directories or link pages, with little or no traffic. Most online submission services do not take into account that some search engines will only accept a maximum number of Web pages from one site per day. As such, people submit too many pages which either get ignored, or rejected by the search engines.


Google is the most popular search engine, powering Google, AOL and Netscape search. Google searches over 4 billion Web pages, supports 82 languages and processes more than 200 million searches a day. Read Google's own site submission and ranking tips in the Google Information for Webmasters section. You may submit your site to Google for free.


Yahoo! Search powers Yahoo!, AllTheWeb, and AltaVista. Yahoo! offer a free site submission service. Expect a delay of several weeks before your URL is crawled.


Metacrawlers search other search engines simultaneously, compile the results, and display them either in groups, sorted by search engine employed, or by clustering them together and eliminating duplicates. Unlike true search engines, metacrawlers do not crawl the Web themselves to index Web pages.

Because metacrawlers neither crawl and index sites, nor have their own database of sites, they cannot accept site submissions. To get your web site into a metacrawler, submit your Web pages to the search engines or web directories that the metacrawlers search.

The top four metacrawlers are:

  1. Dogpile;
  2. Ixquick;
  3. Mamma; and
  4. MetaCrawler

Open Directory Project (DMOZ)

The Open Directory Project is the largest human-edited web directory with over 4.7 million reviewed sites. Its index is used by many of top search engines, including Google, AOL and Netscape. So it is good to submit your web site to the index. The Open Directory Project has a page on how to add a site to the Open Directory. All submissions are free.

Table of Contents

  1. What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
  2. What are meta tags?
  3. How do I optimize HTML Tags for SEO?
  4. What are keywords?
  5. What is link popularity?
  6. How do I submit to search engines?
  7. What are pay per click (PPC) search engines?
  8. What's the best SEO software?