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Dilemma indeed. Getting in Google is a MUST, yet if you want your website to be liked by Google, it'd need *fingers* (meaning links) pointing at it.
The way out
ODP (Open Directory Project http://www.dmoz.org/) is first choice. But there it takes a long time, being human-controlled initiative (consider consulting Seotie http://www.seotie.com/ to monitor your website's inclusion in DMOZ directory, in case you've submitted to ODP).
Another factor to think over is once listed in ODP, it is very difficult to alter your listing. Even a small change of a webpage url may render your ODP listing unworthy.
In comes therefore necessity of submitting to other search engines, relatively smaller ones, yet important ones at that. There are in fact quite a few of them with decent traffic flow. An advantage here is most search engines list websites in relevant categories and therefore once listed, links from them are what I call *highly-targeted-link-sources*.
Where to find them
A handy list of nearly 50 search engines and directories according to their Alexa Traffic Rank is maintained by FreeWebSubmission http://www.freewebsubmission.com/, refreshed on first of every month. For example, Google's Alexa rank is 5.
Other important ones in this list are AltaVista http://addurl.altavista.com/addurl/new (Alexa Rank 58), AllTheWeb http://www.alltheweb.com/add_url.php (Alexa Rank 199), What U Seek http://www.whatuseek.com/addurl-secondary.shtml (Alexa Rank 2523), ScrubTheWeb http://www.scrubtheweb.com/addurl.html (Alexa Rank 2555), ExactSeek http://www.exactseek.com/add.html (Alexa Rank 2471), SearchHippo http://www.searchhippo.com/addlink.php (Alexa Rank 3041), EntireWeb http://www.entireweb.com/eng/basic/ (Alexa Rank 3667), GigaBlast http://www.gigablast.com/addurl (Alexa Rank 6860) and Gimpsy http://www.gimpsy.com/ (Alexa Rank 7222).
FreeWebSubmission http://www.freewebsubmission.com/ also offers free submission to 20 search engines at one go. [Note Alexa rankings given here are for August, 2003]. To know how Alexa ranks webpages, go here http://pages.alexa.com/exec/faqsidos/help/index.html?index=1.
Here is an interesting article by Barry Lloyd http://www.searchengineblog.com/columns/optimising_for_inktomi.htm. He proffers that optimizing for Inktomi can later translate into Google success. Don't forget to look at it http://www.searchengineblog.com/columns/optimising_for_inktomi.htm.
The bottom line
Search engine submission is but one small part of web success. If you stay put on Web taking good care of your core business, chance is you'll be *discovered* sooner than later. Pause awhile now and then and renew your *friendship* with smaller search engines. The surfing traffic may seldom find you there, but Google surely will. And that's important.
Author of this article, Partha Bhattacharya, owns and operates EzyPost.Com offering reasonably-priced nicely-designed website templates and also website designing and promotion tips. Copyright © Partha Bhattacharya, Webmaster, Www.EzyPost.Com, http://www.ezypost.com/.