Recently, a customer of ours was insistent on announcing his new website to big search engines. Otherwise, he argued, *...how would world know that I exist...*. Indeed, belief that one *must* submit his/her website to search engines has spawned growth of umpteen agencies (some with questionable intentions) that promise *guaranteed inclusion in search engines* for hefty fees. There are others who promise *guaranteed top placement* in search engines. But that's a different story.
So then, what takes..! Let's first separate grains from chaff. It's worth looking at a few apparently contradicting, yet important aspects.
Google is king
Recent reports suggest Google presently is most popular search engine in US. A May, 2003 research finds Google's share of *search-pie* an overwhelming 76% among US web surfers compared to MSN's only 15% (reference: article by Danny Sullivan on Aug 1, 2003 at Search Engine Watch, http://searchenginewatch.com/reports/article.php/2156431).
In continental Europe (France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and UK), in June, 2003 average viewership of Google (about 29.06%) was very close to (in fact a little less than) MSN's nearly 29.43% (reference: article by Danny Sullivan on July 31, 2003 at Search Engine Watch, http://searchenginewatch.com/reports/article.php/2156441).
With rapid-fire developments like Yahoo's acquiring Inktomi and Overture and MSN's plan to float its own crawler, none is sure what would happen one year hence. There are even talks of 3rd generation search engines taking over soon. At time of writing this article though, Google remains firmly atop surfers' list of most preferred search engines.
Do not submit to Google
Yeah, you need not submit to Google. Google will find you. It has been Google's long-time practice to extensively crawl Web so as to build its own comprehensive database of webpages, no matter whether you submit or not. In process it has *outsmarted* others in producing most relevant search results. Surfers love Google. Since Yahoo presents Google's search results and fact that Looksmart has changed its listing procedure, it is obvious that their paid-listing programs are just not working.
Google's famed robot, *Googlebot*, crawls millions of webpages everyday and it's quite probable a new website will be automatically crawled sooner than one may imagine, whether *submitted* or not. One may also expect periodic visits by AltaVista's *Scooter*, Inktomi's *Slurp* and numerous other crawlers after you're *known* to Google.
Google doesn't like *orphan* sites. To quote Google's own words (at http://www.google.com/webmasters/1.html), *The best way to ensure Google finds your site is for your page to be linked from lots of pages on other sites. Google's robots jump from page to page on Web via hyperlinks, so more sites that link to you, more likely it is that we'll find you quickly*.