Promoting your small business website in search engines can be a daunting task. Use of free submissions and link popularity is a good starting point for your website promotion campaign.
Start with basis of good search engine and directory listings. Make sure you read and follow each search engine and directory's rules for submissions. Before making submissions, always verify that all your website links and pages work, with no pages "under construction".
Search Engines and Directories
Begin with Open Directory Project (ODP http://www.dmoz.org). ODP is free and provides secondary search results to many other search engines. (Secondary search results are search results that come up after primary search results of a search engine are shown.) Google uses ODP directory results in their search engine results.
It is preferable to secure a listing in ODP before submitting your website to Yahoo!, but it often takes time to become listed in ODP and may not be possible. If you can afford a yearly $299.00 subscription to submit to Yahoo! (http://www.yahoo.com), do so. If you are a non- commercial website, you may be able to submit your website for free. You will find rules about free submissions when you click on "suggest a site" link at bottom of your chosen category page.
Google is top search engine and one you want to be listed in. Google provides secondary search results to other search engines and directories.
If you do B2B (business-to-business) with other companies, Business.com (http://www.business.com) is a reasonable $99.00 subscription per year and gives you opportunity to list not only your home page, but four other pages from your website. The Business.com search results are used by many other business sites for search results.
Inktomi is a good choice for a reasonably priced link (yearly fee of $39.00 for first page, $25.00 per page 2-1000 for additional pages) and will get you into secondary search results for MSN search engine. Position Technologies has a good submission program available for Inktomi (http://www.positiontech.com/).
Zeal.com (http://www.zeal.com) listings are part of LookSmart directory, which provides primary search listings for MSN. You must sign-up to become a Zeal editor and pass a test before being able to add your non-commercial submissions to Zeal. Articles and tutorials are good choices to use when submitting non-commercial information from your website to Zeal.com.
Many of major search engines still include a free submission section for their listings. Paid Inclusion and PPC (pay-per-click) are always faster choices, but if your budget is limited you may want to consider submitting and waiting 6-8 weeks (or more) it often takes to see your listings show up.
Major search engines providing free submissions include: Google (http://www.google.com), AltaVista (http://www.altavista.com), and AlltheWeb (http://www.alltheweb.com).
Secondary search engines you can submit to for free include Gigablast (http://www.gigablast.com) and ScrubtheWeb (http://www.scrubtheweb.com). One smaller directory is JoeAnt (http://www.joeant.com).
Link Popularity Methods
If you are a small business, seek out business directories to submit to, especially those directly related to your business.