Welcome to part seven in this ten-part search engine positioning series. Last week we discussed importance of human testing. In part seven we will cover best practices of website submissions, where to submit your website to, and how to do so.
With services offering to help you get more traffic and higher search engine positioning by submitting your website to "18 Bazillion Search Engines For Just $19.95 Per Month!" and other such claims, there has grown much confusion around website submissions. In this article we will clear up many of misconceptions around submitting your website and may even save you "Just $19.95 Per Month!" in process.
Over this series we will cover ten key aspects to a solid search engine positioning campaign.
The Ten Steps We Will Go Through Are:
- Keyword Selection
- Content Creation
- Site Structure
- Internal Linking
- Human Testing
- Link Building
- The Extras
Step Seven - Website Submissions
While there are definitely more critical areas of website optimization process there is perhaps no area subject to as much misinformation and to such a vast audience. Here are some common misconceptions that are often believed about search engine submissions:
- You need to submit your website often to keep it indexed by search engines
- You need to submit your website to thousands and thousands of search engines to get decent traffic
- Submitting your website often will keep you at top of search engine rankings
These beliefs are all incorrect and those who can make a quick buck selling this disservice perpetrate them. If you have not recently received an email offering to "Submit Your Website To More Search Engines Than There Are Websites On The Internet For Just $19.95 Per Month!" then I can pretty much guarantee that you will in not-too-distant future if your email can be found somewhere on your website.
An irony of this can be found in Google's webmaster area where they note:
Amazingly, we get these spam emails too:
I visited your website and noticed that you are not listed in most of major search engines and directories..."
Reserve same skepticism for unsolicited email about search engines as you do for "burn fat at night" diet pills or requests to help transfer funds from deposed dictators.
Good advice as I'm sure Google has their website submissions taken care of. Just because you receive such an email, doesn't mean that you're missing out on anything. Let's first look at a breakdown of which engines are responsible for which traffic.
According to research major search engines are responsible for following percentages of traffic as of June 2004:
Google - 41.6%
Yahoo - 31.5%
MSN - 27.4% (MSN draws their results from Yahoo!/Overture)
AOL - 13.6% (AOL draws their results from Google)
Ask Jeeves - 7.0%
Lycos - 3.7%
Netscape - 3.0% (Netscape draws their results from Google)
AltaVista - 2.7% (AltaVista draws Yahoo!/Overture)
Source: Neilson/Netratings Note: These numbers total over 100% as people may use multiple search engines if they don't find information they are looking for at first one they try.
So what does this tell us? This tells us that very vast majority of search engine traffic does not come from many thousands of search engines but rather, relatively few. This would lead to obvious questions, "Is it worth paying to be submitted to thousands of search engines?" The real answer, "No."
Then How Do I Submit My Own Website?
Automated search engine submission systems simply access existing and readily accessible "Add URL" pages of search engines and automatically submit your site. You can do this yourself simply by visiting search engines and submitting through these same pages.