Search Engine Marketing Fundamentals – Part 7


Your site is optimized and ready to be submitted to the search engines, so let’s get to it. In this issue I will outline what you need to plan for and how to submit to the major search engines.

Although people often use the term search engine interchangeably for search engines and directories/portals there is a major differentiation when it comes to submission protocol. The search engines (Google, the Yahoo! Search Engine, Teoma, and soon the new MSN / Microsoft Search Engine) allow you to “Add your URL”. Your URL is your uniform resource locator – also known as your Web address, your www.yourcompanyname.com. When you add your URL it is put in a queue and when it is your turn the search engine’s spider or crawler visits your site and includes it in their database.

To submit to directories (next newsletter) like the Yahoo! Directory, Open Directory, and Business.com you have to go to the directory site and find the appropriate link to their submission form. For the directories you generally have to complete a detailed form filling in all the blanks of required information. Paid Advertising Placements and Pay-Per-Click campaigns (the newsletter after) are topics for a future newsletter.

Tips & Techniques

Search engines use intelligent agents called bots, or spiders, to search the Internet for pages, which they index using specific parameters as they read the content. The agent will read the information on accessible pages of your site and then follow the links. If you have a good link strategy in place then sometimes a search engine will find your Web site and index it without you having to submit.

Decide Which Search Engines Are Important
To start this process you want to decide which search engines you are going to be concerned about when taking steps necessary to rank high in their search results. You are going to limit your selection to those search engines that are not pay to play. Ranking high in the pay to play search engines will be discussed in a future newsletter. You will want to select a number of the most popular search engines for your concentration. You will also want to be indexed in topic specific search engines for your industry.

You can find the most popular search engines by doing your research online through sites like Search Engine Watch (http://www.searchenginewatch.com) or Search Engine Showdown (http://www.searchengineshowdown.com). There has been a lot of consolidation amongst the major search engines recently. Yahoo! now owns Inktomi, AlltheWeb and AltaVista. AlltheWeb and AltaVista now return results from Yahoo!’s ‘tweaked’ Inktomi engine. As it stands now, the remaining major players from a pure search engine standpoint are:

  • Google – http://www.google.com/
  • Teoma – http://www.teoma.com/
  • Yahoo! – http://www.yahoo.com/
  • MSN – Their new search service will be launched later this year.

  • Many search engines and directories either partner with or license the use of another search engine or directory’s search technology. Being indexed by these engines means your Web site is likely to be found in other major search services. For example, Google’s results can be found on AOL, Netscape, and even sites like CNN. Google’s paid advertising results appear on many other sites as well.

    Submitting to the Search Engines
    Registering with search engines is fairly simple. In most cases, you simply have to submit your URL or Internet address on their submission form. Below is a screenshot of Google’s search submission page.



    Even if your URL is not registered with search engines, a number of the major search engines will eventually find you since their bots are continually roaming the Internet looking for new sites to index. There are millions of sites and billions of pages out there, so I suggest that you be proactive and register your site to ensure a speedier listing. Once you are registered, some of the bots will periodically visit your site looking for changes and updates. How high you rank depends largely on how well your Web site is optimized along with other proactive marketing activities such as links strategy development.

    Outside of advertising options you will basically encounter two search submission options:

    1. Free Submission
    2. Paid Inclusion

      1. Free Submission – Submitting your Web site is free, but no promises are made. Your site may or may not be indexed and to get indexed it might take a couple of days or a few months. There are no guarantees with free submissions.

    For free submissions the search engines will have guidelines that indicate how many pages from a single site you can submit and how often. It might be 1 page in total, 1 page per day, 5 pages at a time, or even 50 pages at once. Take the time to read their guidelines to better your chances of being indexed. Your homepage is the most important page on your Web site to get indexed so if you can only submit one page, be sure that is the one.

    2. Paid Inclusion – With paid inclusion you have more control over your destiny, but it comes at a price, which implies the need to create a search submission budget based on your available resources and the submission fees requested by the search engines.

    With paid inclusion you are guaranteed to be indexed by the search engine up to the number of pages you have paid for within a short, defined period. Paid inclusion options tend to offer other perks as well such as guaranteed revisits to update your listings (e.g. every 24 hours), guaranteed inclusion on any partners Web sites, reporting to track your performance, and in some cases a review of your Web site to ensure its relevance.

    Search engine submissions can be handled manually, where you or your SEO company goes to a search engine and submits your Web site by hand, or search engine submissions can be handled automatically by an application. It is highly recommended that your search engine submissions be completed by hand. Search engines do not like the automatic submissions and by doing it by hand you know for fact that a submission has been completed. If you choose to go at it using automated submission software here are a couple popular applications: \
    All of the submission comments made assume you are looking to be indexed by the major U.S. based search engines. If you plan on submitting your Web site to international search engines or international editions of the major search engines then you need to take into consideration optimization for specific languages and cultures.

    Resubmissions to the Search Engines
    Before you submit or resubmit to a search engine, check to see if your page is already indexed. Perform a search using the most important keywords you think people will use to find your page. Also, perform a search using your company name.

    With many of the search engines you can narrow the search to your specific domain. Check out the help files for each search engine for more information on how to verify that your URL is included in their index. To check for your Web site in Google this is all you have to is enter the following information into the search field, where “yourwebsite” is replaced by your real Web site: site:yourwebsite.com yourwebsite.com

    If your page is found and you’re happy with the results, you will not need to submit or resubmit. In fact, if you do resubmit, you could end up worse off because you never know when a search engine is going to change its method of determining what pages receive a high ranking – they may consider your re-submission spam. Only resubmit a Web page if a major change has taken place, meaning much of the content on the page has changed.

    If you were once listed, but have been dropped from the listings, wait a few days to see if your Web site is re-indexed. If your original submission is rejected by the search engines then take matters into your own hands and contact the search engine to find out why so that you can make the necessary changes to get included.

    Because the search engine changes so often there will likely come a point where resubmitting your Web site to a particular search engine will be necessary.

    Final Search Engine Submission Pointers
    Here are some important final pointers you should keep in mind. Always read the submission guidelines before submitting. Search engines will often provide a number of valuable tips that can help you to achieve better rankings.

    Periodically review your rankings in the major search engines and directories. To make this manageable, I suggest you make a list of the search engines and directories to which you have submitted. Divide your list into four groups. Every week check your ranking with each of the search engines and directories in one group. If you have dropped in the ranking or don’t appear in the first couple of pages of search results, then you want to resubmit to that particular search engine or directory. The next week you check your ranking with the next group. By doing so you can set a regular schedule for yourself, keep organized, and determine which search engines and directories you need to resubmit to and which you do not. Sometimes your site may be removed from an index because the search engine has flushed its directory, or maybe it is just one of those things no one can explain—either way you will be on top of things. If you make any significant changes to your site, you also may want to resubmit. You want to ensure that your content is fresh.

    Next newsletter we will look at submissions to directories.

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    Tools & Resources

    For a refresher or if you missed the first two newsletters in the Search Engine Optimization series you can view them in the archive on by Web site at:

    Search Engine Marketing Fundamentals – Part 1
    http://www.susansweeney.com/hottopicvolume2issue7.php

    Search Engine Marketing Fundamentals – Part 2
    http://www.susansweeney.com/hottopicvolume2issue8.php

    Search Engine Marketing Fundamentals – Part 3
    http://www.susansweeney.com/hottopicvolume2issue9.php

    Search Engine Marketing Fundamentals – Part 4
    http://www.susansweeney.com/hottopicvolume2issue10.php

    Search Engine Marketing Fundamentals – Part 5
    http://www.susansweeney.com/hottopicvolume2issue11.php

    Search Engine Marketing Fundamentals – Part 6
    http://www.susansweeney.com/hottopicvolume2issue12.php


    Link popularity is a closely related topic and I advise you to review the article on my Web site at:

    Link Popularity Tips
    http://www.susansweeney.com/newsletter/hottopicvolume2issue4.php

    Visit my Web site at http://www.susansweeney.com