Website Submission - A SEO
Specialist Shares His Secrets
By Robert Fuess,
Many of you have heard of submitting your website, but what does this really
mean? What places should you really submit your website? What about submitting
to thousands of search engines and directories through some website promotion
What Pages To Submit:
At the minimum, you should submit your home page. Many search engines will
promise to find and crawl the rest of your website automatically (in their own
good time). But if they don't discourage you from doing so, I would submit
several of the important pages in your site. For example, a site map is
definitely something I would want to submit, since it should have direct links
to the rest of your website.
Also, if I get another webmaster to link to my website, I like to submit that
page as well. I want the search engines to recognize that this resource has
changed - it has a link to my website and I want the credit for it.
What To Prepare:
For the search engines, I would make sure that the website is properly
optimized. At a minimum, I would do double check the meta-tags to ensure that
the title, meta-description and meta-keywords properly describe the web pages
and have some of my desired keywords in it. I would also run a
website validator on the pages I intend
on submitting - to keep the search engine spiders from choking on my website.
For more information on optimizing a website for the search engines, go to
For the directories, I would normally prepare some commonly requested
information. This really helps to speed up the process. I normally use a generic
text editor like Microsoft Notepad and save the following data before I go and
submit to the different search engines and directories. This enables me to use
copy and paste.
This should have:
- Your email
- Your website url
- A good title for your website
- A description for the website
Since Yahoo will allow you to submit a list of URLS that are in a text
document (or an RSS feed) I would encourage you to prepare one to help them out.
These should be at the root directory of your website and be updated whenever
there is a change to your pages. That way you can just submit the location of
the RSS feed or the text file and let Yahoo use that to find the rest of your
pages. It is a nice time saver. Personally, I like using an automated RSS feed
since Yahoo can use it to determine when the last changes occurred and decide
what pages to re-crawl first.
(If you don't know what RSS is, here is a great article on it:
Google uses a similar technology to help it find all of your web pages. It is
called a "Google Site Map". That is the subject of another article. I wrote one
that has a lot more info on the
Google Site Maps,
for when you are ready to build one. Google also has a special way to submit
these. Just follow their instructions. If this is too complicated, contact a
webmaster or a SEO specialist who is familiar with this feature.
Where To Submit:
I would recommend submitting your home page to the major search engines
individually, at least initially. However, there are several services that do
groups of them for you - and is a big time saver for the rest of your site. The
following is one of my favorites:
FreeWebSubmission.com. I have always deselected Google, though, since I
submit to them manually through the Google website. I submit my web pages to the
following search engines manually (without a special tool) just to ensure that
it is done.
You will need a Yahoo account to submit to the Yahoo search engine. And don't
fret if you don't see immediate results. Your site should normally exist in MSN
within about 6 weeks, in Yahoo in 8-12 weeks, and in Google within about 3
months. (You will not likely get much search results from Google for the first
year though - but hold out and keep working on the other tricks. In the long
run, Google will normally give you about 60 - 70% of the search engine traffic
if you follow these methods.)
Also, if you have the Alexa
toolbar installed, navigate to your website and click on the "info" button
on the toolbar. Then you will have to fill in information about your website.
Once this is registered, you will start seeing how your website's Alexa rating
looks. There have been some rumors that Google considers the Alexa description
in its searches - so make sure it is relevant to your website as a whole and has
at least one of your keywords.
You should also submit your website to
DMOZ. This is a massive directory that is republished in several other
websites. It is managed by humans, and is therefore considered to be of special
relevance by other search engines. I strongly recommend reading all their rules
before submitting - and follow them closely. Make sure that you try to get
listed in only one category - the most relevant one for your business. It can
take a month or two to get listed, but it really helps with your backlinks and
overall relevancy as a website.
After DMOZ, here are the most important list of directories to be listed in.
If you haven't used directories before - try browsing these before you fill
out the förm to submit your site. They are organized by category. You need to
find the most relevant category to put your website before you start to fill out
the förm for each of these. Have a pen and paper as you browse - and write down
directory paths of where you want to be.
Being in some directories just adds some good backlinks. (When another
webmaster links to your website, this is considered a backlink.) Others, like
Yahoo and DMOZ, tend to get some special relevance to certain search engines.
After you get familiar with these well-known directories, look for niche
directories that are specific to the type of business your website is about.
There are specialized directories that focus on a particular category of
links. These can be valuable - you will just have to do a bit of searching to
find them. These may be considered as part of your overall strategy.
Being listed in a search engine doesn't guarantee that you will have a good
ranking - this is just the first step - letting them know that you exist.
If You See An Offer To Get Listed In Hundreds Of Directories And Websites
Automatically - Beware! Many of these will list you in hundreds of FFA (free for
all) sites. These sites are considered SP@M by search engines and I would
strongly encourage you to avoid them. Did I mention to avoid these? Check out
what Google has to say
about these. They may get you quick backlinks, but they are from the "wrong"
type of site. These are just a list of sites - and they stay there temporarily.
Only the latest 100 submitted or so are displayed there and you need to be
resubmitted regularly to stay there. Few humans use this - it is just a linking
game to trick the search engines about your popularity (and search engines don't
like it). Don't bother.
To Wrap It Up:
Get backlinks - but avoid FFA sites. There are some important directories,
but being listed in "Thousands Of Websites And Directories" is likely a
promotional trick to get you listed in FFA sites. The most important backlinks
are from web pages with content related to your website and those that your
customers visit. If it isn't likely to draw your customers, it may not be very
important for your website traffic.