How do I make sure my Web site is listed in search engines?
You probably want your Web site to appear in the listings when people use search engines such as Yahoo and Google. However, this process is not automatic. Instead, each search engine needs to learn about your Web site. The most common way to make this happen is to “submit” your site to a few popular search engine companies.
After a search engine learns about your site, the search engine will visit the site and take a snapshot of your pages. Each time someone does a search using that search engine, it shows matching pages based on the snapshot it took earlier. Because the snapshots are always somewhat out of date, it can take several weeks before your site appears.
Search engine submission services
Some services claim to submit your site to multiple search engines for a fee. However, there are only a handful of general-purpose search engines that really matter, so it may be overkill to submit your site to “hundreds” or “thousands” of search engines (especially since many of them are likely to be specialized directories of things like Brazilian underwear manufacturers, rather than true “search engines”).
In addition, each search engine has different requirements for listing, so it’s unlikely that a simple automated submission system can get your site properly listed on all search engines. Many search engines actually refuse to list automated submissions.
Getting your site properly listed in the major search engines is worth the effort, though; it will result in many more visitors. You can do it yourself in just a few minutes.
Search Engine Addition Links
If you do nothing else, we recommend that you take a couple of minutes to visit the links below and use the simple forms to submit a free listing to the most popular search engines.
The most important search engine to be listed in. The Google listings are also used by AOL, so if you’re listed on Google, you’re listed in AOL’s search results, too.
- Microsoft Bing
This link allows you to submit your site to Microsoft’s free search listings. Microsoft Bing’s search results also power Yahoo.
Remember that it can take several weeks before your site actually shows up in the search results of these search engines.
Resources and Tips
You’ve made your site available on the four biggest Internet search engines by submitting your site above, and that’s all many people do.
However, you’ll find that you can do a lot more if you’re willing to spend some time (and perhaps money) to make your site appear prominently in the rankings of many search engines.
For example, you might also want to create a Google Sitemap file, or pay to advertise with Google AdWords (or similar services).
Another great resource is selfpromotion.com. They have tips on preparing and submitting your site, and they also have a semi-automated method of submitting your site to some search engines. This is more reliable than a completely automated system, because it allows you to enter the extra information each search engine might require, without forcing you to reenter everything for each one. Be sure to read their special section on getting listed in Yahoo.
If you’re interested in learning more about how search engines work, or how to maximize your chances of getting listed, we also recommend Search Engine Land for some invaluable pointers.
One other tip: adding your site to our public customer list can improve your search engine visibility. That’s because many search engines already take snapshots of our public customer list pages, and many of those will automatically follow the links on that page and take snapshots of the listed sites. Adding your site to our public customer list accomplishes the same thing as manually submitting your site to many other search engines that aren’t quite as popular as Google or Bing.
Make sure search engines see the text on your Web pages
In addition to making sure search engines know about your site, you’ll want to make sure they can read the words on your pages when they visit.
If your Web site doesn’t have words visible in the Search Engine Simulator, that means that search engines can’t find key words in your pages: perhaps you’ve set up your site so that the words are all contained in images, for example. Altering your site design so that the Search Engine Simulator shows all the words you care about will make your site rank more highly in search engines.