By Alli Summerford
January 15, 2002
We have all received unsolicited email that starts something like this, “Your web site is not listed in X search engines — can you afford to miss this valuable traffic . . .?” The sender then goes on to explain how for just $59.95 they will submit your site to 5,000 (might as well be a jillion) search engines. I wanted to spend a little time this quarter talking about these services (I use that word generously), and what they do (or, more to the point, don’t do) for you and your site.
Actually they do very little (save emptying your wallet). What they don’t do is improve your ranking in the search engines that matter. The reality of the search engine picture is that only about 10-15 search engines matter. Those include: Google, MSN, Yahoo, AOL web sites, AskJeeves, Lycos, Looksmart, Overture, Netscape, Altavista, HotBot, About.com, Direct Hit, FAST/AlltheWeb, and Open Directory Project. Therefore, any time or money spent on trying to submit or position your site within other search engines that absolutely no one visits much less uses is truly wasted. Resources are far better spent in making sure that your site is developed with the search engines in mind and that it is re-submitted regularly to those engines listed above.
For those of you whose sites are maintained monthly by me, you can be assured that the site itself is constructed in a way that the search engines can properly read and categorize it and that it is being re-submitted monthly.
One aspect of your site that is crucial to its success in the search engines, and should be reviewed and re-evaluated often, is its content. Search engines love copy — they can read and catalog text, not images. Think about ways in which you could add additional content to your site. This provides your visitors with meaningful information (the reason they went to your site to begin with) and has the added benefit and helping your site with the search engine placement. That content will naturally be loaded with keywords about your company, its business, and the industry in which you compete.
Like most things, there is no shortcut. Instead, there are proven tactics that will stack the odds in your favor. Search engine submission gimmicks are not among those tactics.
If you have any questions about this topic or any other topic concerning your site, please feel free to get in touch with me by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling me at 205.298.7655.