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Marketing Through Search Engine Registration

You certainly want to get your site indexed with the major search engines, but you really don’t even have to register it to get it indexed!

A lot of emphasis is placed on registering a website with the search engines. Companies that offer automatic registration make it sound as though this is the be all and end all of getting traffic to your site.

So I suppose you’d be surprised to hear me say that registering a site with the search engines is NOT the most important thing you can do to get website traffic! But its true.

If you register a site, but do not link it into any other quality sites, your traffic will stop at about 200 hits a month, and just get stuck there.

If you link your site into other sites, EVEN IF YOU DON’T REGISTER IT, you’ll get traffic that will gradually grow over time, way past what it would with search engine registration. The reason for this is found in the way in which search engines index sites, which I’ll explain a little further down.

The best strategy, of course, is to do both, which gets you the most permanent traffic in the fastest way. I only point out this rule so that you understand that while registering with the search engines is a step you don’t really want to leave out, it is NOT the most important one, and it is not a solution in itself.

Registering a site with the search engines consists of two sets of tasks:

  1. You can autosubmit to certain search engines and directories. You can choose any system or program to do that, there is not a lot of difference between them, because there are big search engines which they all submit to, then tons of tiny ones which don’t make a huge difference whether you submit to them or not. All of them submit to the big ones, the differences lie in how many, and which, of the ones that don’t matter.
  2. You MUST submit your site to specific search engines manually. They simply do not allow auto-submissions. So systems that promise superior performance through auto-submitting simply cannot deliver on their promise. To do the job right, you HAVE to manually submit to certain search engines and directories.

I use SelfPromotion.com as my first line tool for submitting. The next one I’d recommend would be Submit-It, but if you are going to use that, just go to MSN B-Central and get the one year listing for your website instead, which includes a Submit-It subscription also. Submit-It is nice for startups because it does offer some optimization tools.

If you do not get anything else done, you’ll want to register with “the Big Three”. That is, Google, Yahoo, and MSN. Google allows auto-submissions, but you currently have to manually submit to Yahoo and MSN. And all three of those will send you significant traffic over time if you get them done, so don’t miss out on one.

It pays to take the time to work your way through the submission process at SelfPromotion.com, because some of the small sites will index you faster. Others will pick you up later from other search engines.

There is controversy over whether to submit regularly or not, and whether to submit multiple pages. Here is my own personal rule about how often to submit, how much to submit, and why.

I submit my sites to the search engines no more than once a year. Some of them not even that often after the initial submission. This is because if you change your content regularly, then the major search engines will re-index you anyway.

The only sites that need to be resubmitted are those that almost never change, and even then they do not need to be submitted more than once every six months or so. You see, the only reason to resubmit is to get the search engines to update changes. And if you have no changes, then resubmitting does not help.

If you have a neglected site that you make major changes to, then resubmitting can help, especially if you intend to go on making regular changes.

As far as submitting individual pages, I feel this is also generally a waste of time. However, if you have a site that needs to get rapid traffic to specific interior pages, then submitting just those pages can help, OR, if you have a site that has sub-sections in it that need to be registered in their own right. Usually though, over time, the search engines will spider deeper and deeper into your site and index those pages anyway. This happens most often within 3-6 months. And since your home page is indexed anyway, if you don’t have special features that need traffic in their own right, then submitting individual pages usually is not necessary. I just feel that there are more effective uses of my time that will get more results than this.

If you are building multiple sites and are interested in getting things done fast, then you can just register each new domain with the search engines, and then go on to building another while you let the search engines do their job. I cannot see any difference in time to indexing through doing this, than if I register them specifically.

If you have stats tracking on your web host, you can watch the progress of the indexing process. You’ll see the big search engines spider one to five pages, then ten to twenty, then the whole site, over a few months.

Be aware that it takes anywhere from 24 hours to 8 months for your site to be included fully in the search engine listings that you submit to. Some will spider your site and include it right away. Others will spider the site and then review it by a real person. Some will require that you submit it and then they will choose the category when they get around to it. Google seems to index you, then bury your site at the bottom for six to eight months. So it still may take considerable time to get results after registering it.

Registering your site is not the be all and end all of internet marketing. It is really just the first step. It is the one that you make when your site is ready to be viewed, with content on each page, and for many sites, it is sort of the equivalent of a “grand opening”, though there is no party, and no immediate response.

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