Web Hosting Guide
Search Engine Submission

Search Engine Submission is an important part of getting the search engines to recognize your website and have your site show up in specific search engine searches. This article defines search engine submissions and services, and explains search engine page ranking.

What Is Search Engine Submission?

It is possible for webmasters to just wait for search engines to find their sites, but this is not the most effective approach. Search engine submission is doing whatever steps are required to make a search engine aware of the existence of your site so it will take the steps to crawl your site so it will get included in their listings. A website can be submitted as a whole or on a page-by-page basis. In at least some cases, there are very explicit rules given for submission, and these should be followed: ignoring the instructions and submitting more that is asked for may backfire and leave your site uncrawled and unlisted on search engine results pages (SERPs). Be aware that there are disclaimers on at least some submissions pages that indicate that a submission is not a guarantee of a site listing.

You should also know that search engine submission may not be necessary. At least the major search engines—Google, Yahoo!, and MSN, for example—search the entire web using bots, spiders, and crawlers, and will eventually find nearly all sites. If it is important for your site to be listed on less prominent search engines, or specific local search engines, then submission may be worth it.

For large search engines, like those named above, XML sitemaps are both the easiest and the most complete way to submit a website to a search engine. This can be valuable, because it clearly indicates which pages are too be crawled (as opposed to private pages that you don't want to have indexed. However, rather than submit the site, you can also indicate the location of the XML sitemap using a file robots.txt

Search Engine Submission Services

There are services set up to submit websites to search engines for a fee. This may not be a worthwhile investment for several reasons. These search engine submission services may charge a lot for a service that is:

     a. unnecessary 

     b. takes barely any time

     c. if done using an automated tool, may violate the terms of service of the search engine.

Search Engine Submission and Page Ranking

There is an important distinction to be made between search engine submission and page ranking. A site that has been crawled may be in the rankings, but not on the first page, or even on the first 28 pages—in fact, it can be on the listing, but buried way back. 

It is the quality of the site and the search engine optimization (SEO) that has been done on it, rather than search engine submission by itself, that contributes to page ranking. SEO includes things like the use of keywords, tags, links, and a clear site structure, and these things all contribute towards a website's natural search engine ranking.

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