How to Submit a Web Site to Web Search Engines and Directories - A Concise Guide

Search Engines Information Sources

Although there are many popular search engines, the information sources that they use are relatively few. These are the main information sources:
dmoz.org - A free directory, built with the spirit of the Open Source movement. Thousands of volunteers edit the directory. The information in this directory is eventually used by many prime time directories: AOL Search, AltaVista, HotBot, Google, Lycos, Netscape Search, Direct Hit, etc. To add your site, search the appropriate category at http://dmoz.org and click submit a site.
 
Google.com - The most popular spider on the web, used by Yahoo!, Netscape and others. It will find your web site on it's own. It reindexes web sites at least once a month.
 
Inktomi - a spider and automated directory database used by AOL, MSN, iWon, HotBot, LookSmart, NBCi

Alltheweb.com - this spider (Fast's Internet search technology) is used by Lycos and LookSmart. To submit your web site to be included by this spider go to http://www.alltheweb.com/add_url.php
 
Overture (formerly Go.com) - All listings in this web directory are paid for. To get listed you determine how much you are willing to pay to be listed on a specific search phrase. The information is used by Yahoo, Ask Jeeves, AltaVista, Netscape, MSN and others
 
Teoma (DirectHit) - spider that is used among others by msn.com and ask.com
 

List of Major Search Engines and How to Get Listed in them

Yahoo.com - Search on Yahoo! the category that best fits your web site. At the bottom of the search results page there is a link 'suggest a site'. To get listed on selected categories you are required to pay an annual fee of about US$ 299.
 
AltaVista - http://addurl.altavista.com/sites/addurl/newurl
AOL Search - Uses Open Directory, submit to Open Directory and wait, or go to http://search.aol.com/add.adp
LookSmart - A directory used by MSN, Excite@Home, AltaVista and more. Only paid submissions are accepted.
MSN - Uses information from Inktomi (spider), LookSmart (directory) and DirectHit.
Netscape - Uses information from Google and dmoz.org. Listing from dmoz.org (the Open Directory) appear first.
Go.com - No free submissions.
NorthernLight - Currently do not accept submissions. Look at: http://nlresearch.northernlight.com/docs/regurl_help.html
HotBot
WebCrawler
CNN - Uses LookSmart
Dogpile - a meta search engine
 
 

Finding the Best Keywords

Overture formerly Go.com has a nice utility - Search Term Suggestion Tool, that can give you a sense, which keywords are used in searches more often. For example, we want to determine which words to include in a title of a web site, Ultra Wideband, where wideband is written as one word or Ultra Wide Band where Wide Band is written as two words. Using Overtue, we see that Ultra Wide Band has been looked for 1259 times (in the context of UWB) whereas Ultra Wideband has been searched for only 677 times.
 
Results from Overture's Search Term Suggestion Tool
 
Searches done in April 2002
Count Search Term
 1259  uwb ultra wide band technology
 518  ultra wide band
 304  ultra wide band wireless uwb

Searches done in April 2002
Count Search Term
 677  ultra wideband
 72  ultra wideband technology
 51  ultra wideband data rate
 50  ultra wideband application
 

Paying to Get Listed

According to your budget, we recommend the following options, roughly at the order of their importance:
 
Inktomi - US$ 39.95 per year. This spider and automated directory is used by many important web sites. The most important of them is msn.com.
LookSmart network - Also used by msn. This is a human edited directory. It costs US$ 50 to get listed.
Yahoo! - some categories at Yahoo! requires a fee, about US$ 299 per year depending on the category. The disadvantage is that using this option is very expensive.
 

Guidelines for Improving Your Web Site Ranking

Have the most important keyword in your domain name
Have the keywords in titles (HTML H1, H2, etc. tags)
Have a relevant content at your web site
Have as many important web sites with links to you
Put the keywords on the Keywords meta tag at your web site. Note that some search engines ignore this meta tag, including Google.