Get 30% off courses running in September - use code "SEPT30" View training courses

That's right - this search engine optimisation article is telling you not to submit your website to any search engines. Not Google, not Inktomi, not AltaVista. Sound a bit strange? Read on...

Submitting to all the search engines

Submitting your website to every search engine is an incredibly time-consuming process. There are hundreds and hundreds of them out there - no doubt, you've come across the companies who'll submit your website to 1000 search engines for you.

Search engine professionals know that the vast majority of these search engines have a very low usage rate and will drive hardly any traffic your way. In fact, it's only a handful of search engines that drive the majority of traffic from search engines to websites.

The major search engines

Some of the most important search engines, probably accounting for over 90% of the search engine market, are:

Not heard of some of these search engines? Have a look at who powers who with this excellent search engine relationship chart.

Please note that the new MSN search engine will roll out at the end of 2004 and will be very important.

Don't submit to these search engines

“But there's only six of them - why on earth not!?” Well, aside from saving time and a bit of money (some require a submission fee), quite simply there's no need. Allow me to explain...

Search engines crawl the web every few weeks (or months) looking for websites to index. Here's how it works:

  • Search engines start at one website with a large number of outbound links (usually a directory)
  • They follow every link they come across, indexing each page they arrive at
  • Once a page has been indexed they follow all the links from that page
  • And so on until there are no more links to follow

Unless today is your very first day on the Internet, you might have heard that inbound links into a website are extremely important in establishing its search engine ranking. If a search engine can't find you by itself through crawling the web, then your website doesn't have any inbound links. If so, you'll never achieve a decent search engine ranking so what's the point in registering?

Getting incoming links quickly

So, how do you get incoming links? Well, this is a vast topic which I won't be discussing now, but if you want to get a few good links quickly then there is a solution: web directories. If your website is listed in the Yahoo! directory (not the same as Yahoo! search) and the Open Directory (which Google uses) all the search engines should find you within two to three months.

There are plenty of other directories you should get listed in too. Global, local and industry-specific directories abound on the Internet. To find them run a search for ‘web directory’ on your favourite search engine. The directories that come up highest in the search rankings will probably generate the most traffic. You can also check these directories of directories:

Another even quicker solution is webmaster forums. Search engines love forums because they include so much fresh content. Most have an area where you're allowed to enter your URL to get feedback from other webmasters. Find some forums, sign up, and get posting!

To find out more about building up links to your website please read the article, Build up links to your website.

A quick fix

It can take a couple of months to get listed in some web directories. If you can't wait that long then it might be worth submitting your site into a paid program and "artificially" boosting your rankings. Again, this is a whole new topic so please feel free to read more about the paid submission options.

Long term strategy

Search engine optimisation is a long term strategy. You'll be successful if you:

Register with as many web directories as possible and then concentrate your efforts on these two things. Within a few months you'll start to see success.

Case studies

Our success stories

  • UCAS

    UCAS's Track portal is award-winning, achieving a 95%+ satisfaction rating across its 750,000 users

  • Hotels.com

    Hotels.com gained a much stronger competitive advantage due to a great mobile & tablet strategy

  • Pearson Education

    Pearson Education has embedded user-centred design into all their digital design processes

More case studies

What are you working on?

  • End-to-end customer experience

    Join up your customer touchpoints to deliver the best possible digital experience that is proven to deliver outstanding business results

  • Customer loyalty & retention

    Ensure your brand promises are delivered through your digital channels so that your customers return and bring others with them

  • User experience of digital touchpoints

    Make sure all your customer touchpoints consistently deliver the very best in user experience, design and usability.

  • Online sales & conversion optimisation

    Increase conversion across all your digital channels. Our clients sell more because they reap the benefits of our sales optimisation expertise.

  • Digital strategy

    Get ahead of the competition with a customer-centred digital strategy designed to deliver long-term business success.

  • Application & product design

    Deliver the best experience for your customers with intelligent digital applications tailored to your business goals and customer needs.

  • Mobile & tablet strategy

    Improve your mobile & tablet propositions with innovative, cutting-edge interface designs that work for you and your customers.

About us

We're a user experience agency (UX agency) that creates people-centred, efficient and delightful digital experiences.

Get in touch on 020 7423 6320

 

Skip to site navigation