Search Engine & Directory Submission Tips

Site submission to search engines and directories is often done incorrectly. In order to get the best results from search engine and directory submissions, Swift Media UK offers the following web site submission tips:

Treat search engine submission and directory submissions separately

Most people incorrectly believe that search engines and directories are the same. A search engine uses a program that searches documents (i.e. web pages, which are mostly HTML documents) for specified keywords and returns the list of documents. A search engine has two parts, a spider and an indexer. The spider is the program that fetches the documents, and the indexer reads the documents and creates an index or database based on the words or ideas contained in each document.

A directory (such as Yahoo, commonly mistaken for a search engine) depends on people for listings. The main difference between a search engine and a directory is that a directory does not make use of a spider or robot. In other words, a directory will not list your web page if you do not register it with them. Directories are usually divided into categories and you must submit your URL under the most appropriate categories.

Search engines vary which HTML tags to emphasize: titles, meta-tags, alternative text, body text, headings, etc. Directories primarily emphasize titles, the description you submit to them and the category or categories you select in the directories.

Because search engines and directories are so different, it is best to develop your submission strategies separately.

Search engine submission strategies

To get optimal listings in search engine and directory queries, keywords and key concepts must be placed strategically throughout your web pages. To summarize, you need these words and phrases in: Titles, Meta Tags, Alt-attribute, headings, main body text.

Other factors that affect search engine rankings are HTML layout, keyword density, keyword prominence, and keyword placement. These topics are covered in detail at Copywriting for web sites, Search Engines, Directories and Web Design, Search Engine, and Marketing Considerations.

Submit individual web pages to search engines. Submit your home page to the major directories

In general, we like to submit 5-7 web pages at a time to the major search engines to avoid a spam penalty. Additionally, we do not recommend that you submit the same web pages to the search engines within a short time period (even if you made changes on them).

We recommend that you first get your main URL ( accepted into a directory before you try to get more targeted pages listed. You will stand a better chance of getting multiple pages listed in a directory if your overall site has been accepted first.

The time between site submission and addition to the search engine or directory database is called the lead time. You will not see results in your traffic logs until the lead time has passed.

Monitor results on site reporting software

We are firm believers in using quality site statistics software. In fact, we do not believe that anyone can have a successful online business without it. Our two favourites are WebTrends and Webalizer.

You will be able to see the results of your search engine optimization and link development strategies in your site statistics. You can measure the keywords used, the URL’s giving you the most referrals, the type of browsers used to view your site, the time of day your site is accessed, and so forth. All of this data will give you a clearer profile of your site’s visitors.

Then, based on this data, you can tweak the HTML, graphics, and content to best suit your customers.

Submit and resubmit web pages as necessary

An online business that uses search engine optimization as a marketing strategy will use this submission, monitoring, and tweaking practice. Site submission is a never ending, ongoing process because search engines constantly change their relevancy algorithms.

We recommend that you resubmit a web page to a search engine only when there is a significant change to web page or if a page has dropped from the index. (Changing a meta-tag description does not constitute a significant change.)

To see if your web pages have been added or deleted from a search engine, go to each of the search engines listed below and type in the string listed below the search engine name. Replace “” with your URL (web site address).


URL: Google


HotBot (which uses Inktomi)


Fast Search

If your web site has been accepted into a directory, you can then submit specialized pages within your web site to other directory categories. Once your site has been added to a directory, you should not have to resubmit it unless your business has significantly changed and you belong in a different category.

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