How to increase your chances to be easily found among billions of pages registered on the web? The only way to provide information about your website to the audience around the globe is by submitting it to search engines and to web directories.
The process of submitting your website to search engines and web directories can start only after your website is optimized in such a way that all the on page SEO techniques are covered as explained in the article “On Page SEO“.
Unfortunately, in order to be visible to people worldwide who search for the keywords targeted by your website, the site has to be on the first pages of the search engines results (SERP). Directory and search engine submission is the way to jumpstart your new website towards that goal.
Search Engines Submission
There are three main search engines you have to consider for website submission: Google, Yahoo and Bing. These search giants cover more than 95% of the searches worldwide. Each one offers its own way to add the URL (or the domain) of your website. We will cover each of them further down the article.
Why do you need to submit your website to search engines? Each search engine manages its own database, where all the webpages to be ranked are listed. Different search engines give a different weight to various on-page and off-page parameters that characterize your website. In order to analyze those parameters, search engines use robots (bots) or crawlers. Robots are programs developed by the search engine companies whose main goal is to periodically crawl your website and update the search engine database with the most recent changes. The robots will not visit your website until you submit it to the search engines.
However, submission doesn’t mean that the search engine robot will index your website immediately. It may take days and sometimes months until the robot first visits your website. On the other hand, if you don’t submit your website it will not happen at all.
The Top Search Engines
According to a research by ComScore, 65% of the US population performs web searches via Google, 16% via Yahoo and 12% via Bing. These three search engines cover 93% of all the searches in the US alone, and if your target is the American audience it is enough to submit your website to these search engines. Moreover, Google’s share in searches performed in the rest of the world except Russia, China and Japan is more than 90%. Thus, submitting your site to Google makes you visible to about 90% of the Internet users around the globe. The most popular search engines in Russia and China are the local ones, but Japan’s audience uses Yahoo as the main search engine with 50% of searches while only 38% use Google.
How to Submit your Website to Search Engines
Each search engine provides you with a URL submission form. To find these forms, you can go to Google search page and type “add URL to Google”, “add URL to Yahoo” or “add URL to Bing” – the first search result you’ll see will be the submission form for the relevant search engine. Or, alternatively, you can find the exact URL and a short explanation about each search engine further down the article.
Search engine robots (bots) will detect your website even if you decide not to submit it to search engines. Unfortunately, due to the huge number of websites on the web the process may take days or even months. When you start your online business, try to manage the things around, otherwise they will manage you.
You can be sure, however, that after the submission is done the robot will visit your website and its internal pages at some point. If the website has few pages, then the bots will visit all of them, otherwise you will have to manage the priorities as described at On Page SEO section.
There is a growing number of services that offer paid Search Engine submission. Such services submit your website to more than 3 search engines automatically. Moreover, unlike the free option, the paid services usually guarantee that your website will be indexed by the search engines within a specific period of time known a priori, let’s say 48 hours.
In our experience, the automatic submission is problematic mainly for two reasons: First, any automatic tools might be considered as Spam by search engines and second, there is no guarantee that your website will be submitted to all the search engines as promised. In any case there is no reason to invest in such services, 3 search engines is more than enough and the manual submission is fast and simple.
How to Submit Website to Google
Google is the dominant player in worldwide search. Even if you cut their search volume in half, they’re still way ahead of the competition. To submit your website to Google, head on to https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/submit-url where you will find the following page:
Type your website’s domain in the URL box, enter the captcha and Google’s crawler will do the rest.
How to Submit Website to Yahoo
Yahoo! is the second largest of the three major search engines, its URL submission form is located at http://siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com/submit;_ylt=. No captcha solving is needed this time.
How to Submit Website to Bing
Microsoft Bing is the third largest search engine controlling roughly 12% of the online market. However, it keeps growing quarter after quarter. Submission to Bing is a simple procedure as well. Head on to https://ssl.bing.com/webmaster/SubmitSitePage.aspx where you will find the following form:
Type your website’s domain, solve the captcha as previously and Bing will crawl your website.
How to Check if the Website is Indexed
To check the status of your website indexing in search engines, go to Google, Yahoo and Bing search pages about 24 hours after the submission, and type:
If your website is successfully submitted, it will appear in the search results together with all the indexed pages. If your website hasn’t too many pages, the number of search results will correspond to the number of the website’s pages. And finally, if your website doesn’t appear in the search results, wait another week and try resubmitting.
Web Directory Submission
In order to get your website greater exposure on the Web, submission to web directories is highly recommended. There are a number of reasons. First, once submitted to a large number of web directories, your website will be indexed by the search engines much faster. Second, your website will benefit from the high page rank and popularity of the directories. Third, sometimes people perform searches only within the web directories, believing that only sites accepted by the web directories have credible content. Finally, some directories can bring high traffic to your site.
Web directories are organized to categories and sub-categories. The submission process usually begins with choosing the most suitable category for your website. It’s extremely important to choose the correct one, since submission to the wrong category would almost certainly result in denial and loss of potential traffic.
You may add your website to a number of categories, but it is strongly recommended to choose one, the most suitable category. There is a very simple SEO trick to help you in that task – search for the keyword you want to target within the directory.
Let’s assume for a moment that you want to target the keyword “SEO Tips”. To find the most suitable category in Yahoo’s directory, go to google.com and search for “SEO tips” within the Yahoo directory, i.e.:
site:dir.yahoo.com "seo tips"
The first search result you’ll get will be the category that you need. Once you found your Yahoo category, you may use it for submitting your website to the remaining directories.
Sometimes, online travel and transportation agencies are interested to target audience from local areas like New York. In this case, the best thing to do will be to submit your website to the New York area category of Yahoo such as:
Directory > Regional > U.S. States > New York > Travel and Transportation
You may use the trick above and search for:
site:dir.yahoo.com "New York" + Travel
Web directory submission is a much more complicated process compared to the search engines submission. There are nearly ten thousands of good directories, and each requires you to fill at least 7 fields in the submission form.
Filling the Directory Submission Forms
The key to a successful submission to web directories is properly filled information about your website. Each web directory usually requires certain information which is unique for that directory, but there are details that are required by all the directories:
- Website URL
- Website Title
- Website Description
- Keyword List
- Your Name
- Your Email
The choise of the website title is extremely important, especially when submitting your website to web directories. To be accepted by a directory, the title must be short and strongly related to your company name or your main keywords. There must also be a connection between the website title and the category you choose. For example, if your website offers automatic submission to web directories, the best category in Yahoo will be:
Directory > Computers and Internet > Internet > World Wide Web > Searching the Web > Search Engines and Directories
If you look at the websites listed in that directory, you’ll see that most of the titles include words like “Directory”, “Online Directory”, “Library” etc.
A website’s description can be longer than the title, but try to make it catchy and to use your main keywords. This is a small but important piece of text where you’re allowed to promote your website to the directory audience.
Directory Submission Tools
As was mentioned earlier, directory submission is generally much more complex than submission to search engines. The process requires a lot of efforts and time looking for good directories, choosing the appropriate categories and filling numerous forms. Be prepared to waste about two months if you want to submit your website to thousands of directories. Moreover, if the submission is not properly done, directory moderators might decline your website and all your efforts will be in vain.
Search engines do add SEO “scores” to your website when it is listed in a large number of web directories. The more relevant backlinks your website has the faster it will be indexed by the robots, and the higher it will be ranked in the SERPs. Unfortunately, your website is not the only one listed in directories, there are numerous other websites that decrease the SEO effect of directory listing. So if you’d rather have some spare time for other off-page SEO activities, you better go for automatic submission.
To perform an automatic directory submission you need a submission tool and a list of directories to submit your website to.
When it comes to automatic submission tools you’re pretty much limited to two prominent options: Directory Power Submitter and Deep Linker Pro. Both cost about the same, work out of the box and will submit your website to PHPLD directories (the most common script used by the directories on the World Wide Web).
However, Directory Power Submitter is long abandoned by the author and doesn’t support the new version of PHPLD. On the other hand, Deep Linker Pro is constantly updated both code and directory-wise. Moreover, the tool allows you to check the submission status in each directory and ask the author for assistance if something goes wrong.
Deep Linker Pro comes preconfigured with a list of 700 up-to-date web directories. However, not all of them are high page rank directories and you better find a bigger list before you start the submission process. On the bright side, we have prepared a list of 1300 high PR web directories ready to be imported into Deep Linker Pro. After all, we’re a nice guys.