Strategic Internet Marketing

Should you submit your website
to search engines?

By Dr Alex
October 06, 2011

How do search engines find your website?

The top 5 search engines are:

1. Google
2. Yahoo
3. MSN
4. AOL
5. Ask

Between them, the top 5 account for well over 90% of all searches, with Google being the undisputed king among the search engines.

How do search engines find your site? Typically by following the links from other sites. For instance, doing a directory submission, an article submission, or another link-generating strategy is bound to get your site listed in all major search engines.

With that in mind, there does not seem to be much point in submitting to any of the major search engines directly. They will find your site whether you want them or not if there are other sites linking to you, and if your website is not mentioned anywhere, the search engines are not likely to give you a good ranking anyway.

Submitting to smaller search engines

Even though smaller search engines collectively account for less than 10% of all searches, you'll find marketers who advocate submitting to them. Without submitting, they say, it may take a long time to get listed - or worse, your site might not ever get listed. For the list of smaller players, click here.

I could not find one shred of evidence to support the case for submitting to any of these search engines. Quite simply, regardless of how many people use them, search engines small and big find your site by following the links from other sites.

Submitting a sitemap

On the other hand, submitting a sitemap to search engines is quite useful. Typically, the sitemap file sits in the root folder of your website: http://www.Mysite.com/sitemap.xml, and allows a search engine to index your site with precision.

The 3 main things sitemaps allow you to do are:

  • Tell the search engine which pages to index

  • Specify the update frequency for each page (monthly/weekly/daily...)

  • Denote the importance of each page relative to your website: 0 being of no importance, 1 being of highest importance, and 0.5 being the medium.

Summary

Submitting your site to search engines is a waste of your time and resources. Submit a sitemap instead.

Also, consider doing a directory submission, an article submission, a blog submission, or other link-building strategies.

What do you prefer:

1. Do-it-yourself. [ Check out advantages and disadvantages. ]

2. Do it with mentoring. [ Check out advantages and disadvantages. ]

3. Have it done. [ Check out advantages and disadvantages. ]

 

The XML-Sitemaps site lets you generate sitemaps for free for websites of less than 500 pages.

All you need to do is upload the sitemap to your site and let the search engine know about it.

 

Doing everything on your own can be daunting and overwhelming - if you prefer step-by-step approach with support every step of the way, consider joining the 12-step online mentoring program: the Underdog Marketing Challenge.

Apart from fast-tracking your business, you uncover a LOT more using the media best-suited to your learning style in a self-paced environment:

  • For a hands-on approach, the Challenge gives you all the know-how, tools and resources you need.

  • If you delegate all of the actual work to others, the Challenge gives you the knowledge of what needs to be done, how and when .

Note that the Challenge uses a totally new PR-based approach to marketing, which is suitable for early takers looking for innovative and rewarding solutions rather than people who are only comfortable with the same-old.
Before signing up, make sure the Challenge it right for you.

Underdog Marketing Challenge

The importance of sitemaps is explained in detail as part of the Challenge. Putting a stand-alone sitemap generator in place is recommended, because it saves you time in the long run and automates the process of generating sitemaps and weeding out the invalid links on your pages.

 

In terms of money, delegating the job to professionals costs a lot more than doing it yourself. In terms of time, however, it is the cheapest option - provided the you know precisely what needs to be done.

If you have you own web developers and graphics artists, or prefer letting companies bid for working with you at Elance or rent-a-coder, we suggest completing the 12-step Underdog Marketing Challenge for the unparalleled understanding of the role of your website, PR, marketing within your overall strategy.

Our team can assist you with installing and configuring the sitemap generator and with other things we're good at - please check our Guide to Services - or advise you where to look for solutions if the job does not fit our field of expertise.