I write a lot about website development and how to make your site or blog as search engine friendly as possible. I wanted to share a few search engine site submission secrets I’ve learned over the many years.
Be Prepared – You Never Know When a Search Engine Will Visit
Remember, a search engine’s work is done by sending software called “Robots” or “Spiders” which “crawl” through the Internet looking for sites, either through links or through site, category, or page submissions. Even if you haven’t submitted your site to a search engine, if it has been up for a while, someone might link to it and a robot or spider crawling through their page would find a link to your page and, presto, you are on a search engine. You never know when your site is being scanned or crawled, so always make sure you have your “best face showing”.
The process of preparing your website for definite inclusion by search engines is called Search Engine Optimization, more commonly known as SEO. It’s the process of making your site “search engine friendly”.
Different search engines refresh their database with new information at different rates. Some search engines have several spiders working simultaneously, others occasionally. The web is now so big, it can take three to six months for a spider to crawl through all the pages they do find, or sometimes hit a site several times a week.
You can only control what the search engine spiders find on your site. You can’t control how often or when they pass through. As search engines get more sophisticated, they will process the data faster, but unfortunately people are adding pages to the web at a rate faster than they can keep up. Over 50 million new or changed pages are posted every day.
To help search engines crawl your site, here are some quick tips and things to take into consideration.
- Quality Content: Make sure you have quality content on board written with solid keywords, maximizing the information search engine crawlers can gather about your site and content so you are ready for inclusion in their databases. Without words, search engines have nothing they can add to their databases. Make sure you have plenty of words that match your blog purpose, topic, and keywords.
- Validated Code: Make sure the code on your web pages, the CSS and XHTML tags, validate. Errors in tags and site structure can stop a search engine in its tracks.
- Intrasite Links and Site Navigation: A search engine crawls through your site following a path from one link to another. Make sure your site navigation leads the reader as well as search engines to all your posts and pages by including related and/or highlighted posts, category links, and intrasite links within your posts.
Submit The Whole Site and Then Some
There are several ways to submit your site to search engines, but I want to talk about the method of submitting the whole site and then some.
While most of my posts are about WordPress, I have a category called Web Wise covering web page validation, search engines, Internet, web pages, web page design, search engine submission, and search engine optimization, and so on. Instead of just submitting my entire site, I can submit that specific category to search engines or directories, too. I could even dig through a search engine or directory’s category list and submit my Web Wise category under their categories for web development, validation, search engines, Internet, web page design, etc.
I could also submit just this article to the search engines and directories. Did you know that? Site submissions don’t have to be for the entire site, they can also include single posts. If you submit a single post, make sure that you narrow the category and keywords to specifically match the content of the post, increasing the odds of acceptance as well as proper categorization by the search engine or directory.
If you are having trouble gaining ground with search engines, consider submitting a specific post or article link. Once you get a single page or category in, the odds are that if the search engine or directory has any robots or spiders crawling the web, they will crawl through that one door to find all the rest of your site.
Categories and single posts are not the only method of site submission. Some search engines and directories are now accepting sitemap and feed submissions. Make sure your feed is validated and working right, and then submit the URL of your feeds.
You can do one or all of these techniques to get your site submitted to search engines, or you could just run your site or blog with WordPress. WordPress comes ready, out of the box, with a feature known as pings. Pings send a “note” out to search engines and directories like Technorati which inform them of a post being published on your blog. By simply using WordPress, search engines are notified that your blog exists and they’ll send a search engine crawler to prowl through your blog and gather information for their databases. You might not see your blog listed immediately, but it usually is listed within a week or so with no additional effort by you.
Track Site Submissions and Don’t Do Too Much
If you choose to submit your site or blog to search engines and directories manually, make a list and keep track of all the search engines and directories to which you submit your site. List the search engines and the date of submission, if it was submitted manually or through site submission software or services, and the URL of the submission. If you are submitting specific pages, make a note of which page you have submitted.
As you submit your site, you will encounter the rules and regulations of each search engine or directory. Check the fine print to find out how often they permit site submissions and make a note in your records. Some search engines, specifically directories, will only allow one submission per category. Other search engines may permit your site and/or pages to be submitted no more than once a month, others no more than once every six months. More frequent submissions could result in a ban. If you are both manually submitting your site and using site submission software or services, keep a list of the search engines they are submitting to as well. This way you can control your submission overloads. schedule your search engine submission dates in your calendar throughout the year so you don’t push the limits.
There are many search engine comparison charts and partnership charts that show you the partnerships between search engines. For example, DMOZ Open Directory Project permits Google, Teoma, Hotbot, Ask Jeeves, AOL Search, Altavista, and Alltheweb access to its directory. Altavista, on the other hand, gets its information from DMOZ and Overture. If you submit to Overture, odds are you will end up on a search on Altavista. If you submit to DMOZ, you could easily turn up on any searches on Google, Teoma, Hotbot, Ask Jeeves, and so on. And watch closely as many of these sites are being purchased by other search engine services and so the dance of the search engines continues. By the time you read this, some of these search engines may be defunct or no longer dealing with each other.
If you submit to Google, and then to DMOZ, and Ask Jeeves all at the same time, your submissions may overlap, catching the eye of the search engine or directory, triggering a site submission overload. Keep an eye on overlapping your submissions to engines that use other engines to ensure your inclusion.
A Secret Tip for Search Engine Submissions
I know this sounds like an info-commercial, but it’s my job to bring you the tips, tricks, and news you need to know about WordPress and your site or blog.
A few years ago I stumbled upon a one-stop site submission service that hits not only the large search engines, but tons of smaller and international search engines and directories. SelfPromotion.com is a resource for do-it-yourself bloggers and website administrators can learn to prepare your pages for the search engines, then use a sophisticated URL submission robot to submit your web pages and site. You’ll also find tutorials about website promotion, submitting to yahoo, and much more. Best of all, you can use the site for FREE — if you like it, pay what you think it’s worth! What do you have to lose?
- Secret Out – How Google Ranks Websites
- What Are Keywords
- Website Development – Keywords Help You Write Your Blog
- Website Development – Listing The Keywords Inside
- Testing Search Engine Page Ranking Techniques
- Do-It-Yourself Search Engine Optimization
- Are You Missing Out By Not Practicing SEO Techniques?
- Website Development – Make a Schedule and Calendar
- Search Engine Overlap and Comparisons – Who Has You Covered
- How Search Engines See, Search, and Visit Your Website
- How People Search the Web and How They Can Find Your Blog
- Good Instructions for Submissions to Search Engines
- Website Development – Search Engine Submission Preparation
- Blog Site Search Engine Submissions
- Submitting Your Sitemap and Feeds to Google Blog Search and Site Submission
- Pinging With Pingers
- Understanding Pings and Blogs