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Search Engine Registration

Q1: What is the best way (free or paid) to get a site registered with the top search engines?

Search engines are one of the best ways to bring people to your site. However, don't spend your money on site registration. It is fairly easy to do yourself, and it gives you a better idea of how your site will appear in those search engines, (see also Question #3 - below). The following references will help you with design and site registration:

Sites and Articles:

Search Engine Watch
Internet Business Pages
Exploit, Submission Wizard Software.
List Digest (#269),
Virtual Promote,


Measuring the Impact of Your Web Site by Robert W. Buchanan, Charles Lukaszewski, Robert W. Buchanan Jr.
Planet Ocean Communications, has a book The Search Engine Wars which provides advice on improving your performance in search engines. For an annual fee you can download the book and you also get regular email updates "The Search Engine Wars Update Newsletter."

Do-It-Yourself registration sites:

Submit It!
Web Step

Service Companies:

Top Site Indexing, We do not guarantee results but had some real successes.
WebPromote, Their product, Web Promote Prominence, brings your site to the top of a search engine query result. Cost is based on each click through.

Q2: What are the top search engines for registration?

You really only need to register with the top 5-8 search engines. They are easy and take just a few minutes to register. The rest of the search engines are probably not worth your time. Besides, the lesser-known ones will be searching the top sites for their listings and copying them.

List of the top search engines:

Web Step Top 100

Here are the unofficial top 5:


Q3: How can I index my site for search engines?

Here are a number of ways to get your site ranked high enough in search engines that it's listed at or near the top of a search results page:


All search engines use the location of keywords and frequency of keywords in a Web page as the basis for ranking queries. Thus, keywords will certainly make of break your listing. To develop your keywords, try to imagine how you would describe your company or product to an uninformed audience. Then use these keywords in your content and throughout your design.

A. Location: Search engines will check to see if keywords appear near the top of a Web page, either in the title or in the first few paragraphs. Pages with keywords appearing in the title area are assumed to be more relevant than others to the topic. Search engines assume that any page relevant to the topic will have its keywords positioned at or near the top of the page, so you need to make sure that your keywords appear there.

B. Frequency: Search engines also pay attention to frequency. It will analyze how often keywords appear in relation to other words in a Web page. Those with higher frequency are deemed more relevant than other pages in your site. But remember, no spamming! All of the major search engines will penalize you for repeating keywords in a tiny font or in the same color as the background color to make the text invisible to browsers.

If you have the money, you can also get your site listed in the top site in your category or buy the key search words. However, the price is quite high, sometimes over $100,000 per year to get placement with an AOL, Netscape, or Yahoo.

Meta Tags

Many Web designers mistakenly assume these are the secret to making sure their Web pages make it to the top of the rankings. However, not all search engines necessarily pay full attention to meta tags. In fact, Excite, Lycos, and Open Text do not at all. Note that there are plenty of cases in which pages without meta tags still get ranked highly.

To know more about META tags, see, or search for "meta" in any major search engine.

Submitting Your Site

Some search engines will allow you to submit your site as a Regional Site or as a Metro Site. Yahoo allows both and the response time is much quicker. (i.e. Yahoo ! Washington, D.C.).

Build relationships at the Search Engines

You may want to build relationships with content producers at the major search engines. Call and find out the content producer(s) for the areas where you are listed, and try to sell the content producer on the value that your product brings to their search engine. Most of the search engines are ad revenue driven so make sure you sell how your product will attract more eyeballs and generate more advertising revenues for them. They may give you better placement. They need your content as much as you need their distribution.

Placement Beyond Search Engines

Register or exchange links with other smaller, more focused sites. You can buy the PC Meter Report which does a good job quantifying the sites which might have traffic to fit your constituency. The little deals quickly add up to big deals sooner than you expect.

[Hans Tallis@ERS_TYSONS, David P. Thomasson,, Harold Goldstein -, Sanjay V. Patel,, Leon Harris,; Harold Kraft,; Susan DeFife,; Maurice Boissiere,; Betsy Cragon,, Michael Crouse,; Joe Rothstein, Isis Interactive; Sean Greene,; Neil Edwards,, Ross A. Finlayson,]


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