Over the years, I ‘ve received a lot of keyword traffic on this topic. You’d think searches would have dropped off, given that it is now 2007, and I assumed it was common knowledge that submitting to search engines is redundant.
I was wrong.
People still want to know how they can submit their site to search engines.
The answer is, of course, don’t bother.
It hasn’t been necessary for some time. The reason is that search engines find new pages by following links. So, in order to be included in a search engine index, you need to get a link from a page that already appears in a search engine index. Ask a friend or associate to link to you, post to a forum or blog (nicely), issue a press release, or submit your site to a directory.
Ensure the link is crawlable. Most links are, but search engines sometimes have problems following scripted links, or links that require the browser to execute a function. Here’s a good, basic overview on how search engines work.
How do you check to see if your site appears in a search engine index? Query your domain. For example, in Google type: site:www.yourdomain.com. Google will show you which pages, if any, are currently indexed. Also watch for spider activity in your logs. You may see spider names such as Googlebot, or Slurp, indicating these spiders have visited and crawled you pages.
If you have links to your site, and you still don’t appear in the search engine indexes, then there may be problems with your site. Sign up at Google Webmaster Central to help diagnose these problems. Some good background reading on crawlability problems can be found here. Chances are if Google can find you, then Yahoo, MSN, Ask and others will find you, too.
Keep in mind that your site won’t appear within days, although sometimes it might. If things aren’t happening after a few weeks, use the steps described above.