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© 2003 Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D.

Last month we discussed optimizing your Web site with a small set of keyword phrases in mind. This month we discuss the next step, submitting the site URL to the search engines.

Let’s start with the #1 rule:

Do not pay anyone to submit your site to 50,000 search engines, or 100,000 search engines or 350,000 search engines!

Why? Because those people have site-submission software, and they can truly submit your site to 200,000 sites. However, those sites are not true search engines. They list your submitted site for 4-24 hours, then drop your site. But, they hold on to your e-mail address, and they sell that address to spammers. So if you pay someone to submit your site to a huge number of so-called search engines, you are esentially paying them to sell your e-mail address to spammers. Don’t do it!

How Many Real Search Engines Do People Use?

Over 95% of the people who search on the Web use the top eight search engines:

  • Google
  • Yahoo
  • MSN
  • AltaVista
  • Lycos
  • Open Directory Project
  • LookSmart
  • AskJeeves

Even if you are using the search engine at AOL, Earthlink, HotBot, or ATT, you are actually using one of the top eight search engines.

It’s possible to submit directly to most of the top eight search engines for free, but then you will wait months to actually see your listing appear. The most sensible way to submit your site is to submit to the three top paid-inclusion databases. These databases collect a relatively small fee for including each page you submit, and the databases then supply your listing to the search engines.

Most of the top search engines receive their listing information from the paid inclusion databases. All of the search engines share listing data with one or more of the other search engines, so you get a lot of bang for your buck when you submit your site pages to the paid inclusion databases.

The Paid-Inclusion Databases

After you have optimized your site, you can get your site quickly listed in major search engines by submitting your site to the paid inclusion databases. The top three paid inclusion databases are:

  • Inktomi
  • Fast/Lycos
  • Teoma/Ask Jeeves.

Submitting one page to these databases is inexpensive, from $16 to $39 per page. These paid inclusion submissions usually result in inclusion in the database within 48 hours. As soon as your Web site has been included in these databases, the major search engines will begin including your listing at their next updates. This is a wonderful step forward, because we can now see our Web site listings in search engines within a few days of paid inclusion submission. This speediness contrasts sharply with the earlier situation where we waited up to six months to see our listings slowly appear in a search engine.

How to Select Pages for Submission to the Paid-inclusion Databases

You’ll remember that last month’s article mentioned that your Web site should have one page dedicated to each of your keyword phrases. Here’s where we start to utilize that preparation.

Given that we are paying for each page submitted, we do not necessarily submit the first page of the Web site or every page. Rather, we submit each of the pages dedicated to, and optimized for, the keyword phrases. This process guarantees that our most important pages are included in the databases feeding the search engines.

Where to Submit Pages to the Paid-inclusion Databases

Go to You can open one account to be used for all three databases. It’s fast and easy. Just give the exact URL of the page to be submitted and select all three databases. Within 48 hours, you will start to see your Web site listing in the top search engines. Now that’s worth a small fee!

 –Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D. is a professional Web Designer and Online Marketing Consultant who publishes both in print and online. Contact her at or visit her Web site at



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