You've probably seen a lot of special promotional offers to submit your site to hundreds or even thousands of free search engines. A common mistake on the Web is perceiving that "more is better," and that submitting to thousands of "engines" will attract a lot of traffic to your site.
In fact, the majority of those so called "free search engines" are not engines at all. Instead, they are simply a list of links to the last fifty or so URLs that were submitted to the service. Nobody ever uses these lists to find anything because they are just random lists of websites, generally with no organization.
The primary purpose of these FFA (Free For All) sites is to collect email addresses from people like you so they can send you junk mail. The realistic outcome of those "free search engines" is not more traffic to your website, but to your email box. Your address will be disbursed to hundreds of hungry bulk email companies and this is probably not what you want.
In addition, having your site listed on FFA pages doesn't improve your link popularity. Most FFA pages can contain only the last 50 to 100 links. Older submissions get pushed off the list as new ones come in.
Since thousands of people use the same service, you'll often get bumped off an FFA page within hours of your submission. This doesn't give the real free search engines much of a chance to find your FFA link, particularly when they often take weeks just to index a page after it's been submitted.
The reality is that only the top search engines and directories are going to bring you any traffic...
Collection of all the free search engines and directories that account for about 95%
of your traffic:
(The term "Free Search Engines and Directories" is used in contrary to Pay Per Click Search Engines. In fact, some of them offer paid inclusion services, but you have a chance to get listed for free - see comments below)
A SE that displays results from Yahoo! and Open Directory.
- AOL Search
A SE that displays results from Google and Open Directory.
- Bing (formerly MSN Search)
A popular SE from Microsoft.
The most popular SE. Google makes heavy use of link popularity as a primary way to rank websites.
A SE that displays results from Yahoo!, LookSmart and Open Directory.
A directory that uses paid inclusion program based on a pay per click model.
- Open Directory
Not very popular directory for finding information. Instead, its importance lies in the fact that it provides the results for search engines. Google also gives a lot of emphasis on sites being listed in the Open Directory.
A popular and powerful search engine.
- Yahoo! Directory
A popular directory that uses paid inclusion.
By analyzing the above list, you can discover...
Collection of all the free search engines and directories that you should submit your site to:
Free search engines - links to the "Add URL" pages...
Directories - links to the "How to Submit" pages, since there is no direct way to submit your site to directories...
- Open Directory
- LookSmart (paid inclusion)
You may try to get into LookSmart for free through Zeal, the noncommercial component of the LookSmart Network.
- Yahoo! Directory (paid inclusion)
See Tools: Free Website Submission for a free tool that will help you easily submit your site to the above free search engines and directories.
- Search Engines:
- Search Engine Submissions
- Collection of Free Search Engines
- Website Link Popularity
- Web Directories
- PPC Advertising
- Optin Email List
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