A long time ago, I remember when search engine submission packages were always offered as the ultimate way to promote your website. The usual jargon was something like:
We will sign you up to 1000′s of search engines to ensure that your website is instantly accessible to as many users as possible!
Sound familiar? This is something that I thought had died out long ago, but to my surprise I actually saw a web agency offering this as a service today and it wasn’t cheap! Initially I can understand why this sounds appealing. Being signed up to 1000′s of search engines, something that would take hours of time for your to do yourself and where do you begin? Surely being signed up to 1000 search engines must be great!? Well actually… no.
For starters, consider how you search for a website or service. Which search engine do you use? Google? Yahoo? Bing? Do you use any others? Well most people would only use one of those 3 search engines. Lets take a look at the market share for the search engines as of February 2010:
Search Engine Market Share February 2010
As you can see, Google has an overwhelming market share with 85.78% of the market, Yahoo has 6.16% and Bing has 3.17%. However, these results are global, and so despite what the statistics show I would say that if your Geographic target is the UK, then over 90% of your organic search traffic is likely to come from Google. So if you only signed up to 1 search engine, you could sign up to Google and still do just fine. We actually rank better for our keywords in Yahoo than in Google, but we get a very small percentage of traffic from Yahoo each month.
Signing up to these website is easy too, just add the URL of your website to the search engines and they will add to the list of sites to index. Try them…
But wait… there’s more!
Even if you haven’t added your URL to the search engines, as soon as you start link building or adding your site to directories your website will be discovered by search engine robots such as Googlebot. So your site will automatically become indexed by a large number of search engines anyway.
Other useful search engines
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that you SHOULDN’T sign up to lots of search engines, but if you’re going to pay for a service to help promote your website, your money is better spent on another service such as link building or on page SEO. There may also be some other niche or B2B search engines that could be very useful for your business. Just don’t be fooled into thinking that by paying to be submitted into a 1000 different search engines that you’re going to get a huge increase in traffic!