Top Ten Search Engines and Directories

The majority of people turn to the top ten search engines and directories to find what they are looking for on the internet. Traffic from these sources is important, so this is the first place to start promoting your site.

Before you submit

Before you start submitting your site to the top ten search engines and directories, you need to make sure that you are ready. Below are some steps to take before you ever submit.

  1. Make sure that your site is 100% functional. You should have no broken links, missing images, or misspelled words.
  2. Because search engine spiders crawl links, you want to make sure that your main sections are linked to from your home page. It is also a good idea to have all of your pages accessible within 3 clicks.
  3. To prepare for submission, write a brief description of your site, being as precise as possible. Your description should include the most important keywords for your site and should be written so that searchers seeing your listing will want to visit your website.
  4. Write three separate descriptions so that you can comply with the restrictions of the different search engines. It is handy to have a 25 word, 50 word, and 200 word description of your site on hand.
  5. Write these descriptions in your word processing program so that you can use the spell check feature. This also allows you to save the descriptions so that you don't have to retype them for each submission. Having these saved descriptions will also come in handy when you exchange links with other site.

How to submit

Don't rely on submission services to handle such an important aspect of your website promotion. You want to hand-submit your site to the top ten search engines and directories yourself.

To begin the the process, choose the search engine or directory that you are interested in, go to their submission page, and read their guidelines. Most will require that you locate and submit to the most appropriate category for your site.

Take your time, submit to the right category, and include a good description of your website. It is a wise idea to only submit your home page. If you have set up your home page correctly, the search engine will then be able to index your whole site.

Submitting to the top ten search engines and directories

Don't be surprised if not all of the search engines and directories offer a submission form. This is okay because the major search engines will find your site by following links to your site from other sites. You can use the following search engine list to help you get started.

The search engines and directories listed below are ranked according to their importance in getting listed, not necessarily how much traffic they will bring in. Some are free search engines, and some require paying to get listed.

    The best way to make sure that Google knows about your website is is to submit your sitemap through the Webmaster Tools section of Google. Google also finds new websites by following links on sites that are already indexed. If you want to increase your chances of being indexed by google, a link from the Open Directory is especially beneficial, as well as those from other quality websites or directories linking to your site. 
  2. Bing
    One of the best ways to ensure that Bing can find your website is to include valuable content that other sites will want to link to. It's a good idea to set up an Bing Webmasters Tools account so that you can submit your sitemap to be indexed.
    This is an important search engine to be listed in because many people use Yahoo as their homepage. Building links from other websites is the best way to get listed for free. You can also use their free URL submission format
    The nice thing about DuckDuckGo is that all the listings are presented on one page. This way searchers don't have to keep clicking the "next" button. There is also a refreshing absence of ads, so the results are less cluttered. And search history isn't tracked, so results aren't based on your past search history. I have a feeling that this search engine will gain a lot of traction over time thanks to their focus on searchers needs.
  5. doesn't have a free submission form, but rather uses the results from Toema indexes website by using spiders to trace links from other sites. Therefore it is important to build incoming links, especially from the Open Directory.
  6. The Open Directory ( is a directory built by human editors. While you won't get a lot of traffic directly from, it is very important to get listed in their database because many search engines use Open Directory data to spider new websites.
  7. AOL
    AOL is used by millions of AOL subscribers. AOL uses the results from Google, so obtaining a listing at Google is important. You are also automatically submitted to AOL's directory when you are indexed by the Open Directory.
  8. Yippy
    Yippy is another search providers that protects the visitors privacy by not tracking visitors usage. Their results are a combination of results from other major search engines, making it similar to a metasearch for users. They also have the option to break the results into different "cloud" to narrow down the search, while still allowing the searcher to access the other options from the left-hand navigation.
    This is a cool search engine that aggregates the results from the major search engines. As a result, search results tend to offer a more complete view of what's available. To be found on the DogPile search engine, you'll need to appear in one of the other major engines.
  10. Social Media
    With the increase of social interaction on the web, you can't ignore such sites as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and the others. Getting found on these types of platforms often requires an account and regular postings to keep visible. As the web evolves, social media is now being incorporated into (an influences) many of the major search engine results. 

After you submit

Once you submit your website for inclusion in the top ten search engines and directories, it will be placed on a list for their editors or robots to review, so be patient. The search engines can take from 4 to 8 weeks to index a site. If your website doesn't show up after 4-8 weeks, you may need to resubmit your site for review.

It is important to realize that even though your site may not appear in the first few pages of search results, that does not mean it hasn't been indexed. Before your resubmit your website, you need to check to see whether it has been indexed already.

As you have probably discovered, getting your website listed in the Open Directory is important to your success in being listed in many of the major search engines. In our next lesson, we will discuss submitting your site to the Open Directory.

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Next: Submitting to the Open Directory

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