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The Truth About Search Engine Submission Services

Since I offer a site analysis and search engine submission service you might expect this article is an attempt to sell you that service. Not so ... in fact, this may seem like I'm trying to talk you of buying the service from me!

You see, I'd rather not sell you something than to sell you something and have you be disappointed. The purpose of this article is to give you a realistic idea of the kind of results you can expect from a submission service—whether you buy the service here or from another company.

Don't get me wrong, the submission service can definitely help, but it's not a miracle and it's not instant web popularity. You still need to optimize your website and build links to it.

Getting your site indexed is also something you could easily do yourself.

How a Submission Service Works

Many search engine submission services only submit sites using submission software. Submission software has it's purpose, but it's ill-advised to use it for submission to the major search engines.

The major search engines are special because the overwhelming majority of your search engine derived traffic will come from the top 4 or 5 search engines—and most of that will come from Google. Submitting to them must be done manually because most reject automated submissions.

I do use software to submit web sites to the minor search engines, niche search engines, and minor directories—but I always submit sites to the major search engines manually.

Services that offer to submit your site to a large numbers of search engines most likely use submission software too, but they may not submit your site to the major search engines manually. That's a crucial point.

If you have a couple hundred dollars for the software and are willing to pay the database update fees, and if you know the search engine rules and optimization, you could submit your own site and offer this same service. If not, you might be wise to trust it to someone who does.

Whether you hire me for your search engine submissions or someone else you trust is not the important point. The important point is that you do not get taken in by false promises and dubious practices.

No Guarantees

Search engines and directories used to take several week to several months to include your website in their index.

That's gotten better at the major search engines, but it can still take months at the smaller engines. Also, submitting a site does not guarantee it will be included any more than site optimization attempts guarantee a high ranking.

Below are the things you should be aware of when it comes to search engine submission services.

Artificial Link Popularity

Be vary wary of submission services that recommends link farms and other artificial attempts at creating link popularity. Rather than boost your link popularity, participation in a link farm is more likely to result in your site being penalized or banned.

Regularly Scheduled Resubmissions

Another questionable practice is the offer to resubmit your site on a regular schedule. It's a selling point because it seems like you're getting more for your money. I don't offer that because I believe it's a bad practice. I never do that with my own sites.

If your site is indexed, the search engine spiders come around regularly to check for changes and new content anyway. The more updates you make and the more content you add, the more often they tend to come around. So there just is no need to resubmit on an artificial timetable.

If someone were trying to sell me a resubmission service I would consider it attempted robbery. OK, not really, but you get the point. It's about as useful as lipstick on a fish!

Volume Hype

We'll submit your site to thousands of search engines! Don't be fooled, the shear numbers are nothing but hype. Only a handful of search engines are vital, a few more search engines and directories can be important, and after that the rest will only bring an occasional trickle of traffic.

Enough trickles do add up to a small traffic stream, but it's not like you'll get thousands of visitors instantly. That's what they want you to think, but it just isn't so.

The most valuable part of my submission and analysis service is the site analysis, not the submissions. After all, what good is it to submit your site everywhere if it's not optimized for good placement? Just being in the search engine's databases doesn't do a lot of good if your site is found deeper than searchers travel through the search results.

FFA Pages

Free-for-all link pages make up the vast majority of the numbers when anyone is talking about submitting your site to thousands of search engines. FFA pages used to be a traffic source in the late 90's, now they are of no significance whatsoever.

Automated submission software ensures that FFA pages are swamped with links. You'd be lucky if an FFA link lasts more than a few hours.

They will bring you a lot of spam if you like that, because most FFA page owners offer them so they can email a quick thank you and then launch into a sales pitch for something or other. This is called reverse marketing, and FFA reverse marketing doesn't work very well either, in case you're thinking of trying it. Don't waste your time and money, it's a suckers game.

Guaranteed Placement

Some submission services offer a guaranteed top ranking. Dozens and dozens of them say they can get you a top listing, but there are only ten top listings so a lot of them must be . . . shall we say, overstating their ability. They can't all be right. You may get a top placement temporarily, then disappear when it's discovered spam tactics were used. Search engines may even ban your site.

If your site is penalized or banned you're worse off than when you started. It's hard to get back into the search engine, and even harder to get a good ranking once your site has a strike against it. Think in the long term, and do not participate in illegal techniques or practices.

Guaranteed placement usually means one of three things.

  1. The keywords you get a top placement for are so obscure you'd have gotten them anyway, but they are also so obscure they won't bring you any traffic.
  2. They buy an advertising spot for your site, take a screen capture of your placement, then pull the advertising. If needed, they can produce the screen capture and are legally off the hook unless you have a written agreement that the top results are for organic search results, not paid placement.
  3. They are completely unethical and ignore your refund requests once they have your money.
Sometimes a guaranteed placement is just a way to string you along to keep you making those monthly payments. It you quit, the guarantee is null and void because you didn't give them enough time.

How much time is needed? As long as it takes!

If you do buy into that, make sure:

  • You get it in writing.
  • It's for keywords that receive an adequate volume of searches each month.
  • There's a deadline so they can't string you along forever and then void the guarantee because you tire of the monthly payments.

Are All Submission Services Bad?

I would guess there are many ethical submission services. The good guys will give you realistic expectations and won't make fantastic promises they know they can't keep. They'll submit your site to the major search engines manually, and will warn you about the dubious value of FFA pages, link farms, and other useless and potentially damaging practices.

In Conclusion

I hope you've learned a thing or two, and can appreciate an honest report on search engine submission services. I do recommend you submit your site yourself. I do offer the service, but I don't like doing it because it is tedious. So, to make up for enduring the tedious process, I charge more than it's really worth—but at least I'm honest about it. You can learn more about my site analysis and search engine submission service by following that link.
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