Submitting Your Site to Search Engines
by Marshall Turner
So you are ready to submit your site to search engines? Let's review a few things to make sure.
1. Plan to have your site ready to submit at least three months ahead of when you need to be listed in search engines. That right, three months is needed to make sure your site is listed! The earlier you get your site up, the better.
2. Have you finished adding all the content to the site? Go over it one more time, and make sure the copy is marketing oriented. Don't write like you write your books, write like you are advertising and marketing.
Keep it short and to the point.
3. Visit your website. Make sure it can be found on the internet.
Key words: If you are using the WebforAuthors system to create your website, the system automatically adds your name and book titles as key words. If you are doing this on your own, add your name and book titles as key words. (Note: key words on a web page are invisible to someone visiting your site but are used by search engines.)
Ok, you've got that done. Now what?
The Skinny on Search Engines
Don't worry about submitting to hundreds of search engines. The simple truth is three search engines have over 81% of the search market. For January 2006, Nielsen/NetRatings Inc. reports for the U.S. search market that Google is first with 48.2%, Yahoo second with 22.2% and MSN third with 11%. What is even more interesting is that these three supply search results to many of the other search engines!
The best way to get listed in all the search engines is to have other sites link to your site. Search engines 'bots' follow links from other sites that are being indexed and will find your site without you submitting the site. However, on a new site with few inbound links, you should go ahead and submit.
Our advice is submit to the top three. If you want to submit to some of the others, fine. Go to the site and look for a "submit" link on the home page or in their webmaster section. But don't worry about submitting to every search engines in existence.
You can find systems on the internet who will mass submit your site to many search engines and most charge a fee. Actually, the best way is to manually submit yourself at the links below for free.
Yahoo:http://search.yahoo.com/info/submit.html (click "Submit Your Site for Free" link)
What to Do Next
Your marketing efforts will bring people to your site. Don't expect people to stumble on you blindly. Most searches are directed, people are looking for something specific. The search engines will help only if people know your name or book title to search on.
Include your website address in all of your communications, promotions and marketing collateral. Include it as a signature on your email. Make sure that reviewers and others writing about you have it.
Make an effort to build inbound links. These are links on other website that link to your website. Contact other websites who have an interest in your work and ask that they link to your site. Search engines love sites with more links pointing to them. And links from higher ranking site are more valuable (typically higher rank is synonymous with higher traffic, greater content, more inbound links). But don't go out and pay money to be listed in a "link farm" - search engines consider this spamming and may penalize you.
If you are using the WebforAuthors system to create your website, our system automatically creates a link to you when you turn your site on. Plus we automatically add a second link if you have a mailing list.