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Search Engine Submissions - Way Back Wednesday #4

Adrian Bredeson
by Adrian Bredeson on Jul 6, 2011 3:18:00 PM

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Submitting to Search Engines Makes You Think You are Doing Something Effective When You Are Not

Some Webmasters, SEO "pros" or Web Developers still claim that they can boost a Website's search visibility by submitting it to search engines. While they have lofty claims previous successes, this is an outdated SEO process. Thanks to changing technologies, submitting the pages of your Website to a search engine is a wasted effort. Search engines like Google and Bing utilize crawlers to index Websites by following links from other Websites into your Website. This makes attracting links to your Website vital, without them you won't get search visibility.

SEO firms and web developers (like this service) who claim this tactic will boost your search visibility are offering a false sense of security with services that are no longer necessary or effective.

While this process is no longer necessary, it did at one time have an effect on search visibility. Search engines like Fast/AllTheWeb and Alta Vista required us to submit each page of a Website through online forms in order to gain search visibility. This process was time consuming. Search engine optimization firms had limitations on how many URLs they could submit a day. They had to keep track of what pages were submitted, and to what search engines. This was a repetitive, monotonous project, with more emphasis placed on submitting to search engines than the user's experience.

As search engines evolved, so too did SEO. With the evolving technologies, this SEO tactic became outdated and ineffective years ago. Many in the SEO field believe that this tactic became obsolete in 2004. Submitting every page of a Website to the search engines is no longer critical to gaining search visibility. Any SEO firm that tells you it still is, is wrong. Search engine spiders now find and index the pages of a Website all on their own by following links from around the Web. Links pointing to your Website are followed, and your site will be crawled as far as the spiders or bots are allowed. Search friendly architecture and well optimized navigation set ups are vital. Current technology makes the need to manually submit each page of your Website to a search engine obsolete.

There are many other ways to maintain and gain search visibility. The manual submission of each page of the site is not one of them anymore. SEO firms that still rely on search engines submissions may claim that you will get indexed faster or that you will reach a larger audience if you utilize their services. Don't be fooled.

Search engines are constantly improving. The technology utilized to determine top search results are based on quality content, search friendly architecture and relevancy. Submitting your Website to search engines using the programs and services offered by these so called "SEO Experts" can be detrimental to your search visibility, as submitting it too many times can be seen as spam. The practice violates some search engine's terms of service and can even get a Website banned.

As this was once a valid form of Search Engine Optimization, there are exceptions to the claim that search engine submission is archaic.

  • New Websites with new domains may get submitted when there are no other inbound links to the site leading search engines there in the first place.
  • New pages on a Website that are not well linked can be submitted, though search engines would eventually find them on their own.
  • Sitemaps can be submitted to search engines, in order to provide search engines with a list of all of the pages on a site, in one easy to read page.

The Home Page of a Website that has undergone extensive revisions can be submitted to ensure that search engines are aware of the changes. Unlike the outdated search engine submission practice though, only the Home Page needs to be submitted. Search engines can do the rest.

What are your experiences with search engine submissions? Is it a practice you used to use? When did you stop using it? Have you been pitched by SEO firms boasting these services? We'd love to hear about your experiences! Follow the @EPowerMarketing Twitter account and use the #WayBackSEM hashtag to get in on the discussion!

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Adrian Bredeson
Written by Adrian Bredeson
As Director, SEO and Social Media at E-Power Marketing, Adrian is primarily focused on the organic success of client programs through SEO, social media and content marketing. Adrian also heads up the agency's marketing initiatives. With a background in psychology and PR, her passion for telling a brand's story by understanding and engaging with their target audiences has been put to good use at E-Power!

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