Is Manual (Free) Submission Dead?
It is my professional opinion that if you are going to submit your web site to the various search properties, it is ALWAYS best to submit manually. There are not too many top search engines you can manually submit to anymore but there are
still a few.
The three main crawler based search engines you can still manually submit for free are Google, Yahoo and MSN. There is no way to submit your site to Ask Jeeves which is powered by Teoma, so you have to simply wait until their crawler finds your site on its own. WISEnut used to have a "free add URL" form but after Looksmart acquired them, it was removed, most likely because Looksmart is going to start charging to be included in WISEnut.
Now let me add the following comment regarding the top three search engines - you really do not need to submit your web site to them. They will find your site on their own so long as you get a link or links from other sites that are already in their index. This can include directories, industry related sites that link to you or even your web designer's portfolio. Therefore even though you can still submit to Google, Yahoo and MSN for free, I choose to allow them to find new sites I work with on their own.
The only notable top directory that you can still manually submit to for free is Open Directory of which you have to select the category you want to be included in and then submit through that category's Add URL link. A volunteer editor who is in charge of that category will review your submission. If there is not a volunteer editor in charge of that category, it will be reviewed by an editor higher up in the directory structure.
You can only manually submit to Yahoo Directory for free if you are a non-profit and are able to find a non-commercial category but I would strongly suggested to pay the annual $299 fee so you will actually be guaranteed that someone will review your submission.
You can get listed in the remaining engines and directories as follows:
All The Web, Alta Vista and Overture (non paid results) - These come from Yahoo so submit to Yahoo and you will show up in these engines.
Excite, MetaCrawler and WebCrawler - Metacrawlers that show results from other search engines such as Google and Yahoo as well as PPC results from Yahoo! Search Marketing (Overture).
HotBot - HotBot by default displays Ask Jeeves results and gives the option to search Google as well. So either submit to Google or wait for Ask Jeeves to find your site on their own.
Lycos - Ask Jeeves powered by Teoma. No current way to submit.
AOL, Go.com, iWon, and Netscape - Uses Google results so submit to Google to get listed in these engines.
WISEnut - no current way to submit.
Keep in mind there are also many smaller sites and directories that you can manually submit to that won't necessarily bring you tons of traffic but will help boost your Link Popularity. Some are free while others require nominal submission fees or editing privileges and include AbiLogic, Aesop, Alexa, Entireweb, ExactSeek, Gigablast, Gimpsy, GoGuides.org, IllumiRate, Jayde, JoeAnt, MixCat, National Directory, OnAMission, Quango, Scrub The Web, Skaffe, Sootle, The Search Site, TrueSearch.com, Web-Beacon, WebSavvy, Web World, and WoW. This is not to mention the ongoing task of building your Link Popularity by listing your site in trade related vortals and exchanging links with other non-competing but similar sites to yours.
So manual submission is still a very viable option and necessary to get listed in those general search engine indexes.
Article written by David Wallace (July 2002; updated February 2006)
About the Author:
David Wallace is CEO and founder of SearchRank, an original search engine optimization and marketing firm providing keyword analysis, organic search engine optimization, link popularity enhancement, pay per click management, search engine friendly web design and ongoing campaign maintenance.