So you've registered your domain and your website is up and running online. And, next thing you know you get an email telling you you need to sign up for something called search engine submission. For $xx.xx a month they'll submit your site to 200 (or 300 or 600 - the number varies) search engines and that this is the only way you'll get listed. And, here's the kicker, to remain listed you should pay them every month otherwise you may drop off of the search engine listings completely.
Great! sign me up! Right? Wrong, while this may not technically be illegal, my personal opinion is that it's a pretty shady practice targeting new and usually un-web-savvy website owners by selling them a service which is of little actual value.
First off, think about it. How many search engines can you name? Because, I've been doing this for almost 10 years and I can only think of about 4 that really matter (Google, Bing, Yahoo, and if you're in Asia, Baidu). These are the ones you want to target. Sure there are a few others (Ask, AOL, etc) but many of them get their data from the first 3. And still others were hot once (AltaVista, for example, which now redirects to Yahoo) but have all but disappeared. In addition to that, Yahoo and Bing are actually linked to one another. So what are the hundreds of search engines they are referring to?
Second, The idea that you need to pay a monthly fee to be listed is silly. Google, et al don't charge a fee to list you. And, they don't magically forget about you if you don't keep submitting to them. In fact they don't want you to keep submitting your site to them. Once they already know your site is there, they will "crawl" it regularly to check for updates. Resubmitting your website just ties up their servers and wastes their time.
So what should a website owner do? Often, links in from other websites will cause the Search Engines to follow them and they'll discover your site on their own. But if your site is brand new you probably haven't developed those links yet. You can submit a brand new site to Google and Bing - but there is no reason to pay a monthly fee to someone to do this for you. Here at Art Studios Online, we submit every new site we build. If you are using another webhost, ask if this is something they do for you. If not, you can simply submit your site yourself by using these links: