This site totally sucks when viewed on a smartphone.
I'll fix this Real Soon Now.
Ready-to-use direct links to the Add URL pages of the
top search engines and directories.
Spam, Cookie and Popup free, unlike most "free" services.
Link Update in Progress July 16, 2012
Copyright © 1999, 2005, 2006, 2012 Michael D. Crawford. All Rights Reserved.
I first wrote this page a few years back after I used a site submission service called iNeedHits to submit my site GoingWare Inc.. It seemed like a good idea at the time but I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Besides being difficult and unpleasant to use, iNeedHits barraged me with ads for paid placement services, then sold my email address to adult site operators who have since spammed me mercilessly. I know they did, because I gave iNeedHits a unique email address, one that I never used before or since.
None of the "Search Engine Placement" services live up to their claims. All they really do, when they do any good at all, is send you to the "Add URL" pages of each search engine where you have to submit your link manually. The real purpose of the site submission services is to get you to pay for "Express Placement" services and to capture your email address so it can be sold to spammers.
Search engines are constantly barraged by the automated link submission robots employed by Black Hat SEOs . At first all they could do to defend themselves from SEO spam was to frequently change the locations of their Add URL pages: iNeedHits directed me to some pages that no longer existed.
More effective means have since been developed to defend against the submission bots: Yahoo! Search requires one to register with a password before submitting links, and Google presents a puzzle known as a "Captcha" that is easy for any human to solve but difficult for a computer.
Most captchas are images of text that has been distorted to make machine recognition difficult. One simply types the text into a form field before submitting one's link:
Today I checked and updated all the links for the first time in a couple years. All the site submission links had changed since I last checked, so I'm afraid this page had been quite useless for quite some time. I realize now that I must check each link regularly to make sure it still works.
I am sorry that it is my most solemn duty to report that many of the search engines I once listed have since disappeared or pass the search on to Yahoo! Search, Bing or Google. There are a few independent search engines still in business. I will list more as I research them in the coming weeks.
Besides manual submission, the best way to get your site indexed by the search engines is for links to your pages to appear on the pages of other sites that already get crawled. In some cases, that is the only way, as some search engines don't accept submissions.
But Note! A link that includes the
will not be crawled by spiders:
Ensure your entire site can be crawled. Pages that require cookies, passwords or session keys won't be indexed. Check that each page on your site can be reached by clicking links starting with your homepage.
Kuro5hin's osm gave me no end of grief for posting incomplete, incorrect markup on The Cold and Hungry's website, claiming that I had pushed broken code into production, something that I don't so much complain about endlessly as take my colleagues to task for doing with their own products, and which has led me to resign in fiery storms of protest from several good jobs.
Argue both for osm's position, as well as my own, that I did not in fact push broken code into production, but that posting incomplete rough drafts of HTML pages is in fact the right thing to do. You'll have some trouble finding my argument for doing so, but to be found somewhere on The Series of Tubes is a post I made a while back, in which I argued that doing just that is not only a good idea, but in fact the right thing to do.
I'm not asking you whether you agree with me or with osm. I'm asking you to adopt both his position as well as mine, and argue for as well as against both positions.
Please post your solutions to Homework Problem Number One in The Ghetto.
The Dot-com Crash and the wave of consolidations that resulted decimated the search industry. Many sites that once performed their own searches now have Google or Yahoo provide them via a backend. There are still a few independent players in the business. Now that I've updated my old links, I'll be researching the new search engines in the coming weeks and adding them here as I find them.
Open the submission links in a new window or tab by right-clicking on Windows or Linux, or control-clicking on a Macintosh. Close it after submitting your link to quickly return to this page.
|Submit URL||Webmaster Tools||Search Engine||Comments|
|Submit||Webmaster Tools||I recommend providing a Google Sitemap for your site.|
|Submit||Webmaster Tools||Bing||Bing provides a link to its submission page when a search turns up no results. Formerly MSN search.|
|See Bing||Yahoo! Search||Yahoo! was once a preeminent search engine, but lost market share due to its spammy search results. It has since outsourced its search to Microsoft with the Yahoo! Microsoft Search Alliance. Sadly, Yahoo! Site Explorer , once an incredibly useful tool for every webmaster, is no more. Use Bing Webmaster Tools instead.|
|Submit||TowerSearch||Requires free registration, manual approval|
|See Bing||AltaVista Text-Only Search||Formerly RagingSearch. Works great in console text browsers like Lynx and I imagine audio browsers for the visually impaired.|
|See Bing||Go||Owned by Disney but search provided by Yahoo! Search.|
|See Google and Bing||My Way||Allows user to select search provider|
|See Google and Bing||HotBot||Allows user to select search provider. Owned by Lycos|
|See Google and Bing||WebCrawler||Searches multiple engines. Don't waste your money with their "guaranteed inclusion".|
Don't pay for inclusion in search engine listings!
I don't mean you shouldn't pay to advertise your site, but don't waste your time with a site that presents your ad as an actual search result. The reason is that users quickly discover such listings yield sites with poor relevancy and so stop trusting the search engine's results.
AltaVista was a great search engine until it went to the Dark Side by offerring innocuous-looking positioning in search results. I knew AltaVista was heading down when I started seeing links to adult sites showing up in queries for technical topics.
Now, search engines need advertising to pay the bills, and commercial sites need a place to advertise. Google succeeded where AltaVista failed because it publishes AdWords Select ads alongside search results, presented in a way that makes it apparent to the user that they are ads. When someone clicks an AdWords ad, they know they are responding to an advertisement, and don't feel tricked by the result.
While advertisements published with search listings are an effective marketing tool, I don't recommend advertising with a search engine or directory that accepts only sponsored listings. Again the reason is that the relevancy of the listings to the user is usually very poor.
The best advertising value is targeted traffic: people who want what you have to offer. Legitimate search engines can deliver targeted traffic because users know they can find what they want by searching there. Picking up the odd click here and there from people who stumbled across a search box at a domain parking page is not going to put bread on your table. Don't give your money to businesses that advertise by popups or popunders. Getting a click by pissing somebody off isn't going to feed your hungry child either.
If you're unsure whether to pay particular search engine for advertising, try searching for a very specific, non-commercial query such as the name of the high school you attended. If you don't find legitimate, noncommercial pages in the results, or if you can't easily distinguish the ads just by looking at them, take your business elsewhere.
|Submit URL||Webmaster Tools||Search Engine||Comments|
|Yahoo! Search Marketing||AlltheWeb||Acquired by Yahoo!|
|Don't.||Galaxy||The Internet's First Searchable Directory has survived acquisition upon acquisition through popup advertising.|
|No.||PageSeeker||I will give them credit for greatly improving a site that used to commit most of the Top Ten Mistakes in Web Design|
|WARNING!||SearchKing||This used to be a good site, it really did: I recommended it in my last revision to this page. But now it is a Black Hat SEO that offers such "link popularity" schemes as guestbook and blog comment link spam. Google's Information for Webmasters explains how unethical seo can get your site removed from the search engines|
|Sponsored Listings||Starware Search||Web interface to the search engine used by the StarWare browser toolbar, a product of Comet Systems. They're good people: they hired me back in '98 to code the core technology of the Classic Mac OS version of Comet Cursor and were some of the best clients I ever had.|
Some search engines have either been unable to deal with the onslaught of the search engine submission spammers, or lost market share because the paid submissions they used to accept rendered their search results largely irrelevant and useless to the public. These sites no longer accept site submissions for any price; instead they index the web "organically" - by following links from page to page throughout the web. Their spiders can only find your site if they find your link on a site they already know about, as I explained in Get Crawled above.
|Not Anymore!||Ask Jeeves|
|See Teoma||Direct Hit||Acquired by Teoma|
|See Ask Jeeves||Excite||Acquired by Ask Jeeves|
|Guess Again||Northern Light||No longer a general-purpose search engine. Specialties include business research and intranet search.|
|See Ask Jeeves||Teoma||Acquired by Ask Jeeves in 2001|
|Maybe Later||Zerx||Patented search engine algorithm is still in development|
Human-edited web directories are the best way for users to find quality information online, not just because they are organized in a sensible way but because their editors inspect submissions for quality before including them. It is definitely worth your while to submit your site to directories, but with certain exceptions, only to directories that offer free listings.
The exceptions are industry-specific business directories such as the Software Contractors Guild that don't require one to pay by the click or impression. When you browse a business directory like the Yellow Pages in your phone book, you know you're looking at ads.
Heirarchical directories such as The Open Directory Project require one to submit to a specific category page in the index. Invest some time into finding the right spot for your link, and be specific or else your submission is likely to be rejected.
Many, many resource directories can be found on the web. I only list a few here but will be adding more in the coming weeks as I research them.
|Submit||The Open Directory Project||General interest. The listings are syndicated to many other sites.|
|Register||code4u.com - your code for sourcecode||"A huge collection of links to high quality programming websites, a lot of book reviews for developers, tutorials and sourcecode, a forum and more."|
|Submit||The Programming Pages||If you Vote for GoingWare at The Programming Pages you will encourage more people to read my articles. :-) (GoingWare Inc. was myprevious company; I'm working at moving all of its articles over to this site.)|
|OK for Brick & Mortars||go2: the #1 Yellow Pages on Your Mobile Phone|
|Subscribe||Software Contractor's Guild||"An organization of Software Contractors and Consultants worldwide."|
|Subscribe||Find a Computer Consultant||RealRates.com's Janet Ruhl wrote some great books on computer consulting.|
Search engines were hit hard by the dot-com crash. In some cases they simply disappeared, in other cases they survived by changing their business models to something more profitable than search.
Here are the sites I originally listed that are now gone, as well as some sites that have resurfaced under a different name. There are no links because, well, there's no sites to link to anymore. I don't list links to the "What You Need, When You Need It" pages presented by the Domain Speculators who bought up the doomed domains.
|See FindSame||Digital Integrity Search||Similarity search repurposed to product comparison shopping|
|See Galaxy||First Search||Acquired by Logika Corporation|
|You've Been Selected to Take Our Survey!||JDGO||This makes me really sad. JDGO once had a simple, clean interface for search and submission both - the way a search engine should be. I guess they could not compete against the bigger players, because they sold their domain to a spammer.|
|Just Some Guy||iAtlas||"We are currently not offering public information about our firm."|
|See My Way and go2||GoTo|
|See JDGO||NetArtic||Domain for sale. Guess they shouldn't have used the <blink> tag.|
|Domain for Sale||FindSame||I guess product comparisons for online shopping didn't work out.|
|Front Page||SimpleSearch||Nothing left but a placeholder page at some hosting service.|
|Seen Better Days||TopClick||Once a cookieless interface to Google, at the time my search engine of choice.|
|Got a Better Job||WebTop||No longer in the search business, changed its name to apr smartlogik|
|Moved to Tulsa||WebZone|