Last week, I suggested online search resources can be split into five groups:
- Major search engines (AltaVista, Excite, Google, HotBot, Go, and Northern Light)
- Major directories (Yahoo, Open Directory, LookSmart, Snap, and the “Go Guide” section of Go)
- Specialized search engines that index pages with just certain types of content
- Specialized directories that list pages with just certain types of content
- Newsletters, discussion lists, and newsgroups where it might be appropriate for you to submit an announcement about your site
This week, we’re going to talk specifically about how to find places to register your site and how to organize the information to make executing the actual work of filling out the forms easier.
Here’s How to Start
Like I said last week, most people think that a submission campaign is just about registering your main URL. A submission campaign is about registering all the content in your site that can stand on its own. So the first step is to take a hard look at your site and identify the pieces of content that could stand on their own.
Once you’ve done that, create a “profile” for each of the sections of your site you plan to register, like so:
Title of the Site:
URL of the Site:
Use the above information to cut and paste the appropriate data into the search engine and directory registration forms. You will just use pieces of the above, depending on what the form asks for.
Most of the fields are self-explanatory, but a few require a special explanation.
Contact Email: Don’t use a personal email address. Instead, use a generic one for the company. Sometimes in order to update your listings, you need the email address given on the original submission. If it’s the email address of a person who no longer works for the company, you’re in for a lot of headaches.
10-, 20-, 50-Word Descriptions: Remember last week when I described the difference between a search engine and a directory? When you submit your information to a directory, you give the directory the description and keywords the directory should use to describe your site. And that is what’s searched when someone uses the directory. If you don’t put the keywords and description you want to be found under here, no amount of tweaking your meta tags is going to change it.
User Name and Password: Lots of directories require a user name and password to change listings. It is good to pick a pair to use and make note of them here.
The Elbow Grease
Now that we have profiles of each part of the site we want to register, it’s time to actually FIND the places in which to register. Here’s a list of sites to find subject-specific engines and directories:
- Search Engine Watch’s Search Links
Email Newsletters, Discussion Lists, and Newsgroups
Use the sites below to find newsletters, discussion lists, and newsgroups that might be interested in running an announcement of your site. Also, these are places to register your site newsletter.
The Special Case of About.com
About.com is a set of sites about particular subjects maintained by actual, accessible humans. It is what Yahoo was until it started pitching branded credit cards and free email.
What is great about About.com is that you can generally reach its editors. And a lot of people use About.com to find things. If you go to http://a-zlist.about.com/index.htm, you’ll get a complete list of all the subjects About.com covers. To contact the section editor (called the about.com guide), look in the upper-right-hand corner of the section’s main page. That’s where the guide’s email address is.
What Results Should You Expect?
The basic strategy here is to get the link to your site out there far and wide. Individually, each site probably won’t send you many people. Collectively, they can send you a lot.
Type at you next week!