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How Often Should I Submit My Site To The Search Engines?

SEO / traffic-building questions and answers


How often do I need to submit my site to the major search engines?

I keep seeing ads that promise to submit my website to thousands of search engines each month for around $20. Is it worth it?

Submitted by Sanjay S.


Only once, and depending on the particular search engine, never.

The fastest way to get your site indexed in the major search engines is to get a few high-quality links to it from other sites that are already indexed.

Google, for instance, crawls the web on a regular basis. Google's Googlebot spider visits every web page in their index every few weeks and follows all the links on the pages. When a link to your site is found, Googlebot will then crawl the pages in it and index them automatically, usually within a couple of weeks.

So you never really have to submit your website to Google at all. In fact, your site will rank higher if Google finds it on their own via links from other sites instead of submitting it directly.

Why? Because a site with inbound links pointing to it is being "voted for". A site with no inbound links (requiring a manual submission to Google) has no votes and hence no PageRank.

There are instances where submitting to some of the other major search engines can help however. As with Google, Inktomi, Altavista, and others will find your site on their own through links. The downside is it can take several weeks for them to get around to your site.

If you don't want to wait, they'll add your site to their indexes within 48 hours for a small fee, usually from $20-$30, depending on the search engine.

So the answer to your question is, it depends. If you're talking about Google, don't submit your website at all. Just do a few link exchanges with quality sites that are already ranked well with Google and let Googlebot "find" your site automatically.

If you're talking about Inktomi, Altavista, and some of the others, using their "Express Submission" services can speed things up considerably, but it isn't really necessary.

And remember, once your site is indexed in the search engines, re-submitting it will simply be a waste of time and/or money.
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