How to Get Your Business Listed with Other Search Services

By Greg Holden

Search services can steer lots of business to your website, based on how often the site appears in the list of web pages that the user sees and how high the site appears on the list. Your goal is to maximize your site’s chances of being found by the search service. But Google is hard to crack, and Yahoo! charges for commercial sites. What about other search services?

Not so long ago, search services allowed you to list your site for free. After that, services adopted policies that guaranteed listings in their index only if you paid a subscription fee. These days, the preeminence of Google and Yahoo! has changed the playing field.

Some services have consolidated; others “borrow” the search technology used by the competition. And only a few search services provide you with a Submit Your Site or an Add a URL link that enables you to include your site in their index.

Microsoft’s Bing lets you submit your site by entering its URL.

One of the few sites that allows individuals to submit personal or commercial websites for addition in its index is the Open Directory Project. The advantage is that other well-known search services use Open Directory data to update and augment their own databases. After you get your site in the Open Directory, you’ll likely see it appear in other directories as well.

Follow these steps to submit your site to the Open Directory:

  1. Connect to the Internet, start your web browser, and go to the Open Directory home page.

    The ODP – Open Directory Project home page appears.

  2. Enter the name of the site you want to add in the box at the top of the page and click Search.

    A set of search results appears.

  3. Check to see whether your site is already included in the directory.

    If it isn’t, scan the search results for the category “tree” that appears at the end of each listing, and find the category that fits your own site. A category tree looks like this:

    Regional: North America: United States: Business and Economy: Shopping: Sporting Goods
  4. Click the category tree.

    The Category page on the Open Directory appears.

  5. Click the Suggest URL link near the top of the Category page.

    The Submission form appears.

    Not all categories in the Open Directory include Suggest URL links. If you don’t see one, that particular category doesn’t allow submissions. But others will: Click a more specific subcategory to suggest your site.

  6. Type the URL and a brief but specific description for your site and then click Submit.

    Your page is submitted to one of the Open Directory staff members who reviews it to decide whether the site is suitable for inclusion in the directory. It may take several weeks for your site to be added.

Businesses on the web can get obsessed with how high their sites appear on the list of search results pages. If a web surfer enters the exact name of a site in the HotBot or webCrawler search text box, for example, some people just can’t understand why that site doesn’t come back at the top — or even on the first page — of the list of returned sites.

Of the millions of sites listed in a search service’s database, the chances are good that at least one has the same name as yours (or something close to it), or that a page contains a combination of the same words that make up your organization’s name. Don’t be overly concerned with hitting the top of the search-hit charts. Concentrate on creating a top-notch website and making sales.