Search engine submission is the submission of a website to a search engine, such as Google or Yahoo! Search. The purpose of submitting a website to a search engine is to get it listed, either because the webmaster does not want to wait for the search engine to add the website automatically or because the search engine listings are only added manually. Major search engines do not require a search engine submission for new or updated websites because they eventually find the website and automatically update the listings within weeks. Search engine submissions that are automated by third parties rather than the search engine itself sometimes break their terms of service (TOS), so caution should be exercised when trying to become indexed. Most website owners seek to have their websites listed on at least the major search engines, because it is often the primary way a website is found and then visited.
To index a new or updated website, generally all a webmaster must do is navigate to the search engine’s “submit your site” page or something very similar. Once there, he or she can usually fill out a short form that asks for the website uniform resource locator (URL). The webmaster may be prompted to pass a CAPTCHA test, which is a simple test to prove that he or she is not a computer submitting websites automatically. After this, the webmaster must wait for the website to become indexed, which can sometimes take up to three months.
In some situations, it can be to the advantage of a webmaster to engage in search engine submission. If a new website is not being linked to by other websites much or at all, it is possible that it could take a great deal of time for search engines to find the website and index it. In a situation such as this, submitting the website to a search engine may result in the website being recognized faster, thus leading to a greater probability of people finding it by searching online.
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One potential downside to search engine submission is that it is not always necessary or helpful. Typically, the search engines that are used for the majority of online searches will find new websites without the use of manual submissions by utilizing their web-crawling technologies to follow links from other websites to the new website. Another potential con regarding search engine submission is that some techniques for submitting a website to many search engines at once in an automated fashion can upset some search engines. People who do not follow a search engine’s directions adequately when going about this process may find themselves or their website penalized in some way, such as never becoming indexed.