I constantly come across advertisements for “SEO companies” (and I use that term loosely) that tout the features and benefits of choosing them for all of your search engine optimization and search marketing needs. Website promotion through search engine submissions is SEO circa 1998.
Yet, the marketing materials for these companies inevitably include within their bullet point lists of “features and benefits” submitting your website “to hundreds of search engines…”. My life these days revolves around search marketing and I don’t know that I could FIND hundreds of search engines. Nor have I ever submitted any of the sites I’ve built to any search engine – ever. Yet they have all been indexed and rank well for a variety of terms.
Monthly Automatic Submissions
There is no bigger waste of money than subscription to a service whose primary “feature” is monthly search engine submissions. Once a site is in the index, it’s in the index – period. Unless you do something to violate the engine’s webmaster guidelines or terms of service, you’re in. That’s it. Game over.
Resubmitting to search engines month after month is as stupid as calling the phone company every month to tell them not to turn off your phone. Not only that, if those “monthly search engine submissions” are done with automated software it can actually HURT your website’s ranking in the search engines. Let’s face it, there is no question that if the company offers “automatic monthly submissions” in the first place, you can bet that they’re automated submissions.
Being Listed In ALL Search Engines MUST Be Good, Right?
Even if I could find hundreds of search engines, who cares? It’s clear and completely verifiable that more than 97% of searches are done through Google, Yahoo!, MSN (now Bing), Ask.com and AOL – yes, some people out there still search using AOL, though I can’t begin to fathom why…considering the results are pulled from Google’s database anyway. Why the hell would I care if my website is listed in “Billy Bob’s Search The Web”? Exactly…I wouldn’t, and neither should you.
Not to mention that even if you happen to find one of the lesser known search engines, you’ll also likely find a small graphic that states “powered by Google” or “enhanced by Google” – you’ll even find that using AOL search, as I eluded to earlier. That means the information they provide is taken directly from Google’s database, so you may as well be using Google in the first place.
Doesn’t Every “Search Marketing” Company Do Submissions?
There is no question that touting search engine submissions as a feature or benefit of any search marketing service is ignorant, at best…and fraudulent, intentionally misleading, and malicious, at worst. Those companies and individuals that offer search engine submissions as a primary feature of their “promotional package” prey on the public’s ignorance of how search engines work – and profit heavily from doing so.
Submitting a URL to the search engines is old school SEO. Anyone who claims otherwise is either completely ignorant when it comes to the world of search marketing today and/or is attempting to make a potential client feel as though without their “services” the website has no hope of ever being found within the search results for their target terms.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Submissions mean nothing to the search engines – and haven’t for some time now. These days, submitting a URL to search engines is like sitting in the nose-bleed section of a 50,000 seat concert venue, jumping up & down screaming, “Ooh, ooh…pick me, pick me…” and actually expecting the artist to pick you out of the crowd and invite you on stage.
Submissions are pointless, stupid and futile. Any company that touts it as a major feature is a scam. Period. Run, don’t walk, away from any company whose “sales pitch” begins or includes “submission to hundreds of search engines…”. THE END!
I agree. The sad thing is….so many people believe this junk that it makes it harder for the “real” seo/sem people.
Agreed, “submission to hundreds of search engines” services are a complete waste of money. These services play on the lack of knowledge that a site owner may have. Run away from anybody that provides such services – fast!
Sadly so many people still expect you to offer “submissions” as a service. I try to explain that this is a pointless exercise but as some folk still offer it, it must be valuable… right? :P
Even as a final checkpoint on our developers checklist is submissions. I set up webmaster tools/XML sitemap and simply state it’s done.
Hopefully we’ll educate the masses over time. Well we can hope can’t we?
Roberts last blog post..Is Google Evil?
You’re absolutely right, Robert. Sometimes it is hard to convince an individual that a service so widely offered by the largest companies in the industry is an exercise in futility.
The best we can hope for is to give people the benefit of our experience and eventually people will come to understand that we have nothing to gain by misleading them, but that those companies offering pointless submissions most certainly do.
Thanks for stopping by and for taking the time to comment!