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I finished developing my website, and I want to get it included in search engines, so people will start finding it. I've gone through the submission routine at each search engine, but it's taking forever for my site to appear in their lists. Is there anything I can do about that?

This article is about search engines, and was originally written in 2006. It has been tweaked a bit to more accurately reflect current (2016) search engine practices.

Don't just sit around waiting to get into the search engines, because if you do, it probably will take a long time to get listed. Search engines are notorious for taking their jolly good time about looking at submitted sites.

But remember this: all the time you're waiting for them to get to your site, they are looking at other sites that are already listed. In fact, most of my sites get inspected by the google search engine on a daily basis. Annoying, isn't it? In the time you're waiting for google to look at your site, they've probably looked at my site fifty to a hundred times.

The reason is that my site has been in google for a long time, and it is a reliable site that is hardly ever down, and has never attempted to 'trick' the search engines. So google likes me. So what can you do while you wait?

  • Look for other "popular" websites that are willing to link to yours. Imagine if you could convince me to put a link to your website on my homepage (by the way, don't ask, because I won't do it! ;)). Now google is going to come across the link to your page every time it looks at mine! Do you think you'll get listed faster that way? You bet you will.
  • Consider paying for inclusion in web directories like Yahoo! I know, it's painful; some web directories charge up to $300, just to have one of their editors look at your site. No guarantees that they'll include it, and no money back if they don't. But if you can get into a high powered, high traffic directory, that'll help you out with the search engines.
  • Slow and steady wins the race. Don't get anxious and start engaging in questionable practices like spamming the search engines with requests. In the long run it's much more important to have a well built foundation and a solid website. Then when you finally get listed, the search engines will love you, and they'll never let you go.

* Here's a statistic to really annoy you: When I published the "Ask Doug..." website, I didn't do any search engine submission. I simply posted a link to the site on the home page of my software site. Care to guess how long it took for google to list this site? Less than 30 hours. That's right. Barely more than a day! Sickening, isn't it? But that shows you the importance of getting high profile links to your site.

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