Are Search Engine Submissions Dead?

Understanding search

by Anita Schott

Traffic from search engines has become highly desirable because of its ability to convert customers more quickly than other media. These visitors have proactively searched for a product, service or company and are a higher probability for a conversion. So, how do you get listed? Many site owners mistakenly believe that all they need is search engine submission services. Understanding a little about how search engines work will help you get your site listed and tap a very valuable market.

organic search versus sponsored searchThere are two very different types of listings within the search engine results pages (also called SERPs). Major search engines typically display search results as a combination of sponsored listings and natural (organic) listings. (See illustration)

Sponsored listings can be obtained fairly quickly. You signup for an account and then you bid on positions for selected keywords. When searchers click on your ad, you pay the search engine a fee (unlike banner ads where you pay for the number of impressions). Some companies handle management themselves and others outsource to companies who provide PPC management services.

The other type of listing is called organic or natural search. Organic listings cannot be bought - they must be earned. In most cases, submission is not necessary. Search engines find your site by following links from other sites. Once you are listed, your ranking (or lack thereof) is dependent on a number of factors including the relevancy of your site to a particular search query. SEO (search engine optimization) is a method of improving your site's relevancy in order to acquire higher organic rank.

Steps to Getting Listed in Sponsored Search Results:

  1. Signup for an account with the PPC search engines you want to be listed in.
  2. Create your listings and establish bids on your keywords.

Steps to Getting Listed in Organic Search Results:

  1. Optimize your web site and make sure your content is highly relevant to your desired keywords.
  2. Test your web pages for errors and check all links.
  3. Submit your site manually to directories and top search engines. You can use search engine submission services but don't rely on this exclusively.
  4. Work to obtain inbound links on a continual basis.

Tip: Search engine optimization and paid search management are complex tasks to say the least. This is why many companies outsource, but, if you plan on the do-it-yourself route, be prepared to spend a considerable amount of time learning before you can be successful.


The advantage of using pay-per-click advertising is that you can get immediate results - your ad can be up and running in hours or sometimes even quicker. With organic search and SEO services; it can take months to obtain ranking. On the other hand, organic listings are highly valuable in that you don't pay each time someone clicks on your ad.... in fact, beyond the cost of optimization you pay nothing.

So, you can either bid your way to the top or "optimize" your site to appear within the organic listings.  The choice is yours, however, successful websites use a combination of both strategies in order to maximize their visibility.

About the author: Anita Schott is a Google™ Adwords Professional and contributing writer for Instant Position.