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Search Engine Submission

By Larry Poch
Posted Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Before submitting your site to search engines you should have some insight into, 1.. how they function.
2.. what some of the differences are. 3.. which ones to submit to. 4.. do I need to pay for a submission?

Is it a Search Engine or a Directory?

When submitting your site to a search engine or search directory be aware that there is a difference between the two. Not being aware of this difference can create problems. Example, Google is a search engine and Yahoo is a directory. The basic difference between the two is in the way the submission is reviewed and entered into the database index.

Search Engines

Search engines are databases that use robots/spiders to crawl the Internet and index web sites. The database listing is automatically generated from the information gathered from the pages of the web site. The sites may be found through random search of the Internet or through a submission.


Directory databases are compiled from submissions and reviewed by editors, real live human beings. The editors physically review the submission, rate it, and catagorize it. Take great care in describing a site when submitting it to a directory. The methods used to achieve a high search engine ranking DOES NOT work when submitting to a directory.


Understanding where major search engines and directories get some of their database information from can help when it come time to submit a site. It can save a lot of time and possibly quite a few dollars.

Many major search engines and directories get their search results from third-party search providers. Some of these third-party search providers are other search engines or directories. So by reviewing who provides search results to whom may help with your submission process. Submitting to one search engine may get your site displayed in another one where you would have had to pay for the submission.


Google, most popular search engine on the Internet, provides main results to AOL Search, Netscape Search, and Yahoo (fee-based). Google uses the Open Directory for back-up results. The Open Directory also provides the directory back-up results for AOL Search, Ask Jeeves, HotBot(fee-based submission), Lycos(fee-based submission), and Netscape Search.

Needless to say, getting your site listed in the Open Directory is well worth the time spent submitting it. DMOZ (

This alphabetical list of the major engines shows the current sources for database search results.

AltaVista (search engine), provides its own results using a crawler to index information for its database. Paid results/listings come from Overture, while secondary results come from the Open Directory.

AOL Search (search engine), primary and paid results both come from Google. Secondary search results are pulled ftom the Open Directory.

Ask Jeeves (search engine), paid results come from Overture with secondary results coming from Teoma. Directory results are from the Open Directory by way of Teoma.

Google (search engine), crawler based providing its own primary and paid results. Directory results come from the Open Directory.

LookSmart (directory), paid results are their own, secondary search results are from Inktomi.

Lycos (search engine) primary results come from the Open Diectory, secondary results from Fast and paid results from Overture and their own fee-based submission program.

MSN Search (directory), with results coming from LookSmart. Paid results provided by Overture with secondary results from Inktomi.

Netscape Search (search engine) primary results from the Open Directory, secondary results from Google, and paid results from Overture.

Overture (pay-per-click database service) Not actually a search engine, Overture provodes the paid search results for many of the major search engines. Such as;

All the Web AltaVista AskJeeves Excite iWon MSN HotBot Netscape Lycos Teoma

Open Directory (DMOZ) (directory) All content in this human-edited directory is from direct submission.

Yahoo! (directory) paid submissions from its own fee-based program and Overture. Secondary search results from Google.

For more in-depth detail on this interwoven web of search results see the following pages.

Search Engine Providers Chart (

Search Engine Results Chart (

Search Engine Relationship Chart PDF file format, need Adobe Acrobat Reader installed. (


About the Author
Larry(Momp) owns Momp's Web Design and MWD News newsletter. In addition to the web design service, the site includes a web design reference library for webmasters.

Momp's Web Design: ( MWD Newsletter: ( Contact Momp:


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