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Ouch! You're Submitting To The Wrong Place


Ouch! You're Submitting To The Wrong Place

Today I saw an advert to "submit your site to 3,000,000 search engines".

I'm pretty sure that not too long ago those kinds of service used to offer a few hundred thousands of engines, and just a little before that we were in just tens of thousands. So we're talking a hundred fold growth in just a couple of years.

In the same time, the number of Internet users has at most doubled or tripled. If this trend continues we'll be heading for a situation where every man, woman and child (not to mention dogs and cats) has to use a dozen different search engines before breakfast just to keep up.

Okay, I can hear you giggling. "I'm not that dumb!" you say. "Everybody knows there is only X number of important engines and the rest are just free link pages."

(Incidentally X is pretty small number, I'll leave it to you pick a value that suits you, but I'd be extremely surprised if it's bigger than 100).

Put simply, experienced webmasters aren't that interested in at least 2.999 million of the "search engines". They concentrate their efforts on getting visitors from the real search engines, but did you know that most of them are missing the most important and powerful search engine of all?

Let me give you a clue - it doesn't have an "Add URL" button and not everybody gets listed.

The most powerful search engine is the human mind.

Need proof? Try this experiment - walk into a cyber-cafe, and before you get kicked out, ask a random computer user for instant answers to these questions:

  • Where can I get a free e-mail account?
  • Where can I buy books on the Internet?
  • Where can I auction my stuff on the Internet?

You know the most probable answers (Hotmail, Amazon, eBay) without even opening your browser. Why? Because these companies own a piece of the most valuable real estate on the Internet - a segment of their prospects' brains.

I'm not going to tell you that it's easy to submit to this particular search engine - but I will say it's the single most important place to get listed. Wrestling control of a big broad subject like "free e-mail" is next to impossible - but I'm sure that we can all name more specialist sites that fit our particular interests. This is the kind of niche that most of us have to be shooting for.

Whatever your site is about, be aware that there are no guaranteed listings in the brain's engine, but there are a few simple things that can help your submission:-

  • Narrow Focus. Most webmasters know about cgi-resources.com and head straight there when looking for a script, people interested in free e-mail know about emailaddresses.com, and so on. Those sites don't try and compete with the Yahoos of the world, but have found their own route to success. Similarly Yahoo! has a free e-mail service, but Hotmail's is better known to Joe Sixpack because Yahoo is a general site - but Hotmail is only about e-mail.
  • Be First. You have to offer something different to stand out for the crowd. It doesn't matter how good your site is, if there are a thousand other sites on the exact same topic, you will never own a slice of your prospect's mind. You want to be the first site in your category (or invent a new narrower category if you have to). And remember, being first is not necessarily the same as being best - there are a zillion free e-mail sites on the web - and I've got to believe that at least 1 of them has to be better than Hotmail...
  • Be consistent. It takes a lot of exposure to a particular idea to burn it into a prospect's tired gray matter. Chopping and changing your site and message every week is a surefire recipe for never succeeding. Pound your message home until your prospects are reciting your URL in their sleep.
  • Be Everywhere. If you've got a truckload of money you can spend a small (or big) fortune on banner or offline advertising. For the rest of us, the secret is to get your name and message, everywhere - by giving away free articles, free content, and even free products. Provided whatever you give away is branded with your message, and your cost of reproduction is zero (which probably means the freebie must be information based, and delivered electronically) this really is the ultimate form of free advertising.

The best forms of promotion are always the ones where you don't have to pay for advertising, don't have to create banners, and don't have to analyze keyword density - and a good ranking in the real top search engine is just that. Remember there may be no "Add URL" button, but a consistent submission strategy can bring big rewards.







   

 
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