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Automated Versus Individual Submissions          Print the current page
by Brian Chmielewski

Submit your web site to 4000 search engines for $29.95. If you have been online for any amount of time, you've probably seen this type of email ad before. Before you reach for your credit card or complete any enrollment forms, there are a few things that you should be aware of.

Veteran uPromote(TM) Weekly subscribers will be quick to point out that there are not actually 4000 search engines, but nine majors. True search engines are spider-based, meaning that the host software sends out a scout to get information about your web site based on your web site's web address, or URL. These types of search tools can index your site simply by knowing your web site address, or URL, and possibly your email address. This makes them easily identifiable. The remaining 490 of these sites are comprised of directories, yellow pages, and other free link sites. Presently, Yahoo! and LookSmart are two of the larger directories.

Why should your web site be listed in sites beyond the top ten? In online marketing, opportunities that offer exposure for your business and simplicity for the user to find you are important. By submitting your web site to every location available, you are increasing the odds of a potential client or customer reading your site description and easily clicking a link to leap to your site. You increase your chances to boost your site's traffic. Therefore, you want to make certain that your web site has a presence and that your description and link are correct at every one of these sites.

Many of the services like the one mentioned in the opening paragraph use automated software programs to submit your site. One problem with these automated submission programs is that they often make mistakes when submitting web site listing information to multiple directories and yellow pages. A common error stemming from automated software programs is a description for a web site that is cut off half way through the middle of a sentence. This is because the software cannot distinguish the rules for submission for each directory that it submits to. Look at the following example and see if you can determine what service this site offers?

OCLC FirstSearch Electronic Collections Online Support - OCLC Reference Services / OCLC FirstSearch Electronic Collections Online. IP-address Recognition. Internet Protocol (IP) Address Recognition Access Method. --http://www.oclc.org/oclc/software/ecoip.htm

This is an example of how automated submissions can harm your marketing efforts. The automated software program that was used simply took the first text on this web site and plugged it incorrectly into the description text box. When you consider that more than three-fourths of the sites that all submission services use in their lists are directories and yellow pages, you realize that errors here can cause severe visibility problems for your web site.

To liberate your Web presence of these errors, employ a directory listing service that submits your web site individually to each yellow page and directory. This will ensure that you are listed in the proper location and that your site's description is accurate. If OCLC's competitor employs a individualized service they will have a grammatically appealing description and would have a better chance of getting the interested user to click through to their site. Because of the cosmetic atmosphere of the Internet, this issue is very important. To users, your site appears inferior and you may get passed over for your competitor simply because of looks.

Make no mistake, every directory, search engine, and Internet yellow page is a completely independent entity that has its own rules for submissions. Rather then just prompting a program to send out a "robot" or a "spider" to go out and index the information in your site like search engines do, practically all directories have people that review each submission for categorization into their database. So, you run the risk of not being added to a directory if the information about your web site is not categorized properly or is not organized effectively for the specific search tool.

Each directory has different categories and sub-categories and they all allow varying lengths for your web site's descriptive text. This is where an automated program really starts to get confused. When the program does not find the exact category match for one that you selected it to submit your site to, it must make the choice on the closest alternative. That is one reason why it is not uncommon to a find something totally unrelated to what you are searching for when you perform a keyword search. For instance, a book keeper improperly listed in a bookmaking category simply because the software could not rationalize a better alternative.

If you have an incorrect site description, you know how difficult editing it can be. Do it right the first time and use an individual submission service. uPromote(TM) has always performed individual submissions for its clients. Get listed properly today by visiting uPromote(TM) Directory Listings. This is the only way to ensure that submissions are done right the first time and the best method for insuring that directories not only list you, but list you correctly.