There are two types of search services: search engines and directories. Unless specifically noted, this web site uses the phrase "search services" to refer to both search engines and directories.
The traditional way of promoting web sites has been to submit the site URLs to search services. In this page, we will discuss search services as a means of web promotion.
Search EnginesSearch engines, often called "spiders" or "crawlers", are programs that continually search the web for new or revised sites. They locate sites and automatically index the sites in their databases. In addition, web designers submit their sites to the engines.
DirectoriesDirectories depend on humans for their listings. Designers submit their sites to the directories. The maintainers of the directories visit the sites and decide which ones will be listed.
Combination Search EnginesSome search engines maintain associated directories. People submit information and URLs to a directory, and the search engine later visits the sites and obtains more information.
Worse Odds Than A LotteryThere are millions of web sites, and most of them have been submitted to search services. This means that when people search for sites that have themes similar to the theme of your site, they will find links to your site, along with links to hundreds, thousands, and perhaps millions of other sites that have similar themes. Unless you find ways to get your site listed close to the top of the search results, people may never visit your site, even though your site is included in the results.
The following pages discuss things you can do to increase (or decrease) the ranking of your site in search results.