Most of our clients are SMME, we deal directly with the owners of the company, and get to know them on a personal level. Unfortunately, every time I talk to clients about website maketing, they all ask about getting listed on so called ‘thousands’ of search engines. It seems that almost all of them have at some point in time received some spam email promising their site on thousands of search engines within 24 hours or a similar type offer. Worse still are the ones who have been ‘educated’ by friends and / or family, who think they know what they are talking about. Most of these guys have all been brainwashed by people and companies wanting to make a quick buck.
The reality is that people do use search engines to find things on the web, that much is true. What they DON’T do, is use all these thousands of search engines as much as people would have you believe. The fact is that almost all good search engine traffic woldwide comes from Google, Yahoo, and MSN, the most popular search engines on the web. These engines being the most popular engines, leads you to believe that the others are NOT all that popular, and therefore dont get as much traffic, let alone traffic that uses their services. Of the web traffic these engines do get, you have to ask yourself, what is the percentage of their visitors that will be trying to find YOUR website or services / products? Why would a visitor to these other engines websites use them to search and NOT use Google, Yahoo, or MSN?
Dont get me wrong, there are some other engines that do have satisfied and loyal customers, and most of the time they keep their place in the market by being language, region, theme or subject specific, in order to hold onto their loyal users, but not many.
Some of these engines supliment some or all of their search results, by re-branding the results from the big 3 under their own name. Many times you will find that you can get identical results when searching for something in Google, and other search engine X. One such website that gets results from multiple locations, and has a great following of loyal users, is the site www.Dogpile.com, which lists the top results of each of the engines in its results.
So definately the big 3, Google, Yahoo and MSN are the most important engines to be listed. The next place your website MUST be listed in, is the DMOZ directory. Thousands of other websites get directory results from DMOZ, the most important web directory on the web. Get your website listed in those four locations, and the chances are that your site will be ‘findable’ in most of these thousands of other search engines already anyway.
If you get listed in all these thousands of small independant engines, your link is not listed for any given length of time on a specific page, and is only able to be found via a search. So the only traffic you will receive from that engine, is as with any engine, from visitors using the search facililty. So you once again need to ask yourself, what sort of visitor traffic is the engine getting? Of that traffic, how many people will be looking for my site/products/services? I am not saying it wont hurt to submit your site there, but would you get a good return on investment (ROI) from paying some company to list your site in all of these ‘thousands of engines’, when the big 3 are clearly dominating in traffic and searches? Correct me if I am wrong, but as far as I am concerned, the short answer, is a huge NO!
So what happens if you dont care, and are willing to spend the money with one of these companies to get listed on ‘thousands of engines’?
Are you sitting pretty, making so much money through your website that you dont know what to do with all of it? Well, not necissarily! You might have just paid to be listed on tons of these ‘engines’, but that doesnt mean you are going to get any more traffic than you are already getting. Just because your site is indexed, does NOT mean you will be listed on the first page of results on that engine. There are NO guarantees to where your site will be placed in the regular search results on any given search engine, by any web marketing company on the web.
The fact is that your website still needs to be optimized for search phrases that you would like to be ranked high for, before you see the results of being indexed in any search engine, and that goes for the big 3 too. With each real search engine having its own unique formula that it uses to judge where your site should be listed in search results for a key word or phrase, its going to be hard to optimize a website to be number one for all of the big 3 engines at the same time.
So you have ask yourself again, why pay to have your site submitted to thousands of search engines, with no guarantee of placement, and no guarantee of traffic? I don’t get it, maybe I am missing something?
till next time – F