Definition

The act of supplying a URL to a search engine in an attempt to make a search engine aware of a site or page.

Information

At a minimum, submitting to a search engine involves adding the URL of the site or page that will be under consideration. Search engines sometimes ask for additional contact information, including name and/or email address.

Policies for adding URLs vary among various search engines. Some search engines only ask for the main URL of a site, claiming that the rest of the site will be spidered; others require the submission of individual pages. Variation also exists with regard to how often URLs may be added, as some engines have tried to discourage bulk submissions in an attempt to minimize spamming.

Submitting sites/pages can be done manually or in an automated manner. Manual submission involves going to each of the “Add URL” pages and filling out the form fields individually. Automatic submission involves filling out information only one time; the necessary information is then used by a software program to submit to many search engines.

Confusing search engine submission with search engine optimization is a common mistake. The mere act of submitting does nothing to optimize the pages in question and achieve higher rankings. In fact, submitting poorly-optimized pages can do more harm than good.

Synonyms

Add URL

URL submission

Related Terms

manual submission, search engine optimization

view all terms in the SEO glossary or all terms in the Digital Marketing glossary

Sites

Tools > SEO Services & Tools

Articles

Free Search Engine Submission Is Still Alive!
Search Engine Watch (October 2, 2001)

Don’t Pay For Search-Engine Submissions
CNET News.com (August 24, 2001)

Organizing Your Submission Campaign
ClickZ (September 22, 2000)

Search Engine Autosubmissions Run Amok
ClickZ (September 8, 2000)

Search Engine Marketers Prefer Manual Submission to Auto-Submit Tools
Search Engine Watch (March 20, 2000)