If you're in charge of making sure your site is submitted, listed and linked in the ever-growing number of search engines, I bet you have a headache. I'm here to help. Well, sort of. I'm here to help you learn about a seldom-performed part of the submission and linking process. You are likely aware already of the biggest search engines. Yet still, you get spam every week about thousands of search engines and hundreds of directories. "Submit your site for just $19.95" they all say. Don't be fooled. These bulk submission services are worse than a bad joke. They are nothing more than e-mail address harvesters, and your e-mail address is what they really want. I've followed them for seven years, so trust me on this one.
But this doesn’t mean there aren’t many smaller outstanding search engines and directories that you should be in. You just didn’t know they existed. If your site is heavily content oriented, the biggest missed opportunity I see from a linking perspective is focusing only on your site’s homepage URL. Depending on the content and features of your site, you may have many linkable content elements beyond your home page URL.
Below is just a sample of the site content types that are linkable. Each of them has its own search engines, directories and Web guides. Now, don’t expect a ton of traffic from them. The objective instead is to integrate your site’s entire content throughout the Net, placing links where they might actually have some strategic value for you.•Web-based events, live or not. If your site plays host to live events, whether it’s chats or streaming media, or if you offer time-specific content like a contest, there are Web guides that will link to that content. See www.yack.com/using/submit.html for an example.•Software and downloads. If your site offers downloads of software or other applications, such as plug-ins or other browser companions, you can get links to these programs at many software search engines. For an example, see www.softsearch.com/especially/developers/add_edit_top.html.•Graphics and images. Let’s say the majority of your site is made up of images. Submit your image files to places like www.ditto.com.•E-books. Do you offer any e-books from your site? There are search engines just for e-books. One example is www.electricbook.com. •PDF files. Have a product site that originated from a print catalog and for which you have Adobe’s PDF documents? You can get links to these files at PDF search engines like the one at http://searchpdf.adobe.com. Google also indexes PDF documents.•Search engine. If your site features a niche search engine where you have indexed many sites just in that niche (like eFashion.com), you should get that search engine linked at sites that catalog topical search engines, such as www.search.com.•E-zine. You say you have a Web site with seven e-zines that I can subscribe to? Submit them to http://ezineuniverse.com.•Web cams. Your new client is a wildlife site with several live Web cams? Submit the Web cam links to cam guides like www.camcentral.com.
By now you have a bigger headache than you did. But think of the upside. Each of the above types of content can be marketed, promoted and linked separately, and in addition to your home page links at Yahoo! or Google. And for free. The only cost is the time it takes to find them and fill out those forms.
So take some time to look at your own site from a content standpoint. When I research and create link plans, it’s pretty common for me to find that some sites have the potential for hundreds of links, others not so many. Still, I find that nearly every site has linkable content beyond the home page. Does yours?