At one time there was a whole mini-industry devoted to search engine submissions. Supported by relentless spam emails, it promised to submit your site to hundreds (in some cases thousands) of search engines.
They wanted you to think that that those submissions would get your site into the index of the search engines (true) and that would ensure customers could find you easily by searching for what you sell or what you do (false).
It didn’t help.
For one thing, only three search engines really matter these days: Google, Yahoo & Bing account for more than 97% of all searches in America. For another thing, search engines constantly seek new websites by following links from other web sites. As long as another website links to you, you’ll be found, so no submission is necessary. And if no other websites link to you, submitting won’t help you because you’ll never show up prominently without inbound links. That’s why one of the first things we do for a new client is to link to them from our website.
For better search engine rankings, submitting just isn’t enough
Getting into the indexes at Google & Yahoo (Bing and Yahoo share the same index) is an essential step, but it’s entirely insufficient. The search engines will spider your site after finding another site linking to it. And If your on-page content is done properly, they’ll know what your pages are about and what kinds of searches you are relevant for. But if no other sites think highly enough of you to link to you, you may not get indexed at all. If you have only one or two inbound links you may get indexed but be relegated to ranking many pages deep in the search results.
We no longer routinely submit our clients’ websites to search engines: it’s a waste of time. Instead we work on all the other important ranking factors–including link building–so search engines can see that you have a good reputation with other website owners.