People often ask me, in my role as Web guy, how to submit a new site to search engines. It's a lot easier than it used to be, since you can cover 80-90% of all searches with three steps:
- Make sure the <title> and <meta> description tags in your Web page (the sets that make the text at the top of the Web page window and summarize its content) say the most important things about your site, and include a 25-word (or less) summary of what your site is about. Mine look like this:
<title>Derek K. Miller, Writer & Editor, Vancouver, Canada - penmachine.com</title> <meta name="description" content="Welcome to penmachine.com, the Web site of Derek K. Miller, Freelance Writer and Editor, Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Writing, editing, proofreading, design, HTML, drumming." />(You can safely forget about the old "keywords" tag, by the way. Thanks to Lee Potts for the pointer.)
- Let Google know that your site exists. That's the most important.
- Go to Yahoo! and the Open Directory (a.k.a. dmoz.org). Pick an appropriate category for your site, then add it by following Yahoo!'s or DMOZ's instructions. Use your 25-word description, or something like it, when submitting.
That's it. You can do more, but that should cover it. The hard part is making your site interesting and relevant to other people, which will make it popular enough that you'll turn up as a search result.