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US and UK Search Engines and Directories

Part of the strategy to capture search traffic will require you get listed in the right places. Global search engines and directories will pick up a lot of US traffic. Then there are country specific operations for UK and many other countries, which may be independent or subsidiaries of global brands (like Lycos or Yahoo). The global brands do not all operate in the same manner from one country to another, or take feeds in the same way.

The table below shows how the different points of access: "Portals" to searching on the internet, get feeds from various sources: search engines, directories and paid listings. These can be country specific or global. This table covers >95% of the search traffic for the USA/Global and UK. To maximise the chances of getting found through these portals, you need to get listed in the directories or search engines that feed them. Most of the portals also carry their own advertising or channels, but this suits the larger advertisers. You can however, pay to get in the top search results, through paying to be found on particular search terms.

Note that the directories differ from the search engines in that people edit the listings of websites into categories, and may comment on the web site. Search Engines can list individual pages based on submissions or their software that "spiders" the web for content.

The portals have different ways to display the results sequence from their feeds, and these change from time to time.

UK na na na
Portal Search Engine Directory Paid Listing
MSN Inktomi Looksmart na
Freeserve Inktomi UKplus Overture
Ask Jeeves Mirago Ask Jeeves Espotting
Netscape Google Open, UKplus Espotting/Overture
FreeUK Inktomi na Espotting
Virgin Google na na
Tiscali Inktomi Looksmart na
Demon Various Various na
Yahoo Google Yahoo Espotting
Lycos Fast, Hotbot(Inktomi) Lycos Espotting
AltaVista AltaVista Looksmart Overture
AOL Inktomi Looksmart na
BT Internet Excite Looksmart Overture
About Inktomi About Sprinks
USA / Global      
Portal Search Engine Directory Paid Listing
Yahoo Google Yahoo na
MSN * Inktomi Looksmart Overture
AltaVista AltaVista Looksmart Overture
Netscape Google Open Overture
AOL Inktomi Looksmart Overture
Lycos Fast, Hotbot(Inktomi) Open Overture
Google Google Open Google
About Inktomi About Sprinks
Ask Jeeves Various Open Sprinks

*MSN redirects to local version based on your IP address.

We have integrated the above table to summarise the main points into which you need to submit. This sumary table is shown below. If you want to get UK traffic, you need to submit to UK and Global. Each of the hyperlinks will take you to the submission point or instructions. Note : Goto changed its name to Overture in October 2001.

Search Engines
Submit site only
Google Submit site only
Alta Vista Pay or hand submit pages
Inktomi(viaPT) Pay approx $25 per URL per year
Lycos Hand submit pages
Paid Listings
Overture Only pay on click through
Only pay on click through
Google Pay for each impression
Only pay on click through
Sprinks Only pay on click through
Looksmart Pay £149 UK, $199 USA, suggest category for your site
Yahoo Pay $299 pa, for global, choose best category and submit from there
About Choose best category and contact the "guide" by email to request inclusion
Open Choose best category and submit from there
Choose best category for your site
Ask Jeeves
Contact by email to request listing (chargeable?)
Choose best category within Directory and submit from there


1) read the sections on search page optimizations and marketing strategies first before you design your web site, and before you submit.

2) plan your directory submissions carefully, read their notes, make sure you get listed in the right section. Be prepared to pay to get the directory listings at Looksmart and Yahoo, otherwise you could wait forever. You only need submit once.

3) the paid listings sites can be expensive to "buy" top listing on certain terms; experiment, and figure out what its worth to you.

4)be careful with the use of automatic, free or chargeable search engine multi submission tools. They are not effective for the main engines, who may treat them as spam. You can try for using on minor engines, although traffic is less sinificant. Follow instructions for search engines with regard to page submission and frequency. Pages can take between 1 to 8 weeks to appear

5)if you want to target other countries specifically, then you might want to submit to local engines. For a list of these consult: Search Engine Colossus. You can also check out local branch sites of Lycos, AltaVista etc. These may filter non local domains (eg but some may list global domains ( etc)

6) To help you track where your pages are appearing for certain search terms, you can use:TopDog. This is very helpful. It also can be used to auto submit, but see note (4).

If you want to get more details and background information then join Search Engine Watch, it has a US bias, but is helpful in describing how the different systems work.

For specific advice about configuring and promoting your site to get found on the web, read the rest of this web site or contact us .


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