It’s generally agreed in SEM circles that search engine submission is dead, or at least mass-submission is dead. Firstly, there are only a handful of engines left that are real traffic generators and, secondly, this handful would prefer to find your site than have it forced down their neck. So can someone tell me why are there still submission software titles being sold?
Well, someone did tell me. I recently exchanged a series of emails with Michael Kovnick of Cyberspace HQ, the company behind Addweb, and it provided me with the ideal opportunity to discuss the submission software debate. The latest version of Addweb claims to “Submit your website to thousands of search engines instantly". Now any SEM professional will know that many of these “search engines" will be nothing more than link farms, and the automated submission of websites to should be viewed as an attempt to spam genuine search engines.
To my surprise, Michael agreed. Apparently the team at Cyberspace HQ are well aware of current consensus, but there is a bigger force at play. Like any product, Addweb is a slave to its customers. A couple of years ago Cyberspace HQ decided to move with the times and cut out the 330,000 search engines that it offered automated submission to. The response was instant. Thousands of email complaints and plummeting sales prompted them to restore the submission feature with haste. Since then they have continued to modify the submission module of Addweb, but with much more care than before.
Most of the submission software titles currently available have diversified from simple submission programs. Addweb now boasts of a suite of 19 software modules from link trader to domain manager. They have also bulked out their submission modules by including paid link submission, and enable engine selection to try and avoid being labelled as a spam promoter. Other titles have taken similar action. Dynamic Submission, for instance, has beefed up its paid submission and is now really just part of the Dynamic Promotion Suite.
So what is the future for submission software? I would wager that the submission components of the major products will gradually disappear – at least for search engines submission. Despite customer resistance, eventually the message will get through that submission is not necessary. Directory submission will prove more durable, although the modules will be much simpler because of the one-time name of directory submission.
However a new breed of submission software titles are beginning to emerge. In these content sensitive times, article and blog comment submitters are rapidly being developed. They pose similar ethical questions to search engine submitters, and we will watch with interest at the reception they receive.
Paul Fisher is a professional in the search arena and is editor of SEOsoftware.net – a website dedicated to the independent comparison of SEO marketing software programs. Read more about Addweb and Dynamic Submission as well as other major submission software titles.