While we are in no way asserting that this is all the information you will ever need to get your web site included in the search engines, we do feel certain that this will give you an excellent place to begin to get the results we know are possible.
Free search engine submission is still possible. However, using paid programs that are offered will speed up the listing process and almost certainly generate more search engine related traffic for your web site. This is why it is recommended that any site owner establish a search engine submission budget.
Directories are search engines that use human editors to compile all of the listings. Getting listed with the web's key directories is very important, because their listings are seen by many people. In addition, if you are listed with them, then crawler-based search engines are more likely to find your site and add it to their listings for free. The web's oldest major directory, and still its most important, is Yahoo. Getting listed with Yahoo is absolutely essential to any site owner.
You should prepare before submitting to any directory, which means that you have written a 25 word or less description of your entire web site. That description should make use of the two or three key terms that you hope to be found for. It is important that the description not make use of marketing language, but takes a "just the facts" approach instead.
Crawler-based search engines automatically visit web pages to compile their listings. Arguably the most important crawler-based search engine is Google, and the absolutely best way to get listed with Google, or any other major crawler, is to build links to your web site. Crawlers follow links, so if you have good links pointing at your web site, the crawlers are more likely to find and include your pages.
If you submitted your site to the major directories and got listed with one or more of them, then Google and other crawlers will almost certainly pick up the URL that was listed. This means you may not need to do additional work to get listed with crawlers. However, you can also submit your URL directly to crawlers. Also, by paying an "inclusion" fee to some of the crawler-based search engines, you can shorten the usual month delay of appearing to only a few days.
Another key option to getting listed faster is to consider using paid listing programs. Every major search engine with significant traffic accepts paid listings, which will guarantee that your listing appears in the top results for the terms you are interested in within a day or less. Given this, paid listings are an option that should be explored by site owners who wish to quickly build visibility.
You can find additional information and submission links at www.searchenginewatch.com