HI KathyA and welcome to wmw
<<- Let's say I submit now and the search engines start pointing to my old URLs, and then let's say my new site goes live in 8 weeks, so I resubmit using the new URLs. How long will it take the search engines to stop pointing to the old URLs? I am worried because those old URLs will no longer be live.
>>- I've heard that search engines don't look kindly on redirects, but I don't know why. For example, when my new site goes live, why couldn't I just have the old URLs redirect to the new ones, so that we keep coming up in the search engines.
This has a lot to do with a spam technique known as "bait and switch" which involves putting up a big spam page full of heading tags, large fonts and then meta refreshing in less than a second. If you set your refresh to 10 seconds or so, you shouldn't get penalized.
>>- I was also wondering about automated submitting vs. manual submitting? Is it really better to manually submit to each search engine??
I'd say that manually submitting is the way to go for the more popular search engines. For the lesser known engines, manually submitting is fine.
>>- And then on a more basic note, I see alot of reference to 'directories' versus 'engines' in this forum. Could someone tell me the difference?
Directories are human reviewed where as search engines are not human reviewed but rather spidered by their robot/program and are ranked in their engine according to their algorithm.