Robert_Charlton - 7:21 pm on Oct 2, 2010 (gmt 0)
But now - doesn't it seem like it's almost deceptive to the newbie for any modern search engine to maintain a "Submit" form?
Google's Add URL is fairly up front about it, but only to a point. FWIW, I think they might still be using it to get information....
Share your place on the net with us.
We add and update new sites to our index each time we crawl the web, and we invite you to submit your URL here. We do not add all submitted URLs to our index, and we cannot make any predictions or guarantees about when or if they will appear.
Please enter your full URL, including the http:// prefix. For example: http://www.google.com/. You may also add comments or keywords that describe the content of your page. These are used only for our information and do not affect how your page is indexed or used by Google.
Google might be using Add URL to get an indication, eg, of time between submission and backlink addition and discovery. Lots of other unknowns in there, of course, but it's perhaps a few more bits of data for them. It also keeps us busy explaining to newbies the importance of inbound links and the uselessness of submitting. ;)
Possibly also there is some utility... in a way that's analogous to the utility that Site Maps offer. Site Maps aren't a substitute for a well-structured site, but they give Google a perspective on how webmasters see a site and may speed things up in some difficult situations, particularly in the long term....
Google doesn't guarantee that we'll crawl or index all of your URLs. However, we use the data in your Sitemap to learn about your site's structure, which will allow us to improve our crawler schedule and do a better job crawling your site in the future. In most cases, webmasters will benefit from Sitemap submission, and in no case will you be penalized for it.
I don't know how far the analogy goes with regard to Add URL.