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Submissions shouldn't take long to do. Place emphasis on your directory submissions - ex. category, title, description.
Your site will have to "filter through" the web during this time to get noticed, and thats when traffic picks up from your submissions
IMO those 3000+ submissions and the like for $9.99 could *possibly* be considered spam by search engines, which runs the risk of you getting banned (possible)
Hand submit to all the free engines still gets good traffic, and if you are not selling anything, getting listed in zeal/looksmart is a major bonus
If you are looking to employ someone to look after this aspect of your business, that's an entirely different proposition.
Far too many companies waste months trying to DIY while they learn. I can't get my head around the fact that people have 6-12 months of failure before waking up to smell the coffee and realise that some input, even if it's only a small amount of consultancy, could save so much time and effort and heartache in the long run.
I wonder if we could do a poll to see how many people have been sacked for failing to get their company web site traffic after saying that they could?
I find that the niche for the site comes over time, settling in for popular keywords while you gather info about replacing your less successful keywords
Its like a continual case of trial and error, because the goalposts are moved with each update (paid listings aside)
Im sure companies could learn to promote their site effectively, but a quicker success rate and ROI would be better placed with your suggestions of an SEO webdiversity :)
If you just want to submit to the majors, you can use:
Google [google.com] - They'll probbaly find your site anyway if there are any links to it. Just submit home page.
AltaVista [addurl.altavista.com] fill out the form and submit each page you want indexed. The Express inclusion isn't worth much.
Wisenut [wisenut.com] (Owned by LookSmart now) Just submit the homepage
YAHOO! [yahoo.com] - Find the best category and get ready to cough up $299.00/year to be listed unless you are in a non commercial cat. Pick up some tips in the YAHOO! [webmasterworld.com] forum on how to do it right the first time.
Submit to ODP [dmoz.org] and LookSmart [listings.looksmart.com] but check out the directories forum [webmasterworld.com] first. Those'll get ya started with some of the more important places to submit.
You will find the cost for submissions at the respective sites. If you want to work on your rankings, the cost is all over the map if you don't want to do it yourself.
Welcome to WebMasterWorld, Pkabcenell!
Skibaum, i agree with you completely possibly to the extent of submitting just to the ODP, LS.com and Yahoo, and letting the spiders find you from the directory cats, and if listed appropriately in the cats, then while waiting for the spiders to come, build up decent high PR reciprocal links relevant to the sites contents.