Many people don't really realise how search engines work. They cannot magically know that your website exists, they need to be told to go and look at it
. The only exception to this is if you have links to your website on a another site that search engines are already looking at, simply because here they will jump from one person's site to yours using that link.
To submit your website to Google
, simply visit Google's Website Submission Page
and fill in the details. As stated it will take some time before they index it (up to 6 months depending on how busy Google is, normally much sooner though).
To have your page appear on the Yahoo
search listings, you will need to use their own Site Explorer Submission Page
. Again filling in the details on the page and submitting them as instructed. If you're prompted to download a "Yahoo Optimised Web Browser" I would strongly recommend against it because it will just be your normal browser with Yahoo branding and advertising plastered all over it.
To submit your site to the Microsoft Bing or MSN
service you will need to go to their URL Submission Page
which is nice and simple, just enter your URL and submit. After which it should appear on Bing and MSN once they have gotten around to indexing your page or site.
There's no way to guarantee a good ranking, anyone that claims they can get you a good search engine position is lying
unless you happen to have a site that would be found via search terms that no-one else's site would contain, such as "beetroot sarcophagi" or "bum-rushing speaker systems". Search engine rankings reflect the popularity of your site, most people falsely believe that it is the other way around, in that they must first have high search engine rankings to gain popularity which is where they are going wrong.
If you are not sure how to optimise your site for search engines then Google have written a rather comprehensive PDF document
on the topic. Most of it is simply documenting how to design your site properly which is honestly the best improvement you can make to a website, but it also explains why
certain aspects are important, helping you understand the whole process.
There are some sneaky ways to try and boost listings, but these often backfire as Search engines are now more 'intelligent' and these methods tend to come back and bite the user in the behind, causing the site to either disappear from the listings entirely or to vanish into the cruft at the bottom.
If you're looking for exposure then word of mouth and advertising (such as Google Adwords
) are still your best options. The more popular the site becomes, the higher in the rankings it will climb.