Search Engines and Directories

A search engine searches out web pages and categorises them automatically. The programs that do this are known as "spiders" or "robots". A search directory doesn't use programs to generate the data for its search results, instead all of the entries are added manually by the people who look after the directory. This means that a search engine can include more pages in the database that is searched but a search directory is more likely to produce more useful results.

Note that while all of the links on this page open in a separate window they will all use the same window so that you will only have one extra window open while using the links on this page.

The following is a list of the top five search engines and directories. I suggest that if you want to get visitors to your site you need try to get listed with as many of these as possible.

  1. Google is the search engine that I mostly use when I do web searches. It usually produces meaningful results to my queries. (Add URL)
  2. Yahoo combine both a directory and search engine in order to try to improve on either one separately. This is my next stop if I can't find the answer on Google (Add URL)
  3. About is the best directory on the web. A lot of the information on this site is actually provided by the hundreds of guides who are experts in their fields. To get your site linked here you must convince the appropriate guide that your pages are a meaningful contribution in their field.
  4. Open Directory is an attempt to build the most comprehensive directory on the web. Get listed here and the search engines will find your site without you needing to submit to them directly.
  5. MSN Search is Microsoft's first move into creating their own search engine. From what I have seen the results are inconsistent and not very useful but it is too popular to ignore (Add URL)

If these aren't enough for you then the following links will take you to the pages to add your site to lots more search engines and directories - Aeiwi, Amfibi, Altavista, AMRAY, Any Search Info, Big Finder, Buzzle, CanLinks, Cipinet, Claymont, Clickey, DogPile, EntireWeb, ExactSeek, Excite, Ezilon, Gimpsy,, IllumiRate, Info Tiger, Jayde, JDGO, Look, Lycos, MetaSearch, MixCat, NetSearch, National Directory, Overture, Qango, ScrubTheWeb, Search Ave,, SearchHippo, SearchFeed, SearchIt, SearchKing, SearchSight, Shoula Search, SplatSearch, Starting Point, Subjex, SurfGopher, TowerSearch, TurnPike, Walhello, WebCrawler, Web World, WebbieWorld, WebSquash, What U Seek, WiseNut, World Site Index, WWWRIOT, and Zeezo.

If you have a site in the Australian .au domain then the following search engines and directories specific to Australia may also be worth trying to get listed in - AAA Smart Shopping, Howz@t, Sensis, and Web Wombat.

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