I often get the advice not to use these automatic submission tools to submit your site to search engines. However, WebPosition's one seems promising. The question is: should I use it, and what search engines (or indexes) should I manually submit to? Thanks! :)
From what I understand, many search engines have been blocking these automatic submissions. The staff at WPG pretty much stays on top of it, but you have to make sure you're using a very recent copy of WPG. For a list of all the search engines to submit to, check out the Spider-Food Submission Guide. I use this when submitting all my sites, just so I won't forget an important engine or two.
Thanks for the link. I've been a dyed in the wool hand submitter for a long time, but I think you are getting automatic submission problems confused with something else.
And man, it's gonna take some typing to go through this. LOL
First, AltaVista went through quite a house cleaning some time ago whereby they removed web pages that had been mechanically generated. Since old versions of WPG used some boiler plate language for automatic doorway page generation this was rather easy for AltaVista to pick up and many of those pages were deleated. But this problem has since been dealt with via the WPG updates.
Second, the reporting feature (which checks your position via WPG) recently came under scrutiny from Northern Light. The folks over at NL said they were getting up to 500,000 queries a day from WPG and it was putting a strain on their servers. (I guess they should have hosted at ChicagoWebs oro Media3 LOL those slackers) As a result, Northern Light blocked WPG and asked WPG for a licensing fee. In response, WPG deleated Northern Light queries from the program and replaced them with Direct Hit.
Currently Google is taking a close look at people using the reporter feature of WPG to check their ranking. don't think this has completly panned out yet. But until it does I'm just not using WPG to check my ranks on Google. It's rather simple to just exclude Google when doing your checks. You just unmark it.
As per automatic submission programs, most are very safe. The trick is to fool the search engine submission into believing that the submission actually came from the submission page.
How does the software do this?
Well, there is this thing called the "http_referer" that tells the engine from where the submission is really coming. If you submit a page manually this information is automatically captured by the engine and that's how it determines that you are manually submitting. However, it's very easy for a URL submission program to submit to the engines and 'pose' as a browser.
So, badda bing - badda boom. Your submission program has overcome the problem. And the vast majority of submission programs do this with a breeze. As long as you are not using Bubba's Submit-O-Matic you should be okay.
There are, however, still some more issues. Some engines place a maximum on the number of pages you can safely submit per day - but with automatic submission programs it is very easy to submit hundreds of pages per day. It's also very tempting.
In that regard, the tool is no better than the person who is using it. In other words, people need to read the "Read Me" file and act responsibly.
Web Position Gold currently suggests that you submit no more than one page per day to each engine. In fact, if you try to submit more than one page in a 24 hour period it will automatically promt you and tell you that this is not suggested. However, that's very conservative and you can override the prompt.
I personally think they are just trying to cover themselves on all bases after the machine doorway page problem. I think 3-5 pages per day across all the engines is safe and many engines openly suggest that you can submit more.
Lastly, there can be a problem of automatic submission programs submiting too quickly.
Let's say that I am submiting
index.html, whoohoo.html.. and freakypeople.html..
In that case you want to submit index.html to AV, then to Google, then to Canada.com and so on. Once index.html has been submitted, you then need to start over with whoohoo.html and so on.
This prevents you from submitting things too quickly.
So, how do you know what your submission program is doing? Well, that's a good question. In many instances you don't know what's going on. And that's a good argument for hand submission.
When you hand submit, there is no doubt.
As per me, it depends on what I am submitting as to what I use. If it's a page that I created on my site I use the Submission Guide on Spider Food to submit my pages.
If I'm submitting something that's not critical to my site or perhaps a page on someone elses site that is not indexed but links to me, I use an automatic submission program.
Hope that helps.
Thanks for all the typing and advice, dhtmlshock and JK_Bowman!