A search engine is a web site that allows you to search for a word that is found in a web page. That word could be a name, street name, phone number, Uniform Resource Locator (URL) or any keyword you think may be in the text of the page.
These engines use a ‘robot’, a program that traverses the Internet and indexes the words in every web page. These robots are also called wanderers or spiders. To learn more about robots you can visit the Webcrawler site http://info.webcrawler.com/mak/projects/robots/robots.html. More info can be read at the Webcrawler page http://info.webcrawler.com/mak/projects/robots/faq.html.
A web site that reports on the latest updates about search engines is located at Mecklermedia’s Search Watch, http://searchenginewatch.com/. Mecklermedia is the publisher of several Internet magazines.
There are three ways that someone can find your web site. One is to advertise on all of your publications your URL. The second is for the search engines to index your page and a person can use the right keyword so the engine displays your web site. The third is for other web sites to link to your site as a place their viewer might like to view also.
The Online Computer Library Center and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) in a March 1995 Metadata Workshop put forth the proposal that Meta Tags be used in web pages to allow them to be cataloged, just as a library book is cataloged at a library. A librarian said to me that if you can not find the book in the catalog then for all intended purposes, it doesn’t exist. This is not completely true with web pages because the robots are very efficient, but as the Internet grows it would help people find your pages easier through a Search Engine if you use Metatags in your pages header.
To get the Search Engines to index your page sooner you can submit your URL to them directly. Since there are so many robots this can take a lot of time. There are services out there that offer to do it for you for a fee. Try the keyword submit in one of the Search Engines to find these companies that will do it for you.
To do it yourself here is a list of the major search engines taken from the Internic Site. You can print this list out and use it to keep track of which engines you have submitted your URL to.