I've tried to make SelfPromotion.com as easy as possible to use, but the process of site promotion does have a bit of a learning curve. This help page (hopefully) contains everything you'll need to know in order to effectively use the site.

While this page contains an embedded tutorial on using the site, most people will find the Illustrated Tutorial to be easier to follow and more entertaining. If this is your first visit to SelfPromotion.com, you should start there. Also, check out the Site FAQ for a more dynamic, interlinked version of these help pages.

Thanks to helpful users, this help page is also available in German, Italian, French and even Latin! If you would like to translate it into another language, please contact me! In particular, I'd love for someone to translate it into Klingon ("Keywords must always be chosen honorably!")

   Create New Account
Fill in this form to create your account and start promoting your website. Lawyers, the very suspicious, and Bill Gates should read the Terms and Conditions first.

Account Name:


Your password should be at least 6 characters in length and cannot be the same as your account name.

Your Email Address:

Quite a few people make mistakes when entering their email address. Please check to make sure you haven't mistyped it. And please don't enter an email address that automatically sends a reply when it receives an email; keep in mind that Tooter will send you some emails as it promotes your site, and so your "autoresponder" will send emails back to Tooter, which get bounced to me, and are of no help whatsoever!

How did you find this site?

   Login to Account
Account Name:


(Or click here to Create New Account)

First time here? Before you begin, you might want to read the Tutorial. There is also a comprehensive Help & FAQ page available.

Forgot your account name or password? Click here to cure your amnesia!

   Secret Net Tools
To give you a taste of how cool the Secret Net Tools are (you have to contribute to get access to all of them), I've enabled your access to several of the simpler ones. Enjoy!

Domain Name Sniffer
Are You Listed?
License Pl8 Genr8tor

Google (my favorite search engine)

   Getting Started
Getting Started:
Welcome (Home Page)
Site Help
Site FAQ
Site Map
List of Sites
Create New Account

Tutorials: (read in this order)
Preparing your Pages for the Search Engines
Using Tooter to submit your site
Getting listed in Yahoo (and the other big indexes)
Paying for Traffic
Improving your Search Engine Rankings
How to (not) win Awards

Trends in Submission
Virtual Vexation
The 500 Sites Fallacy
Page 1 Paranoia
Clickthrough Conundrums
The Gullibility Virus
A Marketing Course that Works?!
Accepting Credit Cards Online
Links of Interest
Glossary of Useful Terms
Random Nonsense
Woodhead's Law
Cool Domain Names
Why I let you decide how much to pay

Moral obligations?
Be Supportive!
Add your Award or Index
Make Money Slow! (by linking to me)
Suggestion Box
Advertising & Sponsorship

About the Site:
What's New?
How it works
Promotion Monitor
Our Awards
Best User Sites
User Comments

Believe it or not, 11.13% of the people who use SelfPromotion.com support the site!

Moving around the site

Creating an Account

Logging in to your Account

Creating a Record

Basic Promotion Options

Choosing Sites

Entering Data

Paying me money!

Applying for Awards

Other Promotion Options

The Secret Net Tools

Miscellaneous Site Features

Learning about Promotion

Frequently Asked Questions:

I promoted last week - how come I'm not in the search engines?

What's the best way to promote my site?

Forgotten account names and passwords

I promoted to the Search Engines; how do I promote to the other sites?

Your site keeps crashing my browser!

I was half-way through entering all the data, when my modem connection went down.

I entered my URL (or some other data) incorrectly! How do I change it?

I also screwed up my email address! How do I change that?

I just did a promotion, but all it wanted was my URL and email address. How do I enter keywords and stuff?

I didn't get listed in an index; what do I do?

How can I tell if I'm listed on a particular site?

How do I get a listing of what promotions have been done?

Why are some of the sites "MANUAL" promotions?

Why don't you submit to Free-for-all (FFA) Links pages?

What are META tags, and how do I use them?

Tuning your site for the search engines

You want me to visit a site to get some information, but the site is down, and every time I click on ENERGIZE I'm told I need to get that information.

Where are the Secret Net Tools?

How can I change the name of a record?

How can I check on the status of my promotions?

I started a promotion a couple of days ago, and though my site isn't in the Promotion Queue, some of my sites are still listed as Queued. What gives?

I run an adult site. Can I use SelfPromotion.com?

My site uses frames. I've heard search engines hate frames. How should I promote my site?

I run a foreign language website. How should I use SelfPromotion.com?

What if I've already promoted to some of the sites you promote to?

Can I repromote my site? How often should I do it?

How many URLs can I promote?

Should I promote my home page alone, or more of my pages?

My URL just changed. Should I repromote?

I'm promoting a site for a client. What information should I collect from him first?

What do the MARK AS COMPLETED links do?

I just did a promotion. How come I wasn't asked to enter a site description or keywords?

My site comes in multiple-languages. How do I promote it?

How can I link to you?

I run an award, index, or promotion resource? How can I get you to add me to the site?

Can I get an invoice for my contribution?

How come the site isn't easier to use?

I've read all the help, and I still have a question.

Moving around the site
On every page, grey palettes appear at the top right. They look sort of like Macintosh windows (complete with title bars), and contain the various forms and links you can use to move around the site.

Above the topmost palette are several tabs; the Help tab brings you here, and the Map tab takes you to a site map page that lists all the pages on the site with short descriptions of what is in them.

An important rule of thumb about using the site; if you get confused, read the page you are on carefully. Usually, someone else has had the same problem, and I've added something on that page that gives you at least a clue about what to do!

As an extra gimmick, clicking on any of the title bars takes you to the bottom of the page (except for the title bar of the palette at the bottom of the page, which takes you to the top!)
Creating an Account
Each SelfPromotion.com user has his own account, which is password protected. Each account can have one or more records; for each new URL you want to promote, you create a new record.

To create a new account, click on "Create New Account" in the Navigation palette. On the Create New Account page, you will find a palette on the left-hand side of the page that asks for an account name, password and email address. Enter these, read the terms and conditions carefully, and click on the CREATE button.

I need your email address so that Tooter can email you the results of your promotions. Your email address (and any other information you provide) is held in the strictest confidence, of course!

Assuming the account name you want isn't already in use, you'll be told your account was created, and given a link to click on that will take you to the Main Options page, where you can create a record.
Logging in to your Account
To log in to an account you've already created, simply enter your name and password into the form in the Log In palette, which (if you're not logged into an account already), will be the topmost options palette, and click the LOGIN button.

If you are already logged into an account and want to log into another one, then click on the Logout link in the Promote! palette, which replaces the Log In palette after you've logged in.

Incidentally, if you bookmark the Main Options page after you log in, you can log into your account without entering your name and password. The bookmark does all the work. Please note however that if you export this bookmark to one of the online bookmark services that publishes bookmarks (such as Hotlinks), you will potentially be allowing anyone to access your account. So be careful!
Creating a Record
Records contain information about a URL you are promoting, such as data you've entered about the URL, and records of what promotions you've done. You can have more than one record in your account, but you only need one record for each URL you are promoting.

To create a record, after you have logged into your account, go to the main options page (you are probably already there; if not, click on the Add New Record link in the Promote! palette). On the left-hand side, partway down the page will be an Add Record palette. Enter the name of your new record (something just to remind you what URL you are promoting) and click on the Add button. Your record will be created, and the page will replot.
Basic Promotion Options
After you have created at least one record, you will see that the Promote! palette contains several pulldown menus and a Promote button.

The first of these pulldown menus lets you select what record you want to work on. The second one lets you select what kind of promotion you want to do (as well as some other options).

To make things a little easier for you, I've divided the 100+ sites that SelfPromotion.com can submit to into several categories. You will rarely need to promote your site to all of the categories; a personal homepage should not be promoted to business-related websites, for example. I suggest you promote to each appropriate group in sequence, starting with Search Engines.

The Categories are:

Search Engines: Sites like Excite, which read and index your web-pages.

First Steps: I suggest you promote to the search engines first. They are the easiest to promote to, and doing them first is a simple introduction to how the site works. Lower down on this help page, you'll find special step-by-step instructions on how to promote to the search engines. Like this note, they are hilighted in red and marked as First Steps.

Major Indexes: The big and important net indexes, like Yahoo.

General Indexes: Second-tier indexes (There are a lot of them, so they're divided up into several groups).

Personal Indexes: Indexes that specialize in personal home-pages.

Business Indexes: Indexes that only list commercial web-pages.

Shopping Indexes: Indexes that only list websites that use electronic commerce to sell things.

Special Indexes: Indexes that have other specialized content.

British Indexes: UK-based indexes and search engines that only accept URLs for UK-based or related sites.

Canadian Indexes: Canada-based indexes and search engines that only accept URLs for Canada-based or related sites.

International Indexes: Non-Worldwide/US/Canadian/UK indexes, some of which accept English language listings.

Adult-OK Indexes: a convenient listing of all the sites in all the other categories that accept adult listings. Adult sites should ONLY promote to the Search Engines and the Adult-OK Indexes categories! None of the other sites accept adult listings.

Manual Promotions: Manual links to other sites of interest.

Once you made your selections using the pull-down menus, click on the Promote button to proceed to the Site Selection stage.

First Steps: So, for example, once you've created your first record, you'll notice that it is listed in the topmost pull-down menu (it's the only one in there). The second pull-down, which contains the categories, will default to Search Engines. For your first promotion, simply click the Promote! button. By the way, that little "List Full Descriptions" checkbox lets you decide if you want all the details about each of the sites you can promote to. Until you get very familiar with the sites, leave it checked.

Site Selection
After you've selected a record and option and clicked on Promote!, the site selection page will display, and you will be able to decide what sites within a group you actually want to promote to. The page contains a lot of information about the sites, as well as the status of any prior or pending promotions you've done to them. Read the instructions carefully, decide which sites you want to promote to, click the checkboxes next to them, then click the ENTER DATA button at the bottom of the page to proceed.

Some sites are listed as "Manual" sites. These are ones that you should visit and promote to in person. After you've done so, you can use the Mark as Completed links to record that you've promoted to the site.

First Steps: There's no reason not to promote to all the search engines, so click all those checkboxes. Then proceed to the bottom of the form, read the notes about JavaScript and the in-line Help, and click on that ENTER DATA button!

Entering Data
The Data Entry page is the heart of SelfPromotion.com. It first takes the list of sites you've decided to promote to, and figures out exactly what information is required. For example, a search engine might only need the URL of your site and your email address, while a business listing site might need a 50 word description, a category, your phone and fax numbers, and keywords.

Depending on what sites you've chosen to promote to, the Data Entry page may display a short form with a few things to fill out, or a much longer one. But, in all cases, it is as short as possible; only the items that are needed to do the promotions you currently want to do will be listed.

If you've previously promoted the record to other sites, you've probably entered some of the required information already! If so, a lot of the form will be filled out for you! Cool, eh?

Sometimes, the form will ask you for the same information in different ways (for example, both a 20 and 30 word description of your site). This is because every index on the net has different length restrictions, and it's important to take the best advantage possible of them.

Even neater, if you are running Netscape or Explorer 4.0 or better, you'll get access to some seriously cool features that make filling out the form even easier. For example, if you are asked for a 20 and a 30 word description, after you finish filling in the 30 word description, when you click on the 20 word description form element, it will automatically get filled in with the 30 word description, so you can just edit it down to 20 words!

Take your time and do a good job filling out the form. The better job you do, the better your listings will be. Be careful with your spelling, in particular! When you get to the bottom of the form, you'll find an ENERGIZE button. Click it to start the promotion process.

SelfPromotion.com will save your record's data (so you don't have to type it in again next time), and then check it to make sure everything is correct. If there are problems, the page will redisplay, and you'll be told what the problems are. Fix them and try again.

Assuming everything is correct, then your record will be queued for promotion. Tooter, the intelligent daemon program, will proceed to visit each of the sites you selected, and register your site for you. It basically pretends to be a human being, and types all the information in for you.

First Steps: If you're following along and have decided to promote to all the search engines, you'll only be asked for a few bits of information. I always get asked "Where do I enter my keywords?" Well, the great thing about SelfPromotion.com is "If the sites you're promoting to don't need a bit of information, I don't ask for it!" Since search engines typically want your URL, your name and your email address, this is pretty much all I ask for when you promote to the search engines.

Every field begins with a description of what needs to be entered and helpful hints. Read them. Remember, when you assume, you make an ass out of you and me. Here's what you'll have to enter:

First, ignore that Category Autoset text area. You won't need to use it until later on, and it is explained lower down in the help.

The URL of your site (or page): You won't believe how many people get this wrong! Even funnier, if you do screw it up, there is at least a 50% chance you'll (a) not read the instructions and diagnostic information and then (b) complain to me how the site is screwing up! All that incredible verbiage and precise explanation is there because others before you have made mistakes -- so read it!

The URL of your site, if you own your own domain: What this means is, if you own a domain (like I own http://selfpromotion.com/), you enter the URL. If you don't (say, your site is on GeoCities), you leave this blank. The reason I ask is that some search engines only accept listings from people with their own domains. Snobby, aren't they?

Full name of submitter or maintainer (First, Middle, Last): For example, I'm "Robert John Woodhead".

Email address of submitter or maintainer: Your email address, or the email address of whoever keeps your site running.

Location of Site (for Excite): The proper way to promote to Excite depends on where your site is hosted. Basically, Adult Sites, AOL member sites, and "free webpage" sites need to be handled specially. If you fall into these categories, answer Yes, otherwise No.

Once that's done, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on ENERGIZE. If all is well, then your record will be queued for promotion; otherwise the page will replot with error messages that tell you what needs to be fixed. Please read them and try again.

Congratulations, you've (I hope!) just completed your first promotion. Now try promoting to the next set of sites (the Major Indexes).

Paying me money!
Once your promotion has been queued, you'll be presented with my pathetic plea to support the site by sending me some money. Read it, it's funny. There's a form you can fill out to let me charge your credit card. You can also find a copy of this form on the Support the Site! page.

While SelfPromotion.com is a free service, I do encourage you to make a small payment to support the service. I've already had to buy two extra servers to keep the site running, and will soon have to upgrade my net link as well. This does cost money! SelfPromotion Supporters get several important privileges. First, "Tooter" will process your submissions before those of non-supporters; in fact, those that pay the most get the fastest service (apparently, "Tooter" was a waiter in his previous life). Second, SelfPromotion.com will retain account information about supporters for a full year, whereas accounts of non-supporters will auto-delete after four weeks (to make room for the next person).

Finally, those who support the site to the tune of $10.00 or more get access to my suite of Secret Net Tools (see below)

You may also want to join my Partner Program, which rewards you for adding my link to your page.
Applying for Awards
Applying for awards is very similar to promoting to the various indexes. There is one extra step, however.

Before you can apply for awards, I have to rate your site based on a variety of characteristics. Then you'll be allowed to apply to those awards that you have a decent shot at winning. Please note that because I have to manually rate your site, the award application feature is only available to those who've contributed towards the maintenance of the site. Assuming you have done so, then:

Select one of your records and Request Award Rating from the pull-down menus, then click on Promote. This will tell me you want your site to be rated.

Next, be patient for a few days until I get around to rating your site.

When you return to SelfPromotion.com, select the record, the Apply for Awards category, and click on Promote again. This time (assuming I've rated you), you'll be able to select the awards that I think you have a chance of winning, and click on Enter Data to enter your data and start a promotion.

I do this pre-vetting to prevent people from "spamming" all of the awards. Each time you submit for an award, a real person has to look at your site, so it is important to only submit to appropriate awards.

There are some types of sites that should not apply for a rating, because these types of sites rarely get awards, no matter how good they are:
Please remember that I have to spend time rating sites. Please don't waste my time asking me to rate sites that obviously aren't going to get awards. And as I only rate your site once, it is always a good idea to wait until your site is in tip-top shape before asking me to rate it!
Other Promotion Options
There are several other options in the pulldown menus that you will find useful.

Check Status lets you see the status of every promotion you've performed

Email Status Report will send you the same information in a nicely formatted email report. It also tells you which awards you've applied for.

STOP Promotion lets you stop a promotion you've queued (in case you've made a mistake).

Search Engine Resubmit lets you quickly resubmit your site to the major search engines (after you've changed it, you'll want to let them know so they can rescan your pages!). It only resubmits to the search engines you've already submitted to. Only New Sites lets you submit to all the sites that you haven't yet successfully promoted to, and is a handy way to keep up with me as I add new sites and awards. This option is only available to contributors.

Retry Failed Promotions lets you quickly edit your data and resubmit to any sites where your original promotion failed (due to an error on their site, for example).

There are also a couple of special links in the Promote! palette that come in handy occasionally.

Delete Record lets you delete a record you don't need anymore.

Copy between Records lets you copy information between two records.
The Secret Net Tools
The Secret Net Tools are available only to supporters who contribute $10.00 or more. After I've processed your contribution, the full suite of Secret Net Tools will appear in the palette between the Promote! and Navigate palettes.

The Rankulator lets you query the major search engines with the 7 permutations of 3 keywords, and tells you on what page your page appears. It also tells you the URLs of the best pages, so you can learn from the ranking masters.

The Multisubmitter lets you quickly and automatically submit multiple URLs (dozens if you want!) to all the major search engines, and gives you a nice email report of how well it did!

The Keyword Susser queries Overture.com's search terms tool and makes it easy to find out exactly what keywords you really want to be targeting on your pages and in your Meta Tags. And if you are advertising on Overture, the Overture.com Search Terms Report will save you hours of work tracking your bids.

The Domain Name Sniffer makes it easy to search for great domain names for your site.

The Espionage tool lets you look at a web-page the way the search engines do. It's great for learning the tricks of getting better rankings.

The Link Finder queries the search engines and tells you what sites are linked to your site.

The HTML PrettyPrinter shows you the logical structure of your pages, and helps diagnose those pesky table errors!

The View HTML tool is like your browser's view command, but it also shows you the HTTP headers.

The Keyword Diffuser is a seriously cool tool. You enter keywords that describe your site, and the Diffuser generates many different sets of META keywords tag, one for each of your pages. Each META tag has a different subset of your keywords in different orders; the idea is to maximize the chance that any particular query on a search engine will find one of your pages. It even has a macro processor to help you generate keyword phrases!
Miscellaneous Site Features
There are tons of other cool goodies on SelfPromotion.com, and you can find them all in the Navigate palette.

How it Works explains how the site does do the voodoo that it can do.

The Promotion Monitor page lets you see what SelfPromotion.com is up to. It shows you what pages are being promoted now, and what pages have recently been promoted, and gives you links so you can visit those sites.

The List of Sites tells you what sites and awards SelfPromotion.com promotes to. It's usually out of date.

The What's New? page keeps you up to date on all the allegedly cool things I've been doing on the site. It's also usually out of date!

The Our Awards page is a list of all the awards I've won, some of which I actually deserved.

I've also compiled a list of the Best User Sites that have been promoted via SelfPromotion.com, and some User Comments that people have made about the site.

If you run a major index, or administer an award, you can learn how to get it added to SelfPromotion.com by reading the Get Your Site Added page.

And of course, no site would be completed without a Suggestion Box.

I've also written some articles about website promotion that you may find of interest:

The 500 Sites Fallacy is my little dissertation on why you shouldn't pay someone a lot of money to promote your site. Even me. Hey, wait a minute...

Page 1 Paranoia addresses the constant questions I get about search engines.

Improving your Rankings contains tips on how to have your site appear on page 1 on the search engine rankings, and provides some very good reasons why you ought to send me at least $10.

How to win Awards tells you, in a roundabout way, how to snag awards for your site.

And just because I'm a nice guy, I wrote an Are You Listed? tool that lets you determine if you are listed on some of the major search engines. This tool requires JavaScript 1.1, so you need to be running Netscape or Explorer 4.x in order to use it.
Learning about Promotion
Links to other web promotion resources that I've found useful can be found on the Links of Interest page. There are lots of great resources out there!
Frequently Asked Questions:

I promoted last week - how come I'm not in the search engines?
Ah, the #1 question. All any submission service can do is properly submit your URL. When the listing actually appears is up to the target search engines. With the exception of AltaVista, all of them are sloooooow. 1-4 MONTHS is typical. Hotbot recently stopped updating their index for over 5 months! It's really annoying, but there is nothing anyone can do to hurry them up. Anyone who guarantees instant listings is a liar, or is being deliberately misleading (for example, claiming to instantly list you in "500 top search engines", when what they really do is submit you to useless free-for-all links pages)

You can use the Are You Listed? Secret Net Tool on the site to see if your URL is in a particular search engine. As previously mentioned, Altavista is the only search engine that lists you quickly, so check for your URL on them.

You can check your URL on AltaVista manually by visiting their Advanced Search Page at http://www.altavista.com/cgi-bin/query?pg=aq.

Enter the following boolean expression in the second search box, then click on Search:


For example, I would enter


to search for all the selfpromotion.com pages on AltaVista. And I'd enter:


to search for all the pages in a particular area of another of my websites. NOTE that you don't enter the http:// prefix, and it's usually a good idea to leave off any trailing /'s.

Also, keep in mind that getting into the search engine and coming up high on a search engine query for particular keywords are two different things. You can be IN the search engine's database but still not appear on keyword searches because your pages are not ranking high enough.

If you haven't promoted to the General Indexes sections, you should. Many of them will add you immediately, and send you email feedback. I strongly recommend that people do each segment (Search Engines, Major Indexes, General Indexes, etc) in order as time permits. And most important, follow my advice about submitting to Yahoo at http://selfpromotion.com/yahootips.t (because that's the most important place to register your URL!)

I also recommend resubmitting to the Search Engines about once a month, just in case they either dumped your original submission or purged your URL from their index. See "Can I repromote my site? How often should I do it?" below.
What's the best way promote my site?
One of the big problems with site registration is that unless you actually visit all of the indexes, you can never be sure if they have actually listed you. I am currently playing around with an Are You Listed? tool that makes checking on your listings easier, but it is far from complete as of yet.

Fortunately, since most of your hits will come from the top indexes and search engines, all you should really worry about is "Am I listed in the top sites?"; listings in the minor sites are pretty much "gravy" in my opinion; nice to have, but not crucial.

Therefore, here is my suggested strategy for registering your site:

1) Register with the Search Engines and Major Indexes

These two categories of sites are the most important to get listed in, so do them first.

2) Register with the General Indexes (and the other categories of indexes) as appropriate

It's nice to get into these sites, but not crucial. So as time permits, register with all the appropriate sites in these categories.

3) Anytime your site changes, re-register with the Search Engines

Search Engines are the sites (like Excite, Lycos, etc) which have a "Spider" program that visits your site and indexes it. They don't mind if you resubmit to them over and over again, so you should do so every time your site changes significantly. Use the Search Engine Resubmit option to quickly do this.

4) Every couple of months, check the sites in the Major Indexes to see if they have listed you

If they have, great. If they haven't, resubmit to them. With really major indexes like Yahoo, I'd give them 3 months before resubmitting, and make some improvements on your site in the meantime.

Getting your site listed with the search engines and indexes is only part of a well-rounded promotional program. For more thoughts on other things to do, you may enjoy a short article I wrote entitled The 500 Sites Fallacy.
Forgotten account names and passwords
If you've forgotten your account name or password, visit http://selfpromotion.com/amnesia.t to retrieve it. Just enter your email address and the site will email your account name and password.
I promoted to the Search Engines; how do I promote to the other sites?
After you've logged into your account, the Promote! menu at the top of the page will have two pull-down menus located above the PROMOTE button. The top one lets you select which of your records you want to promote, and the bottom one lets you select what type of sites you want to promote it to. The default for the bottom pull-down menu is Search Engines; change it to promote to different types of sites.
Your site keeps crashing my browser!
Some of the pages, in particular the data entry form can get complicated, and use a lot of memory, especially if you leave the JavaScript enabled. First, make sure you are using the most recent version of your browser, and that you've allocated it enough memory (bump it up by a meg or two). Second, try disabling the JavaScript on the form, by deselecting the checkbox just above the ENTER DATA button on the site selection page.
I was half-way through entering all the data, when my modem connection went down.
Simply reconnect to your ISP and continue on. If you are paranoid, then every so often (10 minutes or so), simply scroll down to the bottom of the form, check the "Don't promote, just check" checkbox, and click on the ENERGIZE button. The form will reload, and all the data you've entered so far will have been saved on the SelfPromotion.com server.
I entered my URL (or some other data) incorrectly! How do I change it?
Use the STOP Promotion feature (in the pulldown menus) to stop any promotions that haven't already been done. Then simply start another promotion; you'll have an opportunity to change all your data before the promotion is queued.

A common question is "How do I change my data?" The answer is, "Do more promotions; if a particular bit of data is required for a promotion, you'll have the opportunity to review and change it"
I also screwed up my email address! How do I change that?
Log into your account, which gets you to the main options page (the one that lets you add a new record). Scroll down the page and the bottom-most palette on the right-hand side is the cunningly hidden email change form!
I just did a promotion, but all it wanted was my URL and email address. How do I enter keywords and stuff?
The contents of the Data Entry form depend on what sites you are promoting to. Some sites, like the search engines, only ask for a few bits of information, so the form is simple; others, like indexes, ask for more, and the form can get pretty big. Each Data Entry form is unique and custom-generated just for you, and asks for only the information needed to do the promotion you currently want to do.

So you won't be asked for keywords, or a particular description, until you promote to a site that needs that information. And if you've already entered it on a previous promotion, you'll find it conveniently filled-in for you on the form!
I didn't get listed in an index; what do I do?
Welcome to the wonderful world of net-lag. It can take a long time for sites to actually list you; I'm still getting the occasional "We just listed you" email from promotions I started 3 months before!

My rule of thumb is, if an index hasn't listed me after 3 months, and my site has some new stuff on it that might cause them to change their minds and list me, then I'll repromote to them. See the previous section for more ideas on promotion strategy.
How can I tell if I'm listed on a particular site?
The "Are You Listed?" tool will help you find if you are listed on some of the major sites. Other ones, you'll have to go visit the site and see. If you contributed $10 or more, the Link Checker Secret Net Tool can also help.
How do I get a listing of what promotions have been done?
The Email Promotion Report option in the pulldown menus is just the ticket! And the Account Status link in the Promote palette gives you a more condensed report about all of your records.
Why are some of the sites "MANUAL" promotions?
There are five main reasons why a site has been left as a manual link.

First, it may be an important site like Yahoo, where a personal touch to the submission can help you improve your chances of getting in; Second, it may be a site whose registration system is sufficiently weird that automatic promotion is a pain in the tushie; Third, it may be a site that has asked for no automatic submissions; Fourth, it may be a special-interest site that won't be submitted to very much, so doing an automatic submission isn't worth my time (or would result in too many inappropriate submissions); and finally, it may be because I was just too damn lazy to do it.
Why don't you submit to Free-for-all (FFA) Links pages?
Bluntly, because they are worse than useless. Most of them are there for one reason -- to collect email addresses so they can email you advertising messages. Additionally, any clickthroughs you do actually get are of very low quality -- after all, you have to be REALLY bored to look for new sites on a FFA page.

Those spams that promise to promote your site to the top "1000" search engines are really going to submit you to a bunch of FFA sites. Which will mean you'll get more spam! Lucky you!

I actually built a submitter that could submit to over 800 FFA links pages, and tested the quality of the resulting clickthroughs. Very few people who clicked through from a FFA page bothered to use SelfPromotion.com (or send me a contribution... grr!)
What are META tags, and how do I use them?
Meta tags are special HTML tags that you put in the <HEAD> section of your HTML pages. They contain stuff like keywords, descriptions, and ratings of your site. Search engines often use them to categorize and rank your pages, so it's a good idea to have them.

SearchEngineWatch Meta Tags Explanation Page contains a great introduction to Meta tags. I recommend the SearchEngineWatch site extremely highly. You should spend an evening there browsing!
Tuning your site for the search engines
If you want help on tuning your site to improve your search engine rankings, the Secret Net Tools available to those who contribute $10 or more will help. But visit the SearchEngineWatch site first, it is the best resource about search engines on the net.
You want me to visit a site to get some information, but the site is down, and every time I click on ENERGIZE I'm told I need to get that information.
Reminds you of Catch-22, doesn't it? First of all, don't worry, each time you clicked on ENERGIZE all your data was saved on the server. Near the top of the form is a link that you can click to return to the site selection form. Click it and the form will appear with all of your previous site selections checked. Uncheck the offending site, click on ENTER DATA, review your data one last time, click on ENERGIZE, and all should be well!
Where are the Secret Net Tools?
After you've supported the site to the tune of $10 or more, when you log into your account, you'll notice that the Secret Net Tools palette now contains all of the tools (before you contribute, it just shows a couple of them).
How can I change the name of a record?
It's a little bit roundabout, but do this. First, use the Copy Between Records tool to create a new record with the name you want, copying into it all the old record's fields and status information (check all 3 checkboxes). Then use the Delete a Record tool to delete the old record.
How do I check on the status of my promotions?
Select the record you wish to check and "Check Status" from the pulldown menus, then click on the PROMOTE button. You'll be shown the standard "Choose Sites" page, in the concise format. The status of your promotion to each site is displayed on the same line as the site name, on the right side of the screen.
I started a promotion a couple of days ago, and though my site isn't in the Promotion Queue, some of my sites are still listed as Queued. What gives?
Most likely, a system crash or power failure here at SelfPromotion.com caused the flag on your record that says "this record needs promotion" to get reset. This happens very rarely, but it can happen. The solution is to select one of those Queued records, and do a promotion for it again (select one site, click ENTER DATA, the data will all be filled in from last time, so all you do is scroll down and click on ENERGIZE). This will reset the flag and all the queued sites will get promoted.

It is also possible that Tooter failed the first time it tried to promote to some sites, and is just now retrying them. When this happens, all the sites flagged for Retries are set to Queued -- and your record should be listed in the Promotion Queue.
I run an adult site. Can I use SelfPromotion.com?
Any legitimate website owner may use SelfPromotion.com, as long as the content of the website or the services offered are not illegal. However, I do ask that people who wish to promote adult websites abide by several common-sense restrictions

1) They should include the string XXX in the name of every record they create (accounts can have multiple records). This enables my site to not display a link to the adult site on the "Promotion Queue" page, where a younger surfer might find it. The same goes for any website that has content unsuitable for younger audiences.

2) Adult websites should promote only to the search engines and the "Adult OK Indexes" categories (these are the only places that accept adult listings anyway)

3) Adult websites should not attempt to apply for awards, or use the FFA submitter secret net tool. None of the awards are given to adult sites, and FFA pages do not want adult listings.
My site uses frames. I've heard search engines hate frames. How should I promote my site?
It's true that some search engines have a problem indexing sites that use frames. Indexes, on the other hand, don't care. So here's what to do:
I run a foreign language website. How should I use SelfPromotion.com?
You can promote your foreign-language pages to the Search Engines, but most of the Indexes don't accept non-English pages (the exception being a few European sites that I've added).

Thus, you should use SelfPromotion.com to promote your non-English pages to the Search Engines category only, and manually promote to regional indexes in your part of the world that accept listings in your language. SearchEngineWatch has a great list of Regional Search Engines that you ought to list your site in.

If you also have an English-language version of your site, you should use SelfPromotion.com to promote it as well, to both the Search Engines and the Indexes.
What if I've already promoted to some of the sites you promote to?
You can repromote to the search engines (Excite, etc) as often as you want, so the only concern is repromoting to the indexes (Yahoo, etc). Since you can select exactly which sites you want to promote to, you can simply avoid the sites you know you've already done. As a convenience for your record-keeping, there is a "Mark as Completed" facility on the site selection page that lets you manually mark each site as "Done"
Can I repromote my site? How often should I do it?
As mentioned above, you can repromote your site to the search engines as often as you want, but more than once a month or so isn't going to do you much good. I recommend repromoting your home page and other important pages to the search engines "Once a Month, whether they need it or not." The Multisubmitter Secret Net Tool is designed to make resubmitting all your core pages easy, but don't overdo it - being overly agressive might get your pages banned! There's also a "Search Engine Resubmit" feature in the pulldown menus that does the same thing as the Multisubmitter, but for a single URL.
How many URLs can I promote?
Each record in your account is used to promote a different URL. Accounts of non-contributors are limited to 10 records. Contributors get 1 record per $ contributed.
Should I promote my home page alone, or more of my pages?
Only promote one page (your home page) to the INDEXES (Yahoo, etc). If you've already registered with a particular index, don't do it again! They hate that.

Promote your home page and any other "core" important pages to the search engines. They don't mind if you submit more than one page.

"Deep submission" of all of your pages isn't worth the effort for most sites, because the search engines will find your pages eventually. But if you want to, the Multisubmitter Secret Net Tool is the way to do it.
My URL just changed. Should I repromote?
You should repromote to the search engines, giving them your new URL. However, as long as you can set up your old URL to redirect visitors to your new site, it isn't worth bothering the indexes. If you can't arrange for this, then my advice is to manually visit the MAJOR indexes and see if they have a method for changing the URL (Yahoo does, for example), and use SelfPromotion.com to reregister with all the lesser indexes. I'd probably take the time to tell the major indexes about my new URL in any case.
I'm promoting a site for a client. What information should I collect from him first?
Well, much depends on the type of site you want to promote, and the sites you will be promoting to, but here's a summary of the information you may be asked to provide:

General Information:
In addition, make sure you know enough about what the client does to enable you to properly choose categories!

There is a special feature of the site called Turbo Data Entry that lets you enter the most needed information on a single form. You will find a link to it in the Promote! palette.
What do the MARK AS COMPLETED links do?
It's trivial, actually. You see, when Tooter promotes your site to a particular index successfully, it records the date it did so in your record; when you return to the site selection page, or do a "Check Status" or "Email Status Report", you'll see these dates, which are useful for keeping track of when you did what.

Some of the sites and awards are "Manual" in nature; you have to go and manually submit (a good example would be Yahoo!). The MARK AS COMPLETED links let you record in your record that you've done so, to aid in your own record-keeping. They are also useful for noting that you've already promoted to a particular site before you stumbled upon SelfPromotion.com.
I just did a promotion. How come I wasn't asked to enter a site description or keywords?
After you choose sites to promote to, the data entry form is custom created for you, and only asks you for the information needed to promote to the sites you just selected. So, what you are asked for depends on what they need. When you do a different promotion (say, to some of the general indexes) you'll be asked for other information (such as keywords, for example), and any data they need that you've already typed in will be filled in for you!
My site is available in multiple languages. How do I promote it?
This is a tricky question because many multilingual sites use some sort of redirection to guide users to the right version of the site depending on the language the browser tells them the visitor wants to use. And as we all know, some search engines hate redirection.

What you do is this. Promote your main entry page (the one that redirects, or has links to the various versions) to all the INDEXES. Then create separate records in your account for the main language-specific pages of your site (eg: the italian home page, the russian home page, etc.) and promote them ONLY to the SEARCH ENGINES. That should cover all the bases
How can I link to you?
If you would like to link to selfpromotion.com, complete instructions and graphics can be found on my Make Money Slow! page.
I run an award, index, or promotion resource? How can I get you to add me to the site?
If you administer an award and want me to list it on the site, please visit my Get Added page and fill out the form.

If you administer a GENERAL PURPOSE index (eg: something similar to Yahoo) and you want me to add you to the list of sites that SelfPromotion.com can promote to, please email me directly. Note that I do not add sites that get less than 50,000 page views per day.

If you run a site that is a genuine and useful internet promotion resource (eg: something like http://www.virtualpromote.com/) and you want me to add you to my resources links, please email me directly. I only add sites that have a lot of useful information that is available for free.
Can I get an invoice for my contribution?
When I process your contribution, you get an automatic email invoice. If you need something actually on paper, I'm happy to provide one.
How come the site isn't easier to use?
Many people ask me how come the site doesn't just ask them for a single page of information and then go off and do the promotions, like a lot of the other URL registration services.

The bottom line is, you can either do it easy, or do it right. The philosophy of my site is, "do it right as easy as possible", not "do it easy as right as possible." But, doing it right isn't easy! There is a learning curve involved. It takes time at first to get used to the way the site works.

A lot of things about the site that people find initially inconvenient (such as "how come you don't simply let me promote to all 100 indexes in one big chunk, but instead break it up into categories like Search Engines, Major Indexes, etc?") were implemented in response to user experience during the beta test. If you were to promote to all 100 indexes at once, for example, the data entry page would be about 600K long, and if it didn't crash your browser, it would take you a couple of hours to fill in! By breaking up the process, you get a more gentle introduction to how things work.

I'm always adding features to make the site easier to use and reduce the learning curve (and your feedback about EXACTLY what confused or annoyed you is crucial to this effort), but I won't do so at the cost of making the submissions less accurate.
Got a question not on the FAQ? Email me!

Robert Woodhead

About this site...
This site was developed on a Macintosh, programmed in WebSiphon, and served by WebStar. The author, on those exceedingly rare occasions when he does think, indeed thinks differently.

It looks (and works) better when you use version 4.0 or better of Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer, but can be used with any tables-capable browser.

SelfPromotion.com ©1997-2004 Robert Woodhead, All Rights Reserved. SelfPromotion.com™, Tooter™, Secret Net Tools™, MultiSubmitter™, Rankulator™, BaldSpotCam™, and ShareService™ are trademarks of Robert Woodhead. To get help, report bugs, or make suggestions, go here.