The Big 3 Engines – Google, Yahoo and Bing (formerly MSN/Live)

There are a handful of engines out there that bring traffic, but the reality is a very large percentage of search engine traffic comes from Google, Yahoo and MSN.  Yes, there are other engines like AOL, etc, but they pull their results from the Big 3.
So in other words, once you start getting traffic from Google, Yahoo and MSN, you’ll rank well in the others automatically.

How to Get Listed In Google

There are three ways to list your site with Google, but I will warn you that using any one of these 3 methods no longer guarantees your site will be listed. 
Google is getting more and more selective about who gets in, and the first step is ensuring that your site is full of useful, unique content.
After that, work on getting quality, relevant sites to link back to you.  These days those two steps are the best ways to find your site in the almighty Google.
Having said that, here are some methods that may also get you in…
1) Get your site listed in The Open Directory – www.dmoz.org.

This is a directory that is managed by volunteers that act as “category editors.”  To list your site, simply go to the most appropriate category for your web site, then drill down to the relevant subcategory and select the “Add URL” link at the top of that category’s page.
Wait about a month to see if your site appears.  If it does not, I recommend emailing one of the category editors and asking for advice on how to get your site listed.  If you’re lucky, you’ll receive a helpful response, but most of the category managers do not answer emails.
Sometimes it may take up to one year for an editor to review and list your site and other times it may only take a couple of weeks.  Be patient and please don’t keep submitting! 
Unfortunately since DMOZ is run by volunteers, the time it takes to get your site reviewed really depends on the availability of the volunteers. Sometimes they may not check the submissions for weeks, which can be quite frustrating for people trying to get listed.
Lately, it seems to be more and more difficult to get in, but the good news is this is not the only way to get into Google.  Years ago this was one of the fastest ways to get listed and ranked.  Fortunately there are other options that are just as effective, and I’ll discuss those below.
Warning:  Don’t try to submit to The Open Directory unless you have enough useful information on your site.  If your site is only one or two pages long, then you won’t likely get listed.  They want medium to large sized web sites with useful and unique content.  Strive for at least 15 pages.
If you need more content, articlecity.com has some free articles you can post on your site.  Simply find the category that closely matches your theme and add them.  Be careful though, don’t use too many articles because the engines may penalize your site if you have too much duplicate content.
2) The second way to get listed in Google is to use their own Add URL form located here http://www.google.com/addurl.html.  This method is not as dependable as listing with The Open Directory, but it can get you in.  Google admits that they may not add every site, so don’t be surprised if this does not work for you.
3) The third way to get listed is to be linked from another web site that is already in Google.  That way, when Google’s spider goes to visit that site for updates, it will pick up the link to your site and add it.  This method does not always work, but many sites do get in this way.