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Before you can get any kind of search engine rankings your site must be visible to search engines. This will allow them to crawl your website, going through each of the links on each page until your entire site has been indexed.
Many of today's search engines use other search engine results, for example Ask uses the results from Google and Yahoo uses the results from Bing. This helps in that you only really need to submit your site to major search engines and not every single one. It is free to submit to these search engines however it is advisable to look at optimisation of your pages, especially page titles and descriptions before you submit.
Both Google and Bing support the use of sitemaps. These are XML files, text documents that are formatted in a certain way that are easy for machines to read and understand. These files make it easier for search eninges to find all the pages and even when they were last updated, useful for when a page is updated frequently. The format for such a file is as follows:
Avoid the temptation of using cheap submission services, especially the ones that submit to hundreds or thousands of search engines and directories as these have a tendency to submit to low quality sites, sites that can actually harm your search engine ranking and often result in having to employ reputable SEO specialists to get your site removed from such sites.