Is there a way to alert editors of search engines that we have new content?
If you add new pages to your website or if you edit the content on your existing pages, the search engines will most likely find the edited content within a month and update their databases. For many sites, new pages and content will be indexed within several hours to a few days.
Search engines send out bots (also knows as robots or spiders) which “crawl” the Web constantly, indexing the content of websites. There is a correlation between (a) the number and quality of links to your site and (b) the frequency and depth of spidering on your site. If there are many links to your website, then the search engine spiders will visit your page more frequently. Search engines also generally follow this rule: the more frequently you update your site, the more frequently it will be visited by a spider.
For some historical context on how search engines used to index content, check out our reporting from way back when The Open Directory and Yahoo! were the most important places to get noticed:
Directories are a different issue. After a site is added to a directory such as Yahoo! or The Open Directory (DMOZ), it is unlikely to be revisited by the editors unless the site goes down. If the site disappears, then the editors will be notified by software which scans the directories for broken links. Otherwise, it is not likely to be re-reviewed very often. If the content on your web page changes in a dramatic way, then you should notify the editors and request that they take another look at your site.
To update a site which is listed on the Open Directory, go to the DMOZ home page (http://www.dmoz.org) and search for your site. At the top of the search results page will be a link to the category in which your site is listed. Click on the category link to go to the category page. At the category page, look at the row of links in the upper right-hand corner of the page. Click “update url”. Fill out the form.
If you have already submitted an update request to the Open Directory, you can visit the Open Directory Public Forum and ask for a status update. It is likely that an editor will tell you whether or not your update has been processed, and the approximate number of requests in the queue ahead of your request.
There are two ways to update a Yahoo! listing. If you paid to submit, then you have 30 days to request an update to your listing. Just reply to the email Yahoo! sent you when they approved your submission. Generally generally Yahoo! will make changes if you ask them when your site changes in a dramatic way, even if the initial 30 days have passed. The staff at Yahoo has grown much more flexible and accommodating with their directory customers, especially since the Yahoo search engine no longer searches the Yahoo directory. Since October 9, 2002, the Yahoo search engine has been a syndicated version of Google search [Note: As of 02/18/2004, Yahoo! no longer uses Google as its default search engine.]. To request an update from Yahoo!, use the Yahoo! Change Request Form.