Contrary to what most people think, it is not necessary to submit your site to the search engines. In the early days of the web, when search engine technology was still primitive and search engines' ability to crawl the web was somehow limited, it made sense to submit your site.
Today, search engines like Google, MSN or Yahoo! Search have no problem crawling billions of pages and adding them to their index every month (and sometimes even more often). Most likely, they will find your site once they find a link to your page in another website.
That website can be a directory (a site that uses human editors to select, categorize and list websites), a site you exchange links with, or an article-posting site where you submit articles you write, complete with your resource box (a small bio about yourself with a link to your site).
The two best general directories are Yahoo! ($299/year fee) and DMOZ (free, but they may take a while to list your site). Listing your site with them will give you two of the best links you can get.
When exchanging links, make sure you do it with reputable, non-competitive sites with a topic related to yours (for example, if you're a real estate agent, you may want to trade links with a mortgage broker's site).
Writing articles and posting them in sites like Article City or Ideamarketers is not only a good way to get links, but also a great way to establish yourself as an expert. The idea is to allow other webmasters to re-print your articles for free, provided that they include your resource box (with a link to your site) at the end of the article.
In summary, don't waste time, energy and money submitting your site, or using one of those services that claim to submit your site to "thousands of search engines" (they are worthless). Instead, focus on getting high-quality inbound links. They will get your site listed faster while building your site's online reputation and popularity.
Mario Sanchez: http://www.theinternetdigest.net.
For more search engine tips go to: http://www.accordmarketing.com/seotips/.