If you do a web search for "Search Engine Submission" you'll see a lot of ads for services to help you out:
1000+ Directory Submission for 5¢ Each. High PR Directories!
Submit to 700,000+ search engines. Packages Starting at $14.95
If you use one of these paid services to have your site submitted to search engines, you might as well burn your money.
There's two very simple reasons why these services are not worth it.
It's All About Market Share
The first reason is market share - there are only two search engines that you need care about, which will drive 97-99% of the traffic for most websites.
Google controls between 83% and 92% of all search traffic, globably. The other search engines you might care about are Yahoo, Bing and Ask (and if you're based in the USA you might care about the 2% of Americans who use AOL). All the rest of the thousands of search engines combine to less than 1% of the entire market share except in specific niche areas (see the bottom of this post for more info).
But Google + Yahoo + Bing + Ask + AOL makes five, and I mentioned only two above, right?
Actually, life is easier for us than that. Yahoo results are now powered by Bing, and both AOL and Ask are powered by Google, so in actual fact we only need to submit to Google and Bing to get a 97-99% coverage of all search traffic. You can submit your website to these two search engines for free here:
The Second Dirty Secret
The second secret is that you don't even need to submit your site to the search engines at all. If an existing website - that is already in the search engines - links to your website, the search engines will add your site automatically - no action needed on your part. Sometimes this takes a while, so it doesn't hurt to submit your site using the links above if you want to speed things along.
Search Engine Market Share Stats
"Google enjoys the bulk of the UK search engine market share, handling 90.84 per cent of all queries, light years ahead of Yahoo with 2.31 per cent and Microsoft with 3.78 per cent. Across the Atlantic, it's slightly more balanced. Google's US search engine market share is still very healthy at 61 per cent, but it's not completely out of sight for Yahoo with 17 per cent and Microsoft with 15 per cent" theEword.co.uk
The exact stats vary by region and by device type (desktop computer vs mobile device). For example, Google has a far lower market share in the USA than the UK on desktops, but very high market share on mobile devices in all regions. If you're specifically targeting Asia you might also want to look at Baidu, which has a larger market share in that region.