Why would a software company overlook one of the easiest and quickest ways to promote it’s products online? This would seem to be a rhetorical question except for the fact that I run a shareware site and am constantly on the search for new software to add to my site. The thing is that only half of the programs I want to add to my database have PAD files available.

A PAD file is a simple XML file that contains all the information a developer would normally type into a web form at a software site. XML knowledge is not needed to create a PAD file. You can get one free at http://www.padgen.org/.

The software is basically self-explanatory. Just fill in the forms. It only takes about a half and hour to create a pad file and upload it to your site. It takes even less time if you already have a website to promote your product. Then you can just copy and paste the info you already have. And once your pad file is done, submitting to shareware sites is as easy as copying and pasting the address of your PAD file.

But why isn’t PAD technology used more often? Of course, it could be ignorance. Now ignorance is not a bad word. It just means that you haven’t heard of this technology that can increase download of your products three times over, a technology that means you can submit to anywhere from 300 to 700 software sites on the internet within an hour, depending on whose figures you use.

Most sites that use pad files don’t even require a membership. Mine doesn’t. This means you could submit your software to one site in the time it takes to copy and paste the address of your pad file into one form, hit submit, and then choose a category. Then you’re off to the next site. Submit and forget.

If this still seems like too much work, you can download software programs that will do all the submission work for you. Just think, it could finish your software submissions to hundreds of sites in the time it takes you to eat lunch.

Or maybe software marketers just don’t know the true value of submitting software to software sites. People actually go to software sites to find software. That sounds like a stupid statement but not when you realize that most general directories, except maybe DMOZ or Yahoo, are rarely used as search tools. They have mainly become an SEO tool. When searchers are looking for something general, they go to Google, Yahoo, or MSN. But when they look for software, they generally end up at a shareware site and stay for a while.

Of maybe you don’t develop shareware. The software you develop must be purchased before it is used. No trial period, because of the risk of it getting cracked. That’s fine. I really understand this reason. I was a developer who had my software cracked three times before I gave up on the whole shareware thing. But that doesn’t mean you can’t create a demo, a stand alone program that acts as a teaser. It will only be a matter of time before the software user opts to by the full version. Just make sure your demo teases enough but not too much.

So submitting PAD files to software sites has the effect of killing two birds with one stone. Yes, you get a multitude of links back to your site, but those links have more value than just increasing your pagerank. People will actually be using them to get to your site. As software developers, we have a tool that makes the process a lot easier and quicker than other marketers. Not using it now that you know is laziness.

by money and marketing
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