Search Engine Directories FAQ
Directories are search engines powered by human beings. Human editors compile
all the listings that directories have. Getting listed with the web's key
directories is very important, because their listings are seen by many people.
In addition, if you are listed with them, then crawler-based search engines are
more likely to find your site and add it to their listings for free.
You should prepare before submitting to any directory. This preparation means
that you have written a 25 word or less description of your entire web site.
That description should make use of the two or three key terms that you hope to
be found for.
It is essential that the description you write not make use of marketing
language. So, if you sold shoes and wanted to be found for terms such as
"athletic shoes" and "running shoes," you might write a "just the facts"
description like this:
You would not want a description like this, which is full of marketing hype,
which editors dislike:
shoes, running shoes, hiking boots and other footwear plus try our cross
country trail finder.
|World’s LARGEST online shoe
store with the best prices from the greatest brands!!!!
The web's oldest major directory, and still it's most important, is
Yahoo. Getting listed with Yahoo is
absolutely essential to any site owner.
Yahoo has two submission options: "Standard," which is free, and "Yahoo
Express," which involves a submission fee.
Anyone can use Standard submission to submit for free to a non-commercial
category. You'll know the category is non-commercial if the "reverse bar"
containing the category name at the top of the category page is blue. You'll
also know because if you try to submit to a non-commercial category, the
Standard submission option will be offered in addition to the Yahoo Express paid
option, discussed further below.
Why might you choose to pay when the free search engine submission option is
available? Simply for a fast turnaround time. If you use the free submit choice,
there's no guarantee that your submission will be reviewed quickly or at all.
Your submission to a non-commercial category is more likely to be accepted if
your content is not overtly commercial. For example, submitting the home page of
a site that sells running shoes is likely to be seen a commercial and not
accepted. However, if you have a page within that web site that discusses in
depth how to select the right type of shoes for different running races, then
that page might be deemed helpful, non-commercial information and accepted.
As for commercial categories, Yahoo requires that sites pay a Yahoo Express
submission fee of $300 (well, $299) per year.
This fee doesn't guarantee that you will be listed, only that you'll get a yes
or no answer about being accepted within seven business days. However, the vast
majority of most decent sites are accepted.
If accepted, you'll be reevaluated after a year and
charged the submission fee again, if you want to stay in Yahoo's commercial
area. You should review the traffic you received from Yahoo over the past year,
to decide if it is worth paying the fee again. If not, you can decline to be
listed, and you will not be charged.
The annual fee only applies to commercial categories. If
you submit to a non-commercial category using Yahoo Express and get accepted
into that area, the fee is charged only once, not on an annual basis. You might
get the opposite impression, because you'll keep seeing references to "recurring
annual fee." However, in the terms and conditions for Yahoo Express, the annual
fee is only for sites in the Yahoo Commercial Directory.
You'll know you are submitting to a commercial category if the "reverse bar"
containing the category name at the top of the category page is yellow. You'll
also know because if you try to submit to a commercial category, only the Yahoo
Express submission option is offered.
How do you submit? If you are submitting for free to a non-commercial
category, click on the "Suggest a Site" link that appears at the bottom of
category page. That will bring up a submission form. Fill it out, and you're
If you are paying to submit, you needn't pick a category. Instead, just go to
the URL below:
Yahoo Express Submission Form
From there, Yahoo editors will choose a category for you. All
you need to do is fill out the form that's presented.
The above tips are the bare essentials to getting listed with Yahoo. If you
are in a hurry, you can follow them, and you'll probably get listed and receive
some traffic from the service. However, it would behoove you to do even more
preparation before submitting to this very important service.
Alternatively, you might consider working with a search engine optimization
company which has experience in submitting to Yahoo. You'll have to pay for
their services, but the price may be worth it in relation to the additional
traffic you'll receive from a carefully conducted submission to Yahoo.
Finally, even if you don't get listed in Yahoo's own listings, you may still
appear in some of the results that Yahoo licenses from Google. The next part of
this guide explains how to submit to Google. You can even get listed for free.
However, if you get listed in Yahoo's own results, you'll likely get much more
traffic from Yahoo.
Another important directory is LookSmart.
This is because LookSmart provides the main listings used by the popular
MSN Search service. LookSmart's listings are
also distributed to other search engines. As with Yahoo, getting listed with
LookSmart is essential for any site owner.
As with Yahoo, LookSmart has a free submit option for it's non-commercial
categories and a paid option for it's commercial ones. The
paid options are covered in the
Submitting Via Paid
Listings part of this tutorial, because they involve recurring "cost per
To submit for free, you must go to Zeal.com,
which uses volunteer editors to catalog the web. LookSmart owns Zeal and
incorporates the non-commercial listings from Zeal into it's own directory.
Also as with Yahoo, your submission to the non-commercial categories at Zeal
must be for content that is truly non-commercial in nature. If you attempt to
submit something that is actually commercial, it will be rejected.
How do you submit? You'll need to sign-up as a Zeal
member, via the URL below:
Zeal Sign-Up Form
Once you've done that and passed the subsequent member test, you can then
submit your site to the non-commercial category you've selected by using the
"Manage" option near the top of the category page and the using "Add a
Site Profile" link near the top of where sites are listed.
The Open Directory is a volunteer-built guide to the web. It provides the
main results to
Netscape Search and powers the Google
Directory. It also powers some results for a variety of other
services. Given this, being listed with the Open Directory is essential to any
The good news is that submission is absolutely free. The bad news is that
this means there's no guaranteed turnaround time to getting a yes or no answer
about whether you've been accepted.
To submit, locate the category you want to be listed in. Then use the "add
URL" link that appears at the top of the category page. Fill out the form, and
that's it -- you've submitted.
If you are accepted, you should see your site appear within about three
weeks. If this doesn't happen, then you should resubmit.
As with Yahoo, it's highly recommended that you take the time to learn more
about the Open Directory before submitting, in order to maximize the amount of
traffic you may receive.
All the services above are must places to get listed. If you did nothing more
than get listed with them, your web site would be available to a huge potential
audience of web searchers. In addition, you will make it more likely that
crawler-based search engines, which are discussed next, will also find your web
As you've seen, free search engine submission is possible with all of these
directories. However, commercial sites should not view free submission as an end
run around paying mandatory submission fees levied against commercial sites or
commercial categories. Such attempts are likely to get your site rejected. Don't
waste your time. Move directly to the paid submission options and start tapping
into traffic right away.
Offline business all have basic start-up costs that must be met, such as
business licenses, phone bills, Yellow Pages ads and so on. For online
businesses, directory submission fees should also be considered basic start-up
costs, just as domain name registration and web hosting fees are a crucial part
of anyone's budget.
::: Unpicked's Free Search Engine Submission