Search Engine Optimization : SEO BOOK.
Submitting to the Directories
Before you starting working with directories, it's useful to know a
few series about what directories are - and are not. Search directories
don't operate like the search engines:
· The directories don't send "bots" out onto the web
looking for Web sites to add.
· The directories don't read and store information from Web pages
within a site.
· Because the directories don't read and store information, they
don't base search results on the contents of the Web pages.
Unlike search engines, the search directories also don't index Web pages;
they index Web sites. Each site is assigned to a particular category.
Within the categories, the directory's index contains just a little
information about each site - not much more than a name, title, and
description. The result is categorized list of Web sites - and that's
really what the search directories are all about. But the directories
has some weakness which include the following:
· Directories provide no way for someone to search individual
pages within a site. The perfect fit for your information needs may
be sitting somewhere on a site that is included in a directory, but
there's no way to know because the directory doesn't index individual
· Categorization is necessarily limited. Sites are rarely about
a single topic; even if they appear to be, single topics can be broken
down into smaller subtopics. By forcing people to find a site by category
and by keyword in a very limited amount of text - a description and
title - the directories are obviously very restrictive.
· Hand-built directories are necessarily limited in size. Hand-built
directories, such as Yahoo! Directory and the Open Directory, add a
site to their directories only after a real live human editor has reviewed
the site. With hundreds only after a real live human editor has reviewed
the site. With hundreds of millions of Web sites, there's no way a human-powered
system could keep up.
· Hand-built directories can also get very out-of-date. Yahoo!
Directory contains some extremely old and out-of-date information that
simply wouldn't be present in an index that is automatically reindexed
every few days or weeks.
The proof of directories' weaknesses is in the pudding: Google took
over and now is the dominant search system on the Web.
Why are Directories So Significant?
The directories are significant for a number of reasons:
· Yahoo! Directory is part of the Yahoo! Search system, one of
the world's most popular search sites. As such, it still gets a lot
of traffic. You can access it directly at dir.yahoo.com, and some people
do access it from the Yahoo! Main page. In addition, when you use the
Search the Web box at the top, Yahoo! Produces search engine results
as well as a tab at the top of the page that takes you to matching directory
results. Yahoo! Claims that 230 million unique users visit Yahoo! Directory
each month .
· The Open Directory Project feeds results to Google Directory,
which is part of the world's most popular search site.
· The Open Directory Project also feeds results to literally
hundreds of other sites; many of these sites are crawled by the major
search engine, so a link from the Open Directory Project can show up
as links from many other sites, too.
· Links in the major directories help provide "context"
to the search engines - if your site is in the Open Directory Project,
for instance, the search engines know that the site has something to
do with playing with rodents. The directory presence helps search engines
index your site and may your site rank higher for some search terms
Submitting To the Search Directories:
Search engines really like links to your site, and having links to your
site is often the best way to get into the search engines. But the search
directories don't care about links, and the only way to get into search
directories is to submit to them. And you can get forget automated submission
programs for the major directories - there's no way to use them. Submission
must be entered
Into Yahoo! And the Open Directory Project " by hand".
Submitting to Yahoo! Directory
Once free, submissions to Yahoo! Directory used to be very difficult.
Surveys show that people who had managed to get their sites listed in
the directory had to try multiple times over a matter of months. Well
there is a good news that you can get listed your site on Yahoo! Directory
within about a week. Of all the major search systems, getting into Yahoo!
Directory is easiest; Yahoo! Guarantees to review your site within seven
business days. They are not guaranteeing to include your site, by the
way, only to review it and add it if it's appropriate, but in general,
most people don't have many problems. If your site is a functioning
site without a lot of broken links; if it's in English; if the site
is designed for multiple browser types; and if you select an appropriate
category, Yahoo! Will almost certainly accept it. The bad news is it's
probably going to cost you $229 a year for the privilege. It is free
if you have a noncommercial site, but for any kind of commercial venture,
you will have to cough up the cash. Is listing in Yahoo! Directory worth
$299? Hard to say, but there are some good reasons to do so:
· Its crawled by Google's searchbot - Google will note the link,
and it may help your pagerank a little.
· The search engines will use the directory to help them categorize
· Many people, do use the directory.
· After your site is in directory, you may be able to place a
cheap ad at the top of your category.
The 1-2-3's of getting listed
Here's how to get listed:
· Find a credit card - preferably yours or that of someone who
has given you permission to spend $299.
· To make sure that your site isn't already included, open your
browser and go to dir.yahoo.com. After the page has loaded, search for
your site by typing your domain name into the search box and clicking
search. If you have total control over your site, this step isn't necessary.
Of course, you'll know if your site is already listed. But if, you inherited
it from another department in the company you work for, who knows -
it may already be there.
· Return to the Yahoo! Directory main page, and browse through
the categories looking for the best match for your site.
· When you have found a category into which you want to place
your site, look for a link that says something like Suggest a Site,
or perhaps a promotional box of some kind. The link is probably somewhere
in the top right of the page.
· Click the link and follow the instructions; you will have to
enter a site description, contact and billing information and so on.
Picking a Category
Because of the sheer volume o categories, picking a category is not
as simple as it might seem. Yahoo! Directory has 14 major categories,
and many thousands of subcategories. But understanding a few points
about hunting for and submitting to a category can make the process
a little smoother. First, you need to choose a fairly specific category.
You cant submit a site to a category or subcategory if it only holds
other subcategories. E.g. you cant submit a site to the Business &
Economy category. Its just too broad rather you have to drill down further
into the subcategories and find a category that's specific enough to
contain actual Websites. You'll probably find that your site could perhaps
fit into several categories, so you are going to have to dig around
for a while and pick the most appropriate category. Although discourages,
it is possible to put a single site into multiple categories, but of
course you'll have to pay for each category.
One good strategy is to look for your competitors; what categories
are they assigned to ? If you find a category with a whole bunch of
companies similar to yours, you have probably found the right one. As
you move through Yahoo! Directory, you'll see that some category names
have an @sign at the end, such as Graduate Programs@, Booksellers@,
Intranet@, and so on. These are cross-references to categories under
different branches of the directory. E.g. if you browse down the directory
to Recreation>Travel, you see a link to Tour Operators@; click this
link, and you jump over to >>> Tour Operators. In fact virtually
all Web sites that sell or promote a product end up somewhere under
Business and Economy, even if they are cross linked from other parts
of the directory. Also note that you have to actually be inside a category
before you can add a page. When you first search in the directory, Yahoo!
Displays a page that contains a list of categories and a whole bunch
of Web sites that match your search , but from various different categories
. Thus you are not actually inside a category at this point, so you
cant add a page here. You see that will take you into specific categories.
Submitting to the Open Directory Project
Submitting to the Open Directory Project is a little easier in some
ways than submitting to Yahoo! Directory, but more difficult in one
important way. Yes, the Open Directory Project is free, and yes, you
can submit much more quickly. But the problem is there's no guarantee
that your site will be listed. I've seen sites get the Open Directory
Project within a week or two of submission…and others that waited
months without ever getting in. In addition, the submission forms sometimes
don't seem to work! But don't give up. The Open Directory Project is
very important. Here is how to submit:
· In Your browser, go to www.dmoz.org.
· Find a suitable category for your site; see "Picking a
category," earlier in this chapter.
· Click the Suggest URL link at the top of the page.
· Follow the (fairly simple) directions.
Give it six to eight weeks, and if your site doesn't appear in the
index, try again. You might also visit www.resource-zone.com, where
you can find forums hosted by Open Directory Project editors who maybe
able to help you.
Submitting to Second-Tier Directories
There are many second tier directories - smallish directories with nowhere
near the significance of Yahoo! Directory or the Open Directory Project
- that can help you a little if you are willing to spend a couple of
hours registering your site with them. Unlike search engines, directories
can be "crawled" by a searhcbot. Directories, remember, are
categorized collections of sites that you can browse. If you can browse
by clicking links to drill down through the directory, then so can a
searchbot. In fact, the major search engines, including Google, index
many small directories. ?If you have a link in one of these directories
and Google sees it, that can help your Google standing.
Finding Second-Tier Directories
There are hundreds of directories, though you don't want top spend much
time with most of them. Many of the directories you find are using data
from the Open Directory Project, so you have in effect, already submitted
to them. Often these sites have a little Open Directory Project box,
this box will soon become familiar as you dig around looking for directories.
But sometimes a site's relationship to the ODP isn't so clear. These
directories can be find at some of these sites:
· The Search Engines and Directories category in the Yahoo! Directory.
Don't Pay!... Maybe
Don't bother paying to register with these second-tier systems. As with
search engines, the directory owners are also trying to get site owners
to pay to be placed into index. E.g. JoeAnt wants a $39.99 one-time
fee to take your information. In most cases, the listing simply isn't
worth the fee. Regard being listed in these directories as cheap additional
links, not as something you need to spend a lot of money on. On the
other hand, you may run across directories that you feel really are
of value. Business.com is a great example of a very important second-tier
directory, integrated into busy sites such as Business Week Online.
Being in such directories may bring sufficient traffic to your site
to be worthwhile.