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Search Engine Optimization : SEO BOOK.

Chapter 11


Buried Treasure - More Great Places To Submit Your Site

You know about the places where you can register your site - the major search systems such as Google and the Open Directory Project, and secondary systems such as ExactSeek and Business.com Some of the sites are more important than the secondary systems and in some cases, even more important than the major search systems. Don't forget the Yellow Pages site, which handle billions of searches each year. Although most businesses probably want to pay for an ad on a Yellow Pages site, these are search systems, and many businesses use them very profitably. In general, if you found the paper Yellow Pages to be worthwhile, you may find online Yellow Pages useful, too.

Keeping A Landscape Log
Keep a track of what you discover during your online research. You'll come across small directories related to your areas of business, newsgroups, Web-based forums, mailing-list discussion groups, private sites created by interested individuals, competitors… all sort of things that can help promote your site. In effect, you are mapping Internet landscape, the area of the internet in which your business operates. You need to keep the information you gather so you can use it after your research is complete. May be you find some directories that you want to register with. Or you discover some email newsletter that you want to work with when you have the time. Your landscape tag has not to be complicated. It can be a Microsoft Word document or maybe an excel spreadsheet. If you want to get really organized, you can use an ACT or Access database. I suggest you keep the following information:
· Site Name
· Company Name
· URL
· PageRank: It is the good indication of the value of any link you might get from the site. In general higher the rank, the more valuable the link.
· Alexa Traffic Rank: When You visit a site, look at the traffic ranking noted on the Alexa Toolbar. This ranking provides a good indication of how much traffic the site gets so you can decide if some kind of cooperative venture is worthwhile.
· Contact Name: If you can find a contact name, it's useful to have.
· Contact e-mail address.
· Notes:Write a quick description of your impression of the site and how it might help you.
· Actions: Keep track of when you contact the site.

Finding The Specialized Directories
For just every subject you can imagine, someone is running a specialized directory. Although specialized directories get very little traffic when compared to the Google and Yahoo! S of the world, the traffic they do get is highly targeted, just the people want to attract. And such directories are often very popular with your target audience. Here's an example of how to search for a specialized directory. Suppose that you are promoting your rodent-racing web site. Go to Google and type rodent racing directory. For some reasons, Google doesn't find any directories related to rodent racing. Okay, try rodent directory. Here are some useful sites:
· The IRD - International Rodentfancy Directory: "An international listing of PET rodent breeders, shelters vets, stores, pet sitters and more! This service is brought to you by RodentFancy.com and the Rat and Mouse Fanciers for Excellence…free to your business or service's listing to the directory!" This site's home page has a PageRank of 5 and an Alexa traffic rank of 302,000.
· NetVet's Electronic Zoo: this is a big list of links to rodent related sites, though mostly related to research. But with a pagerank of 6 and an alexa traffic rank of under 5600. It might be worth your trying to get listed.
· Rodent Resources at the National Center for Research Resources: This is another rodent-research site, but with an alexa traffic rank of 284 and a page rank of 9. Getting listed in this directory would be very useful.
· The Rodent Breeders List: This directory strikes me as one of those "not very pleasant, but somebody's got to do it" Still, if you breed rodents for your races, you may want to get onto this list.
When you do a search for a specially directory, your search results will include the specialty directories you need, but mixed in with them, you will also find results from the Yahoo! Directory, Google Directory and the Open Directory Project. If you want, you can clear out the clutter by searching like this:

rodent directory -inurl:yahoo.com -inurl:google.com -inurl:dmoz.org

This search phrase tells Google to look for pages with the words rodent and directory, but to ignore any pages that have yahoo.com, google.com or dmoz.org in their URLs. Hundreds of the sites use Open Directory Project information, so you are bound to run into them now and then. How can you tell when a site is pulling data from the Open Directory Project? Here are a few signs to look for:
· Although it's a little-known site, it seems to have a lot of data, covering a huge range of subjects.
· The directory seems to be structured in the familiar table of categories and sub categories.
· The real giveaway is usually at the bottom of the page, where you'll find a box with links to the Open Directory Project, along with a note crediting that organizing.

More Ways to Find Directories
You can use other method to track down specially directories. In fact, as you get to know the Internet landscape around your business, you will run into these directories eventually. People mention them in discussion groups, for instance, or you'll fid links to them on other web sites. Yahoo! Directory has many subcategories for directories. It doesn't have one for rodent racing, which apparently gets no respect, but it certainly has directories for many other topics, such as:
· Snowboarding>Web Directories
· Photography>Web directories
· Radio Stations>Web Directories
· Arts>Web Directories
· Transgendered>Web Directories
· Comics and Animations>Web Directories

For some reasons, Yahoo! Directory also has subcategories simply called directories. Here's a sampling of the directories subcategory:
· Travel and Transportation>Directories
· Business and Economy>Directories
· Reference>Directories
· Haunted Houses>Directories
· Ethnic Studies>Directories

The best way to find the Web Directories or directories subcategories is simply to go to the Yahoo! Directory and browse for suitable categories for your Website. Each time you find a suitable category, search the page for the word directory to see if the page includes a link to a Web Directory or directory subcategory. The Open Directory Project also lists thousands of directories. Again, browse through the directory looking for appropriate categories and then search the page for the word directories. Or search for an appropriate directory: golf directories, golf directory and so on.

Local Directories
You can also find local directories - directories of businesses in your area. These local directories are often good places to get listed. They are easy to get into and can provide more site categorization clues for the search engines and they often have high Pageranks. Its easy to find such directories. Search for a place name and the term directory - Colorado directory, e.g. Denver directory. And look in Yahoo!'s and the Open Directory Project's regional categories.

Why Bother with Directories?
Here are a few reasons:
· They provide another channel to your site from the search engines. If you are listed in those directories , may be the searcher will find you.
· Some of the pages at these directory sites have very good pageranks. Links from pages with high Pageranks pass on part of the Pagerank to your site. Helping you rise in search engines. E.g. one of the directory pages I looked at on the AtoZfitness.com site had a PageRank of 5, which is very good.
· As a General Principle, Links are good. Almost all links help to boost your pagerank, but in addition, links increase your chances of getting found by the search engines. The more links to your site, the more often search bots will stumble across your site and index it.
· Some of these directory sites get a lot of traffic. Buzzle.com is more or less the world's 1700th most popular site. That sounds like a big number but with hundreds of millions o users online, and millions of Web sites that's not bad. Some of these directories maybe able to send you some really good traffic.

Getting the Link
After you have found a directory, you want to get the link. In some cases, you have to email someone at the directory and ask. Many of these little directories are run by individuals and are often pretty crudely built. It may take some time for the owner to get around to adding the link. Some directories have automated systems. Look for a Submit Your Site Link, or maybe Add URL, Add you site, or something similar. The site may provide a form in which you enter your information. Some directories review the information before adding it to the directory, and in other, less common, situations your information may post directly to the site. Some of the directories may ask you to pay to be added to the directory o give you preferential treatment if you pay.

Should You Pay?: generally no. Why Not? It sometimes seems like everyone's trying to get you to pay these days. Every time you try to get a link somewhere, someone's asking for money. Buzzle.com a portal with allsorts of directories want you to pay $59. That gets you into the index within seven days and gets you preferential placement. The term portal is an internet-geek term that, means "We have got all sorts of stuff on our site like news, and weather, and you know communities, and like stuff, and we still have some of our dotcom cash left, which should keep us going a few more months while we try to figure out how to make money. I recommend that you do not pay for these placements, at least to begin with. In most cases, they simply aren't worth spending $60,$100, or more for the link. Its worth spending a few moments getting a free link, though. If a site asks you to pay, dig around and see if you can find a free-placement link, if not, just move on.

You don't have to pay. Luckily you may find that some of the best directories are free. E.g. Hundreds of model rocket sites are on the Web, often run by individuals or families. Many of these sites have link pages. Although these sites don't get huge number of visitors, they do get the right visitors and often have pretty good Pageranks. Most of these sites will give a free listing, just for the asking. Look for a contact email address somewhere.

Working With The Yellow Pages
The yellow pages companies don't know what's about to hit them. Yellow pages are incredibly profitable - the biggest Yellow pages companies make billions of dollars each year, with profits of many hundreds of millions. They are real cash cows, but they are about to get streamrollered. The Yellow Pages companies cont fully appreciate the changes that are about to hit them. They have, however started their foray into the internet. In fact, several Yellow Pages sites are incredibly important already. It may make sense business already buys Yellow Pages ads. Billions of searches are carried out every year through the Yellow Pages sites. The following are the largest Yellow Pages sites are the Alexa traffic ranks.
· Yahoo!Yellow Pages:yp.yahoo.com
· InfoSpace:www.infospace.com
· WorldPages.com:www.worldpages.com
· SBC SMARTPages:smartpages.com
· BellSouth RealPages.com:www.realpages.com
· Yell.com:yell.com
· YellowPages.com:www.yellowpages.com
· Yellow.com:www.yellow.com
· Yellowbook.com:www.yellowbook.com

The advantage of using Yellow Pages sites? They generate lots of local searches. If you own a shoe shop, potential customers are more likely to find you through a Yellow Pages site then through a search engine. The disadvantages? They are expensive. Basics listing are free because the basic listings come from the paper Yellow Pages, and all business phone customers get a free basic listing. But these basic listings don't have links to your web site, so however useful they are for generating phone calls, they wont generate clicks. For that you will have to pay.

Getting into the Yellow Pages
You can get your business into the yellow pages site three ways.

· Get a business phone line. You'll get your free listing in the local yellow pages book which also gets you your listings in the online yellow pages.
· Buy a listing or ad through your local yellow pages rep. This is the same guy selling you space in the paper book.
· Sign up directly through the Web site.

The yellow pages companies share listings. If you have a business phone in colorado, your listings is in a QwestDex paper book, ends up on DexOnline.com, andalos ends up in the Verizon superPages site.

If your company already buys yellow pages ads and your business is geo-specific - that is you are trying to attract buyers in a particular area - you should look into using the Yellow pages. Talk to your rep. The rep. should be able to tell you how many searches are carried out in the company's online Yellow pages, in a particular category and a particular region, each month. From that information, you may be able to decide if purchasing an ad makes sense. The online Yellow pages companies sell a varieties, such as :
· A link from the listings in the online yellow pages to your web sites
· An email link
· A page with detailed information, such as map to your locations, information about your products and services, payment options and so on.
· A link to a picture of your ad that appears in the paper yellow pages.
· A pop-up promo box that appears when someone points at an icon, and that can be modified whenever you want through an online management system.
· A link to a coupon that customer can print.

You can buy ads directly from some of the Yellow Pages sites. You can sign up online at e.g. YellowPages.com. But this isn't a real Yellow Pages site. It is not owned or operated by a company that makes yellow page books. It's also ugly and hard to use. Some of the bigger sites don't take orders online directly. You can request a quote online, but your information is probably sent to a real live rep who then calls you.




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