Friday, 20 May 2011

Submitting to Directories

There are hundreds of directories on the Web that cover every possible market, offering many valuable opportunities to get your site listed in crawler-based engines, expose your site to your audience and increase the absolute value of your pages (also known as Google PageRank). The first (and, if you succeed, maybe the only) directories to get listed in are Yahoo and DMOZ.

There are other directories such as JoeAnt which can be quite useful also; however, many of them are just not worth the trouble. There's a good technique to determine if a directory can help you on your way to top rankings and traffic. When you are considering placement in a directory, check it's "robots.txt" file (which we've covered in the previous section about optimizing site structure) and look if it allows the major search engines to crawl it. If they don't allow crawlers to go through their directory, it is useless for you to list there.

As you remember, the robots.txt file is always in the root directory so just type the full URL of the site and add "/robots.txt" on the end to see the file.

When submitting to the directories, remember that they are search engines powered by humans. All listings within the directories are compiled by human editors. You already know how important a listing in a directory can be; please find the time to make some of the recommended preparations for directory submission. This includes writing a 25-word or less description of your entire website, which includes the use of the primary keyphrase you've optimized your home page for. Review and make sure that the description you write doesn't misuse marketing language or hype.

If you are going to submit your site to several directories or even to a dozen it is recommended to have this information prepared and saved. This will help you to speed the process of submission. This data should be ready  somewhere to copy from and then paste:
  • Email address
  • Website URL
  • A title for the website
  • A description for the website
When it comes to the title, use your company name or the official name of your website as there are strict criteria. For example Yahoo! will allow  only these names.

As for a description Jill Whalen suggests the following: “The website description posted with your URL is a big factor in how your site will rank once it's listed in the directory. It is very important to do this right the first time. If you put too much promotional jargon in your description or make it too long, for example, the editors are sure to change it. When they do, you can bet your keywords won't appear in the final listing.

If you've created a good meta description tag for your site, start with that. Copy and paste it into the submission form, then start deleting extraneous words. Move words around until you have the shortest yet most descriptive sentence possible. If you do this correctly, chances are the editors won't change it.

Be sure the words you're using in your description appear on the pages of your website. If they don't, and the site appears to be about subjects other than what you described in your form, your description might be edited.”

For deeper insight visit - http://www.webproguide.com/articles/How-to-Submit-Your-Site-to-Directories-such-as-Yahoo-DMOZ-and-Zeal/index.php?phrase_id=2796

Submitting to Yahoo

When listed in the Yahoo! Directory it is easier to get indexed and rank higher in crawler-based results of Yahoo! as well as Google and Live Search.

Yahoo! Directory offers two types of submission: "Standard" which is free, and "Yahoo Directory Submit", which involves a submission fee and annual fee of $299 ($600 if your site is adult-related). This guarantees your site will be reviewed by an editor within 7 days. It does not, however, guarantee inclusion and the fee is non-refundable.

To choose the submission option go to http://dir.yahoo.com, select the appropriate category and then click "Suggest a Site" link in the top right section.

Anyone can use Standard submission to submit for free to a non-commercial category. You'll know the category is non-commercial 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.

If you choose the free submit, there's no guarantee that your submission will be reviewed quickly or reviewed at all.

You can have a commercial site and still try to submit for free to a non-commercial category; however use caution when submitting. Let's say you sell weather forecast software. If you submit your site as such, chances are good it will not be accepted; but, if you highlight a page that tells interesting facts about weather and weather forecasting, this information can be considered a good reason to list your site in a non-commercial category.

If accepted into a commercial category for money, 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've received from Yahoo over the past year to decide if it is worth paying the fee again. If not,  decline to be listed again and you will not be charged. Most often, you will decide to drop your listing after a year, for the category itself does not bring much traffic. Remember that the directory listing is initially important for us as a doorway to search engines listings. Once we've done that, we may safely let the directory listing drop, most often without a significant impact on the search traffic the site receives. The crawler-based engines will keep revisiting and listing your site on their regular basis.

Before submission be aware of the Terms and Conditions. Here are the most important:
  • I have verified that my site does not already appear in the Yahoo! Directory and I understand that this is not the place to request a change for an existing site.
  • My site supports multiple browsers and capabilities. (For example, java only sites will not be listed).
  • I understand that if my site is added, it will be treated as any other site in Yahoo! and will receive no special consideration.
The full list of requirements can be found here https://ecom.yahoo.com/dir/reference/instructions

It is crucial to choose the category properly. It is not recommended to choose the category you would prefer your site to be seen in, but the one it really matches to. If you are not certain what category to choose try this: using your most appropriate keyword for your site, make a query and observe the result page with categories.

The next step is to choose a subcategory because if you submit to a top-level category while disregarding an appropriate subcategory your submission becomes questionable. Additionally, don't forget about geographic regions because if your site is local by nature it should be taken to consideration during the submission process.

Remember the more carefully you prepare, research keywords, debug pages, write valuable content and compile your description, the more chances there are to be included, this is regardless of whether it is through Yahoo! Directory Submit or the Free Submission service.

Submitting to DMOZ

DMOZ / ODP is a catalog of the World Wide Web compiled by volunteers. DMOZ used to be a starting page for the Google's crawler, however nowadays it remains to be a good source of reliable inbound links for the sites.

Submission to DMOZ is free but on the other hand there's no guaranteed turnaround time for acceptance.

To suggest your site to DMOZ, go to http://www.dmoz.org and locate the category you want to be listed in. Then use the "Suggest URL" link that is visible on the top of the category page. Fill out the form, and the submission process is complete.

If accepted, you should see your site appear within approximately three to six weeks. If this doesn't happen, don't try to resubmit. Instead, try to get your site listed in several regional or thematic categories.

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.

 

What you should remember from this lesson:

  1. Submitting to categories provides a power bonus to your rankings and search engine visibility, but to be successful, it requires thorough preparation.
  2. If your submission isn't listed after three to six weeks, the correct technique on Yahoo! is to resubmit. With DMOZ, on the contrary, just try submitting to another category or categories.

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