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Site Promotion Tutorial
Part 3 - Directories

Introduction

In the last part I explained the difference between search engines and directories and how to add your site to a search engine effectively. In this part I will explain how to get your site listed in a directory and some tips on getting listed on Yahoo.

The Problems With Directories

Like search engines, directories have their problems. In the past, when the internet was small, directories were very effective at their job. As an example, Yahoo, the most popular site on the internet, started as two students' list of their favorite sites. They published it on the internet and it was extremely popular.

Even now, a directory is a much better place to find what you want than a search engine. This is because, usually, every single site on a directory has been visited by a human. They check that a site is good quality and that it is being submitted to the correct category. This is excellent for users but it makes it very difficult for webmasters to get their sites listed.

This is mainly because there are so many sites listed it can take weeks to get your site added - or, in the case of Yahoo, sometimes never. People have tried to overcome this by trying to get normal people to sign up as a 'guide' or something similar, which means that you get to review the sites coming in. The most famous of these is the Open Directory Project. This can give a webmaster an easy, if not very ethical, way of getting into a directory.

Another problem with having human edited directories is that your site needs to be of a very high standard to be accepted. If it isn't, the extremely busy reviewer will just take one quick look and then forget about it.

Submitting Your Site

Submitting your site to a directory is nearly as easy as submitting to a search engine. You just click 'Add my Site' and choose the category for it (more about this later). Then you usually give them your URL, e-mail address, and a description of your site. Keywords are rarely needed. Sometimes they will not ask for a description and will write it themselves.

Most major search engines have a directory as well (although most are provided by the Open Directory Project). There are also hundreds of specialist directories for different subjects (like 123 Webmaster.com for webmaster sites). If you would like to find one for your subject, take a look in the Yahoo directory.

Tips on Getting Listed on Yahoo (and others)

Getting listed on Yahoo is probably the best form of website promotion any webmaster can do. Being the most popular website on the internet, every single site which is listed gets hundreds of visits from it. If you are listed on Yahoo you can be quite sure that your site is going to get visitors.

Unfortunately Yahoo is nearly impossible to get into. Thousands of sites every day submit to be added and most of them are completely useless sites. Yahoo only have a limited staff and it will take months to get listed (if you actually get listed at all). So how can you increase your chances?

First of all don't bother with all the spam and adverts that tell you that for 'just' $150 they will tell you the secret of getting on Yahoo. They don't work.

As an example, once a newsletter for webmasters I read mentioned a 'secret e-mail address which you can use to get your site listed if you have tried several times'. The next week the same newsletter revealed that this e-mail address didn't exist and that they had made it up completely as an experiment. The experiment showed that these companies' schemes don't work as, over the week, the newsletter's editor had received several pieces of spam trying to sell him his own idea!

You can increase your chances of being reviewed, though, by following these guidelines (which also work on other search engines):

  • Make sure you have a very good description

  • <
    li>Find EXACTLY the right category for you. Smaller categories will give your site more chance of being clicked on and there will be less sites being submitted so you have more chance of being reviewed.

Although it won't work on Yahoo, you can try the following to get your site listed on some directories. Go to the directory and apply to become a 'guide' or 'editor' for your section. If you get accepted you can then add your own site manually.

Part 4

In the next part I will show you some other ways to get more visitors to your site and will explain the good and bad points of Free For All Links Pages.

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