Treat Yahoo as both a directory AND a search engine. Yahoo offers a number of different search results. Part of their search results come from an actual search engine, and some of their results come from human editors, called surfers.
Every Yahoo directory submission is viewed by a person. (Search engines use spiders and indexing software). Admission into the Yahoo directory is entirely at the discretion of the Yahoo surfer viewing your site. That’s why the free submission lead time can often be 8-10 weeks, without using the Express Submit service.
Unlike search engine submissions that accept multiple pages from the same site, Yahoo surfers prefer to view your home page, and they will navigate your site from there.
With directories, the site owner selects the most appropriate directory categories for his/her site and writes descriptions that concisely and accurately describe the content of the site. Factors that affect directory placement are selecting the right category and writing a good description.
Always differentiate between the Yahoo search engine and the Yahoo directory whenever you speak to a search engine marketer. The strategies for getting listed in search engines are different from the strategies for getting listed in directories.
Fill out the Forms on Yahoo Exactly as Requested
We know this seems obvious, but some sites don’t get listed because the submitters do not follow directions when filling out the forms. When Yahoo asks for a telephone number, give only one telephone number including the area code. When Yahoo asks for a 25-words-or-less description, don’t try any fancy word stacking or keyword tricks. Stick to a concise, accurate description of your site’s content. Yahoo surfers often change your site description after it’s listed in their directory.
Although some fields are optional, try to fill in all of the fields in the form, especially the fields asking your company name, address, and telephone and fax numbers. Yahoo wants to know that you have a legitimate business that will be around in years to come.
Select the Categories (only 3) That You Want to be listed under Very Carefully
To select your categories, type in your selected keywords in a Yahoo query, and study the results. Your site does not belong where you believe your target audience is searching. Your site’s actual content should accurately reflect the category or categories you wish to be listed under.
You will probably be listed under the same categories your competitors are listed under. Study your competitors’ directory listing. See what their descriptions are, and then modify your site’s description to show the Yahoo surfer that you definitely belong in the categories you selected.
If you are a U.S. company, under the category Regional/United States/ in Yahoo, all 50 states are listed. You should include your site in one of the regional categories, if applicable. Don’t be surprised that most of your traffic from Yahoo is local. Many customers need to hear your voice or see your face to feel secure about hiring you or your company for a project.
Category listings are also at the discretion of a Yahoo surfer. You need to spend the time selecting your categories and studying your competitors so that you do not get listed under an “undesirable” category.
Have Unique Content and Point This Information Out in Your Submission
A web site is of no value to the Yahoo directory if the site contains the exact same information as other sites in the same categories. So to add value to the Yahoo directory, and to call attention to the unique aspects of your online business, make sure you have unique content on your site.
You can point out any unique content to the Yahoo surfer via your 25-word description or the extra comments field in the submission form.
Get a Virtual Domain Name
Yahoo tends to recognize virtual domains (http://www.yourcompany.com) over others. Why is this? Yahoo wants to have legitimate organizations and companies in their directory. They do not want a small start-up company that won’t be around next year, thus resulting in a dead link to a URL in the directory. A virtual domain shows that you are serious about your business.
Try to Get Listed in One of Yahoo’s Regional Directories First
At the bottom of Yahoo’s home page are some of Yahoo’s regional directories. If you are in one of the regional areas, you can often get your web site listed much faster in the regional directory than in Yahoo’s main directory.
Commercial web sites must pay an annual fee of $299 (currently) to be listed in the Yahoo directory. Sometimes, a Yahoo surfer might discover a content-rich commercial site without you ever submitting.
“Design for Speed” (Quotation from a Yahoo Surfer)
Yahoo is looking for sites that download very quickly, preferably within 30 seconds on a dial-up modem.
Of course, exceptions do apply; such as if you are an online video game company and use Shockwave on your site. Then it is understandable that your web site might take longer to download.
Lastly, the rule “Content is King” applies to getting listed in Yahoo. If Yahoo editors don’t feel your site looks or sounds like a legitimate business, they don’t have to list your site. So make sure your web site is easy to read, easy to navigate, easy to find (on search engines), shows consistency in design and layout, and is quick to download. Above all, have unique content to add value to the Yahoo directory.