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Chapter 9 Section B

The Major Directories

     
     
Letís review the big 5 traffic-building techniques again
  1. The Free Major Search Engines
  2. Pay-Per-Click Search Engines
  3. The Major Directories
  4. Word of Mouth
  5. E-zines -- market via your own opt-in newsletters
Weíve done them all, except for the directories. Letís complete the list now

Directories are a different beast from Search Engines. They do not spider pages. Humans review and decide what gets in, think of them as gigantic bookmark lists, organized into categories and sub-categories, and sub-sub-categories, etc.

Here are the directories, in order of importance

Yahoo!

Still the grand-daddy of directories. Want to list in the Shopping and Services or Business to Business areas of Yahoo!? You must use Yahoo!ís USD$299 ďBusiness ExpressĒ service ($600 for adult sites).

However, if your site fits in other areas of the Yahoo.com site (ex., noncommercial hobby or educational content) or in regional commercial areas at Yahoo!ís non-US English-language editions, you can still submit for free. At $299, youíll have to decide whether itís worth it. 
More info on the paid service
For instructions on how to submit
 

RECOMMENDATION:  Unless you have a really good reason to be listed in Yahoo!, opt for the lower cost LookSmart option ($149 -- 8 week review) and the free Open Directory.

And for a low-cost alternative for entry into Yahoo!. Yahoo! has partnered with Overture and now displays up to 5 listings from this engine on its results pages. If Yahoo!ís annual recurring $299 listing fee is a little much for you, simply bid on a top 5 position for your most important keywords at Overture. While youíll build far more traffic through the free and Pay-Per-Click Search Engines, a Yahoo! listing will bring you some traffic. And it will help in your link popularity score. Just make sure your siteís in top shape, with at least 20 good pages, before you submit.

Open Directory
http://www.dmoz.org/add.html
 http://dmoz.org/guidelines.html
 

RECOMMENDATION:  Definitely worth it, itís free! Again, the traffic will be decent, but less than what you drive through the free and paid engines. And the link does help with a link popularity score. Since itís free, and it delivers, itís the no-brainer of the three largest (Yahoo!, Open Directory, and LookSmart). Again, a site must be in good shape. Since itís free, your risk is lower so consider submitting once you have 10 good pages up.

LookSmart
You must pay to be evaluated, $299 if you want your site to be reviewed (not necessarily included, though) within 48 hours, $149 to be evaluated within 8 weeks. For the Express package, you can submit 5 URLs. LookSmart is gaining in popularity, powering more and more portals.

RECOMMENDATION:  Probably worth it, for the same reasons as for Yahoo!. Same recommendation as for Yahoo!.

PAY FOR PERFORMANCE: 
LookListings targets medium to large businesses.. Subscribers select and purchase certain keywords and LookSmart displays these search results first in response to specific search queries, under the name Featured Listings. Itís expensive and not really an option for the small business netrepreneur. 
For more info
Its more affordable option is known as Site Promote

Ask Jeeves
Good old Jeeves is a bit harder to categorize. But, after you strip away the question-asking interface, itís closest to being a directory. Ask Jeeves answers questions. Send an e-mail to url@ask.com, telling them which question that your Web page answers. For example, your Web page explains how to price a product, then tell the Ask Jeeves editor that your page answers How do I price a product?, include the URL.

RECOMMENDATION:  Wonít bring much traffic. But do it to increase your link popularity.

Automatic Directories
You are automatically listed in the following directories when you submit to another one, as shown here

  • AOL Search 

  • you are listed automatically in AOLís directory when you submit to Open Directory.
  • MSN Search 

  • you are listed automatically in MSNís directory when you submit to LookSmart.
  • Netscape Search 

  • you are listed automatically in Netscapeís directory when you submit to Open Directory.
PAY FOR LISTING/PLACEMENT At the Free Search Engines
Since Overture established paid listings as a successful business model for engines, others have sought ways to generate income from their search services. As weíve just seen, you must now pay to be evaluated by some directories. And some offer Pay For Listing / Placement. Paying to have your site included in a SEís index is not the same as paying for your list ranking as you would with a Pay-Per-Click engine. Pay-per-inclusion does not guarantee ranking, it only guarantees youíll be included in the index. Which means properly-optimized KFCPs (Keyword Focused Content Pages) continue to be vitally important in order to attain high rankings.

Most services still maintain a free submit service, but there are benefits to forking out a few dollars

  1. Fast inclusion into the SEís index. Often you'll find yourself waiting up to 2 months after your site has been crawled before it makes it into the index. Paying for inclusion means you should see your site included within a couple of days.
  2. Repeated, regular spiderings. Page-tweaking efforts are noticeable in a matter of a couple of days, no waiting around for weeks for a spider to re-index your page, and display those changes in the SEís listing results.
  3. Guaranteed continuous inclusion. Search Engines are pretty mysterious creatures. One day, your site will be sitting pretty with a top 20 ranking, and the next day itís gone, disappeared without a trace. Sometimes the SEs cull pages from their respective indices for no discernible reason. Paying for your listing means it will never be dropped from the index.
Submitting to a service that guarantees regular 48hr spiderings? How do really you know theyíre keeping their word? Easy! Site Build It! will tell you. Weíll track their spiders and make sure theyíre crawling as promised. 

Inktomi has implemented a pay-per-inclusion model called, Search Submit, that you may wish to consider. Payment guarantees 12 month inclusion in the index, as well as regular re-spiderings every 48 hours. Inktomi is now in the process of implementing click-through reporting on all its search partnersí sites. This allows subscribers to track the performance of each page within the program. As well, subscribers will be able to swap URLs slotted for inclusion into the program at any time Previously, not all of Inktomiís partners offered this option. A powerful feature, this allows you to isolate and pay only to have your highest-performing pages listed in the index.

Pricing details vary depending on which partner you decide to subscribe to.
Position Technologies
VeriSign/Network Solutions

AltaVistaís paid inclusion service is very similar to the one offered by Inktomi. Unfortunately, AltaVistaís service is substantially more expensive than Inktomiís and its prices are good for a 6-month subscription period.

AltaVista has partnered with InfoSpider to provide this service. 
Subscribe

Google offers an advertising option, the Google AdWords program.

Fast, with its crawler-based paid inclusion program called Fast PartnerSite, allows subscribers to track and measure their result.

Lycos also has a paid inclusion program. Lycos is really only a re-seller for Fast (Fastís engine powers Lycos). 

Want a summary of the pay for listing/placement programs that are available? Danny Sullivan maintains a great page of all paid services offered by engines and directories. 
See SearchEngineWatch

Bottom line for all Pay For Listing / Placement services.

Stick to Pay-Per-Click offerings that bring you targeted customers. This yields measurable results. Kill programs with poor results, in the same way as outlined above in the discussions about what makes financial sense at Overture.

The best thing about the Pay-Per-Clicks is that they are guaranteed, targeted and cheap traffic. The free bargain if you can figure them out, some people will do better at it than others. But the Pay-Per-Clicks are guaranteed traffic. Site Build It! Manager makes the research and mass-submissions a snap.

And the directories are the same. If you build a good site that delivers high value content, youíll get into the directories. After all, thatís exactly what theyíre looking for, good sites that offer excellent content.

Guaranteed, cheap traffic: The goal of every marketer.


 
 

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