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Search Engine Directories

» How to Improve Your PR Without Really Trying

Google has an expanding directory of categories for the Google user with discretion — and discretionary income. With categories as diverse as ‘Arts’, ‘Health’, “Lifestyle’, ‘Family’ and ‘Finance’, getting your site listed in Google’s Directory is a beaucoup plus.

Here’s the deal: users of an SE directory don’t want to do a universal search, they already know what they want. So, a woman in Sheboygan, looking for a new pair of running shoes, doesn’t have to read 2,712 articles on the ergonomics of shoe design. The poor woman just wants a new pair of Nikes. So, instead of doing a broad search, she just uses the Google or Yahoo Directories, clicks on ‘Apparel’ and leaves the ergonomic articles for another day. This is an extremely effective way to increase foot traffic, and high quality foot traffic — motivated buyers, money in hand, looking for your running shoe web site.

How to Get Listed In the Google Directory
You just know there isn’t going to be one submission procedure — that would be too easy. So, let’s start with Google’s Directory.

Google doesn’t rely on human editors to review sites submitted for inclusion in its directory. Instead, Google relies on the volunteer human editors at work on the net’s Open Directory Project, which you can find at dmoz.org. The ODP is the epitome of egalitarianism on the Internet. Anybody can recommend a site, volunteers review the site, revise description copy (if necessary) and assign it to the appropriate ODP category, which pretty much mirror the Google categories.

So, there is some human reviewing the content of Google’s Directory, it’s just not a Google human. And what it means is — to get listed in the Google Directory, you must first be listed in the Open Directory (Project).

The submission policy is all laid out on the dmoz.org site — some forms, site info, click, click, you’re submitted. Expect it to take time for a volunteer editor to review your site, and note, they don’t send a sympathy card, or even a form e-mail, if your site doesn’t make the cut. Most common reasons for missing the bar:

  • misleading title or description tags
  • any stealth or black hat content like redirects, invisible text or cloaking
  • unrecognizable formatting, misuse of meta tags
  • junk (highly subjective, but we all know it when we see it). Submit a site that’s wobbly with key word dense text, and little else to offer a visitor, and you’re gone

Once you’ve been accepted and listed on dmoz.org, Google will pick you up within two weeks. Now, instead of showing up in the backwash of Google’s general SERPs, your little I-net store shows up on the first page under apparel, search words ‘running shoes’. And remember, that’s a motivated buyer we’re talking about.

How To Get Listed In The Yahoo Directory
Once bedmates, Yahoo and Google split over irreconcilable differences. Google wants everyone on board, so listings are free. Yahoo wants cash for listing your site and more cash for listing your site in its directory.

Unlike Google, Yahoo uses human editors to review site submissions for its directory, so design your site to appeal to humans, not SE spiders. A human is going to evaluate the worthiness of your site — at a cost, of course.

Here’s the breakdown: it’s going to cost you $49 annually for a basic Yahoo listing — the same listing Google gives you for free. Then, to get a listing in the Yahoo Directory is going to cost a $299 editorial review fee — every year. But think about it, that may be the best money you spend from your extremely constricted marketing budget.

First, Yahoo guarantees a seven-day review, which means you pay your money, submit your URL and other information and you’re directory listed in a week. Another benefit? You get your own account manager — a real human being to handle any problems that come up.

Submission information is available at the Yahoo site, and for the small site owner on a shoestring budget, paying for a directory listing may be the best thing you can do to generate user interest.

Improving PR through directory listings is low- or no-cost, and your PR will increase, at least in the specific category under which your site is listed. And remember, users who click through the Google or Yahoo Directories are looking for something, not just seeing how many times their names come up in a search. Directory users are buyers — the exact kind of customer you want visiting your site.

So take the time to submit to the Yahoo and Google (via dmoz.com) Directories, bite the bullet, pay Yahoo the $299 a year and you’ll see higher sales in less time, and your PR, under your category, will increase without a whole lot of bother on your part.

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