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Submitting Your Site to Search Directories

By Julia Hyde
Posted Saturday, July 3, 2004

Getting your site listed in the search engines directories can be a time-consuming and complicated process. But, with a little effort, research and patience it can be done.

This guide will take you through the steps that will ensure your site gets listed.

What are directories?

Unlike search engines that use spiders to crawl the Web looking for content and links, (Google, Inktomi, Alta Vista) directories are powered by people.

Many charge a fee to get listed (paid inclusion or pay-per-click). They include Yahoo!, LookSmart and The Open Directory. It is possible to list your site for free but paying for listings will speed up the process and generate more search engine related traffic for your site.

Before submitting to directories you’ll want to sit down and prepare a 25 word or less description of your site making use of two or three key terms or phrases that describe your site. When deciding on your phrases think about what words people will use to search for your product or service. For example, if your site sells window coverings you may want to write your description like this:

“Purchase custom draperies, blinds, shades, wood shutters, sheer curtains, and other window coverings plus browse our drapery fabrics”

Don’t be tempted to use “marketing speak” in your description. Use the facts and include as many relevant keywords as you can.

If you’re planning on using the paid inclusion services you’ll want to establish a submission budget beforehand. Currently, I’d estimate around $800 or so, although prices have a habit of increasing so you may need more.

Submitting your site to…


Yahoo! has two submission options:

1.Standard submission (non-commercial) - Free
2 Express Submission – $300 annual fee

For a free standard submission click on the “suggest a site” link and fill out the submission form.

For paid submission go to (


Before MSN announced it was switching to Inktomi, LookSmart was the power horse behind their popular search engine. In fact, MSN accounted for half of LookSmart’s revenue. But don’t let MSN’s departure stop you from submitting to LookSmart – it still distributes to other search engines so it’s important to get your site listed.

Like Yahoo! LookSmart has a free submit (non-commercial) option and a paid submit for commercial ones.

To submit for free go to ( and sign up as a member. Once you’ve completed the form and passed the test you can submit your site using the “manage” option and the “Add a site” link.

To submit for paid inclusion go to ( and fill out the online form. LookSmart’s paid listings are priced on a cost-per-click (CPC)basis. Meaning you only pay when a user clicks on your listing and visits your web site. A $0.15 CPC is given for the first 5,000 clicks when you pay with a credit card online. Any clicks after 5,000 are billed at your business category rate, which ranges from $0.23 to $0.75 per click.

The Open Directory

Although the Open Directory is volunteer built it is essential to Web site owners. Submission is free but the turnaround time for a yes or no answer to your submission may take a long time.

To submit your site visit (, identify your category then use the “add URL” form. Fill out the form and you’re done.

There are other smaller and directories you may also want to consider. They include: GoGuides, Gimpsy, JoeAnt and Web-Beacon.

About the Author
Julia is an independent copywriter and consultant specializing in search engine copywriting, web site promotion and print communications.
To learn more about how Julia can help increase your company's sales visit her web site at (


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