Posted Tuesday, October 19, 2004
Getting listed on Yahoo should be one of the most important missions for any Internet marketer.
Yahoo is the largest search engine. Actually, that's not true. Yahoo is not technically a search ENGINE. It is a human compiled directory of websites and does not have a spider bot going to sites and indexing them. But, for the sake of this article when I say "search engines", I am referring to search engines and directories, like Yahoo.
Did you know that recent estimates show that Yahoo is currently capturing an amazing 40% of all search engine traffic online? Do you know what this means? That means that almost 1 out of every 2 people who do searches on the Internet use Yahoo, everyone on the Internet has done searches at one time or another.
Nothing in the world should be clearer to anyone with a website after reading the above figures -- you need your site listed on Yahoo. A.S.A.P.
If your site is not listed in the YAHOO INDEX, you are losing lots of potential customers to competitors whot are listed with Yahoo. And with the amount of visitors Yahoo can send you even with an average listing... this could amount to hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars of lost profits.
Note - being listed under "webpages" does not mean you are listed in Yahoo. It means you are listed with Google. Yahoo gets its "webpage" results from Google.
How to submit to Yahoo:
First you have to determine the scope of your site. Is your site commercial or non-commercial? Commercial sites that want to be listed must use "Business Express" when submitting. This used to cost $199, however the price has risen to $299 a year.
"Business Express" what is it? Good question and one that many people ask, well it's basically the same as free submit except that with business express your site is guaranteed to be reviewed within a week's time. However please be aware that it does not guarantee that your site will be accepted and added to the Yahoo index. If your site is rejected Yahoo will allow you to appeal for free within a certain time scale (usually 30 days) of being informed of your rejection. Also Yahoo staff usually tells you the reason you have been rejected. Examine these reasons; fix any problems and resubmit after a week or so.
If your site is a non-commercial site, you will still be able to submit for free, but a review could take as long as 8 weeks or might never happen at all.
Before you submit, make sure your site is 100% ready. Under construction pages need not apply to Yahoo because they are not going to get in. Your site should be aesthetically pleasing to the reviewer. It should be quick loading and should have lots of content.
OK; let's get started. How does Yahoo return results? Search results on Yahoo are determined by words that appear within these four areas:
These sites are then sorted by relevance using an automated algorithm.
I will now go through these four different factors and how to optimize your submittal for each one. First up category selection: Many people don't realize this but when someone searches for a term(s) on Yahoo, it's algorithm searches through the category name also. For example, visit (www.yahoo.com) and you will see the results for a search on 'Internet Marketing'. You will see under each listing that these words are highlighted if they are in the name of the category, the top listing has the most occurrences of these words between its title, description, URL and words in the category it's in.
You should remember this when submitting to your category, when trying to establish what category you are going to submit to you should do a search for one or two of your keywords and see what categories come up. But which of these categories do you submit to?
Since most referrals to sites from Yahoo come from the search results and not from people visiting certain categories, it is wise and best (in most occasions) to submit to a very specific category with lots of keywords in the category name. To see this strategy in practice revisit the results page for "Internet marketing articles" on Yahoo.com. Notice that the top ranked site is in a category with lots of keywords, these are: Internet, Business, Advertising and Web, these combined with various keywords in the title, description and URL combine to give this site a pretty good chance at ranking well on a few good keywords and phrases. Therefore category names are just like having more titles and descriptions. Note - if you are a regional operation try to pick a category with the name of your state or province in it. This will help you get targeted local visitors from Yahoo.
As for the title, Yahoo insists that you use your official business or website name when applying to them, if you submit some keyword rich title they wont even look twice at your application. You should take this into account when choosing a domain name/official website name.
Yahoo favors short titles. This stems from the fact that the shorter the title is, the less likely they will be to edit it. This means less work for them. However if you follow the above guidelines and Yahoo's own onsite guidelines, chances are you won't be edited very much.
The description part is the tricky part. The Web site description posted with your URL is a big factor in how your site will rank once it's listed in the directory.
You have to submit a description which has your main keywords in it. Make it sound very appealing to potential visitors at the same time. However, you must avoid anything that resembles hype and bragging, for example - number 1 site on the net for... The best on the web for...
Yahoo will either edit this kind of language to something that doesn't benefit you at all or worse... just move on to the next application. If they do edit it, you can bet your keywords won't appear in the final listing. For these reasons, it is important to get it right first time.
The description should be concise and based on facts. Most importantly, it should include your most important keywords whenever possible. Do not exaggerate what is located on your site. Remember a real person reviews your site and if you exaggerate, your site will not be approved. It's as simple as that.
The length of the description should be about 10 - 15 words. Note: On the Yahoo submittal form, they say 25 is the maximum. Never go near this number; they are sure to edit it and probably remove your keywords. Refer to Yahoo's own words: "Please be brief"
Sometimes people email me asking this question: "Does the title and description that I submit to Yahoo have to be the same as the Meta description tag and title tag on my site". The simple answer is: NO!
Have an "about us" page on your site - Yahoo likes to know who it is dealing with. On this page describe what you do honestly and also post the physical address of your organization.
Don't Spam Yahoo. If they notice you submitting your site more than every 2 or 3 months, they will just forget about you and move on.
Good luck in your quest for Yahoo success!
About the Author
James D. Brausch is the Vice President of Marketing for Target Blaster, Inc., an Internet Marketing firm specializing in targeted traffic. (http://www.TargetBlaster.com)