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How to Succeed with Yahoo!

By Ed Burnett
Posted Friday, October 22, 2004

Without a doubt, Yahoo is the single most important directory on the Internet. Not only is Yahoo the most popular portal on the Web, it is also one of the few large Internet companies to actually turn a profit. Since a real Yahoo employee carefully reviews every submission, and each site must pass their stringent requirements, it is also the hardest one to get listed in.

With their new Business Express program and a one-time-fee of $199, you are guaranteed a review of your site within 7 business days. In fact, all sites of a commercial nature are now required to submit their site through this service. However, your non-refundable payment of almost $200 up-front still does not guarantee that your site will be included in the directory. If your submission is rejected, you get to make one appeal for Yahoo to accept your site. Once it is rejected the second time, Yahoo will never again accept further submissions of your site. So how does one succeed in getting listed with Yahoo?

1. First, make sure your site is not already included in the Yahoo directory. Do a search from their main site (or regional portal, if applicable) to determine if your company’s web site is already listed. If you are, you can request changes to your listing if you feel it is listed inappropriately. Submitting a site that is already in the directory is a good way to get ignored. Also note that Yahoo uses the Google search engine to search the ‘net for sites if it doesn’t find any matches in it’s own directory. If your site isn’t listed under Yahoo Site Matches but shows up under Web Page Matches, then you’re probably not listed in the directory. This often tricks people into thinking that they are listed in Yahoo when they really aren’t.

2. Yahoo has strict requirements on the actual design of your site. Make sure your site is 100% completed, hosted on a reliable server, with no missing hyperlinks, broken images or ‘under construction’ pages. They also look for unique content and a descriptive page title. Don’t use a promotional blurb for your site’s title and description. Yahoo does not like hype, period. Rather, your title should have nothing more than your company’s name and a brief description of your services or products.

3. After you have determined that your site is indeed not listed in the Yahoo directory and you have designed your site to comply with their requirements, you will need to find an appropriate category to list your site. Take your time and explore all of the different categories and sub-categories of the index. This is very important, because if you submit to the wrong category your site will be rejected. At the very bottom of the page (and sometimes also at the top), there will be a ‘Suggest a Site’ link. If there is no such link, then you are probably viewing a category that does not allow submissions. After clicking this link, you will be brought to the Suggest a Site page, or directly to the Business Express page if you are submitting to a Business category.

4. Be sure to carefully review all of their suggestions on site submissions before proceeding. You will be prompted for, among other things, your site's Title, URL, and Description. Carefully fill these out, double-checking your information for accuracy. Take some time with your description and remember to include crucial keywords related to your services or products. Give some thought as to how a Yahoo editor might edit it down. Try to word your description so that it is as concise as possible, and therefore hard to make smaller.

After you have filled out all of your information and submitted your payment (if using Business Express), keep your fingers crossed and patiently wait for their answer. It’s true that you risk loosing $199, but Yahoo is simply too important to pass up. Following these suggestions will greatly improve your chances of getting accepted into the Yahoo! directory.

About the Author
Ed Burnett is owner of Diginetic Technologies, a computer retailer and web design solutions company. Diginetic builds custom, made-to-order PC’s and sells a wide selection of computer laptops, accessories, and components. Visit our online store at: (http://www.diginetic.com)