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Human-powered Search Engines and Directories

Discussion in 'Search Engine Optimization' started by arale, Aug 23, 2007.

  1. #1
    The term "human powered" mainly refers to directories, i.e. online catalogs which categorize Web sites into thematic sections. Yahoo!, along with the regular Web search, offers one of the most complete catalogs on the Web.

    When you submit a site to a directory, it is queued for editorial review. Usually, when you submit, you are allowed to choose the category your site will be placed under, as well as to enter the desired description and title for your site, which will show in the related category. However, the actual presence of your site is subject to the editor's decision when he or she browses your site.

    Directories DO NOT accept automated submissions and have special means to protect themselves from auto-submission software. You should always submit manually to a directory.

    The term "human powered" mainly refers to directories, i.e. online catalogs which categorize Web sites into thematic sections. Yahoo!, along with the regular Web search, offers one of the most complete catalogs on the Web.

    When you submit a site to a directory, it is queued for editorial review. Usually, when you submit, you are allowed to choose the category your site will be placed under, as well as to enter the desired description and title for your site, which will show in the related category. However, the actual presence of your site is subject to the editor's decision when he or she browses your site.

    Directories DO NOT accept automated submissions and have special means to protect themselves from auto-submission software. You should always submit manually to a directory.

    What the directories are useless for

    With the directories, there's no such concept as "ranking", because once you've been included into the index, your site is ranked within the appropriate category by an independent factor, for instance, alphabetically or according to the Google Page Rank.

    Thus, the concept of "optimization" has no bearing when applied to directories like DMOZ or Yahoo.

    In terms of traffic, these directories are also of little value. The percentage of Web surfers that would prefer browsing categories in a directory over a regular search is quite small; few people tend to dive into the depth of the branchy vertical hierarchy of categories. Thus, your category listing won't bring you much traffic on its own.

    What the directories are useful for

    Because the directories are compiled by humans and for humans (unlike the search engine listings which are compiled by robots for humans), the relevancy of directory results is very high. Search engines know that – almost any search engine spider starts its regular crawl at a directory like DMOZ or Yahoo. If you are listed there, the search engines will find you during their next crawl, even without your submission.

    Additionally, directories themselves have high Page Rank values (as a rule). When you are listed in a directory, the directory is linking to your site. This link is considered high-quality and is very good for your overall link popularity, which is an influential factor when it comes to ranking. For the search engines that are able to analyze the context of your link (such as Google), your directory listing will be important because your link is supplemented by a relevant description.

    This course tells you about two major search services that mainly function as directories and which are extremely valuable for ranking improvement: Yahoo! and DMOZ.

    Yahoo! Directory (http://dir.yahoo.com/)

    To submit your pages to the Yahoo! Directory, it will cost you $299 for an annual review (for adult-related sites - $600). If you pay, you can possibly get listed within a few days. If you go the non-commercial route, it can take months and quite often they won't list you at all. The registration at the Yahoo! portal is still required for both cases.

    Yahoo is now making use of clickthrough measurements as part of its relevancy ranking system. Searches performed at Yahoo!, instead of leading directly to Web sites, point to yahoo's internal redirecting script so that Yahoo can measure what people are searching for. Yahoo also tracks and measures pages that are not directly listed in Yahoo but are linked from pages that are listed.

    There are some tips that can help you get indexed in the directory faster if you are submitting as a standard (non-commercial) site. First, put a copyright notice and date on your page. Avoid using "trademarks" for your company or product name until after you've submitted and gotten indexed by Yahoo!. It appears that Yahoo! is concerned about posting anything that is trademarked as the company name in the listings. Yahoo! Directory will list additional pages of a site (beyond the one submitted) and/or subdomains if the editor finds the content unique and if there aren't many listings for the same topic in the category.
    SEMrush
    It appears that Yahoo will reject your domain if it has more than 54 characters. Keeping Yahoo! compliance in mind, stay under 55 characters (not including the .com or other suffix) when choosing your domain name.

    Yahoo! is regularly performing a check for dead links. If your site is down during one of these checks, you may find it deleted from the Yahoo! Directory.

    Taking into account all of this, the following is recommended concerning the Yahoo! Directory. First, try to get listed in their directory for free (register at the Yahoo! Portal, go to http://dir.yahoo.com/ and submit your URL under the related category).

    When submitting for free, you do not receive any guarantee your site will be reviewed and listed anytime soon. However there are some guidelines that might help. Try to purchase a domain name with your most important keywords in it, preferably separated by hyphens. If your keywords are your company name it's the best variant, so you can submit the same words you use in the domain name as the name of your company. Create unique and original content for your Web site. Ensure it has no broken links or "Under construction" pages. If possible, make your design look as professional as possible because – remember – the site will be reviewed by a human editor.. Generally, focus on proving to the directory that your site is all about your keyword phrase.

    It will help if your site is more than just one page. At least, it should have 6 or 7 pages. Put contact information at the bottom of the main page. When submitting a description, make sure it uses your key phrase. When choosing the subcategory, give a second subcategory as well. Try to choose a subcategory that is close to the upper-level categories. If your keyword phrase is in the name of a subcategory, that's an added bonus too.

    Once you have submitted, wait for a couple of weeks. If your site still isn't in the index, you may choose to resubmit (there's no penalty for resubmission and sometimes it may help), submit to another category or choose the paid submission way if you don't have much time.

    DMOZ / ODP (http://www.dmoz.org/)

    DMOZ stands for "Directory.MOZilla" and is also known under the name of ODP which stands for Open Directory Project. It is a multilingual open content directory of World Wide Web links owned by Time Warner that is constructed and maintained by a community of volunteer editors.

    After Google made the decision to remove links to DMOZ results from its result pages, DMOZ has lost some of its importance. However, listing there can still be extremely profitable for your rankings and general Web visibility.

    To submit, go to their main page, then find the most appropriate category for your site and click the "Suggest URL". Unlike Yahoo! Directory, here you shouldn't submit to a top-level category. Instead, drill down until you find the best subcategory for your site.

    If you submit to an inappropriate category, the editor of that category has to transfer your submission to another category. In order to do that, he/she has to visit the main page and click through to find the "perfect" category. This is time consuming, and a lot of editors won't do it. They'll simply reject your submission. So, you should be very careful about choosing the best category for your site. When searching for an appropriate subcategory visit the different engines that utilize ODP results (Google and Google family: AOL Search and Netscape Search; then, AltaVista and finally Lycos). Search for your keyword phrase, and see which categories come up. Give your preference to results from the engine you target most.

    Create a captivating title and description which contain your keywords. Make sure they are professional and sincere. Then, complete the submission form.

    Submit your main URL in the best subcategory. If you have an interior page that stands on its own and has a lot of relevant information, you can try submitting it into a second subcategory.

    A "last updated on" note on your site can be informative to the editors, especially if it's been updated very recently. Like the Yahoo! Directory, ensure that your site is error-free and there are no missing images or broken links. Don't submit directly to the ODP if you've submitted your site to the ODP links on any of the other engines.

    A smart technique would be to attempt submitting to the regional categories at the ODP as well as career categories. You may be able to get listed in several categories in this manner.

    The directory is compiled by volunteers and this may be one of the reasons why sometimes it's quite difficult to get listed. So, once you have submitted your site, wait at least a month. Then, if you aren't listed, go to http://www.resource-zone.com/ and post a question about your listing in the Site Submission Status Forum. If you want to detect whether you've been listed, don't do it through the search as the index isn't synchronized with the database very frequently. Instead, go to the correct category and look for your listing.

    Another way to find out the result of your submission is to contact the category editor personally. If you want to do it, be as polite as possible – these people are volunteers and they do not like being told what they should and shouldn't do. They will help you out as long as you show that you appreciate the job that they do.

    Unlike Yahoo!, you shouldn't re-submit to DMOZ because it pushes your site to the bottom of the queue and you are just extending the waiting period.

    As well as with Yahoo!, good content matters a great deal. Generally DMOZ won't list sites that are only set up to earn affiliate income or sell something. Try to make your pages as informative about your subject as possible.


    More articles, please check www.webuniver.com
     
    arale, Aug 23, 2007 IP
    SEMrush