Before we begin, one important word of advice. When you go to submit to one of the major indexes, please take the time to find and read their submission guidelines, advice and limitations. The advice below is as accurate as I can make it, but policies change from time to time, and it can never be 100% up to date. The bigger the search engine, the more picky they are, so take your time and read carefully.
Furthermore, don't bother wasting your time (and money), if your site falls into one of the following categories, or uses one of the following techniques. The major indexes consider such sites to be spam and will not list them:
In addition, the major search engines are actively penalizing/banning sites that employ the following techniques:
- Affiliate sites with same or similar content but a different site designs.
- Mirror sites. Submitting mirror URLs to different categories is also considered spam. Multi-lingual sites are acceptable as long as the URL resolves to the appropriate language.
- Sites that use redirects or any type of bait-and-switch practice. Using frames to hide a real URL, commonly referred to as "poor man's cloaking," is also considered spam.
- Sites whose sole purpose is to drive traffic to affiliate links or sites that contain these types of links.
- Sites without original content.
- Sites that are repeatedly resubmitted (over 5 times) without being accepted.
People who repeatedly submit spam sites to the big guys have not only been blacklisted, but in some cases, their previously submitted (and legitimate) sites have been removed. So be nice to the Indexes, and they'll be nice to you. And credit where credit is due: Chris Sherman's SearchDay Newsletter is the place to find out what works -- and what doesn't -- with the search engines. For more info on the newsletter, click here.
- Web pages that are built primarily for the search engines and not your target audience, especially machine-generated pages.
- Pages that contain hidden text and hidden links.
- "Great quantity and little value" pages.
- Link farming and link spamming, particularly free-for-all (FFA) links.
- Cloaking, a practice in which the search engine and the end user do not view the same page.
- Sites with numerous, unnecessary host names (i.e. poker.abc.com, blackjack.abc.com, etc.).
- Excessively cross-linking sites to artificially inflate a site's apparent popularity.
- Affiliate spam.
Whatever you do, do NOT bombard Yahoo with submissions. If you apply more than once a month, they'll ignore you until the end of time.How to apply to Yahoo
Another good way to get banned from Yahoo is to submit a site to a regional index that has nothing to do with that region, or isn't really a regionally limited site. Boy do they HATE that!
If you are still having problems getting in, or getting a change made to your listing, see the note further down the page about the "secret" Yahoo email address.
If there is no "Suggest a Site" link, then the page you are on does not allow listings to be added to it, most likely because it is a very general top-level page.
A good method for finding the right category page is to do some searches that you think people looking for your site will do, and see what categories are listed. In the past, the trick was to submit to the topmost category (so your listing would appear higher up), but this no longer works (in particular now that the "Web Sites" listings no longer appear!). Instead, look for a category that has the least number of entries in it, to reduce your chances of being "buried" in a huge category. This usually means a very specific category. The exception would be if your business name is alphabetically very high (ie: starts with a number or the letter "a"). Then you'd want to be in the most general category possible.
If your business is geographically limited in scope (for example, you're a Real Estate Agent), then you'll want to be in the most specific category you can find in the regional directory section. This is because Yahoo searches take into account the words in the various category and subcategory names under which your listing is placed -- it is as if these words are in your title and description. So by being in such a specific category, you get your state and city names "for free" -- they don't have to be in your description. Use those precious description words to mention other geographical locators (county) and services.
The #1 mistake people make is that their title and description read like promotional ad copy. Bad mistake! What Yahoo wants is a descriptive title and description. No hype allowed! And if you can make your description one sentence of at most 15-20 words, you're less likely to have it edited down!
I cannot emphasize this enough! Read these instructions slowly and carefully. I've used this technique. It works. But beware - Yahoo checks to see if you've "followed the rules" and won't help you if you haven't.To get extra assistance with a new site listing, submit the site normally, and if the site isn't listed within a few weeks, then do a resubmission. If the site still doesn't appear after a few weeks (and you've followed my advice above to the letter!), then e-mail [email protected] for assistance. You must send the exact URL that you submitted, but you do not need to send the categories you submitted to or the actual dates you submitted on.
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