The Search Light Newsletter
The Search Light Newsletter
  Guiding your site to the top of the search engines | 21 Mar 2005 - Vol 5 Issue #2  

In this issue...

How to Submit Your Site to Directories

FAQ1: Pay Per Click Search Engines

FAQ2: Sample SEO Contract

Exclusive Discount Offer for SEC

FAQ3: Submission to 75,000 Engines

SEO for Chinese Web Site

How to Submit Your Site to Directories
By Kalena Jordan

Unlike submitting to search engines, submitting your site to directories and niche portals usually involves a lot more than simply typing in your URL. You often have to start by researching the various topic categories to find the most appropriate area to submit to. Then you generally have to provide some detailed information about your site, its' content, your company and your contact details.
When selecting the most appropriate Directory category to submit your site to, conduct a search for your main keyword phrase and view the various related categories. Study the sites listed within these categories and choose the category that is the most relevant to or closely related to your site content. Some directories like ODP have specific Category Descriptions you should read before submitting, to ensure you have chosen the most relevant topic for your site.
Another way to choose your category is to search for sites belonging to your direct competitors. It is likely that the category they are listed in will be the most relevant to your site.
If your site targets or discusses a specific regional market, you will need to submit to a regional category. For example, if my site was about rental cars for hire in Sydney, Australia, I would need to submit it to: this regional Yahoo category and not: this general Yahoo rental car category
I find it useful to submit a slightly different description of my client's sites for each directory submission. That way, I can gauge which descriptions are more effective in terms of encouraging people to click and also which directories are providing my clients with the most traffic. Many directories feed their database results to other engines and directories, so if I have a description unique to each directory and I see that description pop up on other search sites, I know it is the result of that original directory submission and immediately recognize the value of that original submission.
Remember that directory editors don't care about your site's ranking in their search results. If they are reviewing a site submission that contains an obviously keyword stuffed title and description, they are unlikely to find it appealing or beneficial for inclusion in their database! Always make sure your submission details are relevant, interesting and accurate. Try to highlight your site's benefits for the visitor and unique content that makes it stand out from others in the same category. If your site sounds just like a cookie-cutter version of others of the same topic, there is no incentive for the editor to include it.

Submitting to the Yahoo! Directory
There are a couple of sites where you want to take extreme care and do advance research when submitting your site. One of these is the Yahoo! Directory. The way you submit your site to Yahoo! can make or break your site's ultimate ranking in the Directory and if you're not careful, could also cost you USD 299 for nothing.
With Yahoo!'s huge market share and popularity worldwide, I believe it's vital that your site is listed in Yahoo!'s Directory. The best way to get listed quickly is by paying the fee for Express Submission. Yahoo! Express is an expedited fee-based site suggestion service for web sites submitted to the Yahoo! directory. A member of Yahoo!'s editorial staff will look at your site, consider your suggestion and respond to you within 7 business days.
Important: Payment does not guarantee inclusion in the directory, site placement, or site commentary. It only guarantees that Yahoo! will respond to your suggestion within seven business days, by either adding or denying the site.
The secret to obtaining excellent results via your Yahoo! submission is to choose the most appropriate category and include a carefully-crafted description that contains your main keyword phrase/s without being too verbose. For those of you offering a Yahoo! submission service to clients, be sure to charge a generous admin fee for your expertise in researching the category and writing the description for your client - a successful Yahoo submission can pay dividends for your client for years.
Example of a successful site description for Yahoo!:
ABC VIP Adventures - offers tailored adventure travel and vacation packages to New Zealand including day tours, exotic corporate trips, luxury travel packages, kite surfing, and extreme sports.
Example of an unsuccessful site description for Yahoo!:
ABC Travel - we are the best! We are the only company to contact for your vacation. Call now!
The latter does not use the actual company name, plus it contains lots of hype but no keywords and few clues as to what the site is about. In this case, the Yahoo! editor would have to visit the site submitted and come up with their own description and it's doubtful the edited description will be something the submitter would be happy with.
Submitting to the Open Directory
Another Directory where submission is critical is the Open Directory. DMOZ is run entirely by volunteers and your site submission must be hand-reviewed by one of these volunteers before it can be considered for inclusion. DMOZ is extremely under-staffed (I know this because I'm a DMOZ editor!) and it can take 6 or more months before your submission is reviewed - you must be patient. When submitting to DMOZ, make sure you follow the directory submission guidelines above and prepare to wait, wait and wait some more.
Procedure to follow for a successful DMOZ Submission:
1) Submit site
2) wait for 3 months
3) follow up email to category editor
4) wait for 3 months
5) escalation email to category editor above your category
6) wait for 3 months
7) ask for assistance in the Open Directory Public Forum (
8) wait for 1 month
9) escalation email to DMOZ senior staff & post to various forums seeking help
Rules of Submission
a) Do it once: Despite the hype, there is NEVER a need to resubmit to a search engine or directory unless your site is dropped entirely (which is a very rare occurrence).
b) Do it properly: Be very thorough when submitting, especially to directories. Take the time to research and locate the most appropriate category for your site.
c) Be brief: Don't waffle on about your site in the description field. Get to the point and describe your site in a short sentence or two.
d) Be accurate: Don't try to trick potential visitors by using vague or misleading descriptions about your products or services.
e) Be relevant: There is a fine line to tread between relevance and keyword optimization when creating your site descriptions for submissions. Try not to cross it by using descriptions over-stuffed with keywords.
f) Be humble: "Best Web Site in the World!!!!" is not going to convince anyone and may earn you the wrath of search engine editors.
g) Be patient: Search engines and directories can take up to 6 months to index and list your site. Re- submitting won't help things and could result in your site being shoved to the bottom of the review pile.
So that wraps up the directory submission process. It can be time consuming, but taking a little bit of time and care with your submissions can pay dividends for your site for years to come.

The above article may be re-published as long as the content remains unchanged and the following paragraph is included at the end of the article, including the URL link:
As well as running her own SEO business, Kalena Jordan manages and tutors at Search Engine College, an online training institution offering instructor-led short courses and downloadable self-study courses in Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing subjects.

   Greetings Readers!

Well I don't know about you, but some weeks I feel like I'm bashing my head against a brick wall. I call them "Aaaaargghh" weeks. This week has been one of them and I just have to vent.
I was totally dumbfounded by one of my larger clients this week. I had provided a paragraph of optimised text for their graphic-heavy home page and after they re-launched the site, it was nowhere to be found. The response when I asked them? Check it:
"Don't worry Kalena, the text at the bottom of this page is there, it's in a layer that sits under the images so therefore invisible to the eye but not to search engines. From a design perspective, the text you provided just didn't fit in with the site layout."
Aaaarrrrrggghhh!!! Time for some serious spam education.
After I injested a full block of chocolate and had a little lie down, I pointed them towards the Google Quality Guidelines and asked them to remove the hidden text immediately unless they wanted to risk ranking penalties or full exclusion from Google.
What I said must've worked though, because within 24 hours I received an email that said : "All requested changes have now been made". Phew! Crisis averted. I just hope I don't have too many "Aaaaargghh" weeks or I'll be working my way through an entire supermarket aisle of chocolate!

Thanks for listening and I'll try not to vent next time. Enjoy this issue and remember to visit Search Engine College to check out our fun online courses in various search engine marketing subjects. There's something for everyone, no matter what your knowledge level!
Till next time - wishing you high rankings...

  • FAQ1: Pay Per Click Search Engines
  •   Hi Kalena
    I need a list of Pay Per Click engines and directories. Do you have any experience in this market?

    Hi Eva
    Here are some other PPC resource sites that we recommend to our students:
    Pandia PPC List
    Search Engine Guide PPC List
    Pay Per Click Search Engines
    Pay Per Click Analyst
    Pay Per Click Guide
    Pay Per Click Universe
    Hope this helps!

  • FAQ2: Sample SEO Contract
  •   Hello
    I am looking for a sample SEO contract or some ideas on how to create a contract while working as a provider of SEO services. I live in the UK so I would prefer to have one based on local business law. Do you have any tips to include to avoid any future disputes?

    Hi seopro
    My contract is a hodge-podge of a few sample contracts from other SEO providers and the very good sample SEO contract provided by Proposal Kit (I wrote a review on that one if you want to learn more about it).
    A couple of important things to remember:
    1) If you are going to use a contract template from another source as your basis, make sure you get a local legal specialist to give it the once over to ensure it covers legislation and tax issues in your State/Country of operation.
    2) An important clause I include in my contract is that it is "subject to (SEO name) advice being followed during the optimization of your site i.e. all (SEO name) changes to your site code should be left intact throughout the duration of the campaign and your site should be live at all times during the duration of the campaign to allow search engines to access and re- index it regularly.
    It also helps to make your cost estimate just that - an estimate only, because often you'll find job costs can balloon above your original quote if the client's technology or CMS is hampering your ability to SEO the site or you need to bring in additional programmers to nurse it through.

  • Exclusive Discount Offer for SEC
  •   As a valued subscriber of The Search Light, we are pleased to provide you with an exclusive discount coupon for redemption towards the course/s of your choice at Search Engine College.
    The coupon will give you a 15% discount on your next purchase at Search Engine College and is valid until April 10 2005.
    CLICK HERE to receive your coupon!

  • FAQ3: Submission to 75,000 Engines
  •   Hi Kal
    Okay what's the deal with programs offering submission services to 75,000 search engines & directories?
    Does it really do anything? I could see if it was directories then it would be link backs, but just crappy search engines that dont get traffic? I dont know if I see the benefit...
    What do you think?

    Hi Matt
    The major problems with these type of "submit" services are:
    1) There are only really 10 or so crucial engines / directories that you need your site included in. Five if you are only worried about market share.
    2) The remaining 74,990 engines/ directories they claim to submit your site to are generally low quality home- made versions of the Open Directory or else FFA (Free For All) link factories that will do your link popularity more harm than good to be associated with. Google calls these "bad neighbourhoods". You don't want your site associated with these.
    3) As long as your site is linked to from another indexed site, the crawler engines will find your site without you even needing to submit it!
    4) Often these programs use automated submission software to submit your site. At best these can be ignored by engines. At worst they can be a drain on the engine's server resources.
    5) You should retain sole control over what engines/directories your site is included in. There are plenty of resources available online about where to find high quality relevant directories, particularly regionally specific or niche market directories that you should be submitting to.
    Next time you see an email or site offering submission to thousands of search engines, be afraid... be very afraid :-)

  • SEO for Chinese Web Site
  •   Hello Kalena
    I am an American based web site designer and I have a client in Hong Kong that needs help with SEO for a Chinese language site. I've never done work for other languages. Help!

    Hi Jim
    If they have an English version of their site in place, that will make your job a lot easier. Start by applying what you know to their English site and SEO it. Take your optimized English Title and META tags and have them translated (by Chinese speakers!) into the appropriate language, making sure they use the equivalent jargon and regionalization rather than straight translation. Apply these to the Chinese version of the site.
    You could take this even further by having their staff conduct keyword research in Chinese using Google's keyword sandbox to ensure the Chinese keywords targeted are as appropriate as the English ones you identified.
    The most important thing is to ensure that the Chinese site is submitted to the most popular Chinese language search engines and the English site is submitted to the most popular English language search engines based in China and Hong Kong. There is a list of the latter here on my site. Good Luck!

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