There was a time, back when Yahoo! was still the king of the web that you’d have been considered a low grade idiot for not spending the money to get listed in the Yahoo! Directory. These days however, the question is not nearly as clear cut. Here’s how to decide if it’s worth your while to get into the Yahoo! Directory.
What is the Yahoo! Directory?
Let’s start with a brief explanation of what the Yahoo! Directory is before we move on. There are two ways to find things through a search on the Internet. One way is to use a search engine such as Google or Yahoo! search. The other way is to search through a directory such as the Yahoo! Directory, DMOZ or Best of the Web.
What’s the Difference?
A Directory is written and catalogued by human beings. It includes a review of a website which will allow people to see what a real live human said about the site. Yahoo!’s search engine used to be done this way as well, however with the rise of Google, they switched to automatic web crawling in order to make sure they stayed relevant.
Search engines as you probably know use web crawling, where they look for links and then index a website based on those links. The problem is, this grabs everything, the good, the bad and the spam. Therefore, various algorithms are used to figure out which sites will be most appropriate for a particular search (which is where SEO comes in).
Why You Might Want to Get Into the Yahoo! Directory
Truth be told, unless they are looking for something specific ,relatively few people bother to search directory listings these days. Of course, when I say relatively few, I still mean that there may be a few hundred thousand searches a day of the big directories. However, compared to the one billion plus queries Google handles, directories aren’t particularly exciting ways to get traffic.
That said, directories can provide high quality backlinks. The Yahoo! Directory for instance has a PR8 rank so it’s a good site to get a backlink from. DMOZ and Best of the Web by the way are PR8 and PR7 respectively.
You may also want to try to get into the Yahoo! Directory if you have a highly regional website or if your demographic happens to do more searches on Yahoo! since those two kinds of sites get the most benefit from this kind of listing. (Yahoo!’s search engine definitely gives more weight to directory listed sites.)
The Bad News
Now you may be asking why anyone wouldn’t want to get into the Yahoo! Directory. After all, even if it doesn’t help a whole lot, it helps some and every little bit of effort for SEO is worthwhile, right? Well, that would be true if the Yahoo! Directory were free.
Unfortunately, it’s actually $299 to submit a site and $299 per year after that. Now for a big company, that may not sound like such a big deal.
However, for a small website (who let’s face it is the most likely to need such a boost), that’s a nice chunk of change to hand over in exchange for a single PR8 link which lasts for one year. Not to mention that your $299 is a submission fee. There are no guarantees your site will be indexed and published in the directory.
For me, I don’t see the value anymore. There are cheaper ways to get backlinks than paying Yahoo! a lot of money for them. DMOZ is free (though I’m told nearly impossible to get into – I have yet to try). Best of the Web also charges a fee, $149.95 per year or $399.95 for a lifetime listing. Personally, I think the money is better spent on SEO services.