Yahoo is one of the largest search engines. Actually, that's not true. Yahoo is not technically a search engine. It is a human compiled directory of websites and does not have a spider bot going to sites and indexing them.
Note - being listed under "webpages" does not mean you are listed in Yahoo. It means you are listed with Google. Yahoo gets its "webpage" results from Google.
First you have to determine the scope of your site. Is your site commercial or non-commercial? Commercial sites that want to be listed must use "Business Express" when submitting. This used to cost $199, however the price has risen to $299 a year.
"Business Express" - what is it? Good question and one that many people ask. Well, it's basically the same as free submit except that with business express your site is guaranteed to be reviewed within a week's time. However, please be aware that it does not guarantee that your site will be accepted and added to the Yahoo index. If your site is rejected, Yahoo will allow you to appeal for free within a certain time period (usually 30 days) of being informed of your rejection. Also, Yahoo staff usually tells you the reason you have been rejected. Examine these reasons; fix any problems and resubmit after a week or so.
If your site is a non-commercial site, you will still be able to submit for free, but a review could take as long as 8 weeks or even longer.
Before you submit, make sure your site is 100% ready. Under construction pages need not apply to Yahoo because they are not going to get in. Your site should be aesthetically pleasing to the reviewer. It should be quick loading and should have lots of content.
OK; let's get started. How does Yahoo return results? Search results on Yahoo are determined by words that appear within these four areas:
These sites are then sorted by relevance using an automated algorithm.
Many people don't realize this but when someone searches for a term(s) on Yahoo, it's algorithm searches through the category name also. The top listing has the most occurrences of these words between its title, description, URL and words in the category it's in. You should remember this when submitting to your category.
To establish what category you are going to submit to, you should do a search for one or two of your keywords and see what categories come up. But which of these categories do you submit to?
Since most referrals to sites from Yahoo come from the search results and not from people visiting certain categories, it is wise and best (in most cases) to submit to a very specific category with lots of keywords in the category name.
Therefore, category names are just like having more titles and descriptions. Note - if you are a regional operation try to pick a category with the name of your state or province in it. This will help you get targeted local visitors from Yahoo.
As for the title, Yahoo insists that you use your official business or website name when applying to them, if you submit some keyword rich title they won't even look twice at your application. You should take this into account when choosing a domain name/official website name.
Yahoo favors short titles. This stems from the fact that the shorter the title is, the less likely they will be to edit it. This means less work for them. However, if you follow the above guidelines and Yahoo's own onsite guidelines, chances are you won't be edited very much.
The description part is the tricky part. The Web site description posted with your URL is a big factor in how your site will rank once it's listed in the directory.
You have to submit a description which has your main keywords in it. Make it sound very appealing to potential visitors at the same time. However, you must avoid anything that resembles hype and bragging, For example - number 1 site on the net for... The best on the web for...
Yahoo will either edit this kind of language to something that doesn't benefit you at all or worse... just move on to the next application. If they do edit it, you can bet your keywords won't appear in the final listing. For these reasons, it is important to get it right first time.
The description should be concise and based on facts. Most importantly, it should include your most important keywords whenever possible. Do not exaggerate what is located on your site. Remember a real person reviews your site and if you exaggerate, your site will not be approved. It's as simple as that.
The length of the description should be about 10 - 15 words. Note: On the Yahoo submittal form, they say 25 is the maximum. Never go near this number; they are sure to edit it and probably remove your keywords. Refer to Yahoo's own words: "Please be brief".
James D. Brausch (adapted)