What if I told you there was a backdoor to getting your site listed in Yahoo's directory for free and usually in less than 10 days? I can see your eyes opening up but then closing again thinking this is just another trick or there's some catch. Not this time folks, this is the real deal.

But first let's take a brief look at Yahoo's paid inclusion and directory listing offerings.

Recap of Yahoo's Paid Inclusion Changes
Back in April of 2003 I wrote an article about how to get your site listed in Yahoo for free. Well a lot's changed since then with the way Yahoo! indexes sites and they even introduced a paid inclusion model for their natural results (March 2004) in addition to a cost per click for every visitor coming to your web site from the Yahoo web search index.

Even though this has been one of the most controversial moves they've made with regards to paid inclusion, I've got a ray of light to brighten up your day, especially if you're a blogger.

Directory Listing
There has been a lot of controversy over the past few months about whether or not a Yahoo! directory listing is worth the $295/year price tag. Proponents of submitting your site to Yahoo's directory say it's worth the immediate backlinks and having your site in the directory is an inherent symbol of quality in the minds of your potential customers. Opponents of the directory listing say it's too expensive and you'll never get enough traffic to substantiate the $295/year listing fee.

While some B2B websites whose sales average over $10,000 may be able to see an ROI from their Yahoo! directory listing, chance is most small mom and pop websites won't.

So, moms and pops, to help explain this backdoor I mentioned earlier let's look at what type of web sites Yahoo's looking for. This list is taken directly from their site.

Pages Yahoo! Wants Included in Its Index
  • Original and unique content of genuine value
  • Pages designed primarily for humans, with search engine considerations secondary
  • Hyperlinks intended to help people find interesting, related content, when applicable
  • Metadata (including title and description) that accurately describes the contents of a web page
  • Good web design in general
  • Unfortunately, not all web pages contain information that is valuable to a user. Some pages are created deliberately to trick the search engine into offering inappropriate, redundant or poor-quality search results; this is often called "spam." Yahoo! does not want these pages in the index.
Free Directory Listing For Personal Sites & Blogs
Based on research I've been conducting over the past 3 months I've come to the conclusion there must've been an internal memo sent around at Yahoo! about getting more blogs into their directory listing and web index. This is based on the fact that the average time it's taken to get a personal blog included in the Yahoo! directory has been less than 7 days! Obviously this is incredibly fast. I have personally seen blogs get included within Yahoo's directory within 3 days which is even faster than back in 1996 when nobody knew who Yahoo was.

Most folks can't get that kind of turnaround time even when they're paying $295 to have their site reviewed by Yahoo's editors. Combine that with the fact that the $295 annual fee for inclusion in the directory is waived for personal web sites and you're in. Now it's important to remember this is for personal sites and most blogs fall under that category. If you're trying to submit a commercial blog then you should expect to pay the $295 annual fee. But there are ways you can get your commercial and personal site into Yahoo's web index for free.

Getting in Yahoo's Web Results for Free
In order to get your commercial site included in the Yahoo web results index it's important to get a link to your site from another site that's already in Yahoo's index. Search engines use crawlers or bots to scan all of the web sites in their database and to find new sites to include. As a spider scans a page it makes a collection of the hyperlinks located within that page and will follow each of those links and then repeat the process on every link it finds.

By having a link pointing to your website, whether it's commercial or personal, you'll be able to get your site indexed by Yahoo within 2 - 4 weeks or even faster. It's still important to remember that your site should follow the guidelines Yahoo's listed above for staying "spam free" in order to ensure the indexing of your site. Otherwise all bets are off.
July 28, 2004

Jason is a nationally-recognized SEO expert and is the go to seo consultant of Fortune 100 companies like AT&T, Motorola & Microsoft as well as major brands like YellowBook and LA Times. He is the Director of Search at Triangle Direct Media and responsible for the development and capabilities of SEO Tool - TDM's automated seo platform. Prior to joining TDM Jason was Founder / CEO of search engine optimization firm Global Promoter, which was acquired by Kowabunga in 2004. In a previous life Jason was an Information Systems Engineer for NASA and a systems analyst at Oracle Corp.

Search Engine Guide > Jason Dowdell > Get Into Yahoo for Free Part II