Tested and proven
In addition, getting listed in Yahoo! will also help you improve the link popularity of your site which then helps in improving the ranking of your site in search engines. A link from Yahoo! is far more important than hundreds of links from personal web pages with several visitors per month.
However, getting listed in Yahoo can be tough, not mentioning an optimum listing. Yahoo! is not a search engine - it is a web directory. An actual human editor will visit and evaluate your site. If the editor doesn't like your site, you are out! Currently, only 10% of all submissions are finally included in Yahoo's directory.
So, how to get listed in Yahoo?
First read Yahoo's instructions thoroughly. Read their Help Index at http://help.yahoo.com/help/us/url
and their How To page at
Familiarize yourself with these instructions because they mean every word of what they say. You have only one choice to get listed: follow their instructions. You can't argue or discuss about the rules even though you have to pay for the listing service.
Keep this in mind, you, as a webmaster, are not their real customer. Their visitors are. Their purpose is to serve their customers better, not you. Your site has to be valuable for their visitors.
Before you submit your site, go through your entire site and make sure that there are no missing graphics, no bad links, no "Under Construction" pages and no typos or grammatical errors. Your site should be easy to navigate, load quickly and look professional.
Furthermore, your site must provide unique and useful content. Yahoo's definition of unique content is very strict - if your site simply consists of a one-page sales letter, or, if it only contains links to various affiliate programs, you will find it impossible to get listed. For getting listed in Yahoo!, your site needs to have at least a few pages of good content in it.
Also, you need your own domain name. Getting into Yahoo! is hard enough, not having your own domain will make it much harder. Don't waste your time and money to submit if your site is hosted on a free server.
If your site is of a commercial nature, i.e. it is selling something, you need to mention the physical address of your business, a phone number and a fax number (if you have one), and an email address, either in the home page of your site or in the Contact Us page which is linked prominently from the home page. They need the actual physical address of your business, not a Post Office Box address.
The way Yahoo lists search results
Now, let's analyze how Yahoo! displays its search results. Before September 2002, there are 3 sections in the Yahoo search results - Categories, Web Sites, Web Pages. When someone searches for a keyword in Yahoo, it first checks to see whether there are any categories which contain all the individual words of the keyword. If so, it first displays the names of those categories. It then displays the web sites in the Yahoo directory which match the keyword. Finally, in the Web Pages section, it displays web pages from Google.
From around end of Sep 2002, Yahoo stopped showing their own directory results in the Web Sites section. They're now blending results from their own directory and Google's database under Web Matches section. The Web Sites and Web Pages sections are gone.
The major difference between Yahoo's own results and Google's results is that if a site is listed in Yahoo directory, the Yahoo title and description will show up instead of the information in your page's title tag. The directory-listed pages are also designated by a little red arrow.
So now, a page with high ranking in Google may rank equally high in Yahoo's search section. Is it still worth $300 to get listed in Yahoo? I guess Yahoo has thought it over and over before action. They know some webmaster will not choose to pay $300 to get listed in Yahoo any more. Then why did they do that?
The first benefit is that they can maintain their market position. Before the change, Google had been getting more and more popular, decreasing the gap between Yahoo and Google. Now, there are no major differences between them. Many visitors will just stay at Yahoo as they have been doing.
But you can bet, Yahoo certainly gives more weights to sites listed in their directory in the search results. The difference might be 10 or 20 ranking positions - big enough to produce thousands hits.
My suggestion is, try your best to get optimum listing in Yahoo until further changes.
Getting listed in Yahoo
Your first task is to find out whether your site is already listed in Yahoo directory. Type in the domain name of your site in Yahoo's search box, and see whether your site comes up with a red arrow. If it is listed without the ed arrow, it means that your site is listed only in Google, not Yahoo directory.
Assuming that your site is not listed, your objective is to get your site a higher ranking. Here are some factors which influence the ranking of your site in the Yahoo search:
1) Presence of keyword or a part of the keyword somewhere in the name of the category or a higher level category.
2) Click Popularity. When a user searches for something in Yahoo, it tries to find out which sites best satisfied the user's needs by keeping track of two things: a) which sites the user clicked on and b) how much time the user spent in those sites. The logic behind this is that if a user clicked on a particular site and spent a lot of time there, that site must have satisfied the user's needs and hence, must be relevant to that particular keyword. In this case, the site's click popularity for that keyword improves and so does its ranking for that keyword.
There are only two ways of improving click popularity of your site - the description of your site in Yahoo needs to be attractive and you need to build an excellent web site with great content which satisfies your visitor's needs so that they stay longer in your site.
3) Presence of keyword or a part of the keyword in the Title and Description. The Title and Description that you use to submit your site to Yahoo should contain important keywords. Note that this Title and Description is not the one that you have coded in the Title and Description tag of your home page. Rather, it is the Title and Description you use when submitting to Yahoo.
4) Prominence of the keyword in the Title and the Description. Prominence means how close the keyword is to the beginning of the Title and Description. Other things remaining the same, closer the keyword to the beginning, higher your ranking.
5) Presence of keyword or a part of the keyword in the URL. You will get a slightly higher ranking if the keyword, or part of it, is also present in the URL of your site.
Now we talk about the Title some further. The Title is important not only because the presence of keyword in the Title helps to boost your ranking, but also because sites in the various categories in Yahoo are listed alphabetically according to its Title. So if your site name starts with letter "A", you will be listed higher than starting with "Z". Starting with numbers will be even better.
However, Yahoo! insists that the Title should always be the official name of your site. So, plan earlier.