I originally wrote the article below in August of 2005, note the copyright date at the bottom. But I was nudged to republish it after seeing a Sphinn post discussing the value of a Yahoo text link.
My three-year-old, but still true article follows:
Last week a client called me excitedly exclaiming that their Google PageRank had jumped a notch and their targeted keyword term now ranked #23 (up from #45) for their competitive search phrase. I asked the client if he’d been notified by Yahoo that his site was now included in the index after we had submitted it three weeks ago. “Yes,” he said, “but why are you changing the subject?”
“I’m not changing the subject. Inclusion in Yahoo Directory is the most likely reason for the jump in both your search position and your PageRank. Remember when you doubted the value of inclusion in the Yahoo Directory and I pushed for submission anyway? Now you know why I insisted.”
That seemingly expensive Yahoo Directory listing has one little known benefit to your website. It is the most important and valuable text link you could ever purchase. That one link from one source will do your ranking more good than any other single link (except possibly the Open Directory).
Many webmasters look at potential traffic referred from the Yahoo Directory as the determining factor for submissions, when that is not the best reason for inclusion – It’s the link value that matters above all else in this case.
I’ve had several SEO clients see a leap in ranking for targeted search terms a week or so after that Yahoo Directory link goes live for them. Many clients have argued with me about the value of that Yahoo Directory text link. But at $299, the yearly fee is cheaper than many of those commercial text link ads sites and does far more for your ranking in search engines OTHER than Yahoo.
Why? It’s purely the value of that link. Search engines know that only sites of a certain quality level will submit and get accepted into Yahoo Directory. They know that serious businesses will pay that yearly fee, while marginal or hobby sites will not pay that $299 every year. Surely there is some level of value assigned in search algorithms to inclusion in the Yahoo Directory.
It’s a little known technique for gains in ranking which is based purely on empirical observation over time. But the result of inclusion in the Yahoo Directory is the same for every client, every time – their PageRank ratchets up and targeted search terms suddenly take a big jump just a week or two after inclusion. The same is true of inclusion in the free Open Directory Project at http://DMOZ.org .
I’ve seen client sites jump from positions on page three at MSN search to top 5 positions on page one of the MSN SERP’s following inclusion in the Yahoo Directory. Now we are submitting this same client to the Open Directory for the 5th time in as many months hoping for elusive editors to add the site, leading to another jump in search position and PageRank if and when they get around to adding the site to the DMOZ database.
You do know that Google uses that Open Directory listing in their own directory, don’t you? It’s worth submitting and resubmitting until they finally include your site. It really is worth the trouble to keep trying, no matter how long they ignore your submissions.
One caveat always applies to Directory submissions! They must be done with great care applied to keyword phrases used in the site description. That single line of text you submit in the “Site Description” text box on the submission page will strongly affect your keyword phrase ranking in OTHER search engines for a very long time.
Take care in crafting a keyword rich and effective description for your site. I always request that clients either have me submit for them or use text I’ve written for them in that description. If you do it badly, it will be re-written by an editor who cares more for categorization than keyword rankings. Be Careful!
Before you run off begging for reciprocal links from slick webmasters or purchasing text links of dubious value from text link outfits, submit to Yahoo Directory and pay the $299 (or $24.92 monthly) for the most undervalued text link available. Then swallow your pride and re-submit to the Open Directory until they finally include your site.
Rock your rank with dynamite text links! Yahoo Directory and the Open Directory Project.
Copyright © August 23, 2005