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Why Submit Your Site to Internet Directories?

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The term “human-powered” mainly refers to directories, i.e. online catalogs that categorize websites into thematic sections. Yahoo!, along with the regular Web search, offers one of the most complete catalogs on the Web.

When you submit a site to a directory, it is queued for editorial review. Usually, when you submit, you are allowed to choose the category your site will be placed under, as well as to enter the desired description and title for your site, which will show in the related category. However, the actual presence of your site is subject to the editor’s decision when he or she browses your site.

Directories DO NOT accept automated submissions and have special means to protect themselves from auto-submission software. You should always submit manually to a directory.

What the directories are useless for:

With the directories, there’s no such concept as “ranking”, because once you’ve been included into the index, your site is ranked within the appropriate category by an independent factor, for instance, alphabetically or according to the Google Page Rank.

Thus, the concept of “optimization” has no bearing when applied to directories like DMOZ or Yahoo.

In terms of traffic, these directories are also of little value. The percentage of surfers who would prefer browsing categories in a directory over a regular search is quite small; few people tend to dive into the depth of the branchy vertical hierarchy of categories. Thus, your category listing won’t bring you much traffic on its own.

What the directories are useful for:

Because the directories are compiled by humans and for humans (unlike the search engine listings which are compiled by robots for humans), the relevancy of directory results is very high. Search engines know that – almost any search engine spider starts its regular crawl at a directory like DMOZ or Yahoo. If you are listed there, the search engines will find you during their next crawl, even without your submission.

Additionally, directories themselves have high Page Rank values (as a rule). When you are listed in a directory, the directory is linking to your site. This link is considered high-quality and is very good for your overall link popularity, which is an influential factor when it comes to ranking. For the search engines that are able to analyze the context of your link (such as Google), your directory listing will be important because your link is supplemented by a relevant description.


To submit your pages to the Yahoo! Directory, it will cost you $299 for an annual review ($600 for adult-related sites). If you pay, you can possibly get listed within a few days. If you go the non-commercial route, it can take months and quite often they won’t list you at all. The registration at the Yahoo! portal is still required for both cases.

Yahoo is now making use of click-through measurements as part of its relevancy ranking system. Searches performed at Yahoo!, instead of leading directly to websites, point to Yahoo’s internal redirecting script so that Yahoo can measure what people are searching for. Yahoo also tracks and measures pages that are not directly listed in Yahoo but are linked from pages that are listed.

There are some tips that can help you get indexed in the directory faster if you are submitting as a standard (non-commercial) site. First, put a copyright notice and date on your page. Avoid using “trademarks” for your company or product name until after you’ve submitted and gotten indexed by Yahoo!. It appears that Yahoo! is concerned about posting anything that is trademarked as the company name in the listings. Yahoo! Directory will list additional pages of a site (beyond the one submitted) and/or subdomains if the editor finds the content unique and if there aren’t many listings for the same topic in the category.

It appears that Yahoo will reject your domain if it has more than 54 characters. Keeping Yahoo compliance in mind, stay under 55 characters (not including the .com or other suffix) when choosing your domain name.

Yahoo! is regularly performing a check for dead links. If your site is down during one of these checks, you may find it deleted from the Yahoo! Directory.

Taking into account all of this, the following is recommended concerning the Yahoo! Directory. First, try to get listed in their directory for free (register at the Yahoo! Portal and submit your URL under the related category).

When submitting for free, you do not receive any guarantee your site will be reviewed and listed any time soon. However there are some guidelines that might help. Try to purchase a domain name with your most important keywords in it, preferably separated by hyphens. If your keywords are your company name it’s the best variant, so you can submit the same words you use in the domain name as the name of your company. Create unique and original content for your website. Ensure it has no broken links or “Under construction” pages. If possible, make your design look as professional as possible because – remember – the site will be reviewed by a human editor.. Generally, focus on proving to the directory that your site is all about your keyword phrase.

It will help if your site is more than just one page. At least, it should have 6 or 7 pages. Put contact information at the bottom of the main page. When submitting a description, make sure it uses your key phrase. When choosing the subcategory, give a second subcategory as well. Try to choose a subcategory that is close to the upper-level categories. If your keyword phrase is in the name of a subcategory, that’s an added bonus too.

Once you have submitted, wait for a couple of weeks. If your site still isn’t in the index, you may choose to resubmit (there’s no penalty for resubmission and sometimes it may help), submit to another category or choose the paid submission way if you don’t have much time.


An alternative directory is DMOZ, which stands for “Directory.MOZilla” and is also known under the name of ODP which stands for Open Directory Project. It is a multilingual open content directory of World Wide Web links owned by Time Warner that is constructed and maintained by a community of volunteer editors.

After Google made the decision to remove links to DMOZ results from its result pages, DMOZ has lost some of its importance. However, listing there can still be extremely profitable for your rankings and general web visibility.

To submit, go to their main page, then find the most appropriate category for your site and click the “Suggest URL”. Unlike Yahoo! Directory, here you shouldn’t submit to a top-level category. Instead, drill down until you find the best subcategory for your site.

If you submit to an inappropriate category, the editor of that category has to transfer your submission to another category. In order to do that, he/she has to visit the main page and click through to find the “perfect” category. This is time consuming, and a lot of editors won’t do it. They’ll simply reject your submission. So, you should be very careful about choosing the best category for your site. When searching for an appropriate subcategory visit the different engines that utilize ODP results (Google and Google family: AOL Search and Netscape Search; then, AltaVista and finally Lycos). Search for your keyword phrase, and see which categories come up. Give your preference to results from the engine you target most.

Create a captivating title and description which contain your keywords. Make sure they are professional and sincere. Then, complete the submission form.

Submit your main URL in the best subcategory. If you have an interior page that stands on its own and has a lot of relevant information, you can try submitting it into a second subcategory.

A “last updated on” note on your site can be informative to the editors, especially if it’s been updated very recently. Like the Yahoo! Directory, ensure that your site is error-free and there are no missing images or broken links. For instance, you may use Web CEO site quality Auditor for this purpose. Don’t submit directly to the ODP if you’ve submitted your site to the ODP links on any of the other engines.

A smart technique would be to attempt submitting to the regional categories at the ODP as well as career categories. You may be able to get listed in several categories in this manner.

The directory is compiled by volunteers and this may be one of the reasons why sometimes it’s quite difficult to get listed. So, once you have submitted your site, wait at least a month. Then, if you aren’t listed, go to Resource Zone and post a question about your listing in the Site Submission Status Forum. If you want to detect whether you’ve been listed, don’t do it through the search as the index isn’t synchronized with the database very frequently. Instead, go to the correct category and look for your listing.

Another way to find out the result of your submission is to contact the category editor personally. If you want to do it, be as polite as possible – these people are volunteers and they do not like being told what they should and shouldn’t do. They will help you out as long as you show that you appreciate the job that they do.

Unlike Yahoo!, you shouldn’t re-submit to DMOZ because it pushes your site to the bottom of the queue and you are just extending the waiting period.

As well as with Yahoo!, good content matters a great deal. Generally DMOZ won’t list sites that are only set up to earn affiliate income or sell something. Try to make your pages as informative about your subject as possible.

For more articles on search engine marketing, please visit my blog.

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About Raul Vergara

  • Very thorough…

  • thank you pal

  • gimmster

    A couple of minor errors in the DMOZ section.

    Resource Zone has not provided individual site status checks since May 21 2005.

    Search usually lags the actual directory by approximately a week. If searching for a url, use the form sitename.tld not http://www.sitename.tld

  • gimmster,

    it would help if you can give the url reference for this announcement for the information of everyone. thanks for the information.

  • gimmster
  • Eric Olsen

    very nice job – thanks and welcome Raul!

  • Nicely done Raul!

    This is a topic worth taking seriously — at least for anyone in the industry. It’s the kind of knowledge that can help to abate the spate of demonic-SEOs who keep spamming referrer stats, guestbooks and forums around the ‘net. Your other articles are also excellent contributions. I hope that they get the attention that they deserve.


  • John Davidson

    Ya, except many say DMOZ is corrupt. See this for examples.

  • That’s great info and I always recommend my B2B clients to be listed on Thomas Register’s ThomasNet.

  • Very nice article, unfortunatly, submission to directories like this seems to fall off in the garbage bin 50% of the time 😉


    [Geeks Are Sexy] Tech. News

  • R. Matthews

    “With the directories, there’s no such concept as “ranking”… ”

    That’s a little inaccurate. There IS one directory that goes beyond just listing and the editors actually rank websites: iOS.

    Also, DMOZ editors do not always transfer a mis-categorized submission to another category. More often than not, a mis-categorized submission will be deleted.

  • Thanks, this is valuable advice in getting new sites on search engines fast! Does anyone know of other directories worth following up?

  • Jon

    @Musonica Media: joeant.com, lii.org, mpios.com (mentioned above) are all great. i try to avoid massively sponsored directories as much as possible – the SEs tend to rank links from these much lower. lii.org and mpios.com tend to be tough directories to get into (usually because your site does not meet their criteria).

  • If I could have a $ for every small business that mass submits to all the directories and ends up getting hammered my spam email, I’d be a rich man.

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  • Another thing to try if you are a blogger is to get your blog’s URL in a BlogRing. We have over 180+ blogs listed and what makes us different is that we manually screen to blogs to be sure they are active and have high comment rates.

    When you couple a search optimized Directory, with blog surfing services AND a good blogring the effect is amplified and the cost is virtually 0 just your time to cut and past html code into yuor template. Pretty sweet!

    Great article Raul!

    Here is also a great link that will give you a very comprehensive listing of Directories to enter your URL:

    Here is our link to it: OpenWeb Directory and RSS Top 55 Site

    ZZ Bachman / Have a Blog? Ring Surf it @ ZZ OpenRing

  • Heres some tips and tricks of Search Engine Optimization that will surely help your site building traffic!

    Submit to as many quality directories, article sites and Press Releases as possible like this site http://www.submityourarticlesnow.com . While doing so the most important factor to remember is that all these should have a unique content and anchor text. As this is what I am using for several years successfully and which I am promoting as “8 magical SEO Technique|submityourarticlesnow”.

    Many people do submit articles to various sites and think there job is over. But if you really want your article to make headlines, you should make it as unique as possible like the title above which is “The most effective SEO techiques!|SubmitYourArticlesNow!|”. So now you know what this technique means.

    Getting Backlinks: Most SEO’s think the more the linkbacks the better the PR and SERP’s which is one of the most biggest rumours going around in the world of SEO.

    Don’t place common anchor text on hundred’s and thousands of sites as these can be identified by Search engines as link spam or a Black hat technique.

    Avoid Link Farms: Avoid sites which offer thousands of links instantly by placing a folder on your site. This is one of the worst methods of getting linkbacks. While submitting to directories, have a close look at the PR and the quality of the backlink.

    Make use of all tags in your pages like title, description, keywords, header 1, header 2, alt of images by focusing on 10 main keywords for optimization.

    Install a sitemap script for your website if it has thousands of pages and set a cron to update it daily if you wish search engine’s to crawl your site regualarly. You can find many such scripts on the internet today.

    The more your websites content is unique the more chances are that it will rank at the top. So place your website content with some unbelivable words like for example – thought provoking content.

    So start Submitting your articles now!

  • Forget dmoz your lucky ever if you get listed. but does anyone here beside dmoz knows good directory to submit.

  • Very helpful article!

    I am currently in the process of submitting my new health site, Fit and Trim UK, to Yahoo and DMOZ. Are there any other significant directories out there that are worth investing time in?


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  • Im very interested in knowing what other significant directories are out there for my site Lowload.co.uk – UK dedicated Servers

  • Raul,

    You gave a lot of valuable insight to people who are just starting to figure out where to begin with search engine submission and SEO.

    I have found most often with my clients that many businesses out there don’t pay any attention to the value that DMOZ and directory listings like Yahoo can have on your web site.

    It gives you a chance to leverage some of the page rank that those web sites spend a lot of time and money on.

    Tornado Technologies

  • How many people here will pay for dmoz. if dmoz was charging let’s say 300.00 a year. I have submit my page beatyourprice.com in last two years in dmoz,no listing yet, I gave up with dmoz.

  • I have published my website. What is the most important steps I should do to get traffic?

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  • Doc

    Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and with all of your mind, and Love your Neighbor as your self.
    “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

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  • Donnie Marler

    And Balaam’s ass spoke.

  • hey is there any place i can find a complete list of submit free site directories ? seams most of them doesnt let adding sites with dif reasons .
    also ,is there any significant directories for my site livetvradio.net ?

    thx in advanced

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  • When you submit a site to a directory, it is queued for editorial review. Usually, when you submit, you are allowed to choose the category your site will be placed under, as well as to enter the desired description and title for your site, which will show in the related category.

  • Thanks

  • Great article. I’m thinking about trying the Yahoo paid submission. The only thing I don’t like about it is that it is not guaranteed. 🙁

  • I just finished my website and already submitted my site to DMOZ and Yahoo. What other directories do you think are important? Is there any list with the top directories in the internet?

  • Rob


    Great article, with some points I hadn’t seen before – didn’t know about Yahoo’s limit on domain name lengths, for eg.

    Hannes, Janet – there are thousands of directories, and several lists of good / free ones. I’ve put a short(ish) list of directory lists on my site.

    Of those, AddURL and Info Vilesilencer are particularly useful IMHO, but the others are well worth a look too.


  • Does it make sense to submit my site to hundreds of directories or may I be punished by Google cause of this behaviour?

  • Yes it does make sense.

    Directories create backlinks. Backlinks tell google how popular your site is. I submit to around 50 directories a day and it’s done nothing but double my traffic and google PR, and keyword target every month.

  • And where do you find all those directories? I mean 50 a day are more than 18,000 per year.

  • Adaid

    I have found that DMOZ has become quite corrupt, as the editors for competitive categories will not let new website in. Any suggestions.



  • Sergey

    Great article, except that it is wholly copied from Web CEO University without permission. Raul, you are going to have serious legal copyright issues if you don’t stop doing this.

  • Nice article, I also tried couple of times to add my site to yahoo but they just dont accept 🙁

  • Great article. But I don’t think you sufficiently pushed the idea that to maximize the benefit of getting listed in a directory, you need to get listed in multiple directories. In today’s world, the main benefit of directories is the backlinks to your site from such a high pagerank directory.

  • It’s almost impossible to get in the DMOZ. Is it really fair search engine results use this directories listings as weight if you can’t get in it, even when you have a quality site?


  • Wonderful post, yet as others mentioned, status check is not an option anymore. SO, you submit and may end up waiting years to see your link approved, if you are lucky that is.

    The scandals and allegations of abuse regarding Dmoz and some of its editors are never-ending. My personal advice is to forget about Dmoz and let it die in peace. If you are keen on marketing your website in web directories then use the many available yet non-restrictive alternatives to Dmoz. There is a new Directory called Nomoz that is gaining momentum and approval from webmasters. The directory is built using the Dmoz data but making it accessible to all webmasters.

  • great posting, either to me ‘let’s dmoz die slowly’.
    good job raul! even this posting copied from, cause i didn’t found the original resources before yours.
    thnk’s pal,

  • I have several websites that I have submitted to DMOZ….we’re going on a year now and have not heard anything from them. Thanks for this bit of information.

  • As a relatively new site this is great advice, cuts through the hype. Thank You

  • you need to go the forums and actually connect with the dmoz editors…that may help…no begging…just suggest.

  • I believe submitting to directories helps your overal ranking. Its tedious and time consuming but I believe it will add to your backlinks. And we all know backlinks are good!

  • david

    thank you very much this very good

  • Banes

    I agreed with your article, but to get listed in the directories of any significance the prices are to high and its not a guarantee you will get listed at all. The thousands of others are really a waste of time.

    Most of the small sites are their to get monies but offer your site very little in quality backlinks.