Saturday, August 13, 2005

Myth # 9 About Search Engine Marketing You need a Directory Listing from Yahoo!

There are many misconceptions about a directory listing with Yahoo! First you should know that an Internet directory is different than a search engine because human editors decide what goes into a directory.

On the other hand search engines update and rank sites primarily in a computerized fashion. Search engines first send out programs called bots to retrieve site information by following links of sites presently in their databases. Then SEs use an algorithm or system to determine rank of the sites in their databases. Finally search engines deliver relevant information to its end users searching for information.

The lines are getting somewhat blurred however.

Originally Yahoo! started out as the first commercial Internet directory with sites submitting for the review to human editors. Obviously human editors alone could not categorize the web in an economical fashion, given its scale and growth rate.

Enter the search engine which could automate this process. However, search engines require a large infrastructure to operate. Therefore, it is costly to run a search engine. Overture pioneered the model to monetize search engines with PPC advertising.

Google adapted this proven revenue strategy and the rest is the lore of business history. Google has built a multibillion dollar business that is one of the most valuable companies in the world. Yahoo! which was formerly an Internet directory and web portal (which purchased its SE results from Google) of course sees money pouring into Goggle's coffers and wants a piece of the action.

Yahoo! buys the assets and technology of a lot of search engine companies like Alta Vista, and AlltheWeb and develops its own search engine. Now Yahoo! does have a search engine but don't confuse it with the Yahoo Directory which still exists.

It also should be stated that Google also uses human editors if a site flags an audit for questionable SEO behavior.

Now back to the issue of a Yahoo! Directory listings. When Google developed its linking evaluation system PageRank. It gave preference to established or major site and directory listings. In short a link is not a link in Google's equation. A link from a major human edited directory like Yahoo! was worth more than probably 50-100 links from the average site(and therefore worth its weight in gold).

However, if you are in many industries you can have a top listing without paying to be in Yahoo! I have plenty of sites with top rankings that are not in Yahoo! (the Directory).

However If you are in a very SEO savvy competitive industry a Yahoo! directory listing may be the way to go.

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