How to get your website listed in the Yahoo! Directory and Yahoo! Search Engine
Advice on how to get your site registered in the Yahoo! directory and Yahoo Search Engine.
Free Yahoo! Directory Placement
There is no free way to be listed in the Yahoo Directory. Many sites that have been around for a while (such as this one, since 1998) were included years ago in the Yahoo Directory, and are not charged every year to continue to be in the Yahoo Directory. Since about 2002, they have charged everyone for submitting to the directory, and they charge a yearly renewal fee.
Paid Yahoo! Directory Placement
The only way to get into Yahoo Directory is to pay them. To do this, go here: Submitting your site to Yahoo Directory
Bing / Yahoo Advertiser signup -- Paid advertising on the Yahoo Search Network, through Bing -- this will put your advertisement (PPC Ad) into the search results at Yahoo.
In February 2004, Yahoo! stopped using Google search and switched to their own search engine.
Yahoo! search is different than the results you get when you search the Yahoo! Directory. Yahoo! search has risen to become second only to Google in popularity since it was released.
However, Yahoo, unlike most other search engines, is a pay-for-inclusion search engine where you pay for each clickthrough to your site. Becayse Yahoo! still offers a free submission method and still actively crawls the web, you should try the unpaid route first. This is because Yahoo! is currently the most expensive of the search engines to pay for placement in.
Yahoo!'s paid search placement used to be known as Site Match, and was an Overture service. Overture was re-branded as Yahoo! Search Marketing, then as Yahoo! Marketing Solutions. The name has changed a few times but the details have not.
When paying for search placement, you are paying for placement amongst the otherwise natural search results. If someone clicks on your listing amongst the search results, you will be charged a click-through charge. How this differs from pay-per-click is beyond us (aside from lower placement on the page). So far, we don't see any reason to recommend doing this unless you've optimized, tried the free submit (above), and are still invisible to Yahoo!. The payment includes the ability to customize your listing, your keywords, and view the details of your search traffic.
- Yahoo! Directory Submit - submission to the directory
This is paying for a listing in Yahoo!'s categorized directory, and used to be called "Yahoo! Express" submission, before Yahoo offered additional services. It is the most important directory to pay for placement in, and it is also the most expensive one (see our Hard Costs page) with a large annual inclusion fee.
We highly recommend getting a Yahoo! Directory listing.
Once upon a time, you were allowed to choose a category for yourself. That is no longer the case; you can suggest one but it may not be chosen.
- Yahoo! Search Marketing - Sponsored Search
These are Pay-Per-Clickthrough ads, and were previously called "Overture Precision Match", and before that "Pay-for-Performance listings from Overture". If you already had an account with one of those prior services, your account should still be accessible using your old username and password unless you failed to sign in and agree to the re-branding agreement and new privacy clauses (Overture to Yahoo changeover) by July 2005.
If you're going to do any pay-per-click search marketing, Yahoo! is one we'd recommend you do. However, reading up on our advice about it first might save you some money.
- Yahoo Directory Sponsored Listing
This is a page where you can sign up as an advertiser on both Bing and Yahoo.
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How to get your website listed in the Yahoo! Search Results
In February 2004, Yahoo switched from displaying Google search results to their own proprietary search results, "Yahoo Search Results". In 2010, they switched to Bing search results.
The results from their normal search are different than the results you get when you search the Yahoo Directory.
As of 2010, they started using Bing search results as their only search engine. To be listed in their Yahoo Search Results now, you need to sign up as a Bing / Yahoo Advertiser. That's the only way currently to pay to get into the Yahoo Search Results.
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Yahoo Background Info
I've seen statistics showing that 15% of all traffic to the average website is provided by Yahoo! That makes Yahoo! an easy choice -- you should pay them and get into their directory. Failure to do so is catastrophic to your online presence.
For many years now, Yahoo! has required payment for a review of your commercial site to determine whether they will include it in their directory. All commercial websites must use Yahoo's paid submission service to get into the "Shopping and Services" area or the "Business to Business" area at Yahoo!. In other words, if your company sells a product or service you must pay to get it into Yahoo Directory.
Procedure: First make sure your site is fully functional, with no "under construction" pages. Then at Yahoo! Directory, select the exact category of their directory in which you want your site to be listed. Keep digging into their directory structure until you're absolutely sure you have the exact right category for your site, then click on the "Suggest a Site" button on that page so you can submit your site from within that category.
I hate to be redundant, but it is necessary here: be very careful about selecting the right category of Yahoo! in which to have your site listed. If you pick the wrong category you won't get listed at all. If you pick the almost right category you may get listed but later on you'll wish you were listed somewhere else. Yahoo! is very resistant to making changes after your site is listed in their directory. In fact, it almost never happens. So it pays to truly confront their category system and get it right the very first time.
The best way to figure this out is to dig into the categories and find where your competitors are listed. Once you see which of the subcategories all your competitors are grouped into, you know you've found the right category. Another good way is to do a search for the main keywords someone would look for in order to find your site, and see which categories come up. Go to those categories, look for your competitors, and if you find them there, submit your request for a listing from the main category where you find your competitors.
On the basis of your submission, one of Yahoo's site reviewers (these are real humans) will go and look at your site. They may or may not let you know if it's been accepted. If they see anything incomplete or non-functional in your site they will disapprove it and you will have wasted your $299.
Recap: If you have a business website, you MUST pay $299 and use the Yahoo! Express submission service to register your site if you wish to get into the "Shopping and Services" area or the "Business to Business" area. Yahoo is no longer taking "free" submissions from business sites for those areas. For $299, Yahoo! promises they will look at your site within 7 days and let you know whether or not you're in.
If you are trying to register an "adult" website, Yahoo! charges $600 for the business express service.
As of January, 2002, Yahoo has stated that they will require this $299 or $600 fee on a yearly basis to stay in their index. So they have become a kind of on-line yellow pages that you have to pay to stay in.
These Yahoo! submission fees are NON-REFUNDABLE. In other words, Yahoo! keeps the money whether they decide to list your site or exclude it. Either way, you will never see that $299 again. You're paying for the "express review"--for the privilege of having Yahoo! make their decision within 7 days.
The link to their business express service is findable if you burrow into any of their categories -- it will be at the top right of the screen and looks like this:
Y! Business Express
suggest your site
To make a change to a listing you already have at Yahoo!, use this Yahoo! changes form. That's also the page to use to see if your site is already listed in Yahoo's directory -- it can be hard to tell whether your site is listed in the Yahoo Directory because Yahoo! also pulls search results from Google now, not just its own directory.
Here is some helpful info on how to get listed in Yahoo: How to Suggest Your Site to Yahoo!
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The phone number to contact Yahoo with billing difficulties is 408-349-5151.
The email address for billing problems is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The billing account management area at Yahoo is: http://billing.yahoo.com.
Make sure you have all your Yahoo account information ready to go before you call or email, because they will ask for it.
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Yahoo Site Explorer Tool
Yahoo has an interesting tool for exploring a site, the Yahoo! Site Explorer.
It shows all the indexed pages for the specified domain name, telling you how many inbound links in total, as well as for any particular page, and lets you wander through the inbound links. Quite helpful to know which pages are not in the index before you submit. We highly recommend wandering through the Yahoo Explorer before submitting, especially before paid submission in Yahoo.
If you have any trouble with it, read over the Directions for use of Yahoo Site Explorer to be sure you're using it correctly.
Did you mean to find out about Yahoo Search Marketing?
Our advice about advertising on Yahoo! Search Marketing deserves it's own page. Yahoo! Search Marketing was once its own company called Overture. Overture was bought up by Yahoo, and you will find all of our advice on how to run an ad campaign there in our advice page.
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Back to the Directory page.
Back to the Search Engine page