Tips on Successful Directory Submission

When discussing website promotion, one of the tips always given is to submit to directories and search engines. The reader always thinks that it makes perfect sense and that he pretty much knows how to go about it, but the fact is he does not really understand the logic behind it, how it works, and how one actually goes about it.

What is the difference between a search engine and a directory anyway? A search engine uses a program for searching documents, mostly HTML, based on given keywords. It generates a list from its database put together by two programs, a spider, which fetches corresponding documents, and an indexer, which reads documents and creates the database based on their word and idea content. A directory, on the other hand, is a listing of submitted and approved websites. Basically, the main difference between search engines and directories is that the latter rely on submissions while the former have programs that scan the net for websites to include in their database. Keep in mind that search engines and directories are two different things, so it is best to come up with separate plans for utilizing the two methods for website promotion.
With search engines, it is all about keywords and HTML layout. You can look into discussions about keyword density, prominence, and placement to better equip yourself for targeting high search engine rankings. Remember that search engines can pick up your pages without you ever submitting them, so design your site accordingly.

As for directories, there are several steps you may have to undertake to prepare your website before submission in order for it to have a better chance of being approved. First and foremost, make sure that your website has been up and running for some time before you submit it. If you had recently made changes, again, wait a short while. You must know that some of the qualities of a good site, according to directory standards, are clean and attractive design, useful content, and fast loading pages.

Once you feel confident about your website, you can start the submission process. You usually have to start with picking out the category or categories which your site falls under. Think this through as this could have a great impact on your site’s exposure. Before submitting your URL, thoroughly read instructions, terms, and suggestions from the administration. Since directories depend on the information you give them, be as accurate as possible when asked for a description.

The top directories out there are Yahoo and DMOZ (also known as Open Directory Project or ODP). With ODP, it is not really as tough to get accepted, but there are so many submissions and they are usually short on staff which is comprised of volunteers. This is actually something you can capitalize on by volunteering to be an editor yourself and accepting your own submission. You have to realize that the Open Directory will not bring an amazing amount of traffic to your site, but it has its ways of influencing rankings, especially with Google. Remember, Google is like the godfather of all things SEO. It is always best to do things that are favorable to it.

Directories usually have a lead time after submission, so do not expect your site’s exposure to be magnified immediately. It may be necessary to submit specific web pages that can fall under different categories or to resubmit the actual website especially if you do a lot of tweaking or if you feel that the course of the site did a turn and it can now fall under a different category. However, do not be so aggressive about your submissions that you are practically spamming the directories. This may lead to detrimental consequences with regards to your active listings.