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Lesson #12



In this lesson you will learn how to submit a Website to Yahoo!


Yahoo!, the original search engine on the Web, continues to be unique among search engines and directories. Yahoo listings are maintained by humans rather than algorithms. Each site submitted for inclusion is accepted or rejected by a Yahoo editor who actually views and evaluates the site.

This is in contrast to other search engines, which often use automation programs (called spiders) to gather site information for the listings, as well as to evaluate and rank sites.

Because of the limited time available for editors to make choices about all submitted sites and a desire to keep the directory unique, Yahoo is quite picky about the sites it includes. Thus, having your site in Yahoo's site listings is a coveted accomplishment, especially since Yahoo generally ranks as the most visited search engine on the Internet.

You should NEVER use any type of automatic submission software or service to submit your site to Yahoo They build their directory by hand on Yahoo's end, so you should submit your site by hand on your end. However, the most important factor affecting the review of your site by the Yahoo editors is whether you have a high quality site with original content.


In order to properly submit your Website to the Yahoo search engine, you should first have some understanding of how Yahoo works. When you input a search into Yahoo, you can get up to five kinds of results: Inside Yahoo Matches, Sponsor Matches, Category Matches, Web Site Matches, and Web Page Matches.

The first two, Inside Yahoo Matches and Sponsor Matches, are not relevant to our discussion because a site submitted for inclusion in the Yahoo directory is not listed within these two categories. Therefore, we'll cover only the three categories that matter—Category Matches, Web Site Matches, and Web Page Matches.

The difference between Web Site Matches and Web Page Matches is that Web Site Matches include only sites listed in the Yahoo directory. Web Page Matches pull results from one of the spider-based engines ( at the time of this writing) to supplement the Yahoo Web Site Matches.

So, even if your site is not listed in Yahoo as a Web Site Match, it may be found in a search through Yahoo if it is listed in Google. Since you have to click on Web Page Matches link to see this list of results, however, it is important to have your site listed on Yahoo (as well as Google) if you can obtain a listing there.

Yahoo displays Category Matches before the Web Site Matches and Web Page Matches (and after Inside Yahoo Matches and Sponsor Matches). If the search word or phrase is in the category name, that category will be included in the results of a search. As most people click on a category if one shows up, it is important in preparing your submission to Yahoo to select a category that includes your most important keyword or key phrase.

Thus, when people search with your main keywords or phrases, they will be presented with, and likely click on, a category that includes your site. When they get to the category listing, they will see your site, provided it ranks high enough to show on the first few pages of the category listing.

Yahoo is able to create Category Matches because it groups the various Websites in its directory under various subject headings, thus creating a hierarchy of categories. The broad initial categories are divided further and drill down into more and more specific subject areas.

For example, Web sites dealing with the subject "business opportunity magazines" are found in the following hierarchy:

Business and Economy > Business to Business > Business Opportunities > Magazines

As another example, should you register a domain name to house a doorway page for your main SFI affiliate site, the drill down to the category for such a site on Yahoo is:

Business and Economy > Business to Business > Business Opportunities > Network Marketing > Carson Services, Inc. > Six-Figure Income Marketing Group > Independent Distributors

Sometimes, you may have difficulty finding a category to match your particular subject. Recall the example of a doorway page listing senior discounts discussed in an earlier lesson in this course. If one were submitting such a site to Yahoo, there would be a problem picking the right category. When you search for "senior discounts" on Yahoo, no Category Matches occur. This is because that particular phrase does not appear (at the time of this writing) in any Yahoo category.

On the other hand, 17 Site Matches show up when you search for "senior discounts." Those 17 sites are organized under 15 different categories! (Note again that none of those 15 categories show up as Category Matches when you make that search, but when you look at the Site Matches, you see the categories under which those sites are individually organized.)

The most relevant site for "senior discounts" shows up in this category:

Society and Culture > Cultures and Groups > Seniors > Web Directories

However, some of the sites which show up for "senior discounts" in the Yahoo Site Matches are in the following categories:

Recreation > Travel > Seniors > Airline Programs

Business and Economy > Shopping and Services > Health > Senior Care

Business and Economy > Shopping and Services > Coupons > Discount Cards

And 11 more categories, which we will not list here.

Many sites listed in Yahoo are only listed under one category (even though they may logically fit under several different categories). Other sites are listed under two different categories when they fit well under both categories. In the situation above, however, Yahoo lists the "senior discount" sites across 15 different categories. This means that there is no way you could drill down through the Yahoo categories to find a place where all senior discount sites are listed.

This is a situation in which you may want to suggest a new category to Yahoo. A good proposal would be

Business and Economy > Shopping and Services > Seniors

Yahoo does provide an area where you can propose new categories. However, the directory receives tons of suggestions daily, so don't count on having Yahoo act on your suggestions automatically. You would have to convince the editors at Yahoo that the directory would be improved by adding such category—and you would have to do so within the limited communication available. You would also still have to select an existing Yahoo category for your site in the very likely event that your suggestion for a new category is ignored.

Even among the existing categories, the Yahoo editors—being human—may or may not accept the category you have chosen for your site. Picking the most appropriate category in your submission, however, improves your chances of inclusion and will affect the traffic you receive if included in the directory. You make the editors' work easier by submitting your site under the right category. Thus, they will look more favorably on your site in the review process.

Take the time to become familiar with the Yahoo categories relevant to your site. Choosing the correct category while submitting your site is crucial, both for your chances of inclusion in the directory and for strategic placement of your site within the directory, if included.


Now that you're familiar with the process of picking the right category for your site, you're ready to select the Suggest A Site link FROM THE CORRECT YAHOO CATEGORY to begin your site's submission process. Just drill down through the categories from Yahoo's main page until you come to the appropriate category for your site. Then, on that page, select the Suggest A Site link. (It's down at the bottom of the page.)

You'll now see a page where you can choose between a Standard Submission and Yahoo!Express. The Standard Submission is free. Yahoo!Express costs $299 (at the time of this writing; $600 for adult content sites). For commercial sites, that fee will be charged on a per year basis. That is, each year after your commercial Website's inclusion in the Yahoo directory, Yahoo will review your site and charge you another $299 for your site's continued inclusion in the commercial directory. This yearly charge went into effect for commercial sites submitted through Yahoo!Express after December 28, 2001.

Note that Yahoo!Express does not guarantee you a listing in the Yahoo directory! It's pretty darn arrogant of Yahoo to take $299 from you and then reject your site, but they will do just that if your site has no original content or is unprofessional. Also, there is no refund if your site is rejected! Yahoo gets away with this because of the unique traffic-generating capabilities the directory and search engine is able to provide. It's worth the money just to have them review your site for inclusion. For your $299, you get a guarantee that Yahoo editors will look at your Website within seven business days and make a decision one way or the other to include your site.

Prior to February of 1999, all submissions to Yahoo were reviewed without charge. The submissions became so numerous that the existing staff could never review even a significant portion of them within a reasonable time. Thus, Yahoo!Express submission was created to generate the funding for the additional staff needed for timely review of the submissions.

Yahoo!Express is required for commercial sites and available for all sites.

After selecting your submission method, you are asked to confirm a number of things about your site. The most notable of these confirmations (at the time of this writing) is as follows:

"My site contains substantively unique content that is not already accessible from the Yahoo directory. (For example: a user who submits multiple URLs to the same content is not submitting substantively unique content.) "

This is a warning that you will waste $299 if you submit multiple pages with only minor details changed or try to submit a doorway page or a banner page that has no unique content. Take heed. Yahoo likes only quality sites with unique content. If you do not have one yet, do not waste your money on the submission.

After you complete this section by checking all the boxes to confirm things about you site, you will proceed to a page where you'll provide your site title, URL, geographic location, and a description. (If you have not already done so, read the previous Internet Income lessons about preparing keywords, titles, and descriptions before completing this part of the submission process!) Follow the same principles as discussed in these lessons about meta tags.

Remember, Yahoo doesn't use the meta tags, but it does use what you submit here. Be sure to take care to match your keywords with the desirable Yahoo category names as well as desirable search terms. Also, note that Yahoo list its sites alphabetically by title (for the most part). Remember that when choosing a title. However, obvious attempts to artificially gain alphabetical advantage (such as "AAA Discounts") are disfavored by Yahoo.

Next, you'll be asked to provide a login name and contact information. The final section is for additional information. There have been situations where submitting some additional information got sites listed on Yahoo within a couple of days (even though it was submitted through the standard submission, which usually takes weeks).

In one instance, the site host was scheduled to make a public appearance with a celebrity to promote the site. Making that known to Yahoo made for a fast and favorable determination. Thus, it's a good idea to use the Additional Information box to submit any information that may add to the quality and popularity of the Website but may not be obvious from a review of the site.


If your site is rejected by Yahoo, when should you resubmit? There is a clear answer to this question: Resubmit your site only when the quality of your content has been significantly improved. That is, the only fruitful response to being rejected by Yahoo is to work hard to improve your site. If your site has not improved, the mere passage of time or a different staff member reviewing it will not likely improve your odds.


As Yahoo generally ranks as the most visited search engine on the Internet, it is important to carefully submit your site for possible inclusion as a Yahoo Site Listing. Make the submission by hand rather than using an automated service or software. Carefully pick the category under which your site should be included and make your submission from that category. Carefully pick and fill out the site title, URL, and description. Be sure to add any important additional information to help in the review of your site.


More on Search Engines!

by George Little
Copyright (year) Panhandle On-Line, Inc.
License granted to Carson Services, Inc. for distribution to SFI affiliates. No part of this work may be republished, redistributed, or sold without written permission of the author.

For more information on the Internet Income Course and other works and courses by George Little, see

For Web Hosting services specially designed for SFI affiliates, see

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