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Promoting Your Web Site in
General Directories

In addition to search engine web page listings, another way that information is organized on the Internet is via Web directory listings. Web directories are now growing in importance. If you wish to maximize your Web site promotion, then you should promote your Web site in directories, in addition to search engines. The major directories, described below, include:

  • Go (formerly Infoseek)
  • Looksmart
  • NBCi (formerly Snap)
  • Open Directory
  • Yahoo

This Web page covers the following topics:

How to Get Listed in a Directory

Here are the steps to get listed in a directory:

  1. Carefully select two to four important search phrases or keywords on your site. 
  2. Write three descriptions of 15, 20, and 30 words, which include your keywords. 
  3. Select a directory category for your submission. 
  4. Submit your site to that category. Typically, there is a link called "submit a site" at the bottom of the directory web pages.
  5. Directory editors will review your description and site. They can alter your description and change the category.

The Major Directories


Go lists sites primarily in two ways. It has a directory, where human editors have organized sites into categories. It also has a search engine component.


Looksmart provides some or all of the directories for the following Web sites, so it's important to be included in the Looksmart directory:

  • Alta Vista
  • CNN
  • Excite
  • Iwon
  • MSN Search
  • and over 370 ISP's

NBCi (formerly Snap)

NBCi is a directory of web sites, not a search engine. Unlike Yahoo, the grouping of matching web sites is not done by the frequency of words in the titles and descriptions. Instead, sites are given a quality rating by editors. 

Open Directory

Open Directory handles the handles the directory searches for:

  • AOL Search
  • AltaVista
  • HotBot
  • Google
  • Lycos
  • Netscape Search
  • lots of smaller sites

Therefore it is very important to obtain a good listing from Open Directory. Many Open Directory infertility sites are inside this directory:


Yahoo is the most important Web directory. If you do nothing else, make sure that you register your site with Yahoo. Yahoo was the first complete Web directory and now many search engines are adding Web directories. Because Yahoo is so important, IHR has created a special page Submitting Your Site to Yahoo, which explains how to submit your site and provides tips.

Submitting to a Web Directory vs. a Search Engine

Submitting to a Web directory is different from submitting to a search engine. Here are some key differences:

Search Engine Web Directory
Typically only submit a Web address (i.e., URL) Typically submit a Web address, site description, and a category
Not reviewed by humans Typically reviewed by humans
High ranking depends on factors such as link popularity and Web page keywords Keyword tags are ignored. You will need to have good site content to ensure good placement
Some people used various techniques (e.g., keyword spamming) to fool the automated search engines. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to fool the human editors.

Additional Tips

  1. It is very hard to update your directory description, so it is important to get it right the first time. 
  2. Sometimes it's possible to get multiple listings in a directory, so try to get this, if you can.
  3. Add educational Web pages to your Web site (e.g., Frequently Asked Questions, explanations of procedures, etc.) Thus, the more educational pages you have on your Web site, the more likely that the directory editor will want to add that page to its directory. The more substantial content, the greater the chance of more listings.

Additional Information


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