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E-Marketing Performance Blog

Yahoo! Directory Changes Listing Layout

For many years a listing in the Yahoo! Directory has been an essential element for generating web exposure. Arguably, the value of such a listing has declined in recent years, however Google still gives considerable value to a Yahoo! Directory link.

Recently Yahoo! changed they way you browse through their directory. In the past, all websites in a particular category were listed alphabetically. Some categories listed hundreds of web sites on a single page. Presumably, due to the growing number of web sites in these categories, Yahoo! has decided to break each category into multiple pages (40 per page) and list sites by popularity as the default. You are provided an option to list them alphabetically, and lets you navigate by letter.

From a search engine optimization perspective, I can see both pros and cons to this approach.

The Cons:

  • More clicks required to get to your site
  • Most users won’t click past the first page
  • Some sites buried down many clicks
  • Google PageRank value of deep pages will reduce link significance
  • It is unknown what Yahoo uses to determine popularity (presumably WebRank, Yahoo!’s version of PageRank

The Pros:

  • Less links per page means more PageRank value transferred*
  • Alphabetical link places each site is buried no more than two clicks deep

*It is known that Google does in fact assign increased value to directory links but I cannot say with any certainty that the PageRank value assigned to each link is determined by the number of links on the page as with most web sites. If so, this new format is good in this regard.

Many may consider this to be one more reason not to get a Yahoo! Directory listing. At $299/year it definitely leaves something to consider. As long as Google continues to recommend a Yahoo! Directory listing I feel its worth the yearly fee. There are, however many smaller directories that would provide a lesser yet still quality value in obtaining a link.

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