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Niche Directories and Search Engines

Link Popularity deals is based on the number of links to your site and is an important component in the ranking algorithms of the major search engines. Not only is your website ranked by keywords and content, but by the over-all popularity of your site as well. One of the ways to increase traffic to your site is listing your site in directories. Take some time each day or week and submit your heart out! The more places you get listed, the more exposure you get.

Directories are similar to search engines, but their listings are accepted or rejected by human editors, and their content is organized by categories. As human editors screen for relevance, directory listings boost link popularity.

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General Directories

The major Web directories are Yahoo!, ODP (Open Directory Project), and LookSmart. List of search engines world wide http://home.inter.net/takakuwa/search/search.html.

Also, look for directories in your local area. Not everyone wants to take the time to drive all over town to shop. It is a fast moving world and it seems that we all want things to be quick and easy. Using the Internet is a quick and easy way for people to access information about products and services from the comfort, convenience and privacy of their own home. No fuel costs, no traffic jams - no time wasted!

A good source for directories in the Vancouver area is: www.nightcats.com/vancouver/list1.htm. Locally based businesses can usually get a free website listing in their local Internet directories.

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Industry Specific Directories

Another avenue to venture down are specialty directories. As the web grows larger over time, specialty directories (also known as vertical portals or "vortals") focused on your type of business may help you get more link popularity and your company name out to the public.

If you are in the wellness industry, there are many in this field. You can search for the directories on the Internet, using keywords, such as "wellness directories" or "health directories". One of the Canadian wellness directories is www.saskworld.com/holistic/.

You may also search for something more specific, like reiki or chiropractic directories.. Search Engine Guide has a Search Engines Directory providing a searchable database of over 3,000 specialty search engines where you can find search engines dedicated to almost any topic.

Professional associations often publish such directories.

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Doing It the Old-Fashioned Way

Your submission will be reviewed by a human editor. The most important criteria for acceptance are the quality and uniqueness of your site, your category selection, and the copywriting on your title and description. Selection of the most appropriate category is critical. Ranking depends on algorithm factors, which vary, but always include relevancy and link popularity.

Before you start, check to see if you're already listed. If not, submit your homepage URL through the form on the directory's "add URL" page. ! Other useful searches include 'addurl.html', 'addlink.html', 'add URL', and 'add link', as well as the many variation of these terms. All information is entered directly into the online form. However, it's essential to be prepared with your strategic key phrases researched and selected, and your title and description written to perfection.

Schmooze the Editors

Since a human editor will determine acceptance, think of the submission process as a relationship rather than an auto submission. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the submission guidelines before you input data. Follow the instructions to the letter. Be polite and personal when communicating because it can affect your listing copy and acceptance into the database.

Directory editors can change your copy and keywords as they see fit, so be objective and parsimonious when writing your description. Ensure that it accurately reflects the content on your site. Avoid hype, but use smart, factual marketing copy.

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Selecting a Category

Selecting the right category requires both research and insight. Do a search on the directory for your strategic keyword phrases to see what categories come up. Analyze these from a customer viewpoint to identify the most appropriate category for your site.

Ask yourself if this is how others would categorize your business. Select the category that best describes your site, not the one that sounds more exciting. If you fit into a subcategory, choose that over the top-level category or you risk possible rejection. If you've got a local site, submit to the proper geographical region.

Once you've selected your category, submit from that category by clicking on the "suggest a site" or "submit URL" link. This begins the submission process. Search engine and directory listings can take up to six months to appear.

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