Is a Yahoo listing worth $299?

    January 22, 2004

Our feature article today investigates a great way to increase sales (that doesn’t involve a search engine… imagine that ;). Please read “Double Your Sales With A Customer Survey” to learn more. If you have questions for him feel free to send them in and I’ll pass them along.

Dan Thies recently questioned the value of a Yahoo listing. It currently costs $299 to get listed.

I wrote to our SEO experts to get their opinions on the value of a Yahoo listing.

Today’s report focuses on the highlights. Be sure to check out “Who’s Paying To Be In The Yahoo Directory?” for all of their opinions.

The question was “is a Yahoo listing worth $299?”

I’ve said it at conferences for over 5 years, and I’m saying it now. Yahoo is the best $299 anyone can spend for online marketing. For web site owners who want their sites to show up well on Google (or any search engine that measures link popularity), a Yahoo listing is the quickest and least expensive way to get a high-quality link to a site.

Shari Thurow

Yahoo’s directory sent about a dozen visitors to Canned Books last year, so those visitors cost me $30 a pop. For $299, I can get a lot of customers through Overture. I can make a profit with Overture. Yahoo owns Overture, so they will still get paid, but I’m going to pay for results, not a hidden link.

Even if you’re just trying to buy a link for PageRank or whatever other dumb reason, it’s questionable whether you even get that. The last time I counted, there were about 200 links on Yahoo’s home page. Each directory page has about 100 links.

(Meaning that any page rank a directory page may have passed to your site is severly diminished. –ed.)

Dan Thies

Maybe. I am waiting to see what happens when Yahoo replaces Google with some blend of the Inktomi/alltheweb/AltaVista Crawlers to figure out if the Yahoo directory continues to make sense. For bigger clients, $299 is pocket change, so Yahoo Express looks inexpensive to them. But for smaller clients, $299 can buy enough paid listings to make Yahoo Express look like a frill.

Greg Jarboe

Nope. At least not the way it is right now. You get into Google for free, and get nothing extra by being in the Yahoo directory, so why pay for it. Plus, you get saddled with Yahoo’s lousy Title instead of the one you have control over.

Jill Whalen

I also asked these experts what directories make the submission process worth your time? Here’s what they had to say:

Yahoo, Open Directory,,,, (for manufacturing companies). All of these are reputable directories that Google indexes. IMHO, all are essential for link development.

Shari Thurow

Any directories that are free.

Jill Whalen

DMOZ is clearly the most important since Google uses the Open Directory results in their own directory and now those category listings are turning up in the top of the Google search results pages. I think it’s worth the hassle even though there is no feedback or contact with editors and they take so #$*&%# LONG to list sites.

One other that I always recommend is the directory because when searching for many search phrases my clients target, it’s inevitable that a directory page will be in the first few pages of results. Again, good for link value too. Not much chance they’ll turn down a listing either unless it’s clearly an inappropriate category.

Mike Banks Valentine

Be sure to check out that forum thread, as that’s where you’ll find their advice on which directories are worth paying to be in.

Garrett French + The WebProNews Team

Garrett French is the editor of iEntry’s eBusiness channel. You can talk to him directly at WebProWorld, the eBusiness Community Forum.