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SEO Toolkit! - Part 3

Part 3 - Search engines vs. directories

Many people think of search engines and directories as the same thing. In reality there is a big difference between them. While the difference between them is pretty much un-noticeable to a person who is searching the web, understanding the difference is critical to getting your site displayed highly in the search results.

A directory is a searchable database of web pages that are reviewed, selected, and categorized by humans. A search engine "crawls the web" by following links from web page to web page and website to website. You don't even have to submit your site to a search engine in order for it to "find" your site and place it in the index for searching.

Yahoo is the most well known directory on the web. Yahoo searches provide a major source of traffic (visitors) to a website. Submitting your site directly to Yahoo is an option, but for a commercial site there is a $299 fee just for having Yahoo evaluate your site quickly and give you a yes or no answer. Paying the fee in no way guarantees that your site will be accepted for inclusion. It only guarantees that your site will be considered and a decision will be made. Later on you will find out why submitting directly to Yahoo is unnecessary.

Another very important directory is the Open Directory Project (ODP). Getting your site listed in the ODP is almost guaranteed to get your site indexed automatically by Google. The web is packed with tons of directories, but Yahoo and the ODP are by far the most important ones when it comes to attaining website traffic and getting listed in Google.

Google is by far the most used search engine on the web. Getting listed in their massive database is an absolute must for any commercial website. Another very important search engine is Lycos. You may submit your site to Lycos, but they charge a fee of $31 or so. But if you are patient, your site will be crawled and added to their listings automatically after following the instructions in this guide.

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