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Our firm has made many submissions to Yahoo! for clients (using Business Express and even the free submit, way back in the days of the "free" Internet). Nobody's happy to be limited to two categories (and that's even assuming there's an adequate category in the first place), but that's the limit we've encountered.
It's possible you can continue to pay $199 a pop for subsequent submissions to additional categories, but of course there's no guarantee they'll allow it.
I don't know the details of your business, but if your firm is so sprawling that it can't begin to be adequately encompassed by two categories, that suggests that it needs multiple independent sites with their own domains.
They repeatedly refuse to list my site in the town where our bricks & morter stand... yet they list other businesses that don't actually have a presence there... in fact some that don't technically exist.
Looks like extraordinarily poor local expertise to anyone that knows our market. Their loss. I'm not impressed. They make ODP look better every day.
Here are some guesses as to why babycenter.com may be an exception to the "two-categories-only" rule:
(1) It seems to have been around a while, so it might have snuck some of these additional listings in before Yahoo got hardcore about limiting categories. Check out [babycenter.com...] -- Yahoo Internet Life apparently was writing them up as early as late '97.
(2) In an effort to flesh out the "Health > Diseases and Conditions" sections, Yahoo editors might have taken the initiative and just added a few of the articles from babycenter.com on their own. This is a bit of a stretch, I agree, but again it might have occurred quite a while ago back when Yahoo wasn't quite as firmly entrenched as an Internet monolith.
(3) They ponied up the $199 a few times and perhaps also dealt personally with someone at Yahoo.com. Maybe they've got a lot of money.
What's interesting to me as someone who works almost exclusively with Yahoo Stores is that this site is listed in Yahoo Shopping even though it's clearly not a Yahoo Store. How do I know? Yahoo Stores don't allow you to use subdirectories: with the exception of secondary image files (which have to exist in a directory called "/lib/STORENAME/"), all page files are kept in the top level of the site. However, when I browse babycenter.com's store, I see subdirectories all over the place.
One thing they might have done is purchase a Yahoo Store, upload their inventory to it, and now whenever someone places an order, the product is added to Yahoo Store's own shopping cart using a server-side script on the Babycenter's external site. This would allow them to maintain the store on their own server the way they need to (e.g., with many subdirectories and a proprietary shopping cart) while allowing them to be in Yahoo Shopping. (Yahoo Store would then be an additional source of revenue but not the only one.)
The only wrinkle is they'd need to work out a deal with Yahoo Shopping whereby links from Yahoo Shopping led to the "real" store, not the Yahoo Store. My intuition is that babycenter.com is big enough that Yahoo Shopping is willing to accommodate it.
"Yeah yeah, but what does this have to do with the Yahoo directory?" Well, if these guys are able to work out unusual deals with Yahoo Shopping, I'd imagine that they're also able to get special attention from Yahoo.com. This might help explain the multiple listings.
At this point what might help us is taking a look at other sites that've scored multiple category listings in Yahoo. Anybody find any others?
In my experience, the 2 links per site guideline applies to individual urls, not entire websites. In fact, there are
many sites that have multiple listings in Yahoo. Many of these are deeplinks from larger content sites, or else
content areas within ecommerce sites, as in the BabyCenter example. However, in many/most cases, individual
sites are so singularly directed that they only have enough unique content to warrant a single listing for their
homepage. That said, I don't think it's a problem to submit deeplinks to Yahoo, especially if you have a
quality-content oriented site or even a single high quality feature or interactive tool. For example. check out Salon's 242 listings -
or About.com's 368 links -
In my area of female-oriented sites, Yahoo has included multiple deeplinked listings from women.com, ivillage,
oxygen, phys.com, feminist.org, etc., in categories ranging from Entertainment to Food to Finance. Within this
group of high profile women's sites, they don't appear to play favorites. Even smaller content sites like
caryn.com, bellaonline, childbirth.org, etc., have at least a few multiple listings in different areas of the
directory. I don't believe that having a commercial relationship with Yahoo (Yahoo store, buying ads, etc.) has any direct influence on achieving multiple listings.
Over the past 3 years, I have submitted dozens of women.com features to various subcategories, some of
which were added, and others ignored. Only 1 or 2 resulted a response saying that we were appropriately
listed elsewhere. In addition, some features that we never submitted have been added independently by
Yahoo's editors, so I assume they discovered the links on their own.
I would speculate that when the editors have an assignment to beef up listings in a specific area, they are
comfortable adding deeplinks, whether previously submitted or independently added. For example, their Family Travel subdirectory was recently updated with a number of deeplinked content sites including ours, which we did not previously submit. The best situation is having a well-known site with a reputation for editorial quality that also ranks well on the search tools that Yahoo editors might use to find sites on their own. Even if you aren't in the Media Metrix top 500 sites, you can still develop and submit your own content features that may or may not be related to your overall site focus, especially for topics that have few listings within the relevant Yahoo category.
Disclaimer - I don't know of any official Yahoo editor guidelines, but I would assume that every editor uses their own judgement and their own sources for site ideas, and some may more inclined to deeplink than others.