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My sites in the Yahoo directory show up in relevant search results with nothing more than their titles in the hyperlink. This is the case, I think, for all the sites in the Y directory that show in their SERP's too. (Exception: sites that pay for special listings seem to get those listings displayed.)
We spend a lot of time fine tuning page titles. They convey who and what we are, and/or what we offer. They *sell*. But you, Y, you just wash them away and replace them with URL's.
Makes me think: Gee, I could save the $299 a year AND get more click thru's when my page titles start appearing.
I'm sure this has been discussed before. Just felt like ranting.
What about a reduction/increase in the serps for your home-page-targetted keywords?
We submitted several sites to Y!Dir and all our pages - except the home page with the new title from the directory listing - got dumped from Y! search. Arggh.
Yahoo typically is:
Official Site Title
included blurb about site.
Category: Widgets > Foo
www.somesite.com/ - 12k - Cached - More from this site
I don't work for Yahoo, but I'm pretty darn sure these listings get clicked at a much higher percentage than the sloppy ranson note listings of the non-directory sites. They just look much nicer, more clickable. Of course, you should have prominently displayed a helpful official site title before submitting the site to the Directory.
Can't speak for people unable to write decent ad copy, which is what page titles should be if you're selling or promoting something (and for that matter, even if you're not). Page titles are after all not unlike newspaper headlines. When a surfer sees the SERP's appear, decisions on which link to click are made fast. The page titles better be the most compelling that they can be.
Anyone who doesn't get this should spend a week reading the cover headlines of the NY daily papers. Can't beat the Post for snappy headlines. Unless you read the London dailies. ;-)
Sure I'd rather have the page title I wrote, but I just as sure want the Directory link, the pithy description, and the lack of ransom note crap... and it is just fine by me to have the sites around me have the ransom note crap on them scaring off searchers.
Personally I think if you weigh the positives and negatives, this isn't close at all... unless your Yahoo title is extremely unhelpful. To be clean in a sea of dirty is good.
If I could get my page title on top of the clean Directory info, well I'd like that better, but the ransom note trash, no thank you.
Somehow this didn't get thru from my last post, so I'll expand. We have sites in the Y! directory. We have others that are not. These days, those not in the directory do just fine in their SERP's. Just as Y! promised would be so for good, relevant sites. :-)
Those that are not in their directory show page titles in the SERP's. Guess how we develop those page titles? In a vacuum? Hardly. They are contextually developed. They reflect our understanding of what motivates our users. They reflect our understanding of the marketplaces in which we compete. They reflect our view of our competitors' weaknesses, etc.
And as a result, our pages in the Y SERP's that are *not* in their directory achieve better CT's than our pages that are in their directory.
I'll offer an example that's simple to understand. ;-)
Listing 1: Widget-World.com (Snappy, huh? Too bad though, that's my site name.)
Listing 2: Find great values on expectional Widgets - at Widget-World.com!
The latter sort of link has a remarkable tendency to pull better. Imagine that.
> "to be clean..." - Like I said, gimme a break.
Y! should not presume to control my listing or diminish my site's appeal. I'm paying them. Not the other way 'round. G doesn't yank my site name from their directory, presumably because, understanding relevancy, they understand that what's more important to the user is a descrition of what a page/site offers, not just the site's name.
Of course if Y! gave the option to directory participants, that would be different. But I wonder if there's any living marketer with a brain that would choose a site name for their link text over a deftly written page title, that can be changed at will and is shortly thereafter reflected in the SERP's. Nah.
I just as sure want the Directory link, the pithy description
That would depend on the quality of your directory listing, which is at someone else's mercy.
unless your Yahoo title is extremely unhelpful.
That's exactly the problem.
The situation Caveman describes is happening to someone I know. Listings for internal pages all show the <title>'s and <description>'s, which are attractive and informative, but the home page is stuck with his directory listing (widgetized):
Widgets for somefolks and someotherfolks.
Seven words, total.
He'd be better off without the directory listing, because it's sabotaging him for his most important keywords.
Um, that's my point. Once again, don't focus on the pennies, think about the bigger picture. It's not just your title. It's your title on a page with other titles and text. Clean listings with lots of white space around them make make more, imo.
(Off topic, I suppose there will always be a difference between marketing to the gullible and marketing to the thoughtful people looking for a good site. There are more gullible people, but the thoughtful ones tend to have a lot more money.)
All of which brings me to my related question:
is there anyone at the Yahoo Directory Dept. that I can e-mail to 'adjust' my listing - so that it might be found? Can you change anything?
Needless to say this has not helped our site in the least, in fact I do believe it has suffered! The listing comes up on target but our domain name is more a branding name than a keyword domain name.
Requests to change have gone un-answered for months! I will not be paying for next year!
steveb there is no one in here whose opinion I'd value more than yours....only I'm not talking opinions, I talking facts, and I'm not talking pennies, I'm talking...well...more than pennies.
It's a fact: Our crafted page titles achieve higher CT's than just our site name. (And facts aside, to assume otherwise would either be to assume that advertising and marketing have no impact - clearly, not true; or, that one's page titles are very poorly written - not true in our case).
When our page titles are featured in the SERP's we make more money.
And BTW, that is because - in the context of all the other listings featured in the SERP's - our site names don't measure up to the more compelling copy our competitors (without directory listings) get to have in the SERP's.
In other words, it IS contextual. That's the point.
Not to mention that we're getting killed in two ways.
1) Our anchor text is not helping as as much as it might for SEO reasons, and,
2) our CT's are depressed because other pages we're competing with in the SERP's offer more compelling links/text in searchers' view (or we would be seeing better CT's).
Ive been in the same boat as other posters here when it comes to yahoo /inktomi serps and their directory.. I cant be found for squat..
the yahoo results are very poor terrible. recently i have even saw ws_ftp.log files showing up in top positions on some pretty common search terms. Spam and garbage are how to get into yahoo. quality sites are routinely penalized/no where to be found.
oddly enough, If you read the overture forum youll also see how poorly overture clicks convert now adays. (which i have also experienced)
you think its a company wide problem with yahoo just not caring?
Well I don't want to beat the horse any deader, but having a compelling site name would have been a good thing for you to have chosen.
You may have better ctr, and it should be obvious that a horribly named site with a good html title will of course trump other advantages, but unlike your example, my Yahoo title is reasonable... not as good as what I would do myself, but the ctr is better when it is amidst the idiot-seo titles of many of my competitors which also include hopelessly ugly keyword stuffed ransom notes.
The point again is it is not just your title. It is the entire page a searcher sees in the context of a query... how other listings look, how many Overture ads, how similar other titles are to yours, etc etc. Simply focusing on your own title is missing the big picture. In your specific case caveman all the various weights on the scale may make it more valuable to have your seo'ed title, but that conclusion comes from weighting several factors, not just one, and it won't hold for all sites, especially those with good Yahoo titles.
As for some of the rest, Yahoo Mike said you are ranked based on your own html title, so anchor text and all that doesn't enter into anything here. The Yahoo title is merely a display, not anything weighed in the algo ranking of the page.
Compelling/outstanding brand names and motiviting sales copy (e.g., headlines, titles, etc.) are two entirely different things. In almost all cases, the brand name alone will not pull as well as brand name plus copy:
Mods, have patience:
eB*y's brand name: "eB*y"
eB*y's homepage title: "eB*y - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices"
Now, why do you suppose this company adds those extra silly words onto the title of their homepage? And which set of anchor text would they prefer to have on their seach listings and inbound links?
And this is a brand that everyone knows. For the lesser known brands, those additional words in the title are even more important...both in terms of CT's and establishing what their brand is all about.
To rank for them.
"And which set of anchor text would they prefer to have on their seach listings and inbound links?"
I certainly hope you aren't saying you'd want people to use that mess as your link text!
"And this is a brand that everyone knows. For the lesser known brands, those additional words in the title are even more important...both in terms of CT's and establishing what their brand is all about."
If you think such a sloppy title is good optimzation, then we'll disagree. And if you personally prefer to click a laundry list title that runs over the maximum characters, fine, but most people like to click titles that say what they are searching for. A person searching for cars doesn't get all tingly when they see sporting goods in a title.
I suppose sell-everything widget sellers think differently than the rest of the Internet, but most sites and pages have a fairly tight focus which values cohernce over a laundry list.
I don't believe I was advocating that 'people' do anything.
I was pointing out simply what one, well known, very successful site does (along with most other successful sites). And most likely they've thought a bit about it. Naw, on second thought, you're probably right. They probably just used some spammer's auto-title-generator and slapped that title on there without any thought or testing. :-)
The eB*y example aside, our sites are all tightly focused. And all of them benefit (financially) from the addition of tightly focused kw's in the homepage titles. Hard to understand why this is a point not easily grasped by some.
In homepage titles, nine out of ten times at least, "Brand name + important kw's" is going to be more effective than "important kw's" (i.e, more effective for SEO/traffic, better for the searcher's understanding, better for...almost...everyone).
OTOH, ya can't please all of the people all of the time. ;-)
A few days ago I asked to be removed from the Yahoo directory since it's all but useless to me now.
By the way, my title is "(state) Widgets at The Best Widget Company"
Demographic and to the point. Seems to be working for me. If it was changed to (state)widgetco.com, as the link text, I think people would be less apt to click.
I think maybe I'll lay off my monthly submissions for inclusion.
Just my 2 cents
As of the last update, my site appeared in the Yahoo SERPs as:
domainname.com: description from Yahoo's human edited directory.
as opposed to the formerly used:
"WidgetA manufacturing, WidgetB Assembly" (Title tag)
Company description pulled from homepage somewhere
I think Yahoo realized that in many industries, everyone is using the same title tags. Therefore, to the searcher, every result looks identical.
As of last week, sites that are in their category appear with the category description and URL.
I hear folks using SiteMatch complain about this. But this is affecting everyone in the Yahoo directory, and it may actually be a good thing. This demonstrates Yahoo's ability to correlate search phrases with its relevant categories.
If you are getting indexed by Y! and rank well for some of the pages, I probably would not pay the $299. Instead I would work on improving your page-to-page internal links, using keywords in the anchor text. This will help Y! (and other spiders) crawl more of your pages, and help to establish the "theme" of your site's pages. Should move you up in the serps after Y! next deep crawl.
In some instances getting listed in the Y! Directory eliminates your organic listings - but not always. We did it with our sites because NONE of them ranked anywhere in Yahoo, so we had nothing to lose. Now all our sites are ranking well, even those we didn't submit to the Directory. So obviously the other SEO efforts we've been making for the past few months really paid off...