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Before and also after being listed at the directory I have only got about 1% to 1.1% of my visitors from Y!.
I was closely observing about 5 of my main key words phrases. I didn't do well on Y! search result pages before. I used to be on 5th or 6th page. Days after being listed I went to page 3 for a week or two, but then it returned to exactly were it was before, or worse. So I'd say I didn't really observe any change.
That was about three months ago. However, in the past week or so, based on what I have read here at Webmaster World, Y! has been doing some changes to it's algorithm. My 5 key words that I watch, jumped to pages 1 and 2.
I'm still getting only 1.2% of visitors from Yahoo, though.
1. I get very few to no visitors from it. No return on the money.
2. It gave me "exposure" just the same and one of my sites was
discovered by a journalist doing some research and I got a
mention in a major national publication. A nice return.
3. They never give me the title and description I want
either and never provide any service in return.
Weighing the pros and cons, the $300 I paid at the time to be listed paid off, but I'm thinking this is a rare exception and I will not be utilizing it in the future.
Today I see many listing pages greybarred, whereas I see many puny directories with inner-page PR3-5, so Yahoo might have received special attention.
I still think that there is link juice from greybarred pages, even though it does not show. I am undecided 50:50 whether I'd put one of my own sites in the Y directory.
And I too have had journalists asking me questions and featuring me because they found my site there - but since Y started deprecating the directory, I believe G has done so as well. It now attracts fewer new entries and is less authoratative than before, because sites are not updated or maintained, out of date links to be found, etc, so the fact a site is in the Y directory must have less juice with G.
Having said that, In some cases I am still getting hundreds of clicks a day from my entry in the Y directory - so there is some traffic benefit. But I believe the Y searcher is less sophisticated than the average G user, and less likely to puchase. On balance, however, and if only as a starting point, I'd still spend the $300 on a Yahoo directory entry - but that is constantly under review!
<edited for clarity>
The site has been growing steadily for the past half year, and it will be equally interesting to see the shift in traffic when the listing moves up to the first page of the category. If you compare it to the traffic increase seen when you move up on a search engine results page for a particular query, a page one listing could be quite valuable, but that will, of course, depend largely on the popularity of the category.
A $300/month sponsor listing for the category would put me near the very top of the first page, which might be an interesting experiment if it weren't for all the scary reports of billing issues related to sponsor listings. Also, they would have to send me over 250 visitors per day for it to be directly worth the money, which does not seem very feasible.
All in all, it depends too much on the category and on your position within that category, so there is no one answer to the question of whether or not it is worth to be listed in the Yahoo! Directory. If you have the money, find the appropriate category for your site and try to analyze it thoroughly before submitting. How many other listings and other types of links (e.g. sponsored listings and category links) does it contain? How many levels deep is it from the directory homepage? How many clicks does it take to get from the Directory homepage to your category? Some categories are linked directly from the Directory homepage. Will this link give my site an edge over my competitors? Consider the fact that you can cancel your listing after a year if it turns out not to be worth the money. Also note that there may be some other benefits tied to a directory listing, like increased trust in the eyes of particular search engines, as mentioned before. Hard to track, but worth considering.
Num Perc. Search Engine
drill down==19====6.15%=Windows Live
This is a site of a trade contractor. So, I'd guess the subject matters.
Also Y! and Microsoft products treat me differently. They quite often put me on the top of the first page even for established one word searches. Google won't let me anywhere close with one word search and does let me on the first page with 2 and 3 word searches. One exception though - new pages with new to the market words do get the top of the first page.
The site is three years old, and I've been paying for last year only. I can't tell what was the break down before I started paying.
To sum up, I'd say Y! is more popular among "soccer moms and pops" and occasional users.
Just my 2c.
Users expected search engines to deliver the best and most relevant content. Google, MS and also newcomers put a lot of our content into their top 20. Yahoo is not able to do that, that`s why yahoo experts don`t seem to be smart enough and thats why their market share has gone on skid row.