Submitting Your Web Site to Directories – Automated or Manual Submission?

Directory Submission
If you are a beginner in the area of Web sites, you might wonder at the importance placed on submitting websites to directories.

This importance has much to do with getting visitors to your site. If your site is listed under appropriate categories in numerous directories, it could result in far higher levels of visitor traffic to your web site. And this way of getting visitors is one of the less expensive, and more enduring, traffic generation options.

Whereas search engines are constantly crawling the Web looking for new sites, directories do not. They become aware of websites only if someone brings the sites to their notice.

Hence you submit your Web site to directories, to as many good directories as possible.

How Do You Submit A Site to A Directory
Typically, the process involves the following steps:

  • You write a TITLE and SHORT DESCRIPTION of your site. These must clearly bring out what your site is about. Additionally, the title and description must be written in an interesting manner. Only then will people click through to your website from the directory or search engine.
  • You go to the website of the directory. On the starting page of the directory, you would usually find a listing of categories. It is under these categories that the directory displays the sites it has accepted.
  • You select the category under which your site belongs. Then you drill down into sub categories to find the most appropriate one to list your site.
  • You would find a link somewhere on this page that says Suggest A Site or Submit URL or something similar. Click on that link.
  • A page would appear asking you to provide details of your site. You would be asked for a Title, your site’s URL and a limited word Description. Enter these details. Use the title and short description you have already developed.
  • You might be asked further details like your email address. It is better to give a special email address, rather than your regular one. When you submit to numerous directories, you could expect a lot of spam.
  • Some directories would need a fee for reviewing your site. If it is a reputed directory like Yahoo, you might decide to pay. Otherwise, consider whether it is worth paying.
  • After you have completed the above formalities, click the Submit link. An acknowledgment would typically appear telling you how long it might take before your site is taken up for review.

Directories have certain guidelines about the kind of sites they would include. For example, region specific or topic specific directories might reject sites not belonging to their domain.

After all these, it is quite possible that a directory might reject your site. This usually happens because of poor website content or other quality factors. In a few cases, it might also be an attempt to extract money from you for listing your site.

Directories differ from one to another in the kinds of details they ask for and their guidelines.

Automated and Manual Directory Submissions
Your site can be submitted to directories in two major ways – automatically by software or manually by hand.

While automated submission could send your site to thousands of directories, often free of cost, the process suffers from several disabilities. These disabilities result in your site being ignored by almost all the directories to which it is submitted.

This is particularly clear in the case of directories that require you to type a few characters displayed in a graphic. This device is to prevent automated submissions. Software cannot read characters displayed as graphic. So only hand submissions by humans would ever reach the directory.

Directories do not like automated submissions because of the thousands of junk sites that the submission software dumps on them.

Even if the submission software manages to get your site to the directory’s attention, it might not meet the several criteria needed for inclusion. For example, the software would not be able to drill down the category structure of specific directories. The standard classification that you give to the software might not be there for a particular directory.

For the reasons indicated above, if you are serious about getting your site listed in directories, you have to do it manually by hand.

Manual submission to hundreds of directories, following the procedure we outlined earlier, is a time-intensive project. It is possible that you could use that time better elsewhere.

It is here that the option of outsourcing your directory submission becomes relevant. Even if it costs a little money, it might be the better option.

There is also the factor of expertise. A specialist focusing on directories is likely to be aware of the best ones to submit to. That person is also less likely to make errors while submitting.