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Yahoo Search Submit Basic: should you even bother?

July 17, 2007

You submit your site to Yahoo. You get crawled by Yahoo. But you're not getting hits from Yahoo, and you wonder why. Case in point: my Grow'Em Plant Propagation Database site, which sees something like 5000 hits from Google per month, and 6 from Yahoo! in the same timeframe.

You check, and yes, Yahoo does list and crawl your site. They've been crawling it for over a year. You've been uploading your sitemaps to them for over a year.

You wonder whether this is simply because you're not paying them to promote it ...

Yahoo heavily pushes their URL submission/promotion programs. Yahoo Search Submit Basic is their entry-level version of these programs, and the one I review here. For a flat fee of $49 per URL per year for up to 5 URLs per domain, any approved links will appear in the Yahoo! Web Results when someone uses either Yahoo Search or a site that uses their search engine.

Your URL is crawled and refreshed weekly; the non-paid 'natural' crawl occurs with much lower frequency, and there's no guarantee when or even if it will be crawled. Note, however, that this guarantee does not apply to any of the pages your URL links to.

Additionally, Search Submit Basic reports click traffic, search terms and ranking information. Handy. You'll learn quickly just how much (or how little) of an impact the service has on your web traffic.

In the case above - after paying the $49 for several pages apiece, my monthly traffic (over three months) went up by ... Nothing. Zip. Zero.

This is not to say that your experience would be similar to mine. It might not. But you should be aware that you may be paying good money for nothing, or get very little in return. Fees are non-refundable. Caveat emptor - let the buyer beware.

Our recommendation: if traffic gets you your bread and butter, and even a few more hits are worth the investment, then try it. If you're not sure, but it might still be worth your while - try it for a single link, for a single year, before signing up either for the more expensive versions, or for multiple URLs.

If, however, your site is essentially not-for-profit, or gets a minimal return on site advertising, then there's far better ways to waste your money.

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