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Part 4. After Your Site Is Built > How to Resubmit a Site

How to Resubmit a Site

If your site is listed in one or more of the major directories, most of the time, search engines find your new and updated pages without resubmission. Therefore, resubmission is not a necessity. However, resubmission alerts the search engine spiders and directory editors that you have made changes to pages on your site.

The search engine spiders usually find your site’s new information each time they visit your site, generally every two to eight weeks. Directories are different. Remember that editors are sorting through hundreds of submissions per day. They might not notice the subtle changes on your site. So, if your business has significantly changed, if your URL or company name has changed, or if your site clearly belongs in a different category, resubmission to the directories is essential to preserve the factual representation of your web site in the directories.

Modifying a Directory Listing

When your site has been added to a directory, you should not have to request a modification unless your business name, company location, domain name, or URL has changed. Another good reason to request a listing modification is if your company no longer offers a product or service that is shown in your site description.

For example, suppose your business no longer offers a service that is shown in your site description. Directory editors are more than happy to modify that description because the description no longer illustrates, accurately, the contents of your web site. If your business no longer offers a specific product and that product is reflected in the directory category, directory editors allow you to change your category. Editors want the information in their directories to be accurate.

One of the simplest changes to request is a regional listing. If your site has a regional listing and your main office is no longer in that region, directory editors want you to change the listing to the more appropriate region. Quite often, if you modify the physical address on your web site, a directory editor notices and moves your site to the more appropriate regional category. It is always best to point out this modification to the editors right away rather than wait for an editor to discover it.

Careful record keeping can make the change process move more smoothly. If you have a tracking or order number, the initial date(s) of submission, and the other relevant information, directory editors can locate your site more easily and make any suggested modifications.

If a directory has a Change Form, fill out the form exactly as requested. If a directory allows paid, expedited submissions with their Change Form, use this option. The change request will be processed more quickly, and the change will appear more quickly in the search results.

Most directories do not allow for expedited submission, however, and the change requests might take some time to process. Again, careful record keeping is essential to get the best results.

With a directory, your site must be reviewed first, accepted into the directory, and then added to the database. The time between submission and addition to the directory database is called the lead time. The lead time for directory submission is generally between three to four weeks.

If your change request has not been added to a directory within a specified lead time, resubmit the Change Form to the directory. Wait another three to four weeks to give directory editors time to evaluate and process your suggested modifications.

In the event that your change request is not processed after three submissions, it is safe to contact a directory representative through email. Immediately following your third change request, send an email to the appropriate editor. Figure 4.10 shows a sample email to Yahoo! requesting a category and a description change for the fictional TranquiliTeas web site.

Figure 4.10. Sample email requesting a change to a Yahoo! listing.

The person who made the initial submission to a directory should be the person sending the change request email. If a different person is sending this email, be sure to mention the initial submitter’s name and email address in a short paragraph at the beginning of the letter. Let the editors know that you are the new person responsible for your web site.

Free Submission

Check your site statistics software regularly to see when your site has been modified in a directory. If your site has not been modified in a directory within three to four weeks, resubmit. Keep track of your dates of submission, categories, descriptions, and titles.

In the event that your site is not accepted into a directory after three submissions, contact a directory representative via email.

Paid Submission

If a paid submission is within your budget, use this method for directory resubmission. The turnaround time is much faster.

If Your Submission Is Rejected

Submissions are rejected for a variety of reasons. The site might be submitted to the wrong category. The site might not offer truly unique content. The web server might not have been functioning properly when a directory editor was evaluating a submission. The designer might have left some Under Construction pages on the site. The description might not accurately reflect the contents of the site being submitted.

If your submission is rejected, try to find out the reason the site was rejected. If you can find out the specific reason, it is easier to appeal the decision. For example, if your site was rejected because it contained Under Construction pages, those pages can be easily removed.

Other rejections are not so easily appealed. In one situation, I encountered a web site owner created a unique glossary of over 1,000 terms on her site. The content was truly unique because it encompassed a specific industry, and most of the definitions were not available in other glossaries currently listed in the directory. After the main site was accepted, the web site owner submitted this glossary to an additional category. Figure 4.11 shows an email excerpt from Yahoo! explaining the initial reason the additional listing was rejected.

Figure 4.11. Excerpt from a Yahoo! rejection email.

If a submission is rejected, you have about 30 days to appeal the decision. When appealing through email, be polite. Directory editors are human beings. They are looking out for the best interests of their end users. If they rejected your submission, they have reasons to do so, even though you might not agree with them.

Figure 4.12 shows a sample email we helped our client write to Yahoo! to appeal a rejection. After reviewing the contents of this email, the additional listing was accepted. (Note that some words are changed to preserve confidentiality. Modified words and URLs are placed in italics.)

Figure 4.12. Sample appeal letter sent to Yahoo!.

Remember that editors are looking out for the best interest of their directories and their end users. They are not looking out for the best interest of your individual web site. If they feel that your resubmissions meet their guidelines, your site will be accepted and/ or modified.

Search Engine Resubmission

As stated, crawler-based search engines find your new and updated pages without resubmission. Therefore, resubmission is not always necessary.

Sometimes, due to technical reasons, a page might be dropped from a search engine index. For example, your web host might have upgraded or rebooted your server when a search engine spider visited your site, making it impossible or difficult for the spider to access your pages. Pages that have been dropped can be safely resubmitted, as long as they are not spam pages.

If a page is already in a search engine index, do not resubmit the page unless you have updated it with new and significant information. If the information is significant, visitors should be able to view that information change in a standard web browser. Changes in your visible body text, and the addition or modification of a product photo, constitute a significant change. An insignificant change would be rewriting a meta-tag description or a title tag purely to increase search engine positioning.

To verify whether your web pages have been added or deleted from a search engine, go to each search engine in the following list and type the respective string. Replace companyname.com with your domain.

  • AltaVista: url:companyname.com

  • Google: site:companyname.com companyname.com

  • Any Inktomi-based search engine: domain:companyname.com

  • Fast Search (www.Alltheweb.com): url.all:www.companyname.com

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