Marketing your art

Search Engine Directories

Getting your site listed in a search engine directory

Search engines maintain cataloged listings of sites. If you happen to be searching the web and you come to a listing page that has progressively narrowing categories at the top of the page you have entered a directory. Here is an example:

 Directory > Arts > Organizations > U.S. State Agencies

The contents of this directory is a list of state arts agencies beginning with Alabama and ending with Wisconsin.

To get your site listed in a directory you will first want to find a directory that is relevant to your work. Start at visual arts directory of Yahoo. From this page you will want to choose the category that is most relevant to you. Continue deeper into the categories until you reach a directory that very specifically identifies what you do. You might want to look around the categories a while to see which one might be the best fit. For example if you are a plien air painter in watercolor. Of the categories that Yahoo offers, two might be appropriate:

Directory > Arts > Visual Arts > Painting > Artists > Personal Exhibits > Watercolors

Directory > Arts > Visual Arts > Painting > Artists > Personal Exhibits > Plein Air > Artists

Of these two I would select the latter since at the time I looked there were over 500 watercolor artists and only 44 plein air painters, but it would not hurt to make a note of the watercolor directory since the submission form allows you to suggest an alternate category.

So to get started with the submission: Once you have reached a category which is appropriate to your work. Look for a link titled "suggest a site." Sometimes it is at the bottom of the page, often it is at the top of the page.

The "suggest a site" will lead to page with choices for free submission or paid submission. The difference being, the paid submission will get you faster consideration. I would recommend the free version, but be patient. The backlog of submissions can mean lengthy waits. Resubmitting a site that has already been submitted once, will not speed the process and is more likely to annoy the people at Yahoo and decrease your chances of being listed.

When going to these site submission forms be prepared to provide the following information about your site: Title, URL, a very short description, your name, and email and sometimes keywords. As mentioned above, Yahoo also has a blank to allow you to suggest an alternate category.

There will be no notification from Yahoo when and if your site is added to a directory. The best procedure is to submit the site and forget about it for six months to a year. Then go check on the directory and see if you are there.

So far we have focused on Yahoo. There are other directories that function in a similar manner to Yahoo. As with Yahoo you will first want to find the appropriate directory and then find the link to suggest your site

Open Directory is a volunteer-built guide to the web. It is used by many major search engines, including Google. Because Open Directory is operated by volunteers it is free, but it is also very slow to catalog sites. The title of the link to suggest your site is "suggest URL" it is found at the top of the page.

Another directory is LookSmart. LookSmart is used by MSN search Their listings for the visual arts were pretty pathetic the last time I looked, but you could go for a regional listing in the culture directory for your region. Once you find the culture directory for your region look for the link "Join the Zeal community and help.." which will be at the bottom of the page. This will take you to a page that allows you to submit a site.









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