Resubmitting To The Yahoo Directory & Multiple Categories

NOTE: Please don't read this page unless you have a web page already listed in the Yahoo Directory. It is only applicable to changing Yahoo Directory listings. Not
sure if you are listed? Read the Yahoo Directory page for help.

Scroll down to read in order or use links to jump to sections of interest:
Getting Rejected - Resubmitting - Multiple Categories

Getting Rejected

If you submitted to the Yahoo Directory using Yahoo Express, you'll receive a formal notice if your site is rejected. You then have 30 days to appeal this decision. Review the reasons why you were rejected, make any suggested changes, then send in your appeal. This may help you get in.

If you are rejected after appealing, you should not start the submission process again by resubmitting via Yahoo Express. You should only resubmit if you have significantly altered your site in some way, Yahoo says.

If you used the free submission option and didn't get listed, it is probably not because you were formally rejected. Instead, the Yahoo editors probably just did not have time to review your site. Thus, follow the tips in the Resubmitting section below.

Did Someone Come? Review Your Logs

Having said this, some sites using free submit are reviewed and rejected, but few are actually informed of this. Yahoo doesn't typically send formal rejection notices to those using free submit, because invariably, the site that is rejected will argue that they should get in. Yahoo doesn't want to open this dialog, so it is easier not to send notices at all.

Unfortunately, this leaves many people in the dark. In fact, it causes some people to waste time by resubmitting (though you never know, a site rejected one week may be deemed OK the next).

Your best clue is to watch your server logs in the two to three weeks immediately following a submission. You should be able to spot a surfer coming to visit.

When you submit, Yahoo automatically sends out a spider to verify your page. This will appear in your logs, similar to the line below: - - [16/Aug/2000:11:37:23 -0800” "GET / HTTP/1.0" 200 13256

You may also see a variation, such as or something similar. The main thing is that this will appear very close to the time you submitted your site, and it only means the spider retrieved your page. It does not mean someone reviewed it.

A surfer will leave a different trail, which will usually appear a few days later, similar to the line below: - - [26/Aug/2000:17:42:04 -0400” "GET / HTTP/1.0" 200 13256 "" "Mozilla/4.5 [en” (WinNT; U)"

The part that says:

is a clear indication that this was a visit from a reviewer. It shows they clicked through from a link off Yahoo's submissions intranet (and no, you can't follow the link backwards to view it).

If you see this, someone came to your site. You should hear soon after whether you got in. If not, then you were likely rejected.


If you submitted using the free standard system and didn't get listed within two to three weeks, there's a good chance it was because an editor simply didn't have time to visit your site. The editors receive far more submissions than they can review, so not all of them are processed. Thus, it is essential that you keep trying.

Submission Support Email

If two to three weeks have passed and you still aren't listed, resubmit. Wait another two or three weeks, then resubmit again, if you still remain unlisted. In conjunction with this third submission, send a message to the Yahoo Directory Support address, You must send the exact URL that you submitted, but you do not need to send the categories you submitted to or the dates you submitted on.

Basically, explain to Yahoo that you've tried to get listed three times and that you'd appreciate if they would look into your request. You might also consider succinctly explaining why your site is important to web users -- you are a large and well-known shoe manufacturer, or you're an educational site that's been honored by various institutions, etc. But don't go overboard. It just might help to give an extra sentence or two about your site. Also, don't use the address to tell Yahoo that you've just done a submission, such as, "Hi, I submitted my site and wanted to make sure you got it."

Web marketers who deal with multiple sites are asked by Yahoo not to use the address for more than five URLs per week, and the proper add or change procedures outlined below on this page should still be followed.

Directory Support Didn't Work!

If you still don't get listed after trying the support email, here are some other options:

  • Use Yahoo Express, if you qualify. Some people have literally tried for years to get listed in the Yahoo Directory, only to find that after using Yahoo Express, they finally got in. Don't waste your time. Yahoo Express will quickly get you a yes or no answer.
  • Try submitting a new category, especially a sparse one (covered more below)
  • Keep resubmitting to your original category every three weeks, along with sending support messages. There's no penalty for continuing to try.
  • Take a hard look at your site and compare it to the other sites already listed at Yahoo. Are you lacking in content or quality, compared to them? If so, make changes and resubmit.

Submit To A Sparse Category

If you've had no luck with your preferred category, submit to an alternative category that's appropriate for your site but which doesn't have many listings. This may help you get in.

Each Yahoo editor has a special screen they use to process listings, with submissions grouped by category. As you can imagine, the most popular categories will have many new submissions, ensuring that the editor may not get to them all. Furthermore, they have little incentive to review each new site in a popular category. The addition of a new site isn't likely to enhance Yahoo greatly.

In contrast, there is great incentive to add sites to more sparsely populated categories. These do enhance Yahoo, by growing the guide. In addition, submissions waiting to be processed in these categories aren't lost among the "crowd."

Let's return to our teddy bear company used on the Submitting page to see how this may help. Let's say there are about 100 teddy bear sites already listed under the main Teddy Bear category. In contrast, the Stuffed Toys category, one level above, might have far fewer listings. Assuming our teddy bear company sells all types of stuffed animals, submitting here might improve the odds of being listed, while mentioning teddy bears in the description can still help the site appear for that term.

Likewise, let's say there is a Puffkins category with only two sites listed. Assuming you also sell Puffkins (whatever they are), you might try a submission there with a description like:

Selection of puffkins, along with teddy bears
and other stuffed animals.

Again, you need to ensure the site you submit is appropriate, but some of the alternative categories may bring you results.

What About The Priority Queue?

In the past, Yahoo operated special systems known as the Priority Queue and the Password Submission Queue that let some people get their sites processed quickly. Some people also referred to these as the Yahoo "backdoor." Yahoo no longer operates such systems, since they conflict with the Yahoo Express program. The curious can learn more about the past programs on the Yahoo Priority Queue page. However, I'd stress again that Yahoo says it is no longer operating these systems.

In mid-2002, a new "Yahoo Backdoor" appeared. This is a completely different system than the Priority Queue described above. It is not run by Yahoo, but some people have reported success in getting listed without paying by using it. The article below explains the new backdoor in more detail:

Yahoo Backdoor
The Search Engine Update, June 17, 2002

Giving Up

At some point, it's just not worth trying any longer to get into the Yahoo Directory, if all your attempt to do a free submission have failed and you refuse to pay for Yahoo Express. This is a decision you will have to make. Fortunately, the importance of being listed in the Yahoo Directory is far less crucial than in the past, given that the main Web Matches results come from Google.

Below is Yahoo's help page about resubmitting:

I've submitted my site -- why hasn't it been added?

Multiple Categories & Multiple Listings

One major complaint about the Yahoo Directory in the past has been that its tendency to list only the home page of a web site in a single category may not adequately describe the entire content of the site. For example, a large company might have different divisions that focus on completely different product areas. It is not uncommon for Yahoo to only provide one listing for the company overall and completely ignore the individual divisions.

This was especially a problem for site owners when Yahoo used pure directory results for the main listings on its search results page. Having one description for your entire web site, usually of between 10 to 25 words, meant that you really could only hope to come up well for a few key terms, if any. Having multiple listings in different categories meant your site was described with more words and thus had more chances of being found.

This problem may very well have been cured by Yahoo's change to using Google's results for its main Web Matches listings in October 2002. Google is a crawler-based search engine, which means that unlike Yahoo's human-powered directory approach, Google regularly lists many different pages from a web site. This means that web sites have far more representation in Yahoo now than under the old pure directory results approach. Indeed, those pure directory results are now so buried within Yahoo that few users are likely to see them.

Given this, it probably isn't worth worrying much about getting multiple listings within the Yahoo Directory. Nevertheless, if you feel this is necessary, here are some historic tips from the past.

Same Page, Different Categories

Let's start with something easy. You're listed in Yahoo already, but you want your existing listing to also appear in another category. You may have even requested this when initially submitting, but it failed to happen. The easiest thing to do here is to ask for the site to be placed in an additional category using the Yahoo change form. Simply indicate the category you'd like to add using the appropriate box on the form and explain the reason behind the request.

Convincing Yahoo To Grant Multiple Listings

Now let's get complicated. Yahoo already lists your home page, but you'd like it to list some additional pages in your web site, putting these pages in categories completely separate from where your home page appears.

For example, let's say you are a large toy manufacturer. You have an entire line of soft toys, but you also sell board games and electronic toys. In fact, you have different divisions and subsidiaries that make these products, like this:

Super Toys, Inc

  • Huggable: a subsidiary company that makes your soft toys.
  • Puzzle Master: a division of Super Toys that makes board games.
  • VirtuDog: a subsidiary company that makes an electronic dog.
  • Shop Super Toys: your online toy store.

When someone visits the Super Toys site, they can get to each of these areas from the Super Toys home page. The areas are all contained within the main Super Toys site, like so:

  • Huggable -
  • Puzzle Master -
  • VirtuDog -
  • Shop Super Toys -

Ideally, you want each division to be listed in an appropriate area of Yahoo, like this:

  • Huggable: Shopping and Services > Toys > Soft Toys
  • Puzzle Master: Shopping and Services > Games > Puzzles
  • VirtuDog: Shopping and Services > Toys > Virtual Pets
  • Shop Super Toys: Shopping and Services > Toys > Retailers

However, when you try to submit each site to these categories, they never get listed. If you used Yahoo Express, Yahoo might even tell you this is because the Super Toys site itself is already listed in the Toy Manufacturer category and that they feel that covers all the divisions and subsidiaries.

Your response might be to point out examples of where Yahoo seems to be allowing exceptions to this rule. Perhaps that might help, but don't count on it. Basically, you're going to have more luck if you let your subdivisions establish their own sites that have substantial content and which really do operate independently of the Super Toys site.

For example, each site might have its own domain or subdomain, like this:

  • Huggable -
  • Puzzle Master -
  • VirtuDog -
  • Shop Super Toys -

If the Yahoo editor goes to one of these sites, they'll have more faith that the site deserves to be listed on its own because it has its own domain or subdomain. That indicates that the URL isn't suddenly going to change, as can be the case when sites are located within another site. If the sites are also different in the look and feel and truly operate differently than the main Super Toys site, this can also be very important in helping the additional sites get listed.

Ideally, you will already have built your sites this way before submitting them to the Yahoo Directory. If so, you should find getting them listed individually will be more successful. However, maybe you can't. Maybe you don't want to. That's OK -- you can still submit important subsections of your site. It is possible that Yahoo will list them, but the likelihood of rejection is greater than in the scenario above.