LookSmart is currently testing a new submission service where by paying a fee, you can get a fast answer as to whether your site will be listed.
Called Express Submit, the service costs $199 and only guarantees that an editor will review your site within 48 hours. It does not guarantee that your site will be listed nor be bumped up in the rankings, if accepted.
Nevertheless, anyone with a decent web site can pretty much expect to be listed by using the service, LookSmart says. That has certainly been the case with the similar Yahoo Business Express service, which launched a year ago. For $199, the service guarantees that Yahoo editors will review your site within a week and respond as to whether you'll be listed. The vast majority of sites that use the service are accepted.
There are some key differences to consider at LookSmart. A real plus is that you should find that all LookSmart categories offer the express submit option. At Yahoo, only some categories offer this, though the number that do was recently expanded. The former requirement that a site offer online transactions was also dropped.
LookSmart is also more liberal about allowing submission to multiple categories than Yahoo. For instance, if you had a web site that dealt with inline skating, you could submit the site's home page to the inline skating guides category, while also submitting a subsection about safety to the inline skating safety category.
You can also do this using Express Submit, but I wouldn't suggest it unless you are absolutely certain that the subsections of your site offer substantial content that should be listed independently of your home page.
"There has to be enough 'there' there in the site for us to list a subpart of a site," said Kate Wingerson, LookSmart's editor-in-chief. "If it's brochureware, then don't submit that part."
Remember, the $199 fee is non-refundable. So if in doubt, just submit your home page using Express Submit and submit any subsections normally.
As with Yahoo, sites that are rejected can take advantage of an appeal process. Should you be rejected, examine the reasons why, then correct any problems that were pointed out. Appeals have worked at Yahoo, and that's also likely to be the case with LookSmart.
"If we say, 'Sorry, this isn't working for us,' and they fix it, then we'll put it in for free," Wingerson said.
Of course, normal submission remains an option at LookSmart. Additionally, LookSmart started a Check Status service a few months ago that has been very effective. Of course, I did notice that the email response that the status service now sends out promotes Business Express. Nevertheless, if you can't pay the fee, submit normally and use the Check Status system after 6 weeks, if you still are not listed.
But by all means, anyone who can afford it should definitely take advantage of both LookSmart's and Yahoo's express submission services. They will save you time, help you generate traffic more quickly, and probably are the most essential web marketing expense after that of registering a domain name.
More information about the LookSmart Express service. Be sure to read the FAQ to understand what types of sites do not qualify. These include pornographic sites, those with graphic violence and even those lacking quality content. There is also an email address for those with more questions about the service.
LookSmart Check Status Page
Yahoo Business Express Help
More information about Yahoo's service.
My Site in Yahoo
Excellent answers to specific submission questions, a URL-support email address and feedback forms.
Yahoo Opens Express Submission Service
The Search Engine Report, March 3, 1999
Past article about the launch of Yahoo's express service.