Submitting To Lycos

Forget everything you ever learned about submitting to Lycos, because the situation is now radically different. First, it is imperative that you get your site listed within the Open Directory, since that's now powering the main listings at Lycos. However, it's probably best to do this via Lycos rather than directly at the Open Directory itself, for the moment. This will make more sense after we go through the submission tips below.

To start, imagine the top search term you'd like to be found for. Now search for it at Lycos. Look over the top categories that are listed and find one appropriate to your site, preferably as high on the list as possible. This is the category you want to be listed in, because chances are, that's the category that your target audience will be selecting.

Click on the category. Down at the bottom of the page, you'll see a link called "Add Website." Click on this link to submit. A simple form from the Open Directory will appear within a frame. It may look like you are submitting to Lycos, but in reality, you'll be submitting directly to the Open Directory. This is fine. Give your site a title and a description. If you follow basic Yahoo guidelines to optimize your submission, you'll be OK.

Unlike Yahoo, there's no limit to the length of a description you can submit. Each Open Directory editor decides what's acceptable. Since most existing descriptions are in the 25-word range allowed by Yahoo, it makes sense to use this as a general guide.

Push submit to send your site into the submission queue. That's it! You've now submitted to the Open Directory. I don't have current turnaround times, but I will get these shortly along with tips on what to do if you don't get listed quickly.

There's absolutely no need to go to the actual Open Directory site to do a submission if you've followed the procedure I've described above from within Lycos. In fact, if you were to submit to the same category from both Lycos and the Open Directory, you'd have actually submitted twice. Once is enough.

The reason I suggest you do the process from within Lycos is because Lycos will list categories differently than the Open Directory. The same search in both places won't yield the same results because Lycos is applying its own ranking algorithm to sift through the directory information. Since Lycos receives far more traffic than the Open Directory, it makes sense to optimize your submission for how Lycos ranks categories. That will help ensure you get the most traffic possible out of your submission.

Another difference between the Open Directory and Yahoo is that there's no limit on the number of categories you can submit to. You don't want to overdo it, and I'd strongly urge not trying to submit to more than ten different categories unless you have a very large site. But there's no reason not to submit key sections of your site to places where they are relevant within the directory. Consider spreading out your submissions over time, mainly to avoid the appearance of spamming. Again, I'll bring more tips on this in the near future.

What about the Lycos spider? Submitting to the Open Directory does not submit to the Lycos spider. Instead, you need to use the usual Lycos Add URL page. Likewise, using this page does not submit your site to the Open Directory. To be listed, there, follow the procedure above.

Lycos is promising a number of things in regards to spidering. First, now that the Open Directory transition has been completed, Lycos says it has gone back and added many pages that have been submitted to the spider over the past months. They also say that new web page submissions should appear within three to six weeks. Moreover, Lycos is contemplating an instant add system which may also be integrated with the Open Directory submission process.

I haven't yet checked to verify these claims, but I will be doing so shortly. But remember, even if the spider is now falling short of promises, the transition to using Open Directory information means webmasters have a new and effective way to get their sites listed within Lycos.

Lycos Transforms Into Directory
The Search Engine Report, May 4, 1999

More details on how Lycos has turned itself into a directory.

How Yahoo Works

If you understand how to properly submit to Yahoo, you'll be well-prepared to submit to the Open Directory. This page has tips.