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While people might think that using Yahoo! or Google to search the web is just a matter of preference, the two are wholly different creatures: Yahoo! (and others like it) are directories, while Google (and its contemporaries) are search engines. Directories, like Yahoo!, LookSmart and OpenDirectory Project, are edited by humans, while search engines, such as Google and AltaVista, employ automated “spiders” to “crawl” the web and identify keyword matches. Directories and search engines both measure link popularity in determining rankings, and each directory and engine has its own algorithm for ranking sites. There is some evidence that getting your site listed first on reputable, human-based directories will increase your quality links and give you stronger overall search rankings. Just keep the innate differences between directories and search engines in the back of your mind when you are crafting your Internet marketing strategy and deciding what web metrics you will be tracking, and how.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|