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To B Or Not To B...central
Posted 18 August 2004 - 10:19 PM
I have a 15 point checklist for them and unless it passes all 15 points I don't go with them (actual list is confidential, but common sense - no black magic)
Anyway, I originally passed on this directory for the very reason that everyone else is concerned with - the automatic submissions issue. The directory passed every other test, but failed my "supports spammers" test
Recently I had a client ask me about it, and I told him why I had not automatically submitted to it, and he agreed, but felt that it still might be worth it. We discussed it for some time. This client is very web and business savvy, has a lot of traffic and conversions and I respect both his ethics and interest in his websites.
At the end of the day, we agreed that we should submit to the SBD IN SPITE of the automatic submissions. The directory has enough value that for him and many others it's worth it.
It's pretty bad when something that is clearly a trademark Microsoft "lets hold your hand" policy is considered good reason to avoid using the product.
Worse, they are teaching inexperienced website owners that automatic submissions are "ok", which is incredibly naive behavior for a company that wishes to take a lead in search. I know these are different departments, but geeze, this doesn't look good.
Currently I DO recommend submission, but only after I've educated the client as to what the issues are. I wish I could make a better recommendation based on the value of the directory itself, but I can't in good faith based on it's submission policy.
Maybe they don't get the concept that I would happily pay the same amount and skip the automatic submissions.
Posted 19 August 2004 - 01:09 PM
To those that don’t already know me I’m a Product Manager at bCentral for various products including Submit It! and the Small Business Directory. Thought I’d chime in to hopefully help with some of your questions. So, starting from the beginning of this thread:
My question is, is the Microsoft Small Business Directory worth joining and are the SEO and small business tools they offer any good?
Yes, and yes . The directory price/value is unbeatable in my opinion.
For $49, you can get one site listed in up to 3 categories, plus a business card. I know you guys are all concerned about links, and that $49 results in 4 links to your site from 3 different category pages, plus 12 links to your site from the business card. For those of you that are more concerned about traffic SBD does very well there too. On the handful of small sites I watch SBD is regularly a top 20 referrer. The cool part here is that SDB does this through direct traffic to the directory AND all the business cards are fairly well optimized around your terms so they tend to show up in the engines all the time...that might not seem like much to my fellow SEO’s but to our customers (small businesses that don’t know seo) this is a big deal because suddenly they start ranking.
As for Submit It!, it’s a great tool for regular small businesses, for SEOs not so much.
got a very rapid boost in my ranking on MSN
only $99 for 3 URL's
Just to be clear aside from any natural effect SBD and/or Submit It! have nothing to do with MSN rankings.
On the pricing, that almost right, but it’s $99 for 3 SITES. More on pricing here: Submit It! Pricing
run through the reporting software just to give you a few hints and tips.
e.g. in Google you can use the keyword tool to help you with keywords for any site, even though you may only use Adwords for one url
If you sign up for Submit It to get the directory listing there’s no reason not to fool around with the Readiness Check, or Keyword Tool those don’t do anything outside of your account. If you are concerned about auto submitting read on…
still using auto-submitting tools
As some of you may already know Submit It! is the original site submission tool. Just about every old SEO pro used it at one point (even if they don’t want to admit it) and most major engines used to recommend us right there on their add url forms (without us paying for it). Is it automated? Depends on how you define automated All Submit It! does is drop your URL in the submission form of the engines that have them. It only does this to engines you select, and only when you go into your account and click the Submit button. To date we’ve never had an engine complain about submissions, never had a customer complain about problems from submitting, and I’ve never had any and I’ve submitted 1000’s of sites using the tool.
So, Clare, it sounds like the tools are available to auto submit but if a person doesn't want to use them and only wants to be listed in the directory, they have that option. Is this correct?
Correct! Submit It! and Small Business Directory are two different things entirely.
I just called bCentral and was told there is no way to get the directory listing and shut off the automatic submission service. It kicks out submissions every 30 days. When I told the sales rep I thought it was odd that they were offering a service that was in direct violation of most major search engines terms and conditions and that they were asking people to pay for a service that could actually hurt them, he said "We've been getting great results, and no one has been kicked out of a search engine because of us." Maybe this is just a way for Microsoft to pester Google.
That’s ENTIRELY wrong. To reiterate Submit It! and Small Business Directory are two different things entirely and there’s no such thing as 30 day submissions. Any chance you got the name of the person you talked to? I’m afraid misinformation is a problem when you become part of a big company…
She mailed me, disgruntled, to say that when she ran her site through their 'optimize for submission' software, it told her every page needed work. When I went in and looked at what they'd said, and ran a scan on a page myself, it told me that a) that there were no title tags (there were, big as day), and that the title tags needed keywords in them (yep, they were there, too.) Their program also said the keyword phrase appeared only once on the page, but I counted 17 instances of it (this was a very long FAQ page, not keyword-stuffed.)
Hmmm…I don’t like the sound of those bugs. Any chance you can get her account info and send it to me? I’ll HAPPILY look at the account and see what is up.
Ok, I think I answered most of the questions and gotta get back to work. I’ll pop in tomorrow if anyone has more questions.
Posted 19 August 2004 - 01:20 PM
Thanks for stopping in Craig! That helps to clear up a lot of questions.
Welcome to High Rankings, you lurker. Joined last November I see... Hang around if you have time.
I've got to go submit a site or two to the SBD...
Posted 19 August 2004 - 05:25 PM
For those of you who don't know Sir Jimmy this is him!!
A UK DJ of the 70s and 80s
Anyway I digress, I'm off to Mongolia now for three weeks so wish me luck (no I'm not going to be checking out the latest SEO developments! Won't be at a PC for over 21 days!! )
So when / if I return I'll check out the rest of your responses (especially to Craigs), it's interesting to see who reads the posts here isnt it!? Thanks Craig for the post!
But my question still stands 'To B or not Too B?', I think I might experiment a little before offering to clients me thinks.
Missing you all already
Posted 19 August 2004 - 05:57 PM
Thanks for the update.
Posted 19 August 2004 - 06:19 PM
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