Zeal Directory Search Engine OptimizationThe Zeal directory is headquartered in San Francisco. The company was formed in 2000, and shortly after it was acquired by LookSmart.
The Zeal directory is edited by humans, a similar set up to the Open Directory Project, or DMOZ. Unlike other directories, Zeal's editors are made up of over 215 thousand volunteers that add sites to the directory at their own discretion. The positive side to this approach is that submissions are free of charge. Accepted sites are also added to LookSmart's index (which is normally a pay-for-inclusion service) as well as LookSmart's partner sites, such as Lycos, InfoSpace, RoadRunner, CNET, and Inktomi. Some have pointed out that this has left LookSmart open to a backdoor situation that can be exploited by bypassing subscription fees. As of this time, this has not occurred on a wide scale. Accepted sites are added to the directory within variable times—unless there is a problem with a submission, it generally takes a week to be added to the Zeal directory. Your website should be content relevant and optimized before it is submitted to the Zeal directory. Well known spiders visit the directory to add links to their indexes; therefore your website should follow a strong search engine optimization strategy thru a reputable SEO service.
Since web sites are added by a community of editors, there can be issues with getting your site submitted to the Zeal directory. Having your site successfully added depends on who is in charge of reviewing your site at the time of submission. A way around this is to join the Zeal community. In order for this to happen, you must take a skill testing membership quiz. Unfortunately, this isn't a walk in the park. The initial test requires some study time and the test can take anywhere from 20-30 minutes. It also requires a passing grade of 90 percent. If you pass, you can ONLY recommend sites for submission. Recommended submissions still have to bypass an editor, or Zealot.
To become a Zealot, members must take another test, and earn 75 points (points are accumulated by submission recommendations) as well as maintain a quotient, or community ranking, of 6. Sites submitted to directories must be added very carefully, since it is hard to make changes to the listing once it has been added.
Directories are important, because they provide a starting point for search engines to spider your listings. Although web sites added to directories are done so by human hands, it is still vital that your website is optimized properly and is well designed, in order to be indexed by spiders that access the directories.