Fighting for freerecyling

Tip No 3: Yahoo’s Groups directory insights

This tip is like a how to use the Yahoo Groups directory and has three audiences:

  1. Those who want to find groups
  2. Those who run groups that don’t want to be found
  3. Those who run groups that do want to be found.

The starting point is that to find a group on YahooGroups is a fickle thing. You search for the word “freecycle” and you may not get the same results as searching for “Freecycle”. For any person who just wants to find a group, almost the best way is to use Google with any words and Yahoo groups since Google’s index seems more flexible. But assuming you want to use the Yahoo directory search facility how do you search the directory for groups.

Firstly anyone who has created a group knows that you have to place it in a category. Anything in an “adult” category will never get listed in the directory – that’s a Yahoo restriction, or at least my interpretation of it. Of course, freecycling groups are not adult only, by definition so let’s move on. Categories relevant to freecycling are anything from free stuff to recycling to geographic. Simply put categories don’t really help, they are just something a group creator has to do. However if you are wanting to find a group then browsing some categories may find what the group you are after.

So the first answer is to simply browse, but that does not get you very far necessarily because there are so many groups.

Next it is good to remember the Yahoo Groups directory is not a real-time system. That is if a group is created or modified then this may not be available to the directory for up to seven days. That’s a long time for some people, but the delay is there so we have to live with it.

Strangely if you enter the exact name of a group into the search – and the group exists, then you can find it.

Now assuming your group is listed then not only can you search for the exact name but also you can search for parts of the name. So for example you can search for words like “freeshare” and have a lot of success. You could also look for a place name, like “oxford”. And you can search for both.

The next question to ask is what exactly does the search do. Well it obviously searches the name of the group. Many groups actually do themselves a disservice by concatenating two or more words without any separator to make up a group name, such as “OxfordFreecyle” . It is much, much better to use either an underscore or an hyphen so that for example a better name would be “Oxford_Freecycle”. This latter form will be indexed much better by Yahoo and your group is much more likely to be found.

The same rule applies to the group’s title, except instead use a space between words.

And not only that the first sentence or two of the group’s description is very important. So, again repeat the name and purpose of your group in the first sentence. Here you should embellish your first two sentences particularly with any keywords that you might think people would use to find your group. So for example inserting freecycle, freeshare, reuse and regiving and any other keywords you can think of will all help.

Of course if you don’t want to be found then ignoring the above comments might help.  Also you can stop Yahoogroups from indexing you by selecting the “Not listed in Yahoo! Groups directory” option in the group’s settings.  Note this just means that your group is not listed.  Anyone who knows its name can get to you.

July 20, 2007 - Posted by | freecycle, yahoogroups


  1. […] favour and another to yourself and your members, that if any groups do rename that they read my guidelines on Yahoo Groups group promotion – and at LEAST put an “_” between words.  And this tip goes out to ALL group owners.  […]

    Pingback by It may be small to you… « The FreeRRRs - recycling, regiving and reusing, as it should be | July 23, 2007 | Reply

  2. I just submited one of my sites to the Yahoo Directory. I am curious to see if it makes any difference for SEO purposes.

    Comment by Brent Crouch | April 17, 2008 | Reply

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