Monday, September 1, 2008

Work In Progress - Health Bloggers Galore

We have just started checking out the health blog scene and found a few with unique voice that made an interesting read. The list is still a work in progress, but thought we would take a minute to post it here. Watch this space as we hunt and add many more to the list

Friday, August 29, 2008

Why a site may get declined and things you can do to get approved

It’s quite an experience operating a resource directory and we get all sort of funny emails from webmasters whose sites were declined for inclusion. ( of course we approve them after requested changes are made. )

We don’t have anything personal against the sites we decline, still here’s a quick wrap on the broad reasons why a site may be declined in the first go.

1) Not having an About Us page:

Hello? Tell us little bit about yourself? Who are you? What is the purpose of your website? Your team members, vision, your mission, background? Anything?

2) Not providing means for your visitors to contact you

Do you have either contact us form or email address listed on your site? Or are we supposed to dig through your WhoIs data to grab a hold of you?

If you don’t want to let your visitors know where you are or how to reach you, we take it as a sign that you could well be a spammer out there to make money at the expense of not-so-web-savvy visitors.

3 ) Not having a privacy policy:

What kind of information do you collect from your site visitors and what you do with that data? We care for privacy of our visitors, do You? If not you are declined.

4) Not having disclaimer in place:

Who is the person responsible for the content of your site?

Is he a medical professional ?

If yes, have you mentioned his / her credentials?

If he is not, have you declared so in the disclaimer ?

5) Overtly aggressive monetization :

We are perfectly ok with monetization but some people get way too greedy and cross the line. We reject all purely thin affiliate sites and made for adsense sites AND the sites where we feel visitors are given less importance than advertisements.

6) Linking to shady, non-thematic sites:

We know how to rank a site in search engine ourselves. And we choose to achieve it through lasting value creation, creating something useful for our visitors rather than achieve it through manipulative methods.

If we notice that most of your PR is due to cheesy reciprocals or if you are linking to any shady high margin areas like pharmacy, gambling, porn or any other non-thematic neighborhoods, we decline such sites till they become guidelines compliant.

7) No useful content to the visitors.

This is a bit more subjective and we decide it on individual case basis. Generally you know whether a site is useful for intended visitors or not.

HealthDirectoryMoz is maintained by small team of physically challenged people with chronic illnesses. As such we can’t stress enough how passionate we are about letting only useful and quality resources get listed in our directory.

Lastly we should tell you few things you can do to get almost guaranteed listing:

  • Get a HonCode accreditation
  • Get a truste or etrust accreditation
  • Get a Better Business Bureau BBB accreditation
  • Get a URAC accreditation
  • Get a healthcare blogger accreditation
  • If you are a pharmacy site get a VIPPS accreditation.
  • Include About Us & Physical address on your site to show you are real business.

Any of these certifications would reassure us that you are as passionate as us about creating a legitimate value for the end user through ethical means and we would be more than happy to welcome you in the healthdirectorymoz family.

Happy submitting !

Monday, August 25, 2008

The reason behind HealthDirectoryMoz

Hi and Thanks for stopping by !

It’s been a while since HealthDirectoryMoz has been live and I thought this would be the right time to take some time to tell the world out there, my reason behind starting this venture.

Back in January 2008, when I told a few of my SEO friends that I was starting a health directory, their immediate reaction was: “a Directory? Oh no! Why oh why?”

Now for all those of you, who know about search engine optimization ( seo ), you already know that many directories have lost majority of the linking benefit they used to give a few years ago. So, in a way their concern was legitimate.

Well the main reason for this health directory is purely personal rather than commercial.

A spinal cord tumor left me paralyzed shoulder down in 2003 ( T4 paraplegia with complete cord transection.) I had to bid goodbye to my career as mechanical engineer as life changed upside down in matter of a single day.

The endless stream of secondary complications ensured that I spent days and months together finding health related information on the internet.

As I was trying to resurrect my life after disability, another blow struck. This time more brutal than my own injury. Mom was diagnosed with grade III breast cancer.

It’s these health challenges that led me into becoming aware of the importance of “quality” health information on the web. Many times I’d wish there was an honest, trustworthy, and useful database where all the health related sites could be found neatly organized.

Health is a passion for me. The rock solid constant in my life.

Interestingly, in nearly two years of my health research on the net, I never landed on any quality health directories like Dmoz Health or Yahoo Health.

Of course I was not a search engine marketer back then and I didn’t even know about these goldmines of quality health resources. It was saddening for me to realize that these wouldn’t be found much in actual search results just because these are not aggressively marketed and only a handful of the webmaster community uses it.

It’s this void that I’d be attempting to fill. A Quality directory that can be actually found in search results as a quality health hub. The task is enormous but it would be worthwhile journey for sure.

I do NOT intend to monetize HealthDirectoryMoz using any conventional means like Google adsense, banner ads, review fees or affiliate marketing. I want all the listings to be free from any commercial considerations / interests so as to maintain the highest quality standard.

I intend to meet the running costs through some sponsors who believe in corporate social responsibility and who share my passion and vision for creating the best health websites hub on the internet.

So, this is about the background why did I even start a directory in first place and my passion behind it.

In the next post, I’ll write in detail about the vision of HealthDirectoryMoz and how I am trying to actually create tangible value proposition through it.