6 Crucial Questions to Ask Yourself Before Submitting Your Site to a Directory

March 6, 2008 - Written by Gyutae Park  

yahoo directoryThis week I’ve been focusing on the topic of link building with articles covering reasons why you should and should not buy links and linking secrets revealed by 11 of the top experts. If you’re just starting out in SEO with your site, all of this information may be extremely overwhelming. However, the best way to learn is to jump right in and get started.

In this article I’ll discuss one of the best ways to build your linking foundation: directory links. If you’ve just started a brand new site and are wondering where to gain links, submitting to directories is a great place to begin. Directory links definitely don’t hold the same value as they did 5 years ago, but there are still a small handful worth submitting to. Be sure to ask yourself the following questions before deciding on which directories you want to submit to.

6 crucial questions for directory submissions

1. Will it drive traffic?
Unless the directory is established and trusted by Google, most general directory links hold little value in terms of both SEO and traffic. Avoid submitting to directories that have little traffic potential. The link is probably worthless as Google and other search engines have severely cut the value of these directory links.

2. Is it related to your niche?
Niche directories and social media sites have the potential to drive targeted traffic to your site, regardless of whether or not the link has SEO value. Find directories related to the topic of your site and submit whenever possible. For example, doing a search for “your keyword + ‘directory'” will usually give you some targets to start off with. First and foremost, submit to niche directories for the traffic. Search engines strive to follow the behavior of actual users.

3. Does it require editorial review? Is it free?
If the directory will let any site into its index for free and without any sort of review, it’s usually indication that the directory is not worth your time. Search engines ignore directories that contain garbage and the link will do nothing for your rankings.

4. What other sites are included?
What other sites are listed in the directory? If your competitor has a top ranking for your target keyword and is listed in several directories, you might want to try submitting as well. You can find directories in which competitors are included by using the ‘link:’ operator in Yahoo.

5. Is the page on which you would be listed indexed? How often is it crawled?
Unless search engines actually index the page where your link is hosted, they won’t give your site any credit. You can use the ‘site:’ operator in Google to check for this. Also, you can use crawl rates to further analyze and determine the true value of a link.

6. Can your time and money be better spent doing something else?
What’s the opportunity cost of paying for a directory link? Directories are far from being an optimal target for link building campaigns. They are good for foundational links but should never be the main source of incoming links. Your money can be better spent on either buying links directly on relevant sites or creating quality content that will naturally attract attention and links.

Directories you should consider submitting to

These 5 directories are essential for any link building campaign. Other than the niche directories you find for your site, you should always submit to these sites for a few high quality links.

Yahoo Directory
An editorial review costs $300 and does not guarantee inclusion. However, if you’re serious about your site you need to pay up and be included in this top directory.

Good luck getting in. Read the guidelines, submit your sites, and forget about it. DMOZ editors are slow to review and notorious for serving their own self-interests. You can also try becoming an editor but this is extremely time consuming and probably not worth the effort.

Best of the Web
The oldest paid directory that has been online since 1994. BOTW requires either a $79.95 recurring annual fee or a $239.95 one-time review fee. If you have a high-quality site, this directory is definitely worth submitting to. There’s a promotion running in March for a 25% discount. Use promotion code SAVEBIG.

Another great directory to submit to if you run a business website. Annual review fee is $199. I also recommend writing some how-to guides on Work.com. These are usually syndicated on Business.com and leave all of your links in tact.

This directory isn’t as big or important, but you still might want to look into submitting your sites. Becoming an editor is fairly easy and you’ll be able to include your sites for free. Otherwise, the one-time review fee is $39.99.

That should be more than enough information for you to get started and build foundational directory links for your website. It may seem like a lot of work now, but you’ll definitely reap the rewards in the next couple of years. Link building will only get harder as time goes on and the web becomes more and more saturated with competing sites. The sooner the better.

best of the web directory

I also suggest you take advantage of the Best of the Web March promotion for 25% off (promotion code: SAVEBIG). This is a great investment opportunity and I will be submitting to BOTW as well.

What other directories have you had success with recently?

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17 Responses to “6 Crucial Questions to Ask Yourself Before Submitting Your Site to a Directory”

Irish on March 6th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

Those points are good guidance. Previously, I only think about question number one…Reading to this post, I know the further consideration.

Steve McGrath on March 6th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

I did a 1 Cool File about Blogarama. You may take a look.

But you must also think if it’s only a simple directory or does it offer more?
For example, 1 Cool File has files(plugin,themes, freeware…) and a blog directory/marketplace.

I agree, submissions must be reviewed first(free or paid). I reject submissions every day.

Steve McGrath on March 6th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

Oops, I did a review about Blogarama

Andrew Pavelski on March 7th, 2008

Hey Gyutae, thanks for sharing the directories. How many of these do you belong to? If you belong to all of them, have they really proved to be worth it? You included some great questions to ask yourself before submitting. Nice article 😉

Flimjo on March 10th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

#1 is interesting because I always thought submitting to as many directories as possible helped you with your Google ranking. Now I am having second thoughts.

David Chew on March 11th, 2008

Very useful information, thanks. Most people do it because they want to get more traffic.

justin on March 11th, 2008

what about eatonweb for blogs? they claim to be “oldest blog directory on the web”

Dave Weinberg on March 11th, 2008

DMOZ takes forever!

motorsportBABESau on March 11th, 2008

Hey I had never considered submitting to a directory before but are now considering it. Cheers for the info.

Erica DeWolf on March 17th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

It’s working flawlessly on my site.

California Web Design on March 24th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

This is good information, I don’t find putting my website in these directories help all that much, but I still think this is helpful information 🙂

Steve McGrath on March 25th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

I used to think like you but the more links the better. If you have the option of an anchor text, it’s even better. On 1 Cool File, the first blogs got a PR4 on their listings. 😉 Now, you might not have much traffic from a regular directory but again, a link is link.

MyLinkStore on June 17th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

I build my own link directory and works like a charm.

Why pay when you can get for free!!

Jacques Snyman on October 16th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

Back in the early days of SEO (i.e. quite recent….hahahah) directory links were very desirable. The advent of blogs and social media has lessened this considerably.

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