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Effective Directory Submission For SEO

Aug 26, 2008
Submitting your site to web directories for SEO purposes is a tried and true way to increase your link popularity and ranking in the search engines. There are, however, some pitfalls to avoid.

Here are some tips that will prevent you from "spinning your wheels", as it were, in the directory submission game.

First of all, do not fall for offers to "submit your web site to 10 thousand web directories for only $24.95!". The submissions are usually done using software, and the majority of them will be rejected by the directory owners for being in the wrong category, not following the guidelines, etc. Even if they happen to actually hand-submit (yeah, right) the directories are always completely useless from an SEO standpoint.

Unless you happen upon a brand new one, they are almost always saturated (meaning they have too many pages of listings that the search engines will never crawl deep enough to find).

In most cases the directories will only be around for a short period of time. They usually stick around just long enough for the owner to get tired of rummaging through the submissions before realizing that there is very little profit from it, then letting the domain expire.

Besides the above reasons, the search engines do not favor these directories at all, and even if they somehow manage to find your link among the numbers it will not count for much.

Now that you know what to avoid, here are some tips for finding quality directories. First, we will talk about the "elite" directories that everyone knows about- The Yahoo! Directory, The Open Directory Project (Dmoz.org) and Best Of The Web (BOTW.org). These directories are well known, and the search engines love them for sure. These are the three directories any serious webmaster needs to have a listing in.

The only one of the three above mentioned that is not a "pay-per-inclusion" directory is the Open Directory Project. The problem with the ODP, however, is it's lack of reliability. It is run by volunteers who receive no compensation for the work they do. Therefore, many of the thousands of categories have no volunteers, and because of the lack of compensation many of the volunteers often neglect the project or are just plain lackadaisical about it altogether. Needless to say, getting a listing in the ODP is a crap shoot. But it is definitely worth a try, as many of the search engines put a measure of trust in sites listed in the ODP.

The Yahoo! Directory is another one that grabs Google's attention for sure, some believe more so than the ODP. A listing in the Yahoo! directory is quite expensive, however. At the time of this writing it will set you back $300 yearly. But if you are serious about your site, it is worth the investment.

Last but not least, we have the Best Of The Web directory. This is an old directory (started in 1994) with lots of high quality inbound links, and is a favorite of many SEO enthusiasts. At the time of this writing, there is a one-time review and inclusion fee of $240. Another great investment.

Now that we are familiar with some of the top general web directories, let's talk about finding other great directories. There are plenty of lists out there, just Google "list of directories". But before spending any money for inclusion fees, here are some things to look for.

First of all, the age of the directory should be looked into. You can usually obtain this information by finding out when the domain was first registered. The older the better in this case.

Next, make sure the directory has plenty of quality inbound links from other authority sites, because some of this "link juice" will be passed on to your site. Lastly, make sure the directory is "SEO friendly".

If the link to your site utilizes a tracking URL, the link may not be counted by the engines. Also, watch out for saturated directories and ones that use the "nofollow" attribute.

These same principals apply to niche directories. Niche directories are great because they are on-topic, and there are a lot of authority niche directories out there. To find these directories within your web sites niche, Google your keywords and put "directory" after it.
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