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Directory Marketing is Still Alive in 2007

Aug 17, 2007
To see why Directory Marketing is still alive in 2007, let's take a look back at 2006.

A number of major changes in the linking model and the search algorithms were changed at Google to combat rampant link spam and create higher quality results. Similar efforts are underway at the other two major search engines: Yahoo and MSN. This is because of the highly competitive nature of search engine results and the associated quality that brings users back again and again.

The first of those changes was to penalize sites that participated in linking systems/networks. Most of these linking systems were very easy to identify and it really was just a matter of time before they were added to the algorithms. Not only that, many were not very well built in the first place and were easily manipulated by members to not pass page rank back to participating sites.

The next change was the seemingly reduced benefit of reciprocal linking and purchased text links. Both of these links are being discovered in greater quantities every day and once discovered are given very little to no link benefit in the algorithms. Obviously, reciprocal links are easy to discover and therefore easy to disregard. 3-way links have also been discovered in increasing numbers during 2006 and will continue to be an emphasis for the search engines to find patterns of abuse. Purchased links, of course, are quite a bit harder to discover and are really only discovered from certain linking systems where the links were centrally controlled by the link broker who was selling the links. "Hand edited" purchased links may still work but only if coming from sites with similar context which leads to the next item from 2006.

During 2006, more emphasis was put on the context of the link to your site. If your site is selling tires and you get a link from a site selling potpourri then the link will be given very little weight and really isn't worth your effort. However, if you get a link from a site selling car batteries then that link will be given better weight because of the close proximity of the context - Auto parts. And of course the best weight given would be from another site selling or talking about Tires.

So, it's 2007 and we're looking for ways to continue marketing our sites and increasing our search engine rankings. Well, the answer has been with us for quite a while and will continue to be with us for 2007 and probably longer. Drum roll please...Directory Marketing. Directory marketing is simply submitting your site for inclusion into web directories in categories that match the context of our site.

What are the benefits of Directory Marketing? You receive 1-way links back to your site on a page that has the context that matches your site as close as possible. Many of the directories are considered "Authority" sites because they are hand editing so spam is not allowed. If you think about the benefits stated for Web 2.0 then directories fit right in because they are a human vote for your site. Another benefit is "natural" search engine discovery. The search engines visit most directories daily and will pick up new site links and visit your site quickly and add you to the index - usually within about a week.

Directory Marketing recommendations:
1. Submit to free directories - Paid directories have benefit but I'd start with the free ones.
2. Do not return a reciprocal link unless it makes sense for the context of your site.
3. Be aware that automated directories may not be given as much link weight.
4. Be patient - don't use automated submission software to get thousands of submissions overnight (considered spam by both the search engines and the directories.
5. Use software (not automated) to help submit to directories - mostly helps in tracking and navigating to the hundreds of directories.
6. Rotate your Titles, Descriptions, & Keywords to keep your links different but yet similar. Natural linking appears random so use as many combinations as possible!
About the Author
Anthony Stai is a proud contributing author and writes articles on several internet marketing related topics including directory marketing. You can see more of Anthony's articles and personally created software on his Directory Site Submitter web site located at http://www.directorysitesubmitter.com
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