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Link Building Using Web Directories and Social Bookmarking

Aug 18, 2007
What is a web directory? A web directory is a collection of links broken down into relevant categories. Think Yahoo and their directory, or the Open Directory Project and even the Google Directory.

At its most basic level, a web directory is a collection of bookmarks made available to the public. In other cases, like Yahoo, it is a professional resource for people actively looking for information.
To get listed in such a directory, you can either get listed for free, which might take a while, or in many cases, pay a one-time fee to have your website reviewed and entered in the directory.

One major exception is Yahoo, which charges a recurring fee for its commercial listings. This is what you don't want, if possible you want to do this for free and you want to do it quickly.

There are two main benefits of being listed in a web directory, increased link-popularity due to a one-way link from a highly respected resource and increased traffic due to being listed in a directory that is searched by many people every day.

In reality though, these benefits are directly related to how popular the directory is itself, and how much money you have paid for your listing. Of course, if the link is for free, there is nothing to worry about.

There are thousands of free website directories on the internet and these are the ones we are going to concentrate on. Directory listings are also used as traffic building opportunities. How this works is that many directories are searchable for their visitors, so that users can look for information. In theory this is great, you can get lifetime traffic for free or just a nominal payment, but you should not expect a sudden deluge of traffic from just one directory listing.

Most directories, apart from the top twenty or so, are usually used for link building and not pure searching. This means that while people may use GoGuides or Yahoo for regular searches, you should expect that the smaller directories are mainly for link popularity.

We will forget about the large directories and concentrate on the small free directories unless you choose to pay for your submissions, I wouldn't advise it at this moment in time, I personally do not pay, and have experienced great success in creating links purely from the free versions.

Many directories offer listings based on an alphabetical order, or a first-come, first-served basis. In both cases, your website has quite a big chance of being lost out in the noise, but that doesn't alter the fact that your link is present and as such will help in your overall search engine ranking.

Because directory search algorithms differ greatly. Some directories, like JoeAnt, base their search on keyword relevancy, which makes it more of an exercise of loading your directory listing with keywords rather than making a good website, whilst others take a more editorial approach by factoring in editor ratings. And still, many directories display sponsored listings first, reinforcing what we already know that mostly, it's your advertising budget that talks, and not necessarily the quality of your website.

In some cases, though very rarely these days, directory inclusions can be rejected due to the poor quality of a website. Maybe the editor considered that your website was not useful enough, meaning it had little or no useful original content. Occasionally there may be moral issues governing your rejection, even though editors are urged to abide by directory guidelines and not personal beliefs. If rejected, you will almost always receive feedback, although you may have to ask for it, on how to improve your website.

In earlier days, quality was a big issue. Today, it is still a major concern for top directories like Yahoo, but this is more to separate the truly atrocious from the rest rather than to separate the best from the rest.

A directory listing is, in most cases, useful only for the link popularity which in turn can greatly increase your search engine placement. In such scenarios, if you can find better deals on authority sites in your niche, then you should go for them. However the directory listings we are concentrating on are free to submit to, and along with added links to your business, can also bring you reasonable traffic.

As always, remember that directory listings form a small part of your overall online marketing strategy. If you don't have the budget for a Yahoo listing, don't worry, focus on submitting your website to the free directories out there, and come back to it when you can afford it. Directory listings are important, in helping you to squeeze every possible drop of search engine placement out of your links and your website.

The only way to get the most from submitting to Web Directories is to make each submission keyword/phrase orientated. Target each of your keywords in turn, obviously starting with the most important and submit at the very least on a weekly basis. This will build links into your business for your chosen keywords and so increase your ranking for those particular keywords. Never submit just a general description, your submission must always be keyword focused.

Actually submitting to web directories is really very easy although a little tedious and should be within the scope of even the newest of online marketers, but as with anything else, the best way to learn is just give it a try, if you have any difficulty, which i doubt, simply persevere until you get the desired results.

To locate the sites you need to submit to simply search web directories and the same for social bookmarking sites.

Social Bookmarking is another excellent method of getting increased back links and driving traffic to your business, Web promotion is all about getting links and driving traffic to your business, you can build as many websites as you wish, but without web promotion you will never earn a cent and be very lucky if you see even a trickle of traffic to your business.

With Social Bookmarking you can tap into an unlimited amount of laser targeted traffic and very high quality backlinks for free, but as with all web promotion it can be very time consuming and decidedly repetitious.

Social bookmarking sites are basically sites that categorize and store bookmark links, links that will lead the searcher to specific websites, very similar to web directories, and considering millions of people search these social bookmarking sites for information it would be foolish not to take full advantage of this excellent traffic generating method.

The idea behind social bookmarking is to post links back to your business from social bookmarking sites. As with article and web directory submissions you will gain the best results by keyword targeting your bookmarks. You need to specify your keywords, which in turn serves to categorize your bookmarks.

This allows others to search and even vote for your bookmark, as far as link and traffic generation, social bookmarking is in a league all of its own. Social bookmarking is quickly becoming the mainstay of online business promotion, and the results can be phenomenal.

So, what are the main benefits of social bookmarking for you and what effect can it have on your ability to earn a substantial living online?

More targeted traffic, since your bookmarks are categorized into different keywords (tags), you will get laser targeted traffic from people searching within a particular tag. They will click on your bookmark link and visit your site.

Higher search engine ranking, most of these social bookmarking sites have a very high page rank with the search engines, ranging from 5PR to 8PR. Therefore, search engine spiders visit these sites so often that your links will be crawled almost immediately.

Better page rank for your business, having high page rank social bookmarking sites linked to your site will improve your site's page rank. With a higher page rank, you can link to your new/existing sites and improve their ranking also. You can even, at a later date, monetize on it by selling links from your site.

But as I stated earlier, bookmarking and web directory submission is a tedious process if done manually.

In order to bookmark your sites, you need to manually create your accounts at social bookmarking sites. Creation of accounts doesn't take much time because you only need one account. The problem lies in bookmarking your pages. You have to manually login to your account at each of these social bookmarking sites and add your page's url, keywords and descriptions.

Considering that you will want to be social bookmarking your business on a daily basis, and along with all the other business promotion you will be carrying out to push your website to #1, you really need to automate the process.

Choose your submission software carefully, you need it to be able to log in and create your accounts and submit your links and tags, and even provide you with a report at the end of the submission. Also ensure the software is updated on a monthly basis so you can be sure that unlike some submission software, you are not trying to submit your links to non-existent or defunct sites, and with something as important as your future at stake, you need to be sure that any software you use to help with your business promotion is bang up to date and performing exactly as it should.

That about covers the basics of directory submissions and social bookmarking, as with any promotional system it's all down to how often you use it and to what extent you understand the workings of the software and the reasons for employing such methods, and as such I could go on all day about certain subjects. but in this instance I can only offer you a brief description of how to use recommended applications, you must take the time to familiarize yourself with all the tools needed for effective marketing and use them as best suits your own business.
About the Author
Mike Collins
Owner and CEO Rotata
The Internet's first and only Search Sub Engine
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