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The Value of Free Directory Links

Aug 18, 2007
Getting a new Website noticed or generating more traffic to an existing site often leads webmasters to use free directory linking. With free directory linking, your site can be added to a directory simply by submitting your link and a brief topic description for your website. There are several different kinds of free directory links, and they can all have a particular effect on your site's traffic.

General Directory Links

Free directory links are popular, especially for new Web sites trying to get established. Though general free directory links aren't harmful to a site's page ranking, they usually don't drive a lot of traffic your way, either. They can be useful to simply get your link out there and you may get a few hundred hits from listing your link in a free directory.

Niche Directories

In general, niche directories are far more useful than general free directory linking sites. Niche directories target one specific topic, so anyone looking for information on your topic will be able to see the link and visit your site. This is most useful for building traffic to your site, as the users who follow a link from a niche directory are specifically looking for the type of information you're providing.

Quality Not Quantity

The value of free directory links is only as good as the directories you submit to. Submitting your link to hundreds of free directory linking sites isn't the best way to get more traffic on your site. Your time would be more wisely spent finding a few high quality directories or niche directories that match your topic.

Directories that are edited by people rather than automatically added to a list are generally more useful. Dmoz is one such site. Dmoz is highly respected, hand-edited, and it is the largest open directory of its kind. A link posted on Dmoz will increase your traffic flow. The only drawback is that it can take a long time for your link to be accepted and added and not all submissions are approved.

The Value of Reciprocal Linking

Some free directory linking sites request a reciprocal link. However, adding a lot of useless links to your site can damage your credibility and lower your page rank. Your goal should be to have more links from high quality sites, preferably ones that relate to your content.

Avoid adding your link to free directory sites that ask for reciprocal links. It may be tempting to build traffic that way, but a better option is to seek sites with a topic and content similar to yours to link to. Most site owners are open to the idea of reciprocal linking because it will serve to benefit both of you.
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