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Things to Consider When Submitting to a Web Directory

Aug 21, 2007
While there are thousands of different variables that affect Google PageRank and page position within the search results, the single most important factor is link popularity. To rank higher in the search results and get more of your competitor's traffic, you need to have more quality backlinks to your site pages. Quantity, quality and relevance are all important in how Google views the content of your site.

There are a variety of ways to increase backlinks to your site. One of the more common methods, that has been used for more than a decade, is to add your site to web directories. There are free directories, paid directories, bidding directories and deep-link directories to name the most common types.

The most important attributes in choosing a web directory are: (1) the Google PR of the page you want to list on, (2) the age of the domain (the older the better), (3) internal page strength and (4) how aggressively the directory is promoted.

The first thing I look for when choosing a directory to submit to is the PageRank of the category I am submitting to. A directory may have a home page PR6, but what good is that if the category page you want only has a PR1? Strong directories will have a high internal PR on most of their categories. After all, these category pages are the ones that confer a portion of their PR to your site. Google seems to trust older domains so older sites often have a higher PR than brand new ones.

Another thing to be aware of is the internal page strength of the directory. A directory may have a high PR on the home page and category pages. However, it should also have as few outgoing links as possible to preserve the value of your outgoing links. A PR6 directory with lots of ads, sponsor links and banners is far less valuable than a clean PR6 directory with fewer advertising links to drain away PR that should be going to paid listings.

Also beware of the number of listings on each category page. Your listing will have more PR value on a page with 20 other links than it will on a page with 200 other listings.

Directory owners are well aware of the importance of PR when selling links. The higher the PR of the directory, the more the directory owner can charge for link submission. For example, a featured link in a PR3 directory may only cost a few dollars while a featured link in Yahoo costs $299/year.

Established directories are usually run by knowledgeable and dedicated webmasters who spend a lot of time and money promoting their directories. This promotion ensures that your submission fees are well spent, and your links will not lose value after the first Google PR update.

Every website promoter has different goals, different marketing budgets, and different time constraints. When choosing a quality web directory, you can consider what the overall value of your money spent is. I am willing to spend $30 to submit my site to a well-known, heavily promoted, high PR directory. But I would pay much less to submit to a newer directory that has yet to establish itself.
About the Author
For the cost of a cup of coffee, you can get a permanent featured listing in a quality, ad-free web directory. Submit your site to a variety of categories including the business directory and the popular health directory.
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