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The Differences Of Free vs Paid Directory Submissions

Feb 19, 2008
First a web directory is web site that specializes in finding, categorizing and listing links to other resources on the World Wide Web. Owners of web sites can submit their sites for review and possible inclusion. Those sites are then reviewed for relevancy and site content to determine if the site would have value to the other internet surfers.

By using a Web Directory your site can gain backlinks which are like doorways to your website for traffic to flow. They are also considered votes of quality for search engine rankings which brings additional targeted traffic through search related actions. Web Directory links create unique and topically relevant backlinks to your site.

The thing to note is that all links are not created equal.

The fundamental difference in directories is free vs paid. The differences between the two are like night and day or BMW and skateboard.

Free Directory

What you get with free directories are an extremely crowded directory where your link will get lost in a crowd of low quality links, less traffic from the directory due to less visibility, much longer time between submission and acceptance, very time consuming as you typically need to submit to hundreds of these to get the value of one link from a quality paid directory and your listing will typically get placed with listings for low quality spam filled sites.

Let's just face facts, most people start a business to generate revenue and a directory is a business. With directories that allow for free submissions the owners look to generate revenue from the site in other ways and those other ways will decrease the quality of the directory.

One way they generate revenue on free directories is by installing adsense on it. Those adsense advertisements compete with the listings on the directory for the visitor traffic and decrease the value of a link in the directory.

The other common way to generate revenue for a free directory is to sell advertising space on it. The idea being to use the lure of a low quality free link on the directory to draw traffic in to see the paid advertisements like site wide sponsored links, site featured links, site wide footer links, site wide partner links and they can call them other things also. Such as our network, friends and the list goes on.

The fact is that search engines devalue web sites that sell placement of site wide links on them and that severely limits the value of a listing on those directories.

Pay for Review Directory

Some of the things which a pay for review directory will bring you and that you should look for are a directory that is maintained by professionals, rich in content with articles and quality resources/listings, unique design with additional features such as deep linking options, quick review times usually 24 to 48 hours and a directory that is focused on providing a destination resource for visitors which generates traffic.

The focus to be a destination resource is easily spotted by features and content. Does the directory provide something in addition to a place to submit links? Is there a blog with content in it? Are there articles posted within the directory category structure? Are there other features that are just there for visitor's enjoyment such as an art gallery?

In addition there should not be any site wide links for sponsors, there should not be distracting/traffic bleeding adsense.

A link from a quality paid directory has more value than free links. They are seen as a higher quality endorsement of the sites listed there.

It is our hope that this will help you identify a directory that is worth submitting to from one that is not.
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