Writing by Brick Marketing in Link Building
Directory submission has always been a component of an SEO strategy. Back in the day, it was high on the priority list. There were so many directories to submit to, it was easy to do, and it would give your site a backlink. In recent years directory submission has gotten a bad reputation in SEO circles. The search engines put a focus on quality links over quantity, and the majority of the directories out there aren’t very good. In fact, many of them have been de-indexed by the search engines and the links mean absolutely nothing. However, that doesn’t mean that ALL directories are useless.
Here are a few indications that a directory is good:
It’s relevant to the niche
Depending on the industry that you are in there may be directories that are niche specific. These directories are much more beneficial than a general directory because people may actually be browsing looking for a business. Directory submission shouldn’t only be done to get a link. It should be done in the hopes that it will actually bring visitors to your site that are looking for the products or services that you offer.
It generates traffic
Take a look at Compete to see if the directory actually generates any traffic. If it does, it means that people are actually visiting to find information and a listing could bring visitors to your site.
Does it have a .org or a .gov domain? Is it well known in the industry? Is it trusted in the eyes of the search engines and has the domain existed for many years? Are your competitors there? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes”, it’s probably worthwhile.
Here are a few indications that a directory is bad:
It’s very broad
People used to search general directories to find what they were looking for. Now, they simply search in Google or Bing. General directories really don’t generate much traffic, if any at all. Many simply exist (or existed) for SEO purposes.
It’s full of ads
Look at a directory as you would any other site. The ones that are cluttered with ads are a turn off, right? The same should be true with a directory. If there are tons of ads it’s clear that the only reason that the directory exists is to generate ad revenue. The listings are just an add on.
It’s hosted overseas
Before submitting information to a directory, check to see where the domain is hosted. If you are located in the U.S., the directory should be U.S. based. A lot of spam sites are hosted overseas, so this can diminish the search engine trust factor.
What it comes down to is that directory submission isn’t always bad, it just depends on the directory. Usually common sense can tell you what direction you should or shouldn’t go in. While “paid” links are typically frowned upon, paying for a listing in a reputable directory online is OK. It’s more a form of advertising than link building.