This is really great news. Since I started working on the internet I have always created niche web directories for clients, and an most cases these directories hove gone on to be quite successful. However, for a few years now many people have disregarded web directories from their SEO efforts after it was widely publicised that Google was devalueing links from low quality web directories.
As with a lot of SEO news, many people immediately jumped to the wrong conclusion and started talking about how web directories were no longer worth worrying about. I have always maintained that this simply isn’t true… It is true that Google devalued the links from low quality web directories and websites that promoted themselves as SEO directories, but there are hundreds of really good quality directories that get a great deal of traffic and are definitely worth listing your business website on, if your website matches the theme of the directory of course.
This has now been confirmed, in an interview, Ex Google Web Spam employee Andre Weyher was asked “What are 3 off site (link building) tactics that you recommend?”, to which he replied…
Don’t dismiss directories completely. I have heard people talking about directories being altogether bad and advise people to avoid them. This is not the case, good quality, moderated directories, or niche directories are still worth looking in to.
Whilst this is no surprise to me, it’s fantastic that my thoughts on directories have been confirmed. I have recommended that clients add their websites to good quality directories for years.
Recognising A Good Quality Directoy
If you are going to submit your business and website to web directories then it’s important that you consider the quality of the directories you are submitting to. Also, don’t avoid directories that charge for a listing just because they charge. Some of the best quality directories do have a review or listing fee.
Signs of a low quality web directory…
- You have seen the exact same design, perhaps with different colours, on lots of other directories. This could be a sign that the directory is a cheap script and that the directory owner has put no time or money into development. This type of directory often vanishes without notice and is generally ignored by search engines.
- The directory promotes itself as and SEO directory, or tells you how a listing will help you get a better rank in the search engines. This is exactly the sort of directory Google does not like.
- The directory insists that you link back to them before they give you a free listing. This type of directory is less interested in creating a comprehensive resource and more interested in gaining inbound links for themselves. A real sign of low quality.
- The directory contains websites that are clearly Spammy or of extremely low quality. Quality directories always care about the quality of their listings.
Signs of a high quality web directory…
- There is evidence that the directory has been online for years. Whilst you should not avoid new directories, everyone has to start somewhere, if you can see the directory has been online for a good length of time it is a good indicator that the directory is doing fairly well. Most low quality directories vanish within a year.
- The directory publishes clear contact details. Directories that do not give a contact method are generally of lower quality. Try sending the directory an email and see if you get a reply from a human, if you do you at least know that there are genuine people behind the site, this is a very good sign of quality.
- The directory doesn’t not accept any and all listings. If a directory informs you that your listing is subject to review before it goes live, this is actually a good sign, it means that the directory cares about which websites it lists.
So be careful not to waste time and money submitting to low quality directories, but do not dismiss directories entirely. Spend some time looking for good quality directories in your niche or that are Geographically relevant. Do not be tempted to use a ‘Directory Submission Service’ as they generally submit to very low quality directories. Do all of your submissions yourself.
Tip: Take time to write a unique listing for each directory you submit to. You will have far more success with directories if each listing you own is completely using and treated such by the search engines. Duplicate listings will be of little value to you, and never be tempted to just copy and paste a passage of text from your own website. Treat every listing as though you are writing the most important description of your site or business you have ever written.