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Why Submit to a Directory?

Friday, 23 April 2010 00:00

Written by Loren

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Directory Submissions FAQ

What is a Web directory?

Web directories are similar to the yellow pages in your phone book. A Web directory provides pages for many different categories and on those pages they list Web sites that are relevant to that category.

What are the benefits of submitting to Web directories?

There are three main benefits for a Web site being in quality Web Directories. a) Click though traffic; b) Web site indexed by the search engines; c) Higher rankings on the search engine results page for keywords you are targeting.

a. Click Through Traffic

For searchable directories that have lots of traffic you will get what is called click through traffic. People view the category pages that interest them and go to the Web sites on those pages.

b. Web Site Indexed

The search engines send out spiders to the links they find in the directory pages. This will bring the search engine spiders to your site and will get your site pages added to the search engines indexes.

c. Higher Position In The Search Engine Results

In the anchor text of the link from the directory to your Web site you should place the main phrase a person looking for your services would have in mind. This gives better click though rates. So if you are a SEO Company and you want you people search interested in SEO Companies you would put that key phrase in the anchor text line this SEO Company.

This also helps you ranking higher in the search engines. The more links you have pointed to your site, with some variation of the key phrase you want to rank high for, the better ranking in the search engines you will receive.

If links from the directories bring search engines to my Web site is there any reason to hand submit or use a free or paid search engine submission service?

There is little or no reason to hand submit or use a free or paid search engine submission service. If your Web site is an English language site your main traffic is going to go from Google, Yahoo and MSN. Getting a few link from quality directory's will bring the search engine spiders to your site with in a week and many times less. My personal opinion of paid search engine submissions is that they are a poor use of resources and those moneys would be better spent on purchasing submissions to quality search engines.

What about Google sitemap submissions?

This is a new process and should be done for all your Web sites. There are a number of clear step by step how-to's that will show you how to do this.

What are the main ways to get inbound links to my Web site?

There are 5 main ways to get inbound links to your Web site. a) Links based on content, b) Web directories, c) reciprocal links, d) link rentals, e) syndicated articles.

a. Links Based on Content

When you have quality content and lots of it, other Web sites will naturally link to your Web site. The quality of these links is better as they are in the main content of the page which gives better click through traffic, and the links are one way. These are the best kind of links to get but also take the most work to get.

b. Web Directories

Directory links come in three different submission types. Paid, free, and free but requiring a link back (reciprocal link). Directory links are placed on pages with other links that are related. Some directories give more than one link. High traffic directories and directories that have lots of Web sites in each category are the best. Some SEO experts feel that one-way directory links in the lower quality directories are being devalued.

c. Reciprocal Links

Reciprocal links are link trades and are two way links. Typically a number of pages with different subjects are created and relevant links from other Web sites are placed on those pages. Reciprocal link requests are then sent out to these placed sites. The links that don't give a link back are removed. More links are then placed and the process is repeated. Some SEO experts feel that two way links are devalued.

d. Link Rentals

Link rentals are links that are placed in the footer or one of the side columns of the Web page the link is placed on. You pay a monthly rental fee for these links. The value of these links used to be rated by their Pagerank (PR) value. With the search engine ranking weight of PR being devalued to the point where most SEO expects feel it has no ranking weight, link rentals are being valued by other qualities.

e. Syndicated Articles

Syndicated articles are articles you write and offer to other Web sites which publish them on the site. The Web sites that publish the articles give a link the author's Web site for the right to publish the article. These are one way links and the links are content links as they are usually at the bottom of the article. There are some issues with duplicate content where the pages can be dropped from the search engine index and while if that happens the links wouldn't help for ranking but will still provide click thought traffic.

What makes a good title?

Most directories use the domain name or company name of the Web site for the title. Other directories give more leeway and allow a key phrase after the site name. If allowed, the key phrase should be the key word(s) users would be searching to find your Web site or page.

How do I write a good description of my Web site?

If your title catches the eye of the searcher the next think they read is the description. Your description should be non-promotion and clearly note the features, products, and services of the Web site and the company or person behind it.

Do some directory offer extra links and what is their value?

Some directories provide more than one link to your Web site. These links are called deep links as they link to pages other than the home page. Some times these extra directory links are right under the description of your submitted Web site and other times they are on their own page which has a link under the description.

The anchor text of these links should correspond to the topic of the content of these deep linked pages. In some cases the additional links have a higher review fee, but they are well worth it. These extra links bring the search engine spiders to your site more often and will help gets deeper pages crawled, they give you more click through traffic, and give higher ranking for the keywords in the anchor text.

How do I get my submitted Web site to the top of the directory category?

The easiest way is to have your domain or company name start with a number or the letter "a". Of course if you already have your Web site it's too late for that but you can have your Web site voted to the top of the category if the directory has a voting system. Also a number of directories have a featured subscription price that puts your Web site in the featured area at the top of the category.

What are the characteristics of good directories?

The following characteristics are what you will fine in quality directories. a) Free submissions or editors activity adding Web sites; b) Large number of Web sites in each category; c) Large number of pages in Google, Yahoo, and MSN; d) Large number of backlinks in Google, Yahoo, and MSN; e) Low Alexa ranking; f) Pagerank on pages; g) In DMOZ and Yahoo directories.

a. Free Submissions or Editors Activity Adding Web Sites

Having free submissions or editors that add up Web sites will increase the quality of the directory. Many times Web sites that are added via paid subscriptions are not the highest quality. Having a free subscription will give you the opportunity to review many more sites and pick the cream of the crop. Likewise when a directory has editors that search for and add up quality sites the directory will be of higher quality.

b. Large Number of Web Sites in each Category

While new Web directories will not have a high Web site to category ratio, established quality directories will. Having categories with one or two Web sites in them is not conducive to attracting searchers. The Web site to category ratio is an important matrix to look at in determining the value of a directory.

c. Large Number of Pages in Google, Yahoo, & MSN

The more quality pages a directory has in the search engine indexes the better the ranking and the more traffic that directory will receive. A directory with no pages in one or more search engines may be under a ban or a penalty. A directory with just a few pages could also mean a penalty or could just be a sign of a new directory.

d. Large Number of Back links in Google, Yahoo & MSN

In most cases the more quality inbound links a directory has the more click through traffic it will get. Also more inbound links gives better search engine rankings for the keywords in the anchor texts of the inbound links. A directory with just a few inbound links is either a new directory or one that has not been promoted well.

e. Low Alexa Ranking

The Alexa ranking is calculated by the number of people that visit a Web site with the Alexa toolbar installed and turned on. You can get the Alexa toolbar from www.alexa.com. Alexa's toolbar is not the best indicator of traffic as there are programs that will lower your Alexa ranking. Users going to Web sites that are more technical are more apt to have the Alexa toolbar on than non-technical sites. Therefore those Web sites are more apt to have a lower Alexa ranking even though they have less traffic. Yahoo has an Alexa ranking of 1.

f. Pagerank on Pages

Pagerank is Google's one to ten ranking system for Web pages. A high Pagerank used to be important when Pagerank had high Google search engine ranking weight. That has all changed now and most SEO experts hold that Pagerank doesn't matter for ranking. Pagerank it voted to your site from the inbound links you have. The higher the Pagerank of the inbound links and the greater the number of inbound links the higher the Pagerank your Web pages will get.

Pagerank can be viewed by installing the Google toolbar and turning on the Pagerank feature in the options. You can download the Google toolbar from toolbar.google.com. When Pagerank had high ranking weight some people determined the value of directory submissions by the PR the directory page had that your link was put on. This is no longer the case. While some cry that Pagerank is meaningless it does still serve some purpose. It is an indication of how many inbound links you have and how many inbound links the pages that your inbound links are from have.

It also can let you know when a site has a penalty or a ban. If a directory all of a sudden goes from a PR6 to a PR0 on the home page there is a good chance the site is under a ban or penalty. Even if the PR6 home page drops down to lets say a PR3 and the other pages on the directory are a PR5 or PR6 it is an indication that there maybe a penalty in effect. To sum up, Pagerank has little or no ranking weight but it is a indicator of number of backlinks and indicates when a site has a ban or a penalty with Google.

g. In DMOZ and Yahoo Directories

If a directory is in the DMOZ and Yahoo directories this is a good sign. Yahoo cost $299 and both a free Yahoo free inclusion and a DMOZ inclusion are hard to get. Having a directory in both Yahoo and DMOZ directories is an indication of quality.

Should I be concerned about directories that advertise link popularity or PR transfer?

Beware of any directory that is advertising their directory based on the Pagerank of their home page or category pages. They should be telling you more important things that matter like where they are in DMOZ and Yahoo directories, the number of pages and backlinks in the top search engines, the keywords that they rank for in the search engines. Advertising the value of a directory based on the PR of the home page and category pages is not only old school and way behind the times but it is dangerous as Google has in the past banned Web sites that sell links based on the Pagerank vote they will give.

Advertising a directory solely for getting higher ranking in the search engines for the bank links they will give your Web site is also highly frowned on by the search engines and the directory could receive a penalty or ban for doing that.

As there is little or no value of having your Web site in a banned directory it is best to say away from directories that are advertising the value of submitting to there site solely on Pagerank vote or high rankings in the search engines results. While submitting your site to a directory will give you both of these, emphasize should not be put solely on these two items.

Are directories bad neighbourhoods?

While some directories may be part of a bad neighbourhood based on their practices, over all directory are not considered as a bad neighbourhood.

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