Importance of submitting to Web Directories

by Gary on June 20, 2007 · 13 comments

in Back Links,Link Strategies

The fundamental difference between a search engine and a web directory is that a search engine spiders the Internet to look for new web pages and then indexes the web links according the relevance it attaches to those links. In a web directory on the other hand, you submit your links manually under a suitable category. Then those links are reviewed by human editors and accepted or rejected according to what they think of your link.

More and more web directories these days are hiring trained and experienced reviewers who evaluate the submitted links and then put them under the appropriate categories. This tremendously reduced the job of the search engines because any given day, human-reviewed links are far more trustable than the software-reviewed links.

So how are web directory submissions and search engine rankings related?

The search engines taking many factors into account while ranking your website. A few of them are:

  • How relevant is the content of your website?
  • How is that content organised?
  • How much relevant content you have?
  • How is the navigation and inter-linking on your website organised?
  • How many relevant outgoing links you have and what anchor texts you have used?
  • How many incoming/inbound links you have from external websites, and how well do those websites rank on various search engines?

The last point comes into force when you submit your link to various web directories. While submitting your link to a web directory you should be careful about its PageRank. If it its PageRank is healthy then it means the search engines regard it as a “trustable” web directory. Some of the highly ranked web directories are:

  • Open Directory Project/DMOZ – A highly rated web directory that is free. When you submit your website it is reviewed by an impartial volunteer and then, if accepted, included under the appropriate directory.
  • Yahoo! — Yes, it is a directory too. They charge a hefty annual amount (more than $300) but if they accept your website (the payment is not a guarantee of acceptance) it pays great dividends.
  • LookSmart – A general web directory that can make your website visible on its network websites such as MSN, ABOUT.com, Netscape, Inktomi, Info Space and Cnet.

You can find some more directories by search on Google.

Why should you submit your website to web directories?

You may wonder why take all this trouble to submit to web directories when it is better to focus on search engines? Well, first of all the search engines voraciously consume information on these web directories because the links over there are already validated.

Second, since all the major web directories are well-ranked on various search engines they attract lots of traffic through the search engine result pages. Many people, hard pressed on time, directly go to web directories rather than the search engines because all the websites are listed under appropriate categories and hence it is easier to find the right links there. You can get lots of direct traffic from these web directories. In fact direct traffic from web directories is highly relevant because people click your link under the appropriate category or sub-category.

Directories are a great way to accumulate valuable links, build credibility and boost your website’s visibility.

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  • Bespeckled SEO

    This is especially important if the directory will give you a one-way link without requiring a reciprocal link.

    • Linkrain

      You should have also written about the big difference between paid and free web directories (the quality of paid ones is much higher). Anyway, vey good article. Keep up with the good work :)

      • Gary

        Yep, good point – thanks.

  • Sam

    You many also consider the Alexa ranking of the directories before seriously submitting your site.

  • John Sylvester

    Extending the argument, an on-site WordPress blog will allow you to extend your keyword space and submissions to both blogs and RSS directories.

    WordPress can be added to an existing website as a seamless addition. The benefits of using WordPress are:
    - It has a variety of free plug-in themes to define the look and feel;
    - The software writes each article into an RSS file, which allows the major feeds to publish it each time an article is added;
    - It can be seamlessly integrated into the site, adding content and therefore boosting PR values;
    - Choosing a relevant keyword for the directory name will also help relevance in ‘outbound links’ thereby increasing a site’s visibility;
    - Using the Technorati plug-in, keywords are tagged on that site for blog searches;
    - Website owners can make money from running ads from Google Adsense at circa 75% of the click-through value
    - Small companies can now be offered templated but effective Content Management Systems (CMS) solutions through WordPress, either as an add-on or the site itself.

    • Gary

      Hi John, Thanks a very well thought through comment. For all the reasons you mention have been recommending blogs to my clients for some time now. For example: Employment Law Blog

  • John Sylvester

    You may well be interested in the submissions listings. Not all of these will now be live as this page was put on the site nearly a year ago but the blog/rss has in many cases tripled, even in some cases, quintupled traffic, Technorati and Ping-O-Matic especially important.

    http://www.v9designbuild.com/rss-submissions.html

    • Gary

      Hi John, thanks for the lists. I for one will certainly add the relevant services to my current list, that WordPress automatically pings I submit a post. Cheers, Gary.

    • Andy Major

      Many thanks for the important information given. Extending keyword space and making the blog appear seamless to the search engines seems to be the right architecture for both web design itself and SEO in particular.

  • Chris Heath

    With reference to “the quality of paid ones is much higher” perhaps is a tad outdated following Google’s paid directory massacre last September.

    • Gary

      Hi Chris – Yep your right, I could do with revisiting this post!!

  • Jayson

    All good reasons John and we’ve been doing it. I hear that it’s the end of directories but the good ones are still good and still work. It’s probably the end to directories that are crap. Who wants a crap directory anyway?

  • vikrant

    Have a Question Does PR of the Page matters?
    Let’s say a Home Page of a web directory has a PR of 5, and it is a paid directory.
    Now the page where they are going to place link has a PR of 0
    Now is it useful to pay to such directory?