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09 Apr 2008

Directory Submissions That Still Work

There’s been a lot of talk recently about whether directories are still worth the time and bother for linking purposes. Google in particular has been devaluing a lot of the free directories, and rightfully so. If a directory isn’t adding value and is indiscriminate in who they are adding to their listings, then why count them? After all, their listings aren’t really indicative of any real value if they are simply an endless list of anybody and everybody who’s ever been to their site and opted in without any parameters or values.
But there are still plenty of helpful directories that shouldn’t be ignored and will provide not only link juice but traffic too. These are the directories that are more discerning; they are paid directories that have guidelines about who they allow in and what they list. If you are reading this, you probably already know that Yahoo Directory, DMOZ and Business.com are a must. By and large, the search engines figure that if you are at all serious about your business, you will be willing to invest the time and/or money to get listed in these directories. 
You need to gauge the value of a directory based on:
  • Its exclusivity – does it let everyone list, or does it cater to a specific niche, such as only entertainment or only religion topics?
  • Is it a “free to everyone” site, or does it charge a fee? Generally, sites that charge a fee are recognized as more valuable by search engines. 
  • How professionally is it designed? Look for directories with good graphics, professionally written text and fresh links that are frequently updated.
Good Directory Directories Can Help
If you’re like most people, you don’t have time to search for the numerous directories out there, and even less time to sift through them and figure out which ones are good directories and which ones are duds. Your best bet is to use a few of the better online guides that have collected various niche and local directories to simplify the research for you. 
IndexUDirectory provides good search parameters to help you find various directories broken down by several industry categories such as automotive, pets/animals, entertainment, crafts, health & fitness, etc. Or you can do your own search using a specific keyword if you prefer. 

You can then narrow your search further by breaking out sites based on whether they are paid sites, reciprocal sites or free sites. You can also check on the actual listing price, which is nice.  We checked a few random directories and the data seems to be accurate. Although not the highest quality, this seems to be a good site to help you locate a few directories in your niche.

A somewhat simpler, yet deeper guide to directories can be found at Search Engine Guide, where you can do a Boolean search by keyword or keyword phrase. Or if you prefer, search through the various categories such as science, the arts, health, sports, etc. The advantage here over Index U is that larger categories such as Health & Fitness can be broken down into smaller niche markets like Cardiology, Anesthesiology and Dentistry. Again we did some random searches. We found some broken links but we also found some outstanding resources. In some cases, sites with a PR7 or PR8 on the home page.

If you are willing to spend a few bucks for a professional subscription to SEOmoz.org, they have a great directory resource here.

Keep in mind that these sites can help you find niche and regional directories – it’s up to you to determine which ones are the best fit for you.  Link building takes time and effort, so take the time to visit as many directories as possible, judiciously submitting your site for inclusion.

[tags] directory submissions, search engine guide, free directories, paid directories, niche directories, DMOZ, Yahoo directory, Business.com [/tags]

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