I'll try to give a few rules of thumb to think about when looking at a directory. When considering submitting to a directory, I'd ask questions like:- Does the directory reject urls? If every url passes a review, the directory gets closer to just a list of links or a free-for-all link site.- What is the quality of urls in the directory? Suppose a site rejects 25% of submissions, but the urls that are accepted/listed are still quite low-quality or spammy. That doesn't speak well to the quality of the directory.- If there is a fee, what's the purpose of the fee? For a high-quality directory, the fee is primarily for the time/effort for someone to do a genuine evaluation of a url or site.
The concept of merit based inclusion is what makes securing links in the better directories desirable. It's reasoned that search engines bestow hub authority on these sites because human review is necessary before a site is included. And since human review is part of the co citation process search engines are programmed to reward, it stands to reason these types of sites would pass link popularity.
I've publically said I thought there were about 25 to 30 general directories worth submitting to and with the exception of my friends at Aviva , they're all still online and kicking up some green. (Meaning money not PageRank, although some would argue it's one and the same. Hey, it's Halloween, it's fun to stir the pot a little).
It would be naive to say everyone in the directory business is in it to make the world a better place, clearly a large number of directories have come on board as money and/or network makers. I've listed my "stay-away-from" points several times in detail but the main thing I look for is:
If the directory hosts an abundance of Adsense ads on sub/category pages, then I say pass. Adsense detracts from your submission.
I'm only talking about general directories in this article, there are tons of niche directories, as well as geographical, RSS, blog, podcast, video, how-to, etc type directories available to anyone who goes looking.
Here's a portion of the list of directories I generally use. Those sites with stars next to them are directories that have kindly offered to give us a discount code on submission (for more info on discounts, read below):
Best Of The Web (BOTW)*
Ezilon - USA *
Ezilon - UK/Europe*
Massive Links *
Web World Index
Submitting to directories is still a solid, basic foundational linking tactic that offers you a way to get started. Will it net you tons of PageRank, traffic or glory within the search results? Of course not, but every site has to start somewhere so start with the directories.
Want to get started on a directory submission service and save a little dough in the process?
For a list of directories offering limited time promotional codes on submissions plus directories offering some freebies - head over to the Link Spiel for a list and the all important disclaimers...
Based in Williamsburg Virginia, Debra Mastaler is President of Alliance-Link, an interactive marketing company focused on providing custom link building campaigns and link training and is the author of the link building blog Link Spiel
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