Back in the day when SEO was easier, and Google was not as sophisticated when it came to detecting low quality links from directories, SEO’s and webmasters would submit sites to many different directories. They would do mass directory submissions trying and gain traffic from people using these directories and to increase their page value in the search engines which ultimately to increase rankings.
There are many theories as to the value of submitting a website to an online directory in today’s online space. Does submitting to directories help with SEO, does submitting to online directories drive traffic, does submitting to the wrong (low quality) directories hurt a website, or what are the best directories to pay to submit my website to? All these questions have been debated, and tested. LinchpinSEO’s thoughts (based on testing) are as follows.
The DOs and DON’Ts of Submitting to SEO Friendly Directories
- Do Find Local Niche Directories: If you are a local business find local directories that are specific to your niche, there will probably only be a few (at best) in your local area that satisfy your niche.
- Don’t Submit to a Mass Amount of Directories: If you are a small business do not submit to 1000 directories for 9.99. This has proven through our testing to dramatically hurt a websites ranking for primary keywords by flooding a websites link graph with mass amounts of low quality/spam links.
- Don’t Use a Website Submission Service What is the best website submission service? There is not one! Don’t participate in a directory submission services (aka. bulk directory submission) that do mass directory submissions (the 10,000 directories of $99.99). These services submit to garbage directories that are considered spam. They might say they do semi automatic directory submission where they will submit your site to 5 directories each week, still not good because as you start to build more and more of these poor quality links, not only will you be wasting money, but you will be building a low quality link graph will little to no trust value.
- Do Submit to Trusted Directories: Submit your website to the SEO friendly online directories listed below
- Dmoz Directory Submission (Free Directory): The Open Directory Project is the largest, most comprehensive human-edited directory of the Web and makes the top web directories list. It is constructed and maintained by a vast, global community of volunteer editors. It is a free directory, and has quality guidelines for site submissions and reviews. http://dmoz.org
- Best of the Web Directory Submission ($149.95 per year or $399.95 for a permanent listing): Best of the Web is a comprehensive directory of categorized, content-rich, well designed websites. It is the internet’s oldest search directory dating back to 1994, and aims to provide the internet community with meaningful guidance it can trust. http://botw.org/
- Yahoo Directory Submission ($299 per year): The yahoo directory is one of the highest trusted website directories. It has strict inclusion rules and a $299 review fee. http://dir.yahoo.com
- Business.com Directory Submission ($299 per year): Business.com is the leading online destination for business buyers looking for B2B solutions. Business.com guides more than 40 million business buyers a month through the B2B buying cycle with a host of B2B resources designed to help buyers research, find and buy the products and services they need to run their businesses. http://www.business.com
- Better Business Bureau (Based on Location and Business): The BBB is one of the most trusted directories for a local business. It holds value from a trust and link metrics standpoint. It can be pricey and it does have strict guidelines for inclusion, most of which are based on your companies history and ethics. http://www.bbb.org/us/list-all-bbb-locations/
- Family Friendly Sites Directory Submission (Permanent Listing $49.99 One-Time Fee or Basic Listing $19.91 Yearly Subscription): Family-Friendly Sites emblems are intended to support the online safety of family members using the Internet. They appropriately offer websites a designation that will be easily recognized by family members and other Internet users. http://www.familyfriendlysites.com/
- Go Guides Directory Submission (Permanent Listing $69.95): Created in 2001, GoGuides Directory has stood the test of time. They have gained the trust and respect of users and search engines from around the world by continuing to build a content rich directory and working to ensure an excellent personal experience for all who visit their community. http://www.goguides.org/
Does submitting to directories help with SEO?
I would say the quality directories mentioned above will have a positive affect on SEO. This may not be a direct ranking affect, but they will (IMO) add value and trust metrics to a website. This in turn will help with some of the secondary SEO metrics that a website needs to obtain to be competitive.
Does submitting to online directories drive traffic?
This is the least valuable metrics about directories. They just don’t drive the traffic they used to, so in most cases we have seen very minimal traffic benefit from being in any of the trusted directories as outlined above.
Does submitting to the wrong (low quality) directories hurt a website?
The fact their is a negative affect in almost all cases has been backed by numerous tests that we have performed on our own set of test sites. We would not recommend a website submit to tons of directories for $99.99 or use an automatic directory submission tool or multi directory submitter of any kind.
What are the best directories to pay to submit my website to?
I would say to submit only to the above list of directories or to 1, maybe 2, local niche directories and utilize your link building time creating unique research based content (content creation tips) and then marketing that content for links.