Rather than listing web pages based on keywords like traditional search engines, a directory specializes in linking to other web sites listing them by category and subcategory. Categorization is usually based on the nature of the web site rather than on one page or a set of keywords, and sites are usually limited to inclusion in a limited number of categories. The more 'upmarket' and useful directories have editors reviewing each directory submission directly submitted by site owners, and evaluating the site's quality and relevance.
Directory submission is considered to be one of the most important and basic marketing strategies of online marketing, providing an effective and rapid way to get new links to a site (known as 'link juice'). Opinions on how best to approach directory submission range from those who consider it worthwhile submitting to every directory that exists, to those who advocate being highly selective and hand submitting to only a few of the better directories. There are certainly plenty of options available, with some companies offering to submit your site to 500 directories for only $500 for example.
While at face value this might appear great value giving your site a wide coverage at a relatively small price, the consensus amongst professionals experienced in directory submission is that your money would be far better spent on targeting the quality directories and manually submitting the entry. It is an opinion that we share at Alpha Media. Not only are there many ineffective directories, but repeated mass submission to low rent directories might even detrimentally affect your search engine ranking.
The key things that search engines look when determining whether a directory will pass 'link juice' are relatively straightforward. Essentially you should ask yourself:
- Is there a submission policy in place that means you are paying for an editor to review your listing, not to get a listing? The main point here is that it means that there is real editorial judgement implied by the policy. Yahoo has a listing fee of $299. In Yahoo's case you certainly get what you pay for.
- Is there evidence that the policy is properly enforced? The point here is how credible is the site? Credible enough to turn down hard cash for not including a substandard entry? Directories that enforce editorial judgement are of great value to the search engines. A source of sites assessed by human editors carries enormous weight in the search engine continual pursuit of relevance. The search engines love relevance; what could be better than sites reviewed by human editors?
Here are some of the other qualities to look for when considering directory submission.
- Do their category pages have plenty of back links from authoritative sites?
- Do Webmasters complain about them or avoid them because they're selective?
- What is your personal opinion when you visit one of their category pages and click the listed sites? Is the return satisfactory?
- Do other webmasters aspire to be included, working hard so that their sites might be eligible?
- Do they prune their listings, dropping outdated or superseded sites? It is said that a good directory should not have an infinite size.
- Does the directory have a clear editorial policy and content quality control?
- Is the site ad revenue supported? Sites dependent on ad revenue rely on the quality of their listings. This creates a big incentive for them to refuse admittance to bad sites.
By submitting manually to quality web directories and Article Directories, your Internet presence should enjoy some of the following benefits:
- Additional targeted traffic
- One-way links to your Website
- Quality backlinks
- High Google PageRank
- Improved search results
- High visibility in search engines
Human-powered directories such as the Open Directory and (the biggest and most popular) Yahoo depend on human input for its listings. It's very important that submission guidelines are followed exactly and success tends to only come upon submission of a high quality site to the proper category. As the submission process is so specific to each particular directory, submissions MUST made by hand. Automated submission programs cannot adequately submit to any directory because it isn't able to study the directory's structure and determine which category is best. Commercial submission in the Yahoo directory is a paid-for service. However if you are listed with them, crawler-based search engines are more likely to find your site and add it to their listings for free.
At Alpha Media we offer a complete manual submission service including your website url to directories, the submitting of articles to article directories, social bookmarking, press releases, blogging and even posts to appropriate forum topics that can result in improved search engine visibility and high quality targeted traffic for your web site.
Do search engines respect other directories besides Yahoo and DMOZ? Yes, they do. Here are some examples of other directories that we consider manual submission to depending on the nature of the Search Engine Optimisation strategy:
- Starting Point
- Best of The Web
- Librarians' Internet Index
We make a point of actively recommending inclusion in a range of trusted targeted directories as a part of their link building strategy. In addition to the major general-purpose directories, such as the ones listed above, we also recommend others such as wowdirectory.com, goguides.org, 01webdirectory.com, abilogic.com and allthewebsites.org. The content of the Google directory is based on the Open Directory and is enhanced using Google's own technology.
Another strong directory submission ploy is to identify and submit to vertical and niche directories specific to the project or client industry. Within most sectors or business types, there are one or more high quality directories worthy of close consideration.
We make a point of staying clear of the obviously sleazy directories, and keep the quantity of leftfield directories we experiment with to a minimum.
By learning how to identify quality directory links, you can quickly start to build up high quality links. Better still; let Alpha Media handle your directory submissions on your behalf as part of your overall Search Engine Optimisation campaign. We've a wealth of experience and know directories and their submission rules inside and out. Our Directory Submission Services will significantly increase your chances for inclusion, enhancing your Search Engine Optimisation and delivering significant competitive advantage. To find out more about how we can help you create and deliver powerfully effective Directory Submissions,Contact Alpha Media today.