Web directories are sites containing collections of links to other sites arranged into different categories. They differ from search engines in two ways. First, URLs are not gathered automatically but are instead submitted by site owners. Second, directories generally use human editors rather than automated software to review sites and decide if they will be included in the directory.
Submitting your site to web directories is an easy link building strategy, because anyone can submit and get listed. Directories can be of little use for the same reason. However, because it is a one-time affair, it is usually worth the effort. High quality directories provide one-way links which will help to increase your search rankings and may even bring in some traffic.
When submitting a site, web directories will ask for a brief description of the site, in addition to its URL and the category you want it placed in. Take some time writing this description in a way that concisely and accurately describes your site. Also make sure to select the most appropriate category for your site. This will increase the chance of your website being accepted into the directory.
There are thousands of directories on the web, but most of them either require you to pay an annual fee or are devalued link farms prevented from passing any search reputation. However, there are some directories that allow free submissions and that are worth submitting to. The largest of these is the Open Directory Project (dmoz.org). This is a volunteer-run directory with strong ties to Google. Submission to this directory is highly recommended. Below is a list of some other free directories.
- Dmegs - www.dmegs.com
- ProLinkDirectory - www.prolinkdirectory.com
- SoMuch - www.somuch.com
- LdmStudio - www.directory.ldmstudio.com
- Wikiweb - www.wikidweb.com
- Jayde - www.jayde.com
- ExactSeek - www.exactseek.com
- PedstersPlanet - www.pedsters-planet.co.uk
- Infignos - www.infignos.com
Most high ranking directories require you to pay a fee, often a recurring one, to be included. Some of them charge you even for the privilege of being reviewed for inclusion. This is one instance where paying for PageRank does not get you into trouble. Still, you should not consider it unless your site has a strong monetization strategy in place. This way you can at least have the potential to earn more from the visitors referred than the yearly cost of submission.
How much a single paid directory link is worth in terms of search ranking, if any, can be difficult to track. If you are willing to try out a paid directory, then Yahoo’s should be your first choice. The Yahoo Directory (dir.yahoo.com) is one of the biggest directories on the web, and one of the few directories that can provide traffic directly. Here is a list of some other large paid directories.
- Business - www.business.com
- BestOfTheWeb - www.botw.org
- Ezilon - www.ezilon.com
- FamilyFriendlySites - www.familyfriendlysites.com
- V7Network - directory.v7n.com
- GoGuides - www.goguides.org
- AvivaDirectory - www.avivadirectory.com
Besides general-purpose web directories, there are a large number of topical ones. If you can find one related to your niche that may provide a higher quality link than a link from a general directory. There are also many local and national web directories, which only accept links to sites from a particular region. These can be useful if your site is targeting a local or national audience only. Additionally, there are many RSS directories where you can add your RSS feed, if you have one. Promoting your feed in this way for people and other sites to use can result in some extra traffic.
An article directory allows you to submit content that will be released for free distribution and publication. In exchange, the directory allows you to include customizable dofollow back links in your article or in an author box. Below is a list of some of the largest article directories.
- EzineArticles - www.ezinearticles.com
- Articlesbase - www.articlesbase.com
- Article Insider - www.articleinsider.com
- Article City - www.articlecity.com
- Article Dashboard - www.articledashboard.com
- Article Trader - www.articletrader.com
- Article Snatch - www.articlesnatch.com
- Article Alley - www.articlealley.com
- A1Articles - www.a1articles.com
- Buzzle - www.buzzle.com
A high quality article has the potential to attract a lot of traffic to your site. The custom link can also provide significant search rankings for a key phrase of your choosing, since article directories are often highly ranked. Despite these advantages, spending time creating unique content for article directories is not recommended. That time is better spent creating content for your own site. What you want to do instead is to submit minor variations of the more popular text content you already have. By rewriting such an article slightly, it has a greater chance of being accepted into a manually approved article directory. It will also make sure that Google does not devalue the article and thereby your link. Content rewriting can be made easier using article spinning software, but the final proofreading will have to be done manually.
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