Directory Submissions – Worth The Effort?

While researching methods of website promotion online, you will, more likely than not, have heard of the practice of directory submissions. In fact, many SEO companies still offer this as part of their service.

But, what exactly are directory submissions? Should you include them in your promotional strategy? Are they worth your time and money?

Directories online can basically be directory-type search engines, that list entire websites, rather than individual pages, or they can be literal yellow pages style directories, contained on websites.

Directories usually fall into two categories, human powered ( often paid ) and automatic inclusion.

Many people submit their websites to directories because they feel that doing so will generate a ton of high quality backlinks – this is simply not true.

First off, the backlinks from the vast majority of directories on the internet today are practically worthless. Only a few are really worth submitting to.

Lets take a look at the best ones:

Dmoz – also known as the open directory project. This is one of the very best directories out there – it is manually edited by volunteers, so it can take several months to get approved ( if at all ), but a link from dmoz still carries much weight with the major search engines, especially google. It is therefore a good idea to submit your site, but only when it has quite a lot of unique content ( ideally around 30 – 50 pages ).

Tip: dmoz doesn’t like sites that are overly commercial in nature, so go easy on banner ads and eliminate adsense ads

Best of the web – the jury is out on this one. It’ll cost you – either $300 ( £200 approx ) once off, or $150 ( £100 ) per year. The word is that it isn’t worth it – personally, we wouldn’t bother.

Yahoo directory – another powerful link source, but costly. To get listed in the yahoo directory, you will need to stump up $299 ( £200 ) per year. But, here’s the kicker – yahoo can take your money, review your website, decide it doesn’t want it in their directory, and guess what? They’ll keep your $299! So, it is a risk, but it has been reported to increase search rankings ( in google and bing , as well as yahoo ).

So, to summarize, definitely apply to dmoz – you have nothing to lose, and quite a lot to gain.

Consider applying to yahoo, if you don’t mind risking your cash. Submit your site to a small number of niche-specific directories, and/or local directories, if you’ve got the free time.

Don’t bother with the best of the web – by all accounts, it isn’t worth the outlay.

Hope this helps!

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