Directory Link Building
Directory link building is a common SEO strategy employed in a link building program and can be a fast way to gain new links. It’s a tactic that definitely works and is worth investing as a first foot forward in building links. The advantages of submitting to directories are increased exposure and can deliver a boost in your rankings. Not only will your products and services be accessible via search engines but to those customers looking up companies in relevant categories.
So which directories should you start submitting to? A sample of top tiered directories would be DMOZ, Yahoo, Best of the Web and Joe Ant . The next step would be to source local business directories in the same geography as your domain. Unfortunately for Australian domains Yahoo!7 Directory has stopped receiving submissions some time ago but an excellent source of reviewed Australian directories would be at DMOZ Australian Business and Economy Directories . These directories have passed DMOZ editorial review process and would be of excellent value.
So when you are on the hunt for new directories what should you be looking for? Generally look for good quality sites that are not in bad neighborhoods (i.e. share an IP address with disreputable sites) and don’t have submissions from adult and gambling sites. Good KPI’s to analyse would be age of domain, PR, pages indexed and inbound links. Google Webmaster Central Blog also states as a guideline “There are great, topical directories that add value to the Internet. But there are not many of them in proportion to those of lower quality. If you decide to submit your site to a directory, make sure it’s on topic, moderated, and well structured. Mass submissions, which are sometimes offered as a quick work-around SEO method, are mostly useless and not likely to serve your purposes.”
When reviewing free directories make sure you don’t opt for reciprocal links which can be quite a common offer. Reciprocal linking may occur naturally within niche industries but become a 4 letter word when your site has a high proportion of 1-1 links.
Then comes the question “Should you submit to paid directories?”, “Does Google see it as a paid link and attribute a penalty?” As Matt Cutts explains in an interview, if you are paying for editorial value, the process were editor’s review the quality and relevance of your site, then it’s ok to pay for the directory but be wary if you’re paying for lower quality, automated submissions or the option of choosing anchor text.
A great way to look for highly relevant directories is using link searches for themed directories. The aim is to use Google to search for directories that have content closely related to your own and have a good PR.
Another great way to find a source of directories is to analyze your competition’s backlinks. Using Excel and data from a competitor backlinks specialist like Majestic SEO you can analyse where your competition is getting its best links from. By running filters in Excel you can harvest a list of directories that your competition has submitted to.
Directory submissions are great way to get your company profile established on the web. However, in the end natural link building over time is what boosts a site to top rankings. A site with the best tools, services, prices etc. and good website content is what will obtain the best natural links from the web.