One of the oldest and easiest ways to acquire links to your web site is by having it submitted to online directories. There are literally thousands of directories out there that you can submit your web site. But is it really worth spending the time and effort to submit to all of them or should you have it submitted only to the ones that can truly benefit your site.
On the top of that, there are several important questions to ask your self. For instance, should you outsource the directory submission to one of the many online directory submission services or should you do it yourself using one of the many available professional directory submission tools available in the market?
Qualities of a good directory
Selective – There are certain directories that it very hard to get in such as Yahoo, DMOZ, Nature.com’s recommended links or the Forbes Best of the Web as the editors are picky. Others are still great but it is easier to get in. Some good examples are Ehub or Business.com. All these directories will certainly benefit your web site.
Built for Humans, not Search Engines – Any directory that it is build simply for the purpose of boosting search engine rankings should be looked with suspicion. On the contrary, if the directory’s intention is to help users, then it is more likely that the search engines will value it more.
Strong link profile – A good directory is usually well referenced, which means that has acquired a good number of high-quality back-links. These are usually links from strong editorial sources that carry a lot of value. On the contrary, a low-quality directory will have many manipulative links coming from Forums, low quality directories, article directories etc.
Is it ranking in the SERPs? – If the site is ranking well with the search engines, this is a good sign because even if those links will not boost your rankings, they can still drive traffic to your site. An easy way to find out is to use the keywords targeted in the page titles of the directory to see if they are ranking anywhere in the SERPs. Another way is to use tools such as Keyword Spy, Alexa or Compete.com, which can provide information about the site’s traffic and keywords driving most traffic.
What is the ad ratio? – Are all the listings paid or they also accept some useful sites without payment? Does it look like the site it is built to help users or simply to make profit by selling links or getting money from affiliate links?
Is it relevant to your niche? – Is the directory related to your niche? Certainly, directories in your niche can benefit your site a lot more than generic directories but this does not necessarily mean that generic directories are not good. There are many high-quality generic directories such as Librarians Internet Index that are very well respected and getting listed into one of this will certainly improve your sites reputation and rankings.
Does not Link to Bad Sites/Neighborhoods – If a directory is linking out to bad quality spammy sites, search engines can easily detect such links and this might affect the ability of these domains to pass links juice. So, before submitting, it is worth having a quick look at the outbound links.
Directory Submission Software
There are many directory submission tools in the market. The following ones are several of the most effective in my personal view:
Fast Directory Submitter: Great tool to handle directory submission. With smart build-in features of Fast Directory Submitter, you can save a lot of your time, money and generate natural traffic to your site. Fast Directory Submitter includes 1567 directories. All the directories come from different IP address. Paid and reciprocal are not included. You can choose to do automatic or semi-automatic submissions and also vary the anchor text and descriptions.
Onewaytextlink.com: Onewaytextlink.com is a semi-automatic directory submission tool, that can help you speed up the submission process. There is a free and paid version. The free version requires a reciprocal link. There are 1340 free directories listed and 500 paid ones. Onewaytextlink.com is designed to prioritize the most important directories first and also helps you keep track of the directories you have already submitted to.
SliQ Submitter: SliQ Submitter is a directory submission tool helping you submit your website details to hundreds of free web directories. SliQ saves loads of time over submitting manually to web directories. When you start submitting, the submission software loads each of its supported directories and fills out the fields on the directory submit page with your stored details so there’s no copying and pasting to do. Also, you can choose to import additional directories to submit. SliQ submitter analyses each directory and suggests if the submission can be done in an automatic or semi-automatic way. Reporting is also available so that you can track the progress and avoid duplicate submissions.
From my personal experience Onewaytextlinks.com is the best software if you do not want to go to very far with directory submission. The process might be manual and it certainly takes longer but you have more control and you can also verify yourself if your web site has been submitted successfully or not. With Fast Directory Submitter I experienced several errors while I was trying to do CAPTCA verification and I could not submitted to the majority of the directories. Not a bad software though but since the fully-automatic submission is not very safe, it is better to use onewaytextlinks.com, which will also cost you only one reciprocal link.
SliQ is good piece of software if you want to submit to more low quality directories without spending too much time. Maybe its best feature is that it can almost fully automate the submission process.
Directory Submission Services
SEO Scorpio: SEO Scorpio offers different packages of manual directory submission. Deals start from as low as $30 per 500 submissions. Your site is submitted only to the most suitable categories using anchor text variations. Aside from submission to top search-engine-friendly directories, your URL is also submitted to different directories included in their list. Live reporting is also available to track the progress of the submission.
Blurbpoint: Blurbpoint also offers a variety of directory submission packages. Deals start from as low as15$ per 100 submissions. You can choose between the various available packages according to your business needs. All submissions are done manually from a team of experts and your site is always submitted to most suitable category. Reporting is also available at the end of the submission process.
So far, I have only used Blurbpoint services for directory submission. To be honest, I was very satisfied with the results and I used them many more times for other web sites too. SEO Scorpio is probably very good as well, as I have heard good words about it but unless I try their service, I cannot really tell my opinion about how effective it is.
Directory submission can benefit your web site to a certain level as long as you do not go very far with it. The number of directories that you need to submit your web site can vary depending on the size of your business, the available budget and how much editorial you are willing to do. No matter what your choose to do, always try to value the strength of each directory so that you at least get some benefit out of it and that you do not end up wasting your precious little time without ever seeing any positive results.
This guest post was written by Stefanos Anastasiadis, who is the founder of CarAutoDriver, a new but very promising automobiles platform, which aspires to revolutionize the auto industry.