Directory Values

Why do some webmasters submit their sites to paid directories when there are an over abundance of free directories everywhere?

Does a paid directory provide more value or a better link than that of a free directory?

Is it worth submitting your site to new PageRank 0 directories? How much value is there in that?

Why pay to be included in a low PageRank directory when you can get an equivalent listing elsewhere for free?

Perceived value.

Frequenting webmaster forums I read numerous questions and comments regarding the value of paid directories. Some webmasters will not pay for any directory listing as they just don’t see any value in doing so.

Paid directory announcements seem to invite rants about the belief that nobody in their right mind would pay to be in a PR0 directory as it doesn’t offer anything over the free directories.

Seems the primary factor or consideration is still PageRank. Too many webmasters suffer from Pixel Envy and have difficulty determining value of a quality directory listing.

Relying on the outdated graphical display of a browser add-on reinforces the notion that the average webmaster is truly ignorant. Ever notice the interest in buying cheap links in “new” directories with instant PR4 or greater? Does anyone question how this new directory is magically a PR4, 5 or 6?

There are much better metrics available to determine future value of directory listings, paid or free.

Is the directory being promoted in a manner that will provide you with future value?
Your directory submission should be viewed as an investment in your web site. If you find a directory is being promoted without due consideration, avoid it.

Directories with inbound links originating from ad blocks containing unrelated links such as adult entertainment, gaming or pharmacy links may not maintain the best reputation.

Likewise, having two outer columns and a footer full of paid links displayed on every page gives a poor impression.

Quality reviewed listings?
Are the existing titles and descriptions well written or are they just marketing hype supporting keyword rich anchor text disguised as a title? If anything and everything is accepted, avoid it.

Are the directory editors adding authoritative and interesting sites on their own, or is the directory built from submissions only? Who is the directory built for?

Don’t be fooled by statistics boasting the number of categories, pending submissions and sites listed as this has little to do with the quality of the directory.

Categorization – unique or just another dump?
Are the categories unique and well organized, or is it just another one of those free dumps replicated over again?

Another Free Template?
Free script, free template, free category DB, paid inclusion. Does it add up? Sounds like short term financial gain for the directory owner.

Hints, tips and suggestions
Don’t pass over a paid directory just because there is a fee involved. Take a few moments to see how well the directory is structured and promoted.

Search using the site: operator
Use the site: operator and review the results and see how well the directory is indexed across the major search engines. MSN and Google seem to index pages quicker than Yahoo!, so it’s not uncommon to see a difference here.

Google previously allowed the addition of the wild-card to return only the pages from the Supplemental Index, but it seems that this is no longer possible, so you’ll have to review the results to see if the directory pages are primarily in the Supplemental or Main index. It’s thought that there’s little value to having a listing on a directory page in the Supplemental index.

Inbound Links
Use Yahoo! Site Explorer to see where the links are coming from. Yahoo! provides a fairly comprehensive and current view of the inbound links to a site. Windows Live (MSN) provides a pretty good view as well using the linkdomain: operator.

We strongly suggest that you do not place too much emphasis on Google link: operator results. For some time now, Google is only returning a sampling of the known links, and from reviewing them, it looks like it’s a relatively small sample.

The results are not fresh, and can be 1-3 months old. In the past, Google would display backlinks that were a PR4 or higher, but this made it easier for other webmasters to locate higher PageRank link partners.

It’s not necessary to get listed in every new directory that comes about. But you’re thinking that you might miss the chance of being listed in a Future PageRank 6 or 7 directory? I think by now you’re able to determine which directories have that potential. 😉