Which Directories Are Still Worth Your Time?

Which directories are best?
When choosing which directories to submit your site(s) to, it can be a good idea to take a moment to review the directory to decide whether or not you want to be listed there rather than throwing your URLs at everything that moves to see what might stick. You’re really not that desperate for links are you?

I realize that it’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy when trying to compete in link based algorithms; but sheer quantity is not always best and as algorithms evolve I’m one that feels the low quality links may just have a detrimental effect that you’ll play hell trying to reverse. But let’s stick to one topic for now. 🙂

What characteristics do you look for beyond whether or not a directory has a free option or a functioning submission form when trying to decide if you should submit a site for consideration there? Do you review the submission guidelines or the Terms of Service? Does it matter if either are non-existent?

Do you check to see if listings are properly categorized? Do you check to see if the directory is active? Do you review the new listings to see what types of sites are being listed? If there is a fee, what is the fee for? Is anyone and everyone who pays the fee included? Does the directory require a reciprocal link to be included? Can anyone pay just a little bit more to be listed in a more prominent position?

Consider the following advice from the post about Quality links to your site at Google’s Webmaster Central Blog:

Directory entries are often mentioned as another way to promote young sites in the Google index. 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.

In other words, avoid those lists of 18,000 web directories; they’re of benefit to the list owners’ ego and not much more. They include every crappy web directory launched on a dropped domain with a little green fairy dust left over from someone else. There is no review prior to their addition as the primary goal of these lists is size rather than any sort of quality.

Submitting your sites to most of the directories on lists such as this will likely gain you nothing more than an increase in email offers for supplements which supposedly enlarge specific body parts. Aren’t your knee caps large enough already?

If you’re looking for a decent list of web directories, explore some of the web directories categories at DMOZ, BOTW.org or Yahoo. At least the directories listed there have been reviewed prior to their inclusion and should offer some benefit to you.

One list worth a mention is Info Vilesilencer’s lists. They regularly review the directories on their lists of free, paid inclusion, niche and trusted directories, and are diligent in removing directories which are poorly edited or become inactive.

Web directories can still be a part of one’s overall marketing strategy; just make sure it’s not your primary focus and look for the quality directories that are out there. And if someone tells you it doesn’t really matter – ask to see their sites. I think it’ll become quite clear why they think that way. 😉