If you ask a group of SEO experts about the value of directory submission for SEO you will probably get a variety of answers. Some may have eliminated the practice from their link building strategy entirely since many directories were de-indexed with the Panda update that targeted quality content. Others may still rely on it to varying degrees but may limit the number of directories that they submit to or only submit to directories that are niche-specific. While it’s true that directory submission is no longer a primary SEO technique (the focus now is on creating quality content and social sharing), for certain websites with the following traits, it can still hold some value:
1. Sites with very few links
Since directory links hold very little value, they aren’t necessary for sites that have developed a lot of great inbound links naturally. However, everybody needs to start somewhere. A site that has very few inbound links may want to incorporate some directory submissions into the strategy. It’s better than nothing and certainly isn’t going to hurt anything. As time goes on and you are conducting other link building activities that hold more weight, you can scale back on the directory submission.
2. Sites that aren’t yet trusted
The primary purpose of building links to your website is to gain search engine trust. Inbound links serve as a “vote” for your website. Another significant indicator of trust is the domain age and length of time that a site has been active. A website that has aged typically has lots of natural links pointing to it already and directory submissions aren’t needed. However, if your site is relatively new it hasn’t achieved that trust yet and inbound links are much more important.
If your website fits into either of these categories, it doesn’t mean that you should just start submitting your site to hundreds of directories. It doesn’t work like that. The search engines like to see links grow naturally over time. If you go from 20 links to 200 links overnight, it looks fishy and could raise a red flag. Submit to a few directories a month and follow these guidelines when determining where to submit:
1. Go local
For a local business, local directory submission is beneficial because local directory listings can rank for a local search.
2. Look for traffic
Check to see if the directory actually gets any traffic to it. Many directories were created only for SEO and nobody has even heard of them. Those aren’t worth it.
3. Go niche
If you can find a directory that is related to your niche, get your site listed. Not only does this provide a relevant link for SEO link building purposes, but it is also a place that target audience members are more likely to visit than a generic directory.
4. Check the hosting information
For US-based businesses, avoid directories that are hosted overseas. Stick to US-based directories of high quality.
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