How To Choose Relevant Directories To List On

The process of search engine optimisation (SEO) aims to achieve good rankings on search engine return pages (SERPs). One way to go about achieving this is through an online directory listing. The following takes a look at how to choose relevant directories to list on.

Online Directory Submissions
What is an Online Directory?
Directories are web pages whereby internet users can refer to for relevant websites which have been sorted by subject or category. Some popular online directories a website can be submitted to include:

  • Yahoo
  • BOTW (Best of the Web)
  • DMOZ.org (Open Directory Project)

Online Directories and SEO
In implementing an effective SEO campaign, relevance is a key component to just about all factors influencing whether a website will be well optimised or not. It is, therefore, important to ensure that the directories chosen are relevant and important, themselves, to the online business concerned. Online directory submissions are helpful where they can provide value to the growth of a business. If not, directories have no use to a website and its business growth at all, and defeat the purpose of SEO.

A website shouldn’t be submitted to a directory if the following factors are present:

  • The directory has a low page rank
  • The directory has a low trust rank
  • The directory has a low domain name age
  • The directory has a poor URL structure
  • The directory has poor web page indexing
  • The directory has poor web page caching

Why Submit a Website to an Online Directory?
Some benefits of submitting a website to an online directory include:

  • Helps to generate one way links to a website.
  • Helps to generate internet user traffic to a website.
  • Directories work well with the way in which search engines operate. Directories are mostly edited by human beings who assess and evaluate the relevancy of a website submission to a specific category.

How to Choose Relevant Directories to List on
Questions to Ask

  1. The following questions are good to ask before submitting a website to any directory as they can assist in determining relevancy:
  2. Does the directory feature on a SERP? – If the directory does not appear to be indexed on any major search engine (Google, MSN, Yahoo etc.), the chances are that internet users will struggle to find a website submitted to it when conducting a search.
  3. How often do search engine “spiders” crawl the directory? – Search engines perceive a website to be more important if it is “crawled” through often.
  4. How many outbound links are present on each page of a directory? – If there are too many links on a single web page it will lower a page ranking. A small amount of links within each of a directory’s different categories will have a greater PR (public relations) value.
  5. Does the directory feature advertisements? – If a directory has too many advertisements on display on their web pages, it is not a good idea to submit a website for a listing.
  6. Are there any broken links on the directory’s pages? – If there are many links that do not work properly, it isn’t a very good sign that the directory is being well maintained and thus, isn’t a good enough reason to submit a website for listing. Backlinks to the directory should also be checked to ensure that they are not only relevant but decent.
  7. Does the directory have any original and valuable content? – When clicking through links provided on a directory, ensure that the content that comes up has pages of value which are interesting and unique.
  8. Is the directory relevant to the website seeking listing? – Niche directories are usually aimed at targeting a small portion of the online market and do not contain a wide variety of categories. The directory category that a website is being submitted to must bear relevance to a site’s target keywords.
  9. How old is the directory? – The older the directory, the more respected it generally will be. Submitting a website to a directory that is well known and established is almost always a sure fire winner.

Directory Submissions and Google: Tips & Suggestions
Directories that feature on Google SERPs who accept paid for submissions is not likely to be selective. A selective directory has more value to Google than one that is not. Google, as a search engine, is generally selective for the sole reason of being able to distinguish between sites that have little value from those which are more worth their while when it comes to ranking position.
Google favours a directory which edits website submissions, by means of an editorial review, so as to produce a listing that is accurate and relevant. A directory that allows a user to create their own category title is not regarded as entirely accurate or relevant.

In Conclusion
Online directories are an effective SEO tool for putting a website out there on the World Wide Web. Submitting a website to a directory as part of an SEO marketing campaign can do wonders in assisting with creating effective brand awareness and generating business growth (i.e.: internet users clicking on a website and / or becoming potential customers or clients).

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