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Link Building for Businesses: Going Old School with Directory Submissions

The Internet has changed drastically since the days when directories ruled and search engines were just starting to emerge. At that time, Google was still unheard of and websites wanting to be “searchable” by the public had to get listed on major directories so that they will be accessible to the public. Back then, DMOZ.org was the directory that rocked.

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Of course, today, no one really uses DMOZ or directories in general, at least as a gateway for search. With the word Google now both a noun and verb, it is obvious that Google IS the place to start on the web if you’re looking for information and don’t really know exactly where to look. But just because no one uses directory submission sites to start their info search does not mean that these sites don’t have their place in your business’ internet marketing strategy. If you want to grow your website’s traffic you need to place well in search engine results, which means implementing sound SEO (search engine optimization) strategies.

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What Makes a Good Directory?

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Many sites try to be listed and included in directories thinking that this will be their ticket to online visibility and success.  While there is good reason to believe that directory listing can provide exposure to sites, this is far from absolute.  Some directories are not ideal ones to be associated with and may actually work against a site.

Preferred directories are characterized by practices that are identified by resources that puts premium on quality over quantity.  Reputable blog directories usually offer a specific niche since this is the surest way to developing quality.  There are general directories that are likewise considered reputable but this is such a tall order considering how difficult it is to maintain standards with numerous focuses.

Reputable directories also find time to make themselves appear credible by being a source of excellent content and resource listing.  These directories do not simply accept every site that comes their way since included sites must be able to manifest their relevance for being included.  In essence, the directories which sites would benefit from being associated with are those that add value.

Directories which really care about general and specific goals of sites would know that offering gimmicks such as link juice will not be beneficial to the site in the long run.  Linking with relevant sites is essential but linking with directories and sites that smell of manipulation is not.  A good directory helps sites find their human audience.  If it is obvious that a directory is targeting search engines, there is a big possibility that the directory listing obtained does not provide much value.

About the Author:
Teresa is a part-time blogger who maintains multiple blogs.

Manual Directory Submission

 

Like in all good things, manual directory submission requires a reasonable amount of effort on the part of site owners to produce positive results.  Directory submission is essentially submitting a site for possible listing in reputable and relevant directories.  Emphasis is placed on reputation and relevance since any listing in directories or sites that do not have both will not serve any beneficial purpose to the site making the submission.  It is therefore recommended that site owners determine first the website directories that really matter and then seek listing to the appropriate ones including special niche directories. 

In making a manual submission, site owners should make sure that they are submitting to SEO-friendly directories.  Since non-SEO friendly sites are not followed by search engines, it doesn’t make much sense to be listed with them.  Remember that the primary reason for wanting to be listed in directories is to be found by searchers.  SEO-friendly directories usually appear in the usual HTML format. 

Web directories having strict guidelines for submission employ humans to check on whether submissions are relevant to the category wherein the site is being submitted.  Choosing the wrong category can lead to the rejection of the submission.  Manual directory submissions require the completion of details pertaining to the site.  A captcha code will be required to be typed in to complete the submission since search engines and directories prefer human submissions over computer-generated ones.  

Manual directory submission is considered one of the most cost-effective SEO techniques that actually bring in results for the site.  It is the most favored among the submission modes by search engines and directories.  Successful listing therefore in worthy sites leads to higher search engine ranking.

Is Directory Submission Dead?

Absolutely not! The key is to find directories that matter.

So how do you know whether a directory matters or not? Well, it’s pretty easy. The next time you visit a directory, ask yourself whether the directory provides useful information, or whether it exists as just another link farm. SEO is a big business and lots of people have slapped up useless, turn-key run of the mill directories that make no contribution to the web.

From the beginning, EatonWeb set out to become a model for how directories should be done. Our hope is that directories and directory submission see a resurgence in the years to come, offering both users and search engines useful information for choosing good web sites to visit.

For a list of our favorite blog directories, please see the sidebar to the left. Below, we’ve included our three favorite general directories:

1. Yahoo Directory

2. Best Of The Web

3. Open Directory

Why EatonWeb?

When we started redesigning EatonWeb, our goal was to bring directories and directory submission out of the dark ages.

Any decent SEO knows that by and large, directory submission has fallen out of favor. But why? There’s a simple reason. Most directories don’t contribute anything to the web. Most directories are link farms.

So how could we be different? Well, we went the virtual whiteboard and brainstormed and came to the conclusion that a successful directory needs to matter. A successful directory needs to contain useful information. It needs to separate out the wheat from chaff, so to speak.

From the very beginning we were determined to build a directory that measures various blog attributes that are indicators of quality. We settled on establishing 2 primary blog metrics: one that measures a blog’s strength and one that measure’s a blog’s momentum over time. Then we pull the two of these metrics together for an overall score.

For us, measuring a blog’s strength was not sufficient. After all, a blog with lots of backlinks and technorati references might be stagnant, or losing ground, but still appear “strong” – so measuring a site’s strength across time (it’s momentum) became our goal, and we hope that this metric becomes our trademark.

So why is the EatonWeb blog directory different? Because EatonWeb matters. EatonWeb lists the best sites first, and lesser sites last. So if you’re looking for the best celebrity blogs, we show you the strongest and also the fastest growing.

So why does this matter? Imagine that you’re an advertiser looking to advertise on celebrity blogs. One thing you could do with EatonWeb is look for celebrity blogs that are either strong, increasing in strength, or, a combination of both.

EatonWeb matters because it organizes its data according to the measured quality of a blog. So you can be sure that when you’re looking for the best blogs in any given subject, EatonWeb gives you the data you’re looking for.

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