Submitting to Directories

Most people submit to dozens and even hundreds of directories in the hope of building up links back to their website. Whilst this will bump your link count it won't increase your Google PageRank, which scores you on the number of links pointing back to your websites. What it does rate you on is the relevance and quality of the websites (the directory in this case) linking back to you.

For example, if you have a UK jobs website and you have added your details to every jobs directory in the UK then that will be very relevant. If they are long-standing jobs websites such as Agency Central for example, which has a good PageRank score of it's own, then you will have some value from your website having a link on that website back to your website. A new jobs website might not have much in the way of PageRank but that doesn't mean to say it won't be of value. As long as it's relevant, get a link on it - who is to say that won't be a PR 4 in 12 months time?

Directories with good PageRank

The more sites that link back to your site with good PageRank the better, so if you can get PR4, PR5 and above that is fantastic work and well done to you. However, most people can only manage PR0 to PR3 especially when they are a new website.

Online directories that are very well optimised in the search engines include FreeIndex and Touch Local. You may find that although your own website doesn't appear high in the search engine rankings, your entry in these directories will list quite high, very often on Google Page 1, take a look at this example for the keyword phrase keyword research doncaster. We rank on page 1 naturally and with a FreeIndex listing. 

We also have many instances where we rank on page 1 with these popular directories but our natural listings are further down the page or they might not even be within 10 pages, or are simply off the radar, depending how competitive the phrase and when we started optimising for it.

Now the word 'Doncaster' is not in my meta tags for this phrase, but because the directory itself has a high page rank (both of these are PR6) and is well optimised for the search engines, it is working on my behalf. And these are free listings by the way!

Which directories should I submit my website to?

Generic directories that will bring you traffic include FreeIndex, Thomson Local, Smile Local and so on. Most give you a free basic listing with the option to pay for an upgrade. They are well known online directories not limited to any sector. A lot of people use them to search for a product or service just as they would a traditional phone book.

There are also thousands of unknown generic directories across the world which people submit their site to, and this is where the value is diluted because of the sheer numbers people try to submit to. The sites are usually of poor quality and have low PageRank so avoid these types of directories.

Here is a list of useful free online directories.

Make sure you complete all the components of a directory submission, don't just half fill them in. Really make an effort to present your business in the areas that will be seen by people who search the directories.Also, target sector specific directories for relevance.

One more thing to be wary of, is not to sign up to directories without checking they are genuine and above board. There are some scam directories that appear to offer free listings, and ask you to sign or tick the box to agree to their 'terms' only for you to find out that it is in fact a lengthy contract that requires payment. They also make it difficult to cancel because of the clause about the cancellation period and so on. When agreeing or signing terms, read them first!


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