Mark Twain once said “The report of my death was an exaggeration”. He has been misquoted on that for years. Perhaps we could say the same about directory submissions. One can only speculate on how the death knell for directory submissions began to toll. Maybe an “expert” opined about it in a blog, then it spread like wildfire across the net until it was accepted as fact. Truth is, directory submissions still hold real value for SEO. You just have to be more careful about how you go about it. Let me offer some valuable advice for directory submission…don’t believe the hype! I’m going to provide you with some background, show you how to make it work, and then give you something to try…if you dare!
A History Lesson
Yahoo and DMOZ used to be all the rage. It was pretty much industry standard to submit to these two directories. A few problems arose. First of all, Yahoo costs roughly 300 bones to submit to. There is no guarantee with that 300 your site will actually get added to the directory unless you follow ALL of the rules. DMOZ is a completely different animal. It is free. However, they haven’t had nearly enough editors from the beginning and so it could take upwards of a year to get added to DMOZ, if you get added at all. Once this directory submission stuff started to yield search engine results, abuse ensued. Then Google and the other search engines started to penalize sites for being submitted to multiple low-quality directories. As a result, many people shied away from the practice. So it is clear to see why someone would think directory submission is dead. While submissions are very much still alive, you have to work it from the right angle to make it successful.
Directory Submissions that really work!
So, the question becomes “How do I make submissions work for me?” One thing you want to do is find good quality directories. There are a lot of sites out there that are “here today, gone tomorrow”. To find the good ones, you should check their pagerank. A high page rank can nearly guarantee a reputable directory. Since the old saying goes you can’t get something for nothing, you may prefer to submit to the sites that require a nominal fee. Submitting to directories that are specifically for your niche will likely serve you better than generic ones. You will also get better juice if your submissions are manual rather than automated. Finally, go with your gut. If the site gives you the heebie-jeebies, it is best to steer clear of it. All that being said, I have a challenge for you.
Truth and Dare
It is clear that in spite of the history, if you submit your site to directories strategically, it can still benefit you greatly. Therefore, I have a challenge for you. It is only for new or obscure sites who need some help. If you already have decent page ranking for your desired keywords, this would be a waste of your time. I have read on a few sites that submitting your website to 1000 directories can still boost your page rank to a 2, 3, or even 4! So if you need some page rank, try it! It isn’t that expensive, and it could be worth big dollars in sales for you. Make sure that your site is submitted manually, and that you use slightly different anchor text and descriptions when submitting to many sites at one time. If it works, or if it doesn’t, come back here and let us know. Then we can share the good, bad, and ugly with your fellow webmasters out there.