|Attn: Directory Owners - From a Directory User|
Alright, this one goes out to all the directory owners out there ... I've been submitting a couple of sites to directories a bit, and there are some 'odd' or annoying things I've noticed from a user perspective, so I'm making a list, and might even check it twice, because some are some directories that look really nice, but...
Top Things I Would NOT Do as a Directory Owner:
1.) Make the Captcha (or other 'human check') entry field max length shorter than the number of characters in the Captcha text ... Why? It's really annoying to have to open up FireBug search through your source code and edit it to be able to submit a site ... Somehow I think it probably impedes and limits submission significantly.
2.) Charge for a reciprocal link ... Why? Are you kidding? Do you have to ask? I can submit for free without giving you anything, but if I want to give you a link back, because that's what the is made up of and I want to let you know I did when I submitted that'll be $4.95 please? Really? You definitely just lost a link and made me say WTF out loud...
3.) Link to the Home Page with the text 'Submit Link' ... Yeah, imo it's really silly to have the prominent link on the page containing the word submit take me the opposite direction I want to go if I just clicked through into a category to submit from ... Totally annoying.
4.) Require a reciprocal link from the home page ... The Internet is about links ... If you don't want the ones not from the home page, send 'em my way; I'll take 'em all ... I'd love to know how many of the people who require home page links actually get any links back, maybe I'm missing something, but I know you've missed out on at least a couple of links, and even though the might not be the PR of the home page people can still click them if they are on the site, but not being listed makes it really tough for the visitors to other sites to find yours from there.
Not everything needs to be about PR, sometimes visits and exposure can be good too, and if you think about it, it's probably way tougher for most site owners to add a link to you than it is for you to click 'approve' and they're not getting a link from your home page, so don't go thinking 'but I'm a directory owner and I'm adding them for free, so it's fair', because you're set up to add links easily, and their not, but they're adding you for free too ... Ask for too much and you won't get nearly as much imo.
5.) Cover the submission link with the Google ads if the visitor's screen is not 1500px wide and the browser window is not maximized ... I'm surfing at 1280 and when I can only see 2 chars of the submission link with my window almost maximized, your site design might be just a bit too wide.
6.) Forget to change the reciprocal link from <a href="http://somedomain.com">Your Title</a> to what it should be ... Cuts down on the inbound links, even if people want to give you one, because your over-the-counter software checks for the site you put in the field.
7.) Forget to buy the software that sets the category for the visitor, or edit the software so it sets the category for the visitor, or replace the sh***y software that doesn't set the category for the visitor and can't be fixed, especially when there are 3000+ categories and sub-categories ... Yeah, it's annoying to come from a category page and have to go find the category in the little drop down, even for a small directory, but when you make the user scroll 2000+ categories to find theirs, somehow I think it costs you some submissions.
Anyway, just a few of my thoughts as I've been doing some directory submissions, take 'em or leave 'em ... Hope they help someone out a bit.
8.) Have 3 different categories that are all the same thing ... Computers & Internet ... World Wide Web ... Internet ... I know this is probably tough to believe, but they're all the same thing if you're looking for something web related! You don't need all 3. Pick one, please. Make it so people who visit can find what they need easily, because it's waaaaay easier to hit the back button and find a different resource than it is to try and find the right category 3 levels deep.
And, if I'm submitting to a directory I don't usually consider paying for one that doesn't send a single click, so I usually use the 'free' listing to start with, because it's really bad ROI imo to spend money on something that doesn't generate any traffic ... I can give a link basically for free, and usually will unless you try and tell me it has to be from the home page or make me pay to do it, but if you want cash, imo you should send clicks.
True Story: I had a site accepted into one directory and got so many clicks I went back to find out how I could pay to keep the site listed where it was getting the clicks from ... No kidding ... Links are cool, but there's a bunch of places to get free links, and for $10 I can have a nice targeted, text based link(s) on a site I own (domains are cheap), so if I was going to make a recommendation, it would be to keep things organized and send clicks to your listings.
9.) Leave a way for contact in the form of an obscured e-mail address somewhere ... This way when I get an internal server error from your site I can tell you AND when one of the sites you promote in an email is leaking database connection information on the home page I can tell you that too, so maybe your site(s) can get fixed ... I'm guessing most people don't cause internal server errors or give away their database connections on their site(s) on purpose and I can't help but to think if they knew there was an issue they would correct it, but when something like this happens the forms don't work either, so the internal server error I can't tell the site owner about is still happening, because I can't contact the site owner since there's an internal server error and the e-mail I received is from a 'no-reply' address ... Yes, I know is this business it may be tough to believe someone would actually tell you about a critical information leak rather than just exploiting it, but it really does happen, and it might happen more often if there was a way to contact site owners other than a form that breaks when the site breaks.
Do ya feel like you're talking to the wall? :)
So on those pages where you get free links, do you mind being below the paid ads?
How do you feel about "pay for consideration/review" directories?
|Do ya feel like you're talking to the wall? :) |
Yeah, but it helps ... My computer just doesn't 'get it' most of the time.
I actually think of this thread as more of a 'check list reference' some directory owners might want to have a look at, because it's got some of my 'real use' experiences in it and some have been really good, but some of the things I've highlighted were a bit more frequent than 'once' in one directory, so I hope it helps both the directory owner and in turn, the directory users, because sometimes they're just plain frustrating to try and submit a site to.
|So on those pages where you get free links, do you mind being below the paid ads? |
No, I really don't mind being below the ads, because there usually aren't too many in the category(s) I'm submitting to, and like I said before if I get clicks I'm more inclined to pay than if I don't, so I do the 'free' submission and watch my stats to see where the clicks come from and then I can upgrade to a paid option later ... I tried the 'featured' out a bit before I went more the direction I'm using now, and some converted, but others didn't send a thing, so I think it's better to test the waters a bit first.
|How do you feel about "pay for consideration/review" directories? |
If I get enough reviews at once to make it worth it, then it's something I consider and do occasionally, but I could spend thousands (literally) on pay-for-review, even at $5 a review, so unless it's for multiple sites, refunded if not accepted and < $2 a site I usually go with the standard review, and I don't mind waiting for a bit to get reviewed ... It builds some links over time instead of 'all in a day', so in some ways (from an seo pov) I think it's better to be a bit patient some times.
One I run into every so often:
Don't force a rigid category structure. Forcing a user to places their link in an *proper* category below one or more empty categories is just lame!