Depends on the quality of the directory. There are all types.. You will see directories that are low quality in appearance and content, and you will find directories that are high quality and offer useful related content.
Also try to avoid directories that allow anyone to be listed. Look for directories that are editor based (human controlled).
Thx for the insight!
1. Editor reviewed
2. Relevant content to what my website is about
Guessing it should have a fair Google PR as well?
personally, I ignore PR. I don't think PR matters because so many quality sites start off new with low (or no) PR. I would suggest you dispense with PR completely and focus on quality and relevancy. Just my opinion, I am sure some might disagree with that.
I have found that a quality site with low PR is more likely to stay linked. Also I think it looks good in the view of search engines when you link to low PR sites because you are basically showing through action that you are linking for the end user and not for PR or to game the engines.
That makes sense. My website is focused on a medical disease. Most of the health directories have a category for "diseases and conditions" and they are broken down further by each one.
Almost all of them charge a small fee to have my site reviewed manually and then listed. Perhaps that's the best way to go, as it will be listed amongst other websites that address the same disease?
Paying the fee to be listed is completely up to you and should be determined based on the quality of the directory itself.
Here's a tip to find what I call "low hanging fruit". You might try Googling "your keyphrase + add link [or] suggest link" without the quotes which will show you websites that match your keywords and also actively solicit link exchange.
Though i have just signed up for webmasterworld, I was following it long back and got some really good help.
Now, regarding this topic, i think we are slightly off here. As i have heard, that reciprocal linking is not good nowadays, so is it useful to be listed in a directory, which ask for reciprocal linking. Waiting for replies.
Thanks in advance,
|reciprocal linking is not good nowadays |
Be careful how you decypher what you are reading.. what is "not good" these days is linking in high volume to irrelevant and low quality sites.
It's perfectly fine to obtain links through reciprocation when the link exchange benefits your end user. That method of marketing has existed since the WWW was created and way before search engines came along.
Make linking decisions for your end users and not the search engines. That means keep your link volume low/natural. Link exchange with quality sites when it benefits your end users experience by helping them learn more about your own product/service/information.
Link exchange should always be conducted first and foremost as a branding and traffic building function. If you get SEO juice from it, great but don't make linking decisions based on how you think it will affect your rankings in search engines. Make linking decisions based on what is in the best interest for your own end user and you will do very well long term.
|Directories that require a link exchange. |
I'd vote for lose'em.
thats a good point.. there is a huge difference between directories that request reciprocation and directories that require reciprocation.
"Require" is a forceful word meaning "you must link back" and that may not be in the best interest of the end user.
There are all types of sites out there and you have to scrutinize each for it's overall benefit (or lack there of). You can learn alot about a site's marketing strategy by looking at nuances in communications. Sites that "require" reciprocation instead of politely asking for it when it benefits the end user is a red flag that should be watched for.
If you "require" reciprocation instead of politely requesting it when it benefits the end user, think of how that sends the wrong signal to the other webmaster.
I just want opinions regarding another thing, some site insists to place their link in your site, before they validate yours.
Do you people think, that exchanging link with these type of sites should be done?
Mind it, i am not talking about directories, it is the sites, that have same contents, like yours.
There are various online process one is reciprocal linking & one way link, the there is also directory submission. I think you sud consider each of them individually
There are various free directories which don't ask for link exchange so the only thing you have to do is search free directories.
|Do you people think, that exchanging link with these type of sites should be done? |
Personally, I would not do it. I'd focus on getting one way links.
[edited by: Jane_Doe at 2:47 pm (utc) on April 23, 2007]
Brett's classic post from 5 years ago said:
I'm getting that there is a majority opinion that a reciprocal links page is now a red flag for Google.
|N) Links |
Look around your keyword sector in Googles version of the ODP. (this is best done AFTER getting an odp listing - or two). Find sites that have links pages or freely exchange links. Simply request a swap. Put a page of on topic, in context links up your self as a collection spot.
Don't freak if you can't get people to swap links - move on. Try to swap links with one fresh site a day. A simple personal email is enough. Stay low key about it and don't worry if site Z won't link with you - they will - eventually they will.
I was checking some keywords just yesterday and the number one position was held by a really good page that had an obvious reciprocal links page. They mostly seemed relevant though.
I think the more I study this the more confused I'm becoming. :)
|I'm getting that there is a majority opinion that a reciprocal links page is now a red flag for Google. |
I would kindly suggest that you be careful what you read about reciprocal links. There is a ton of misinformation on the web regarding reciprocal linking due to paranoia surrounding how link exchange may affect search rankings.
I've been managing link exchange campaigns for our clients for ten years. I have a decade of experience in this business so allow me to share with you what works and what doesn't work based solely on experience of doing the work day after day (as opposed to reading something written by a self-proclaimed expert that has never actually done the work).
The search engines have never stated "do not link exchange". They realize webmasters have been doing it since the WWW was invented. They have stated to avoid link exchange schemes designed to game the search engines without defining the difference between relevant link exchange and pure gamesmanship. This adds to the confusion and misinformation circulating on the web.
I can help sort out this confusion.
There are products and services on the web that provide full duplex link exchange. Full duplex means you pay your money and then you get auto linked to hundreds or thousands of sites overnight without making any decisions as to who you will or will not be linked to. Search engines prefer you avoid these services because the links are not typically obtained utilizing editorial discretion. The search engines want you to obtain links that are useful for your end users first and foremost and naturally over a long period of time in slow natural volume which is how it would normally occur if full duplex services did not exist.
The truth is that hundreds of thousands of sites (mostly small business and hobby type niche sites) brand their name and develop quality relevant traffic through link exchange. If it helps their rankings, great but most of these sites did not set out to game the engines by developing quality link relationships in low volume over a long period of time. They are doing what any normal small business would do. Developing partnerships with other businesses related to their own. Brick and mortars do it off line every day in print marketing materials. Online, it happens to be called ďlink exchangeĒ. Search engine results are proof that there are plenty of quality websites out there developing their brands through relevant low volume link exchange.
In my ten years of doing this type of work, I have never ever seen a site sandboxed or blacklisted for participating in relevant low volume link exchange. Not once and I have studied literally thousands of sites.
I have seen sites lose their good rankings when they were linking in very high volume to irrelevant or junk sites. Who you link out to says a lot to the search engines about your link development strategy.
As many of you know, hundreds of factors go into rankings so it is impossible to pin a specific activity on lower rankings. You can only look in the mirror and then speculate what may have gone wrong. Slight off topic tangent: I tend to think sites who fail to update their content on a regular basis and/or publish fresh useful content on a regular basis are more likely to lose rankings but thatís another thread for another forum at another time. My point: link development is only part of what you should be looking at. Content development is equally if not more important.
I should also add that link exchange is only one link development method. Others here who have as much experience as I do in this type of work will encourage you to use a shotgun approach.. that means use more than one link development method. Obtain one way links via endorsements. Buy links from quality directories or associations. Link via blogs (and via blog comments) are also useful when it's relevant for the end user.
In summary, there is nothing wrong with link exchange when you:
- Make linking decisions for the end user. Ask yourself, is this site I am about to link to benefit my end user's experience and help them learn more about my own product or service? If you arenít sure, skip it and move on to a site that does benefit your end user.
- Keep link development volume natural. That means obtain a new link today, none tomorrow, 3 the next day, none for the next few days, 4 the next day, one the next day and so on.. If you find a cure for a horrible disease and you publish it on your website and you end up with a high volume of links overnight, do not worry about that. The search engines are smart enough to sort that out.
- Avoid full duplex services and software. If you do use software to manage link exchange, make sure it is editor based and that you will not ever be forced to link to a site you do not approve of. Editorial discretion means you control who you link to, not a software algorithm.
Link exchange has been around longer than all of the search engines. Itís an acceptable marketing method when not abused, just like every other marketing method out there.
You did and I thank you for taking the time.
|I can help sort out this confusion. |
Thank you, cnvi, for that wonderful post
A very helful post cnvi.
Just one thing though - my perception is that there are a lot of people (most people?) in the niche/small business category who ARE doing linking to increase their Search Engine Positioning. They may not be doing it high volume, they may stay in there niche most of the time, but their interest in links is for Google, not the customer.
[edited by: martinibuster at 3:38 pm (utc) on April 24, 2007]
[edit reason] Added "?" by member request. [/edit]
As long as the Directories are trusted you will be OK - like the ODP.
|Directories that require a link exchange. |
|my perception is that there are a lot of people .. in the niche/small business category who ARE doing linking to increase their Search Engine Positioning. They may not be doing it high volume, they may stay in there niche most of the time, but their interest in links is for Google, not the customer |
I can't speak for others intentions but I can tell you that you are not going to be penalized for linking with quality relevant sites when your volume is low/natural.
|Directories that require a link exchange. |
I am in agreement that if a site requires reciprocation instead of politely requesting it when it's relevant for both parties, that is a caution flag.
|I am in agreement that if a site requires reciprocation instead of politely requesting it when it's relevant for both parties, that is a caution flag. |
In response to the above, you can delete any and/or all emails that come in...
- Stating that a link has been placed in their link directory to yours and that if they don't see a link back to their site in 10 days, yours will be removed from their directory.
- Discusses the importance of PageRankô and how links will help with your search engine rankings.
- Specifically requests a link from a page that has a certain level of PageRankô.
- Begins with "My name is Clueless and I have just gone through your site, and visited many pages.
|Is it beneficial to swap reciprocal links with a directory? Most of the ones that I can find these days require it. |
Real Directories do not require a recipricol link. It sounds like you are finding your way into those networks of links pages where you can easily submit your URI for inclusion as long as you link back. And, they probably want you to link to them from your home page while they bury your link somewhere deep within their link directory that gets "zero" anything.
I have a "real world" story to share about these types of reciprocal link directories. A couple of years ago I was doing a review on a site. I came across their link exchange directory and at that point provided my personal opinion on what I thought that thing was doing to their site. After a few back and forth communications, they removed the entire thing, all of it. 404!
Within two weeks, their overall visibility improved considerably. Coincidence? Could be. But, with all that I've read here from WebmasterWorld members, I'd be inclined to believe that any link directory attached to your site may be parasitic in nature. Unless of course you've really pruned the listings and are doing something different than all the others using that same software for link management.
My guess on how it worked? The link directory was detected and devalued. The root domain was also devalued and given a -1 point. Solution? Remove the directory and remove the -1 point.
Do link exchanges for on-topic traffic, not G PR, and from my experience you will get almost no traffic from the vast majority of Directories out there. IMHO If 99% of them disappeared tomorrow (Including the ODP), no-one but the owners & editors would miss them & the web would be much less cluttered without them.
Back to Watching
I would say that 99% of directories are absolute crap. Very few people find them useful and the majority of people do not use them to search.
People are used to using search engines to find what they want now days. If you do not believe that pick 10 random average people off the street and ask them if they have used a directory to search in the past year.
That overlooks the fact that many people will begin with a search engine query and end up on a directory simply because in some sectors the topical directories have the strongest rankings.
The users are indeed using a directory to find what they want, they just didn't start there.
On the topic of reciprocating, I'd say to avoid trading links with wannabe general directories. Just pay for the listing and be done with it. You can have a lot more confidence about trading links with tightly themed topical directories, though, because those will send visitors as well as link juice, and will support your own site's theming.
"If you do not believe that pick 10 random average people off the street and ask them if they have used a directory to search in the past year."
Pick a thousand and you might get the same result. Most likely, none had.
"Discusses the importance of PageRankô and how links will help with your search engine rankings."
I delete every one of these. But before I do, I visit their site and usually I find they have zilch pagerank and
more adsense than original content.
I'm open to link exchanges, but I would only do so with a site that was relevant and of impeccable quality. And so far I can count on one hand the number of times I've ever done it and that includes all sites. In general terms, nearly everyone who approaches me for a recip fails to meet the quality and trustworthiness thresholds.
Always go for 1 way links if you submit to directories.
Even if directories individually give very little traffic, do you really want all your traffic to depend on the Big 3
Meanwhile , didn't Yahoo start out as a web directory that grew up to become something else :)
Reciprocation is one of the most mis-understood concepts in the SEO world. In order to fully understand it, you have to actually do it. A lot. On a lot of sites.
Most people who comment on it do not seem to have that experience. This leads them to make all kinds of misguided assumptions. cnvi DOES have the right kind of experience.
Reciprocation is one of the original methods of establishing a website within a realm of interest. Before there were any search engines, people linked with each other, graciously and to their mutual benefit.
It's called establishing your brand, and it had nothing to do with SEO before Google emerged. I ran sites that fit that profile.
When Google began to reward linking, then the SEO community invaded the practice and devised all manner of bad recip linking policies, from bullying, to hiding directories, to PR values, etc. Then they claimed that it did not work, and that the sky was going to fall very very soon on recirocation, and that plague would destroy the world. Panic is a common condition in SEO circles.
Skip all that. Link as if Google did not exist. Is the link relevant to your business (in your case, health)? If so, get the link. Get as many as you can. If it is not relevant, or you don't like the site for some reason, then leave it alone.
It really is that simple.
BTW - Google does not nullify reciprocation. That is easy to see, if you just look at real search results and stop listening to people who don't have a clue.
[edited by: DomainDrivers at 5:16 pm (utc) on April 24, 2007]
Submitting to directories seems to be a waste of time these days, for the traffic that actually comes from them time can be better spent writing content. Case in point, DMOZ, we have 30 sites listed in DMOZ and we get no traffic what so ever from them. In google's eyes, they are the best directory, in the real world no one uses it to search.
We have more success with press releases, articles, how to do types of things that we post on message boards, digg and Press release sites.
|Reciprocation is one of the most mis-understood concepts in the SEO world. |
Its also one of the most abused methods in the SEO world. So much so, that particular cottage industries are struggling to stay afloat.
|I would say that 99% of directories are absolute crap. |
Oh, I think a little more credit is due. How about 98%?
|Directories that require a link exchange. |
Use'em or Lose'em?
Lose'em! At one point, during the initial release of the Google Toolbar and PageRankô, these types of reciprical link networks provided juice. Google caught on to it and properly devalued most of what is out there. The remaining few are either well managed or just haven't come on the radar yet.
If it is anything to do with a directory style link exchange, stay away. They are as deprecated as search engine submissions are.
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