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Many SEO experts recommend submitting sites to niche directories. However in my field there are no quality directories. Or at least none that I have found. Also in my niche, many of the most useful sites are put together by amateurs are usually buried in the SERPs.
I’m not looking to get rich with the directory. I wouldn’t even monetize it unless it became really successful. However, I am not above throwing a couple of links back to my sites.
Here is my main question, is this a good opportunity to build a directory?
Second question, should I even bother?
Secondly, how narrow is your niche? You more specialised you go, the more useless your submission form will be, because you will tend to get a lot of off-topic suggestions. But highly specialised lists are also more useful to visitors.
It's more work than most people realise to compile a good directory. Dip your toes in the water by compiling a categorised list of a hundred or so websites, with short descriptions, and just post it up somewhere. If you find you enjoy this kind of thing, you can use this to seed a larger directory, but if not then you will at least have learnt something, and this list itself may attract some traffic.
I hope you didn’t misunderstand. I’m not really seeking directory links, I am more interested in the directory business.
I don’t know the size of the markets I am in relative to other markets. But, I think I could at least a hundred “quality” websites that solve real problems that are not well represented in the SERPs to fill the directory with.
I actually work in four different areas and have done so for years. I watch every one of the major sites in those areas. No one has built a directory or even a new links page in years.
I too have avoided adding a directory or even a links page to any of my sites because of all the “directories are dead and may even hurt your site” information that floats around the internet.
However, I don’t understand how some people preach the importance of getting links in quality directories while others preach that directories are dead and it is a waste of time to build one.
Is this an opportunity or should I look somewhere else?
Some of this also applies to a manual penalty that Google applied to a number of directories last year. This only affected a tiny percentage of them, many of which were overly crosslinked and may have been perceived as trying to sell pagerank.
Whether it's going to be a waste of your time to build one depends a lot on your niche and your approach, and it really is hard to generalise. That's why I suggest putting up a few link pages, possibly on a subdomain of one of your existing sites. Check the traffic stats after a few months, and perhaps slap on Adsense so you can get a clearer idea of the potential income from such a venture. Adsense generally does very badly for directories, but this doesn't apply to all niches.
I did an exhaustive search for directories in my niche and I found several that haven’t been updated in years. I found one recent attempt that died. It has about 70 categories and about 20 links. Too bad, it has a good domain name and the layout looked nice.
The direction I am leaning towards is more like a how to directory rather than a directory of websites.
For example, say I have a category called widgets. The subcategories may be “painting a widget” or “remodeling a widget” and so on. Under the subcategories I will add the best sites/pages I find that help solve the problem.
This all stems from a problem I had with my widget a while back. All the information I needed was on the WWW, I just had to wade through too much muck to find it. There has to be a better way. If nothing else, it will be a good reference for me.
Does anyone else have any experience with a “how to” directory?