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What Are the Qualities of Directories Worth Submiting To? How do you Find Them?

Can listings in poor quality directories actually hurt your website's rank or traffic?

3:03 pm on Oct 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I have a tough task of working out the SEO part for my company and I know very little. We wanted to hire a company to do our SEO but I we were told that it would be better to do it ourselves then to get a garbage of links that could hurt us. So I am now figuring out each step and directories is one of them.

Are there directories that a listing can actually hurt you if you submit to them? I have seen these proposal from some SEO companies that can submit up to 800 directories. I am sure a huge bunch of those are garbage directores.

Also there is the issue of paid and free directories (some with upgrades).

<How do you identify> worth paying <for a link>?

<How to you identify directories worth the time and effort of making a submission?>


[edited by: Webwork at 6:33 pm (utc) on Oct 10, 2011]
[edit reason] Requests for "best directory" lists spawn spam and promotional replies. [/edit]

6:46 pm on Oct 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Hulahoop, one approach that MAY work for you is to identify IF there are any directory listings linking to your competitors, the ones whose sites rank above you. I'd start there.

I wouldn't go looking for lists of general directories. Instead, I'd look for directories that specialize in editorial reviews of sites in your specific vertical.

For every rule there are exceptions. A general directory, such as those who pull their data from effectively clensed data sources, MAY be helpful - for example - in lifting local businesses in local listings.

I also wouldn't assume that an "effective directory" will be a stand-alone directory in all cases. It may well be the best directory to get a listing in is a one that is edited, in a non-biased manner, by an industry professional or professional group. Think "librarians" who may maintain specialized directories BUT look at the product to see if there's any evidence of links being sold, etc.

A "fast answer" ("Here's the list") will likely be a fast and dirty answer. If the answer is simple it likely is or soon will be an ineffective solution to pulling rank in an increasingly competitive WWW.

Lastly, depending on the value of the leads generated, a directory that may deliver even one sales lead a year may be worth at least the effort of submitting, if not the cost of paying for a listing.

Ultimately, the winner in the online world will be the one who is generating the highest traffic numbers from the greatest variety of relevant sites. In other words traffic from a variety of sites where a measure of "conversion influence" is built into the link-referral.

P.S. Forgive the edit. Requests for "lists", in any directory forum, tend to bring out the spammers, promoters and the same old same old lists of favorites. Bah. Humbug. ;P
3:09 am on Oct 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Excellent idea Webwork! THANK YOU!
Never thought of checking where my competitors are listed in directories.
Is there a way to find out beside search engine where they are listed on directories wise?

As for the question about directories that may hurt you...so does that mean directories that are not targeted could hurt you? So does that mean we should only submit to lists that are targeted (of course unless it is like a major directory)? Would that mean it would be ok to pay for relevant directories too? What are your thoughts about this?

Yes I agree a spam list would probably result if I were to ask for a list so I understand the edit. No worries. Sorry for not thinking about that earlier.
11:45 am on Oct 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

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If by "not targeted" you mean irrelevant, then it's a wasted opportunity cost for little reward. Those irrelevant directories will be unlikely to list you, and those that do are likely to be the ones that add everything no matter how spammy or rubbish it is, and therefore pretty much valueless as a backlink. So there are pretty good reasons to stick to submitting within your niche or region.

The same quality control issue applies to some of the less well known general directories, and you can usually tell by going to the category page you'd expect to see your listing and checking whether the other listed sites are familiar competitors or near-random junk.
7:19 pm on Oct 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Thanks Rosalind.
Really good advice.
So I guess there is no real harm right but best to have it more targeted.
The reason I am asking this too as I am getting an intern to work on this and honestly I can be certain on the quality or she knows where is spammy or not. Just afraid if she submits to bad neighbourhoods. Also I don't really know if there is a software or something (haven't yet googled it and just thought of it) that can help you submit to directories without doing it manually? That would really help save time. Should you only submit in once or try several times say within a month or two breather?
Thanks so much.