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The "we'll submit you to 78 directories" offer isn't one I've seen good results from. The directories they might get you into seem to be poor, (if you actually get into any) and the cheap automated pitch doesn't seem to work for the high quality directories.
To find a few nice sites to list on, search on your keywords and look around for a good one that has a path to get listed. Or, search for keyword add url or keyword keyword2 submit url (or link) and follow the instructions only for the better ones.
i have noticed web directory submission sites claiming to submit to loads od directories. Is this a good thing or a bad thing?
You do need to be careful. One school of thought says 'go for it, what harm can it do'; and provided you DO NOT ever link back (neither appropriate or necessary for directories), your risks are negligable.
But I'd argue 'so are your benefits' - 99% of the submission services submit one clone submission to many mostly cr*p directories. In my view, a handful of hand crafted submissions to quality directories would be a much more useful move, both for SEO and human referrals.
Every quality directory has their own guidelines, which you need to follow; many will reject applications to the wrong category - so a 'service' may dirty the waters for you as regards quality directories.
Most of these 'directories' are very small time and only use SEO, because of very low budgets - so why bother with small fry, when you can use the niche/specialised ones.
The large company Directories have value (ones that are backed/financed) - don't get me wrong, but they aren't tools for SEO people, as the larger ones are proper businesses and don't like webmasters. Once they get their index filled, they will begin prevention strategies to de-index, and only index genuine businesses - just like Google is doing. Some are doing that already.
Let's not forget the major attraction of directories, which is the one-way link they provide, and the directories know this, they know people are desperate for links and they will all start charging quite hefty fees.
Seo is old news now, just like general sites etc, together with the fees that can be made, is the reason why SEO is pretty much over. The free search engine results isn't worth squat anymore - paid is the new free!
Companies are constantly offering new improved methods to attract punters eg: Pay Per Month, so it's easier than ever to test campaigns without losing the shirt off your back.
Quality Directory links are cheap and cheerful, and not half bad, so why waste time messing about with some half dead technique, when a few decent paid links does the job much better.
Hasn't it occured to the webmaster community yet, that people shy away from things that look like scams, adsense or link collectors. If it has, then why is SEO still being discussed - look, people know about directories, and they know that having tons of conflicting anchor text doesn't actually make much difference to the traffic aspect, ok disagree here, but it's old hat folks, and there are better ideas for promotion than paying fortunes to get every page of your site finely tuned, to be at the mercy of the engines.
Better techniques out there.
And seeing as the many directories out there will delete keyword stuffed descriptions, it will fail anyway. Trust me on this...
Search engines are designed so that the most decent ad tools deliver the best targeted traffic. This is how they make money, and also proves how bad the serps really are.
The free entries in engines are next to useless. I only broke 2000 visitors this month, and that's from what the so called free serps send me, and that's not great. But then again I don't rely on them either - I'm too smart.
2000ish visitors is about as much as I can muster from this SEO thing and the engines, but I know I can get triple that from real advertising. So it proves that paid advertising works and is superior - it might cost, but it delivers results.
Free is useless if it doesn't give results. Ignorance is those that keep flogging a dead horse, and never learn from it's constant failure.
Do you know how the serps work, and I don't mean that it lists for free! How many web pages in the serps? 2 billion pages, well lets say 2 billion for arguments sake. That's too many for any to stand out, and it doesn't matter what keywords you have SEO'd, because your site is buried amongst those 4 million others who SEO'd too. You ain't standing out - know what I mean.
I know the games that search engines play, so I'd appreciate it if you didn't call me ignorant.
I have not gotten confronational in the least. If I had, trust me, you would know it. I simply stated my thoughts, which were basically, "wow".
Don't let the forum "junior member" tag fool you. That simply means I do not post unless I have something I feel like saying. I have been marketing online since altavista was king.
I will agree with David Ogletree however that if the best you can do is 2000 visitors from the organic results, then it is not organic that is at fault. It is your own inability to rank for decent keywords. In my opinion, in this particular situation, ignorance is the guy who simply can not rank decently due to his own inabilities saying SEO is dead or sucks.
Stevelibby: I don't bother with those "submit to a bazillion directories" things because I think most of the directories they submit to are kinda worthless.
Have you tried writing press releases and putting them out on PRWeb or something like that? Do you have an RSS feed for the site you're working on? There are tons of things you can do to help build backlinks organically. (Maybe try some social?)
Helpinghand: Wow. Not real sure where to start (or stop for that matter)... I'm very sorry you're not having much luck with organic search, but your experience doesn't seem to jive with pretty much all of the studies out there that show users click on organic listings at much higher rate than the paid listings.
SEO is not over, and it's still very necessary. Perhaps you'd like to start your own topic to have this debate (so this doesn't end up highjacking stevelibby's thread).
P.S. Your ultimate goal should be a Wiki entry. :)
HelpingHand: Yahoo? Nuff said.
While Yahoo is one of the big 3, it does not send much traffic anymore. In order for your statement to be valid that you know SEO well, and that it does not bring traffic, you will need to be able to rank for competitive keywords in google. Note that when people mention the words "competitive" and "searched for" they are not talking about keywords that get hardly any searches. I can rank in days in yahoo or msn for "lkdardfghdsfjk" and "iqrwthjrhjdw", then come here and say SEO sucks cause they aint sending me any traffic. That would elicit the same responses you are getting now. Please learn before trying to teach, you are not ready yet.
Seeing as these directories are so heavily seo'd, surely if I were to get listed in the majority, then I don't need to worry about my site being that seo'd right. This is what directories are used for right.
I thought search engines penalise for over the top keyword manipulation. Seems to me that these directories do a lot of keyword stuffing, and that can't be a wise move.
In any case, folks should be submitting for links and not seo driven link dumps. I understand Google frowns upon that too - have I left anything out.
The link is the real value here - yes I'm sure I read that here somewhere.
I thought search engines penalise for over the top keyword manipulation
Identical anchor text across virtually all links has been a suicide note (or at least a "Google attention-seeking act") for almost two years.
Obsessively clinging to one anchor text phrase is pretty loopy (except for one-phrase .info sites), on the simple basis that not every visitor shares that obsession.
Hopefully, the site contains enough unique, interesting, useful content to support more than one phrase. Some sites don't, of course.
But hey, 2005 was a good year; don't knock it. ;)
[edited by: Quadrille at 1:41 pm (utc) on May 22, 2007]
Erm, say we have 2 sites. Now one domain is www.coolsite.com but the other is www.naffsite.com - surely my domain will sell me, and that is worth more than a bunch of directory links or seo can ever do for me. I figure the site name will get into the minds of visitors, so I don't have to worry about promotion much.
I don't plan to rely much on search engines/directories or SEO for my traffic, but more on 'out of the box' methods. And I see a good domain as just one of those underused methods. Everything helps.
Ok, I have links, but I don't relish the prospect of trading these for the rest of my life, for the pittance of traffic these directories send me. I'd have to check which directories send me most traffic, but it's not many of them.
Anyone else care to rate directory links as a traffic booster/driver?
[edited by: Helpinghand at 5:33 pm (utc) on May 22, 2007]
Anyone else care to rate directory links as a traffic booster/driver?
The benefits of a quality directory link are far reaching. I don't think I could provide a viable rating system but I can tell you that when you look at the overall picture (the forest through the trees), researching a "few" quality directory links would be in your favor.
Again, the litmus test...
Search for your keyword phrase plus "directory". Change SERPs layout to 100 per page. Not there? Don't worry about it. Check again in 3, 6 and 9 month intervals. There are directories that were launched quite a while ago that are just now establishing trust and will now start appearing in those top 100 SERPs. You have to find those gems and pursue them.
A directory submission service isn't going to get rich submitting your site to DMOZ, Yahoo Directory, and three or five more directories. What's going to fly off the shelf is 100 links from 100 directories at a crazy-stupid price you'd be a fool not to pay. But that's not what you need.
Within that group, niche directories - depending on your niche - can be a serious boost to your site (povided it's a good one!).
As you say, every bit helps - and quality directories will help MUCH more than a snappy domain name, simply because, for most sites, domain names are just not typed in; they are clicked. So whether it's 'cool.com' or 'cool-ish.com' really won't make very much difference.
So what I've done is to remove all my webmaster directories links, and hope this redeems my site with the major engines. The whole experience has now made me very wary of all general anything that calls itself 'a directory' and can never trust one again.
I find it shocking that this practise of first linking, then removing links goes on. They must think I won't check my links or something, oh well, they'll get a nasty shock when they check theirs.
Why can't people be nice to each other. jeeze.
[edited by: Helpinghand at 1:13 am (utc) on May 25, 2007]