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1. Too expensive (dmoz is free though)
2. 99% of traffic delivered from these will be untargeted. And the remaining 1% is so small it will never convert for the fee you just paid. Eg: Yell and Thomson are built for branding - NOT clickthrough, and the paper versions transfer that thought process onto the web, and thus we have failure of clickthrough. People see branded directories and assume it's a sure money maker, it's not as copycats will always fail.
3. The websites that list with these directories,- are simply checking their listing/s they just bought or obtained, and not interested in 'searching' - just making sure their listing is still visible. My belief is the mass general directory industry is on it's way out, as the only ones starting up new directories either want to make a fast buck, and then promptly disappear from the face of the earth with my money - or companies with a much larger picture in mind.
I will say this though, directories may have a 'branding' service to offer, if they (get the idea right) but expecting 1000's of clicks from these is a big mistake, and in most cases is an expensive one.
Most directories are way to expensive, and even more costly than search engines, which they compete with and is another mistake they make.
I recently asked for my details to be removed from several directories because of the hassle they caused me. Says it all really.
[edited by: Maxnpaddy at 8:55 pm (utc) on Sep. 29, 2007]
Yah, like four years ago. It's 2007, they don't work anymore.
you are very wrong about this, however i dont recommand free spammy directories, i have been able to improve my client rankings from the top 20 to the top 5 and even top 3 for keywords as hard as "online casinos" and "free games" by just submitting my clients websites to about 50 paid directories and using their targeted keywords as anchor text.
directories still works and should be included in a balanced Link building strategy, i have tested directories with more than 50 websites and everytime, i see dramatic improvement in rankings just 5 to 8 weeks after submitting with the right anchor text, however i never submit to free directories, i have my own list of quality paid directories.
my guess is that you never experimented the effect of getting a good number of links from paid directories.
Moral of the story; looking at other industries like casinos and finance are a good place to sometimes find backlinks because they're so competitive and tough to get links for. Thanks MartiniBuster!