like you and me are always on the lookout to enhance the link
popularity of their sites. One method of doing so is
to seek out authority sites in your niche –
sites that are widely known on the Internet (through the sheer
number of back links) and have been around for some time (think
more in terms of several years). Unfortunately, such websites
are often at a Page Rank of 6+ and as such, link exchange or text
link ad placement is very, very expensive .
there is a cheaper alternative. You can use web directories
to not only enhance your search engine visibility
(through increased link popularity), but by targeting
niche categories and using sponsored listings where necessary,
you can get a big jump in your traffic as well.
let's get started.
web directory is a collection of links broken
down into relevant categories. Think Yahoo! and their directory,
the Open Directory Project or even the Google Directory (which,
incidentally, is pulled from the ODP). At its most basic level,
a web directory is a collection of bookmarks made available to
the public. In other cases, like Yahoo, it is a professional resource
for people actively looking for information.
get listed in such a directory, you can either get listed for
free (which might take a while), or in many cases, pay a one-time
fee to have your website reviewed and entered in the
directory. One major exception is Yahoo, which charges a recurring
fee for its commercial listings, and we'll look at that later.
benefits of being listed in a web directory
theory, there are two main benefits of being listed in a web directory:
link-popularity due to a one-way link from a highly-respected
traffic due to being listed in a directory that
is searched by many people every day.
reality though, these benefits are directly related to how popular
the directory is itself, and how much money you have paid for
your listing. Of course, if the link is for free, there is nothing
to worry about.
if you are paying for submission, you need to know some very important
far as link-popularity is concerned, you need to factor in several
- The Page
Rank of the directory
- The Page
Rank of the category page on which you are listed
you are listed on the page
- The number
of competing websites on that page
- If there
are other websites in your niche that can
offer you the same conditions for the same price or less (very,
last point is very important from the cost/benefit angle.
A web directory, while being a hub itself, is NOT a niche website
or an authority site. Even within categories and sub-categories,
the lack of valuable content means that web directories are, at
the end of the day, link pages and nothing more.
directories win out is the fact that they require one-time fees.
In contrast, authority sites (or most websites with a Page Rank
greater than 5 or 6) tend to use text links as a source fo revenue,
and thus charge monthly fees. A directory listing
then becomes a much better option (but only for link popularity).
listings are also used as traffic building opportunities.
How this works is that many directories are searchable for their
visitors, so that users can look for information. In theory this
is great – you can get lifetime traffic for just
a nominal payment, but you should not expect a sudden deluge of
traffic from just one directory listing. Here's why:
directories, apart from the top twenty or so, are usually
used for link-building and not pure searching.
This means that while people may use GoGuides or Yahoo for
regular searches, you should expect that the smaller directories
are mainly for link-popularity, and plan your investment as
directories offer listings based on an alphabetical
ordering, or a first-come, first-serve ordering.
In both cases, your website has quite a big chance of being
lost out in the noise.
algorithms differ greatly. Some directories,
like JoeAnt, base their search on keyword relevancy (which
makes it more of an exercise of stuffing your directory listing
with keywords rather than making a good website), while others
take a more “editorial” approach by factoring in editor ratings.
And still, many directories display sponsored listings
first, reinforcing the adage that even on the Internet,
it's your advertising budget that talks, and not necessarily
the quality of your website.
you factor in the above points, you realize that there are only
a handful of web directories where it is a definite benefit to
“pay” to be listed. And even then, you cannot just rely on just
being listed – sponsor listings get much more exposure.
But before we discuss these dozen or so web directories, I'd like
to tell you how you can make sure your website is accepted.
to get listed - Overview
listed in a web directory is a function of three things:
takes a certain amount of time before an editor can review
your website and approve (or reject) your request. This
is usually anywhere between a week to almost never (in huge web
directories like Yahoo and Dmoz). You can reduce this to within
a week by using the paid listing option.
from Dmoz, the big directories usually require a nominal payment
for your website to be listed. While you can calculate
the benefit of such a listing from reading the previous section,
know that usually there are several listing options, which the
better services (that give your website more
directory visibility) obviously costing more.
some cases (very rarely nowadays), directory inclusions can be
rejected due to the poor quality of a website.
Maybe the editor considered that your website was not ‘useful'
enough (meaning it had little or no useful / original
/ any content), or sometimes, there may be moral issues (although
editors are urged to abide by directory guidelines and not personal
beliefs). If rejected, you will almost always receive feedback
(you might have to ask for it) on how to improve your website.
earlier days, quality was a big issue. Today, it is still a major
concern for top directories like Yahoo, but this is more to separate
the truly atrocious from the rest rather than to separate the
best from the rest.
web directory has their personalized criteria, but there are two
crucial elements to getting listed:
Inclusions – Apart from Dmoz, and some directories
where you can sign-up to be an editor, the top directories
require payment – anywhere from $15 to $299.
Quality – By this I don't mean design; I'm talking
about having truly useful information – even if your website
is a commercial website, simply putting up a bunch of affiliate
links will not count as a quality website .
and Dmoz are the two biggest directories on the Internet, and
it's only fair that I talk about how to get listed on them individually.
listing in Yahoo's directory has direct benefits:
– and perhaps other search engines as well – give your website
an added importance if your website is listed
in the Yahoo directory.
is the portal of choice for millions of users.
This makes your potential target market at least in the hundreds
of thousands, even for obscure niches.
get listed in the Yahoo directory, you have to access Yahoo
Directory Submit and work from there. You will be required
to open a Yahoo account, if you don't have one already. The review
process will cost $299, and is no guarantee that
your website will be listed.
if you have a useful website, and follow the guidelines detailed
by Yahoo, there is no reason for your website to be rejected.
Open Directory Project
or the open directory project, is a directory that rivals the
reach of Yahoo. Why? Because directories like the Google
Directory and many others are powered by the results
from Dmoz. This gives a listing in the ODP a very high premium.
because a listing in Dmoz is essentially free, there is very little
you can do about the time factor. Many websites that are submitted
are never indexed, and that happens mainly due to a lack
the other hand, quality websites that are added into their relevant
categories are almost always accepted, so make sure you follow
for submitting the Open Directory Project can be found here.
listed in Yahoo and Dmoz is the bare minimum
for any website looking to establish themselves at the top of
their niche. And if you're looking to move beyond the big two
and move on to second-tier directories, here's a quick list.
multiple paid options
non-profit website – free, commercial website - $15
multiple paid options from free to $99.
$39.99 or $69.95
Is Our Year
Multiple paid options, $39 one-time to $29/month
Of The Web
addition, there are several directories that are focused completely
on directories (you can find similar listings by looking through
Yahoo or Dmoz).
listing is, in most cases, useful only for the link popularity.
In such scenarios, if you can find better deals on authority sites
in your niche, then you should go for them. However, a directory
listing is cheaper (one-time versus monthly payment),
and with the big directories like Yahoo, Dmoz and GoGuides, it
can also bring you reasonable traffic.
always, remember that directory listings form a small
part of your overall online marketing strategy. If you
don't have the budget for a Yahoo listing, don't sweat it – focus
on other forms of marketing, and come back to it when you can
afford it. Directory listings are important, but only when you
are looking to squeeze every possible drop of
search engine placement out of your links and your website.
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