Do you have a rule of thumb you use to evaluate directories?
Sure and not surprising they're quite a bit different than the ones outlined by Google Engineer MC. I'm going to cut and paste my comments from an interview on SEOBook
, here's the question Aaron asked:
Directories have fallen out of favor amongst many people on SEO forums. Do they still hold any weight? How do you tell if a directory is worth listing your site in?
Yeah, directory bashing by SEO’s seems to be the rage these days which is funny since so many of the newer ones have been developed by SEO’s.
The concept of “merit based inclusion” is what makes securing links in the better directories desirable. It’s reasoned that search engines bestow hub authority on these sites because human review is necessary before a site is included. And since human review is part of the co citation process search engines are programmed to reward, it stands to reason these types of sites would pass link popularity.
I use directories as a standard part of every link building service I offer and look at a number of things before I’ll submit:
I always submit to the “tried and true” directories such as JoeAnt, Ezilon, GoGuides, BOTW, UnCoverThe Net and RubberStamped
- Is the page my link will sit on in the Yahoo and Google index? If not, why?
- Is it something simple like it’s a new page or is something blocking that spider?
- Does the home page of the directory show PageRank but not the internal pages?
- Do the directory pages host an inordinate amount of adsense? If they do, I pass. Same applies for site wide links. If there is more than a handful of site wides, I walk.
- If it’s a paid directory, is it a lifetime or annual submission fee? I go for lifetime with the exception of the Yahoo! Directory which I advocate using if you’re a new business.
- Do you have to use the name of your business in the anchor text link or will they allow descriptive keywords? If they do, I mix up the keywords and the descriptions.
- Does the directory allow deep linking?
- How long has the directory been online? My threshold is two years.
- Does the directory have an RSS embedded on its category pages? This is a bonus for me as I can keep tabs via keyword settings on new sites being added.
- And lastly – does the directory allow you to edit submissions? It’s helpful to be able to change your descriptions/anchors to reflect the changes in your business.
as well as any niche directories I can find.
And yes, I still try to get into DMOZ provided I find a category editor on the page I want to submit to. Otherwise I don’t bother anymore.
One last tip about using directories…You’ll find a lot of the niche and local directories are hobby sites run by enthusiasts or business owners. Look around these sites for email signup boxes or an indication they publish a newsletter. If they do, write the owner and ask if he’ll resell his mailing list or allow you to place a text link ad in their newsletter. You’ll find it’s an inexpensive way to reach a targeted audience.