Directory submission is one of the tried and tested industry standards of link building and despite it losing some of its might in Googles eyes, it’s still one of the best ways for new sites to generate large amounts of links and establish themselves in the market place. The steps below are aimed at maximizing the effectiveness and minimizing the time taken to submit your site or blog to directory sites.
Is submitting to directories still worth it?
This is a commonly seen question which often results in gritty arguments and length discussion. The short answer is yes, but only if you spend a bit of time getting it right. The majority of directories have almost no PR and are pretty worthless to Google and so submitting to them wont give you much value at all, if any, though may still warrant for something on other search engines. To get some real value from directories you must pick and chose the best of the best, the ones that give out some PR with their links.
The Heavy Weights – DMOZ and Yahoo! Directory
The two undisputed heavy weights of the directory world are Yahoo! Directory and DMOZ.org. Both are maintained by human beings who spend their time to accepting and refusing sites from their specific category. As such they don’t accept just anyone and getting in can be tricky.
Yahoo! Directory costs $300 to apply for, and that fee doesn’t guarantee you a listing. There are a large number of high PR directories out there and several of them are free so paying the $300 for Yahoo! shouldn’t be your first step, but if you can afford it it’s definitely worth it.
DMOZ is an open directory run by volunteers from all over the world. It’s free to get a listing in and is probably even more important than Yahoo! directory since it’s used in the ranking algorithms of many of the smaller search engines.
Be absolutely certain that you’re picking the right category for your site. Each category has a description, read it and make sure it applies to your site before submitting. If you chose the wrong category then what will happen is you’ll wait 3 or 4 weeks until an editor reads your submission. If it isn’t in the right category he’ll forward it up, down or across the line to another category and into another 3 to 4 week queue before someone else looks at it. By being diligent in your selection of category you increase your chances of getting in and decrease the time taken to review your entry.
Do NOT use anchor text in your title or a promotional, hyped description. Many people try to give themselves more clicks and better rank by using, for example, the title “Get Better SEO With High-Tech SEO Ltd” when a more appropriate title would be “High-Tech SEO Ltd”. If you’re extremely lucky you can get away with a little bit of hype, but 9 times out of 10 the editor will simply change your title and description to their own and they will usually read pretty lamely with no emotion at all. Even more likely, a busy editor will simply skip your entry or bump you to the back of the queue.
Become an Editor?
Becoming an editor for DMOZ is a positive step and can help you get your site get listed and have a good position, title and description. You should NOT join DMOZ solely for this reason however, not because it’s immoral or unethical, but because it’s a waste of time. If your site is in a popular niche like SEO or Internet Marketing then you will have to edit for a few years, and do a good job of it, before you’re considered for a position in this category. This article takes a look at becoming a DMOZ editor and gives an idea of the amount of work involved. This time and effort would be much better spend simply making good content for your site and making a good submission to DMOZ.
Other than the two main directories there are a plethora of others which are held in high regard by most search engines and can bring you some nice PR. Here is a list of directories by PR.
The exception to the PR rule is when you find a directory in your niche or one that relates specifically to your genre. Directories which specialize in one area tend to be less spammy and are respected a bit more by Google. You can find plenty of category specific directories by searching Google for terms like “Add URL” + Link Building or “Submit Site” + SEO, replacing Link Building and SEO with your subject.
Speed Up Submission
There are a number of software packages which can help you speed up the process of submitting to directories. They ask you to supply the details of your site (name, URL, category, description, etc) and with the press of a button can add you to several hundred sites in minutes. One thing to note is to be careful with how many links you generate each day, since Google pays attention to how fast sites gain new links and can hammer down on you.
Here are some of the free options available. I’ve chosen to exclude paid packages because I don’t think that this service is worth paying for.
Directory Submitter – http://directorysubmitter.imwishlist.com
Submit Helper – http://www.submithelper.com/User/User_Download.aspx?ProductID=3
SliQ Submitter – http://www.sliqtools.co.uk/directory-submission-tool.aspx