Years ago SEOs would do mass directory submissions as part of their SEO strategy. Now if your SEO company has a large focus on directories you should probably run the other way. That doesn’t mean that all directories are bad, they just aren’t and shouldn’t be a focus on your SEO plan. Instead you should think about a few things.
1. Does the directory have traffic that can convert into sales or leads
2. Is the directory in your niche or relevant to your site
3. What is the quality of the directory and how does it rank or appear in the eyes of a search engine
By evaluating a directory, you can make a smarter decision on if it is a good place to list your company, and if you should be there. Don’t think about it from just an SEO standpoint, think about it from sales and branding as well. Here are 5 directories that I enjoy, have used or currently use.
Best of the Web (BOTW)
Alexa – 7,331
PR – 6
In my interview with SEO Rae Hoffman-Dolan, she even agrees that BOTW is still a relevant directory. The reason I enjoy them isn’t just the PR6 backlink you get, but the fact that they rank well for numerous terms and they have a large amount of traffic. Their directory is handled and managed properly and very well maintained. That is one of the reasons I will still recommend them.
Alexa – 6,811
PR – 7
One thing that I like about Business.com is the fact that they can generate sales. They have a directory as well as PPC engine, comparison engine and article directory. Although those would normally be a red flag for SEOs, in this case it is a well established and very nice system that can drive traffic and sales for your company and clients if you are in the B2B space. I have been using them for years and still enjoy my relationship with them.
Alexa – 33,268
PR – 4
To be honest I haven’t listed with them for a long time. However I have used them in the past and was happy with the results. The nice thing is that they rank in the top positions in many SEs for terms like Affiliate Programs. They also rank within the top ten for mixes of those terms like Affiliate Marketing Programs. The downside that I found was that I was getting more newbies that I had to work closely with to grow. The only reason that that is a downside is that it takes a while to help them build up their sites so they can send you traffic and sales. The nice thing is that I did get a few solid performers who had established sites, just heard about Affiliate Marketing and were just looking for programs and came across them in the SEs.
Alexa – 85,454
PR – 7
This is an awesome site that is very well established, extremely well maintained and can drive lots of sales, leads and conversions for you if you are in the job space. Not only does it have a high PR, but the value comes from the content and the quality of the traffic that it attracts. This is one of my favorite niche directories. You have to remember that because it is niche, it may not have as much total traffic as some of the general directories, but because it is niche, the traffic may be more relevant for you.
Alexa – 4
PR – 9
Ok, with this one I am always back and forth. Years ago it was worth the money for the backlink alone, now it can be argued either way. It was the go to directory after DMOZ. The other benefit of the Yahoo directory was that you would get traffic that could convert into sales. Even if the backlink wasn’t that good, you still got your money’s worth from the Yahoo Directory. The reason that it is on this list is that there are a few SEOs that I respect that do use it but don’t say that publicly. If they still like it, then I think it should be here.
Some directories are still relevant and can be great for your business. Other directories can create issues with your linking structure and may hurt you a bit in the long run. It is important to evaluate the benefits and issues with each and then make a decision. One thing to keep in mind though is that Directories should be a very small part of any SEO plan and not something to rely on.