Submitting your web site to web directories is still a key strategy for search engine optimization and improving rankings. Web directories have been pervasive on the Web for a long time.
With recent reports from Google about penalizing sites for listing in paid directories, many webmasters have avoided integrating them into their seo campaigns. However, the right directories can provide benefit. There are two main types of directories found on the Internet.
1. General Directories – these directories do not feature any particular theme/market and are open to most websites for inclusion. Many will place restrictions on adult and gambling websites.
Why Submit to Web Directories?
Most web directories will publish your website with a direct text link and a short blurb about your site.
The advantage is that search engines can crawl the link and read the text being used to describe your website, from another source.
The key is to make sure that you use well optimized copy within this description as it can help with your natural search results – where possible include popular search terms.
Submitting your website to web directories is beneficial when aiming to increase your backward link count and helping page rank.
Being included in these directories can be as simple as making a submission via the “Suggest URL” form.
The time it takes for your website to be included in the directory will vary - some directories will list your site within a matter of hours, others, such as DMOZ can take longer. Inclusion is often dictated by how the web directory is maintained – many of these are maintained by hand, so the time for inclusion can vary (weeks, possibly months).
Note: Directory inclusion time does not directly reflect the quality of the directory i.e. DMOZ is the most popular Internet directory inclusion time can take months.
Other popular Web directories such as Yahoo! charge for inclusion. The majority of Internet directories that charge for inclusion base this on a 12 month subscription.
Tips for a Web Directory Submission Campaign
As with any other element of search engine optimization, directory submissions should be on going.
When starting out try and dedicate at least half a day a month minimum, to doing directory submission.
By putting in the time, over the space of 4 – 8 weeks you should see a noticeable improvement in the volume of back links pointing to your website.
Before rolling out your campaign it pays to do some research and preparation:
- Write at least 4 – 6 alternate descriptions of your website
- Using a spread sheet, compile a list of the directories you wish to submit to
- Prepare your keywords, description (both long and short)
- Using a version of Firefox or Internet Explorer that supports tabbed browsing can also help speed up the submission process
If possible, create a separate email account for the campaign. You will receive a high volume of emails when doing such submissions, most of these are confirmation emails however you are also opening yourself up to spam. You need to check these emails and confirm your submissions, although you don’t want this cluttering your personal inbox every day.
To speed up the process and make life easier, directory submission software is available: