In this short lesson, we’ll explain how to submit your site to niche directories to help your SEO. We’ll also teach you the risks, Google’s stance on this strategy and how to avoid low-quality directories.
What are Website Directories?
Many websites provide directories that you can submit your business or site to. Two of the most well known directories include Best of the Web (BOTW.org) and Yahoo Directory.
How to Find High Quality, Relevant Directories to Submit your Site
The advantage of submitting your site to authority, relevant directories are to build natural backlinks that helps with the SEO process. Submitting your site on niche directories can also generate traffic and help Google understand the topical nature of your site.
Three of the biggest directory sites you should submit your site to include Technorati.com (free), BOTW ($160) and the Yahoo! Directory ($299). In order to submit your site, simply look for the “Submit Site” link and follow the onscreen instructions.
Whether or not you decide to submit your site to Yahoo! Is up to you. According to a Poll from SERoundtable.com, only 25% of SEOs believe it is still worth submitting to.
In order to help you find additional niche directories in your industry, try using the following advanced search queries in Google:
- “keyword” directory – This command will search for directories that include your business keywords
- intitle: keyword directory – This command will search for pages that includes “keyword directory” in the actual page title. This helps to filter the results for pages with specific directories on them.
- intitle:keyword resources and intitle: keyword useful sites – Theses command will find pages that include useful resources and lists based around your keyword(s). You can then email these sites and ask if they can add yours to it.
For example, if you run a kosher butchers shop then you can search for kosher butcher directories and link opportunities using “intitle: kosher butcher directory”.
The Importance of Local City Directories for SEO
Local directory submissions and citations are extremely important for local SEO, as covered in our lesson on the subject.
If you run a local business or service then you should aim to submit your site to as many high quality, relevant directories as possible. Good examples include local council sites, Yell.co.uk and 118.com.
How Google Handles Paid Directories
Over time, a number of low-quality directories have been created with the sole purpose of selling links for SEO. Obviously, this violates Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and you should avoid submitting your site to such directories to prevent getting an SEO penalty.
Google’s stance against submitting your site to low-quality directories can be seen in their Google Link Guidelines below:
Furthermore, according to Matt Cutts (Google’s Head of Search Quality), you should avoid submitting your site to low quality directories with little user value or editorial control. When deciding to submit your site to a directory check that it’s a legitimate directory built for users and not just for selling links.
He also clearly states however that it is perfectly fine to submit your site to editorial paid directories, referencing Yahoo! Directory as an example. Whatever you do, avoid getting conned into using automated software that promises to automatically submit your site to “100s of high quality directories”. No such thing exists.