Do Directory Submissions Provide Any SEO Value?

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The question “Do directory submissions help SEO?” gets asked constantly. Some SEO’s say web directories offer no value while others say there are some benefits from directory submissions. The truth is difficult to uncover as the secret Google algorithm continues to be well guarded.

What Approach To Take

A well balanced link building strategy which includes a mixture of link types will benefit your website. When submitting your site to directories check out the quality of the directory by looking at trust factors which can include domain age, page rank, Alexa rank and other trust measures which you may use. If the directory accepts links from spam sites such as adult or gambling sites it is best to stay clear of these directories.

Auto approve directories will tend to be a lower quality than human edited directories. A well organised directory which is split into proper categories is better than a site which just links out randomly. Another way to test quality is to use the directory to search for something. If you are presented with relevant results and are satisfied with the ease of use, chances are Google will feel the same.

When submitting to directories always choose the most specific category your site falls into. Write a snappy description and it is a good idea to make the site name keyword rich as this could will help your website to rank higher for this term.

Google Likes Directories

Local business directories can be very useful for improving search engine rankings particularly local SEO. Google now uses information from local directories such as Qype, Yelp and others to pull in information for local listings when users search for local services. Google will also sometimes use reviews from these sites and place them in the SERPS.

Just like local directories Google also shows Industry specific directories in its local SERPS. Getting listed in an industry specific directory will signal to Google the content of your website helping the search engine to understand your relevance to search queries entered.

Things to Remember

If you only use website directories for your link building strategy this will not benefit your website. If you find a link builder to create 1,000 directory submissions for your site, this will not benefit you. In fact this kind of activity is likely to be frowned upon by search engines.

Cheap directory submissions and auto submission software is unlikely to give you any SEO benefit as often the links which are built are on poor quality directories. In order to prevent getting any SEO penalties ensure all directory submissions are on quality directories.

Web directory submissions should be integrated as part of an ongoing search engine strategy. One-off hits submitting your site to 1,000’s of directories could signal to Google you are spamming. With directory submissions always take an approach which includes determining the quality of the directory and continuous submission which is natural.

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