Directory submission has become the main subject of many SEO discussions lately.
• Google has changed dramatically the manner in which websites can obtain backlinks, which created both confusion and despair in the SEO world.
• Directories used to be one of the best ways to get many backlinks without spending too much time and effort on it.
• Some companies even provided automatic directory submission services that facilitate the task even further. Today, the situation has changed.
It is still possible to utilize directories for search engine optimization purposes but the strategy needs to remain cautious and well-thought out.
→ Directories are of two main kinds – free and paid. The advantage of submitting links to free directories are quite obvious but is the affordability connected to good SEO value?
Free Directories: Pros and Cons
Free directories, quite obviously, allow for the free inclusion of links in their category pages.
• Finding high quality free directories will require some research but it is possible to discover reputable, highly specialized directories that will be just right for your search engine optimization purposes.
• The free directory is very often preferred by small businesses or people that are just getting started in the web realm.
• They can be beneficial but a lot of preliminary work is involved in the selection process.
One of the biggest disadvantages connected to free directory submissions is that you will have to wait a long time before the link goes live.
There will usually be at least a several week waiting period.
Some free directories provide no guarantee that the link would actually be published.
This is why you will have to submit many links, while you will be expecting uncertain results.
Free directories are often attracting low quality websites, which get listed in the different sections.
Having your website appear among those links is certainly going to add very little to your online reputation. If the directory accepts all kinds of submissions, it may actually damage your SEO efforts.
Some free directories are reputable enough.
Instead of submitting a link to every possible free directory, try to find the ones that are maintaining a relatively higher quality of submissions.
Choosing a thematic directory is also better than submitting your link in just any general project.
When it comes to link building through free directories, quality is always more important than quantity.
Paid Directory Submissions: Are They Better?
The most obvious disadvantage related to using paid directories for your website marketing and optimization strategy is that you will have to invest in the process. The fact that you are paying, however, indicates that you will be getting some quality for the money you are spending on your link submission.
Some paid directories do have inferior quality, however, and you once again need to be careful. An optimal link building strategy should include both free and paid submissions that are all corresponding to a specific quality standard.
A high quality paid directory should include solely website links that meet specific requirements.
• First, the most important aspect of a paid listing opportunity, is the domain authority, niche relevant topic, and is the directory a localized website?
• Local business directory links to your website will help boost your local SEO rankings, and even more so if the site is within your niche.
• Google wants topic sensitive links to be built, as in reality that’s how they would naturally be built. Domain owners who enjoy a certain topic, are more likely to link to other related pages which they enjoy.
• Positioning yourself among poor quality websites will do little for your online promotion.
• The directory should also contain some useful content and it should be updated on a regular basis.
Paid directories can be maintained better than the free ones precisely because the owners will be making some money through the submission.
• The directory has to be rich in content. Preferably, it should come with a blog or an articles section.
• This is one of the main differences between free and paid directories and one of the biggest advantages connected to the later.
Conclusion: Making Up Your Mind
If you are just getting started in the online realm and you lack the financial resources needed for paid search engine optimization, you can rely on free directories for link building services.
» You need to be extra-careful when picking free directories. Paid ones tend to be much more diversified and more concerned about the quality of submissions.
» It is possible to discover high quality free directories but you will have to spend a lot of time looking around and doing your homework.
If possible, include several paid directories in your strategy.
You can go through professional forums and blogs to find out more about the best national domestic paid directories and the benefits that they will offer.
• Exploring your options and having a mixed strategy is the best way to get the biggest benefits out of the two options.