When it comes to link building campaigns, web directories are the first step that many people turn to. The first directories that come to mind are Yahoo’s directories and dmoz.org. The big question however is just how a webmaster or SEO user can tell which directories are the best and which ones aren’t. This question is even more important when submitting to niche web directories.
After reading a lot of stuffs from various discussion forums that are directory-related, I have come to the conclusion that in order to find the best web directory, one should take a more objective approach in evaluating them. It is very important to know the best directories because Google does not react very kindly to spam directories. In this article, we tell you how to evaluate the directories so as to arrive at the best. Also, at the end of it, we will list some of the directories that stand out from the pack.
What makes a good web directory
While some people are of the idea that number of backlinks and a directory’s age determines the quality of a directory, the fact is that it does not just work this way. So the question is: What is the most important thing? A lot of parameters that many sites use, like number of backlinks, age, page rank and domain authority, are easily manipulated. But having known how Google views spam directories, it is easy to conclude that investing in directories that tout themselves as being the best is a waste of time and money.
Why Google blacklists (some) web directories
In short, a web directory to be trusted needs to contain a high quality of websites listed in it and thoroughly review whatever has been submitted to them. Also, it ought to have clear editorial policy as well as reject anything that it considers trash. Although most people are likely to emphasize on the age of a given directory, believing that since they are old they can be trusted, this is quite misleading. The same applies to those who consider a directory’s Page Rank. PR can very easily be manipulated.
Measuring a web directory quality
According to me, all web masters should install the MOZ bar in their websites. This is because MOZ has developed some parameters that we can use to gauge the quality of a directory. These parameters include:
This is a prediction regarding how well a website is likely to perform in terms of search engine rankings. The parameter of Domain Authority can help you when you want to compare one site over another or when you want to determine your website’s strength over time.
This gives link popularity scores. In short, it tells you how important a given web page will be on the internet. The MozRank is earned by pages by the quality and number of other pages which link to them. The MozRank will be higher if the quality of incoming link is higher.
MozTrust is pretty much like MozRank, but the difference is that, unlike MozRank that measures the popularity of a link, MozTrust measures the trust of a link. To improve on MozTrust, a website ought to receive links from sources that contain inherent trust. These sources include government web pages or major university website homepages.
The next time you happen to open a directory, you need pay special attention to these values. The higher the value the better. Another thing is to look at the PageRank of the main page and also check random inner pages and see their PR. When a website is penalized by Google, the PR of the main page will be lowered by 0-2 value. However, it is only you as the webmaster that can decide whatever is good and one that is bad.
It is important to consider the editorial discretion of website directory that you are submitting your website to. It is possible to see at a glance if the directory you are submitting to is one that accepts everything or not. You should never pay for something that’s going to hurt you.
The idea of uploading content is also a good one. There are certain directories that only contain listings, which is not bad. Attaching a blog that is updated regularly is also a great idea. Provide fresh content that give how-to information and other things.
Best Web Directories for 2014
First Tier Directories
After much consultation and doing lots of research, I settled on the following web directories. The list has been arrived at after considering different perspectives that are likely to come into force in 2014. It has been divided into two: first-tier and second tier. The first tier web directories are the cream of the crop. It is very, very good if you can manage to get to them.
1. Yahoo’s Web Directory
They do charge $299 per year in terms of review fee. By review fee, it means that you are not guaranteed of getting a refund should they fail to accept your website.
This is a well organized and excellent resource directory. It has some categories that haven’t been touched for years. The directory is free and allows you to suggest a website although there is no guarantee that it will be approved. This is despite the fact that you may consider your website as being an excellent resource. Chances that a certain editor can find you and include you in a given category are very high.
Second tier Directories
This list of directories includes all those that allow for suggestions. Not only do they have editorial staff team, they add resources regularly and also have very strict editorial policies. One thing that common to almost all of these websites is that they use the official name of the website. They do not allow the use of promotional language.
Briefly, they include:
- Aviva Directory
- Jasmine Directory