When this all Search Engine Optimization thing started, webmasters realized that it was important to have incoming links pointing to their site, for better search visibility and increased traffic. Free directories were the easiest way to get one way links to their site in the early days. As there was not much of a competition, they used to get their site approved quickly in free directories, but this scenario changed when everyone started doing this.
After stuffing the keywords on pages, webmasters used to submit their site to thousands of free directories in order to get backlinks. Even they had some semi automatic directory submission tools which still exists.
Slowly and steadily Search Engines realized that it was easy for anyone to rank in the search engines after submitting to bunch of powerful directories, so the value of links from directories were downgraded. Although some of the powerful directories still maintained their status, and they still provide powerful backlinks.
Google was behind paid links providers, so the directory owners who provided paid links with checking the quality of the site were gone. Yahoo directory on the other hand still charges for submission of the website, but still provides powerful backlink because their editors check the websites carefully and include only genuine good websites.
Still useful or not, it’s good to submit your site to directories. Here are some of the guidelines or checklist to refer to get the best result of directory submission.
Before the submission:
- Choose proper directory list to submit the site. (addurl.nu or directorycritic.com are good examples)
- Check directory pagerank and their presence on major search engines like Google, Yahoo, Live etc.
- Check whether the directory has Search Engine friendly URL structure.
- Check if the directory provides dofollow static text link, some directories provide nofollow links, which can’t be much of a use in the eye of search engines, especially Google.
- Check if the directory is maintained regularly, so that you can get your submission approved quickly.
- Check the Alexa rank of the directory.
While doing the submission:
- Include important keyword or website name in the title
- Use descriptive language for description, don’t stuff description with keywords. (atleast 250 characters for almost all the directories).
- Use different industry related keywords in the keyword field, but don’t repeat the same keywords again and again.
- Check the character limit of all the fields and submit values accordingly.
- Double check the submitted URL.