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Using Directories Effectively: Directory Submission and Page Rank

When considering submission of links to directories to increase your traffic, there are a few main points to consider. First of all, how much can you spend? What is your goal? Is it to increase traffic to your site? Lift up your page rank? Build a reputation or promote brand recognition? Using directory links might not increase your traffic all that much all the time, depending on the directories chosen of course. However, this is a very good form of SEO and can be well worth your time.

Make a plan for building your network of links. Spend some time researching potential directories. Take a look at their strengths and weaknesses, prices, and directions for submissions. Look up their policies on html tags and keyword use, and find out what their main markets are.

The Do’s

Do submit for the purpose of gaining more traffic.

DO read the terms of service of the directories and make sure you are using the correct category. Your link will be useless if you submit it to the wrong group.

DO double check your documents for spelling, grammar, and accuracy.

And DO work with a local directory. Your site will only get lost in the sea of large, national, messy directories otherwise. Local or regional sites can also be good for public relations and can offer you a specific niche.

The Do Not’s

Do NOT submit to directories for the purpose of gaining page rank, you will be sorry if you do!

Do NOT use reciprocal links. Reciprocal linking is an arrangement by two or more site owners to link to each other’s site. This may seem like a great idea, but it can actually hurt your Google weighting. If you do this at all, make sure you only use reciprocal links to well-established directories.

Do NOT submit the exact same link description to each directory. Modify the description each time, taking care to keep it natural sounding and with supporting keywords but not stuffed.

Pricing choices: Paid or free directories?

There is really no reason not to submit to all the free directories you can find. While this might not do much to help your SEO and website traffic, you lose nothing by trying. But stay away from link farms that list thousands of links. Associating yourself with such sites will do you damage in the search engine algorithms, as you risk being tagged as a spam site.

With paid sites, you get what you pay for. Choose your directories wisely. How good is the reputation of the prospective directory websites? Are they well respected and well visited in their respective categories? A few minutes spent with Google or another search engine will tell you how the various websites rank. Check their traffic, Pagerank and history with Alexa or

If the directory offers to pass Pagerank to your site, stay away!

Will the directory allow static links?

This is also something you can find out by using Google. Take a look at how well their directories are organized and see if your website will be easy to find in their categorization. The fewer links per page contained in the directory, the better the situation for you. Stay away from directories that list more than 20 links per page. This is especially true of large, nationwide directories; your link will be lost in the sea of links and you are likely to gain little, if any, benefit from using the directory. Here’s another valuable article on how to choose the right directories.

Make sure you are submitting your link to the correct category. While you’re at it, check out the competition in this category. If there are hundreds of sites listed in the category which best describes your page, see if there is another category that is not too different but less populated. Or, check to see if the directory will feature your sponsored link for an extra fee. This will push your link up to the top of the page where various search engines and surfing web visitors are more likely to see it. You will do well to submit to niche directories related to the theme of your site rather than a generalized directory.

Check the number of links offered by your target directories. This will let you know how well the directory optimizes its search engine efficiency. Typing in Google will allow you to do this.

In summary, submitting to directories is a fine way to increase linkage and therefore make your website appeal to search engines. Doing some research will definitely be worth your time. This will allow you to save money, avoid poor or disreputable sites, and effectively increase the number of pages linking to your site.