Free Directory Submission: What to Avoid, Tips & Tricks

Free Directory Submission: What to Avoid, Tips & Tricks

Looking for quick easy links? Be careful what you wish for...

Despite rumours, directory listings are still useful!  These listings help diversify your link portfolio and will help boost rankings when used with other link building methods such as:

  • Articles
  • Link bait
  • Blogging

What to Avoid

avoid bad directories

Signs of dodgy directories:

The directory has more ads than content

The directory loses its main focus, which is to act as an index of links. The site loses value for the user and Google will deem it either irrelevant or not worth caching. Listing your link here is about as useful as Paddy Moogan without Twitter.


The site is promoting the sale of links

I'm going to let Google explain this one:

"Your site's ranking in Google search results is partly based on analysis of those sites that link to you. The quantity, quality, and relevance of links count towards your rating. The sites that link to you can provide context about the subject matter of your site, and can indicate its quality and popularity. However, some webmasters engage in link exchange schemes and build partner pages exclusively for the sake of cross-linking, disregarding the quality of the links, the sources, and the long-term impact it will have on their sites. This is in violation of Google's webmaster guidelines and can negatively impact your site's ranking in search results."

The PageRank has been faked

It is still possible to fake Pagerank, and there are methods to check this. If a site needs to fake its PageRank, chances are there is something wrong...stay clear.

There are thousands of links in each category

Not much PageRank to be passed on to your website here. If Google even decides to index the directory in the first place.

The directory wants to exchange links

This isn't entirely a bad practice, the directory wants you to link back to them in order to increase their PageRank. I don't do this simply because there is no value for me...selfish I know.

The website doesn’t function properly (broken links, misplaced graphics, “INSERT AD HERE”)

Broken links, blank advertisements and general malfunction of the site suggests the directory has been abandoned. Don't bother.

The words “SEO Friendly” always ring alarm bells

Directories in essence are supposed to be SEO friendly, you don't need to tell me that.  You'll notice with these types of directories that there will always be an option to submit to multiple directories for a fee, either directly on the page or in an email confirmation after you've submitted your link.  Paying for links to manipulate search engine rankings are against Google's webmaster guidelines and you run the risk of  being penalized or banned. Better safe than sorry mate.

The directory has been penalized or banned by Google

How can you tell? Search Google for the directory URL, if it doesn't show up its either brand new, or banned. These links stand a chance of lowering your website rankings, so steer clear.

The directory contains adult material

My apologies to anyone in the Adult industry, but they typically aren't the best places to associate 90% of products or services offered throughout the internet.

Tips & Tricks

Figure out what keywords you want to rank for

Write 5 different titles & descriptions for your listing (including the keywords)

Once you get to the directory site, browse to the category you think is most relevant to your listing. Then find the “submit URL” link.  If you don’t do this, you may end up searching forever in a list boxwith hundreds of different categories.

Enable Auto-Complete! Use a browser like Firefox or Chrome that will save the information you entered in the title, description and email fields, so you can quickly submit to the directories

Alternate your titles, and descriptions. You don’t want to come off looking like spam, and it gives you a chance to rank for long tail searches

Using an email address with the same domain as your listing adds credibility

Some directories require an email confirmation, and need to be confirmed within a set time or your listing is automatically deleted. Check your email!

Here are some of the directories that meet the criteria to be considered valuable:

Let us know what you think.

What are your favourite directories?

Have you seen your rankings improve with free directory listings?


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