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Getting links from directories – SEO tutorial
Links from directories give an advantage in two ways- they provide good quality links to your site as discussed in the previous section and they provide traffic to your site from people using these directories. Think of them like a phone directory which also promotes your site in other publications if you like. Search engines respect links from directories because they nearly all have undergone a human review of the site- someone has taken a look at the site and decided that it is of good enough quality to be in their index. When a spider sees a link from a directory page it can assume that your site is a good quality site worth linking to and, thus, worth putting in the search engine listings.
Prepare your site before submitting to directories. Knowing that your site is going to be scrutinised by a directory editor, make sure that your website is up to the challenge:
- Make it look good – it will be the first impression of not only the directory editor but also everyone else that visits your site.
- Check for broken links – everybody hates clicking on a link to find a “page not found” error. Download a link checking tool from the web, try the one that we use: XENU link sleuth.
- Get your pages proof read – check for spelling and grammatical errors. If you do not know anyone good at proof reading there are services on the web that will do it for you.
- Check that your pages are W3 compliant – W3 is a standards organisation which defines how web page code should be- your pages may look ok but that doesn’t mean that they comply. W3 give an online validation tool: HTML complience validator
- Read the directory guidelines – Make sure that you comply with the requirements of each directory before submitting otherwise you may lose your money and/ or another chance to submit your site to them.
Now that you have thoroughly checked your site, it is time to choose which directories to submit your site to. Directories come in two classes, general and niche. General directories have a category for everyone and everything, the biggest of which are Yahoo! and the Open Directory. These are must haves really since all sites of any credibility are listed in these directories (or have an application pending). Niche directories are centred around a specific subject or area and they are valuable in the sense that they are very context specific as we discussed in the previous section. To find these niche directories, search for something along the lines of “YOUR SUBJECT directory” or “YOUR SUBJECT index” and you will find them. You may find that you have more than one niche, for example the pet shop may be listed in the “Dog directory” and the “Cat directory”. You will have to find these niche directories yourself as only you know the subject or your site.
Open Directory – The open directory (http://www.dmoz.org) is volunteer run and one of the top two directories on the web. Submission if free but please be patient as the editors are volunteers and have a lot of sites to work their way through. They are very thorough in their website review and so please make sure that you have a quality site and made all of the checks stated above before submitting so as not to waste their time and yours.
Yahoo! directory – This is the other big directory on the web. Everyone knows Yahoo and all of the different things that it provides but this is how they started- cataloging the web! Submission is $299 and, once in $299 each subsequent year but in our opinion this is the best money that you can spend on promoting your site. An entry into this directory gives you a listing into all of the other countries’ listings (Yahoo UK, Yahoo Australia etc.) and is one of the most authoritative sites on the web. Again, please read their guidelines before submission otherwise you will be throwing you money down the drain- they don’t have to list you and you don’t get your money back if they don’t!
Best of the Web – Coming a close third, Best of the Web is another major directory which you should consider entry into. The conditions of application are pretty similar to the others, the cost much less than Yahoo! but the listings are good and well respected.
There are more general directories, thousands of them in fact but we have only listed three here. You should not go directory crazy, especially when starting your optimization campaign since an enormous amount of directory links and few other links will look a bit odd to the engines. We recommend submitting your site to these three major directories and find a handful of niche directories to get your site listed in initially and as time goes on you can consider whether you want to add some more.
Next section: Things that will get you black listed
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