Even in a post-Penguin world, a well-rounded link building campaign generally includes links from web directories. The key is to make sure you are submitting your websites to quality directories.
Quality Directory Checklist
Here are some ways to test a directory to see if it is a good fit for your link building strategy.
First off, you will want to make sure that the directories you choose for building links to your website have a good domain authority, Google PageRank, and any other metric you value most. The stronger the directory domain, the better the backlink.
Are authoritative websites linking to the directory of your choice? This shows that the directory not only gets recognition but it also gets traffic.
Cached & Indexed Pages
Is the page your link will be placed upon indexed in Google search and cached? Be sure to check by doing a quick site:domain.com/category/page and cache:domain.com/category/page query. This may not work for newer categories, but if one seems well established with several links, then you should find that it has been visited by Google search bots.
One of the reasons DMOZ is such a valuable link is because it is so hard to get into. The directories you submit your website to should have a strong moderation process, regardless of whether you pay or not. If a directory links out to bad websites, then it is not one you want to add your link to.
First Page Opportunities
Generally, the first page of a specific directory category will have the highest rankings, authority, and traffic. Hence you will want to make sure that your website will be placed on the most relevant category’s first page – and that it will stay there. That may be worth the investment in a featured listing.
Check to see if your directory has some social shares. This shows that people are talking about the directory (hopefully satisfied customers) and that the directory might be getting social traffic along with direct traffic from referrals and search engines.
Last, but not least, does your target directory have quality content of their own? This can show Google that it is more than just a directory and you that it is a constantly updated site. Having quality content should mean that the directory is less likely to get penalized and that your link will not lose its value.
Directory Submission Tips
Submitting to a quality directory is not the end of the story. You need to make your submission count by doing the following.
- Submitting to the proper category. You might be tempted to aim for a page with higher authority, but make sure that it is also relevant.
- Don’t use keyword anchor text. Google will not need it if your website link is in the proper category.
- Vary your descriptions. Especially if the directory is niche specific, make sure your description matches the audience that would be browsing the directory.
- Use all of the options. Some directories allow for additional deep links, longer descriptions, and social links. Get your money’s worth by using them all.
Directory Coupon Codes
Since you’re probably ready to start submitting your websites to directories, here are some coupon codes that you’ll find useful. These directories all have a minimum Domain Authority of 60.
- Directory Journal – Get 20% off all listings with coupon code DJ20GM.
- Alive Directory – Get 20% off all listings with coupon code ADC2013.
- Abilogic – Get 15% off listings with coupon code ABIKEY13.
- Jasmine Directory – Get 30% off listings with coupon code JD2013.
- Aviva Directory – Get $20 off listings with coupon code growmap.
- Hot vs. Not Directory – Get 20% off listings with discount code GM20HVN.
- Ezilon Directory – Get 30% off listings with discount codes s1z8v if you pay vial PayPal and SMV8Z if you pay via credit card.
What are your favorite directories? Please share in the comments.