Web Directory Submissions – Are They Still Effective?

There are a myriad of web directories out there that are available to submit our sites for SEO purposes. But how effective are they in the world of SEO in improving rankings in the natural searches?

Our SEO research team have been analysing online businesses and link building profiles for a  few years now and have revealed some interesting information in the area of link building.


Here’s a brief in site into Link Building from Directories:-

Many SEO companies submit their clients sites to web directories, but it’s not advisable to over do it. There’s no use in submitting to all and sundry and expecting good rankings.

The link building secret is to be selective.  Ensure you submit to the most appropriate category – an obvious one.  Often directory web masters do not provide a particularly useful and maximised SEO friendly environment- they use the default category listings and some don’t even have a keyword rich title tag. Try and submit to only quality human edited directories that are within your niche and preferably have your targeted keyword in the domain and certainly in the Title tag of the category page you are submitting to.

Here’s an example: If you have a car site selling used cars, and you are looking for a good directory to submit to, you want the category to be called ‘cars’ or ‘used cars’, NOT  ‘automobiles’. In this instance the directory web master should rename the top level category to ‘Cars’.  Some submitters don’t realise that this is important and just submit anyway.

Are Web Directories a Viable Source for quality Links?

Yes and No! You didn’t expect to get a straight answer did you? To put this answer in to context; Yes, they can be if not over done and kicked the ass out of! No if they are not part of a wider varied link profile from other types of link source. (Social Media, niche sites/blogs etc). You may have a site that doesn’t match a category for keywords so adding your site and links to directories is probably not the answer on the whole.

Also check how many other listings are in that category as well as the page rank of the page you are linking from – too many out bound links will only dilute your own link.

Maintaining a less than 20% back link volume from directories would be a smart SEO strategy for any site in the ever increasing complexities and cleverness of the Big G algorithm.

Our experience is that if you want to achieve top 3 rankings on Google, you have to be the best and use a link building strategy that is better than your competitors.  If the top 3 competitors  have kicked the directory submissions method into touch, and mostly have niche related links, then you are going to have to do better than directory links.


Look out for the next post on ‘Are article submissions still effective?’ next week…