Admit it or not, running a successful business online requires promotion. SEO and link building form a very important piece of this puzzle. Virtually all SEOs make a plunge into this world – and web directories play a major role in link building.
For the most part, it’s an easy process – not expensive or time consuming. Using the right directories can have a meaningful impact on the search engine ranking of your website.
The practice of getting links from online web directories is nothing new. However today things are quite different from what they were in the past. We are now aware that links from non-discriminate directories can only inflate the link count, pollute your link profile and hurt the SEO.
The lower cesspools of the Internet are still flooded with low-quality free directories; but the evolution of high-quality paid directories has changed the scenario. By paying a one-time or recurring fee for listing, you can now expect to obtain in-depth benefits. These directories can take your website up the search results on search engines when combined with effective onsite optimization.
Wondering what Google thinks about these directories? Generally Google doesn’t have a fascination for paid directories, but directories with human editors are a different story altogether. I was recently reading about Google’s “Trust Rank” for these directories. Those with the highest trust rank are said to make an impact.
That shows how important it is to choose the best from among the thousands of web directories. There are only a few link-worthy paid directories with authority that rule the roost. But finding them is as difficult as searching for a needle in a haystack.
In order to make it easier for you to distinguish between the directories with the capacity to actually send traffic to your website and those that don’t, we have listed here the top directories that offer paid links:
Yahoo! Directory: What began as a collection of Jerry Yang and David Filo’s favorite web pages soon became a searchable directory with top rankings. It is maintained and added to manually by editors who check each and every page sent to them. They include only the best! But this PR 9 directory only accepts non-commercial sites. If there is one-thing that can be said in defense of the high cost of $299/year it charges, it is that listings in Yahoo are a guaranteed hit-booster.
Business.com: As the name suggests, this one is a business directory that operates as a pay per click search engine. It has evolved into a vendor directory last year. While it is one of the top paid directories online; at $299/year, is also one of the most expensive. But for those looking for quality and success in their ventures, there is no contention that this stands tall.
Directory Well: This human-edited directory is proactive and straightforward with taxonomies of manually compiled websites. Dirwell.com is a cost-effective directory that outperforms many others in the industry by offering promotions, appropriate categorization, unique and well-researched content that comes with strict editorial integrity.
They don’t list everyone that pays, and listings are accepted only from highest quality websites. I like this directory as it is one of the few that allows deep links, helping you get those deep pages ranked. They have stringent guidelines and even check each listing periodically for quality. All this, with the aim of helping webmasters fulfill all their SEO needs and reach their goals.
Best of the Web: BOTW is a quality directory that has retained its top position over the years. It categorizes websites both regionally and topically; and websites can be submitted for an expedited review.
The directory has also launched an Online Degree Directory for students and professionals offering information on online degrees and programs from various universities in the US. There is also a separate directory only for blogs. It is worth submitting to this directory, for getting links from an authority domain.
Aviva: A solid directory that offers good quality and reasonable prices. Apart from that, it also offers a huge resource list to help webmasters get quality links for their sites. The beauty of Aviva is their tutorials on Adobe Photoshop and website design. Deep links are allowed to inner web pages.
JoeAnt: A promising human edited directory that offers good value. Their editors rank all sites listed in different categories. These rankings are between 1 and 3, and the sites that rank 1 are listed at the very top. You don’t have to pay every year like many other directories.
V7n: Another quality directory that accepts a one-time payment for review and does deep linking. It is one of the most popular and powerful directories that also offers great SEO advice and resources in the form of tutorials and scripts. You are sure to enjoy their interactive forum and blog.
Gimpsy: Just one glance at their home page and you know it’s different from all other directories. Their categorization model is unique. Unlike other directories’ categories, the home page lists Verbs like “play,” “buy,” “design” etc. They are highly selective and accept only sites that provide online activity. Once accepted through their paid option, their site is promoted to a top position for the first 90 days.
Go Guides: They return your money if your site is not listed. They offer a variety of categories and the best part is the site is not too crowded, giving you good visibility once listed.
AbiLogic: A Quality web directory with unique design and reasonable prices. Accepts a one-time payment for review and offers next listings: express, express with extra links and premium. Your money will returned if your site is not listed.
Paid editorial directories raise the bar by charging a fee for inclusion, as well as being selective about who they accept. If you have an established website, such links are worth their weight in gold, as they add authority to your domain and pass “link juice” to your site. But I’d like to remind you that you will still have to do on-page SEO.
In conclusion, I think a paid web directory is a great SEO technique to get back links. When looking for paid directory links, it helps to drill down to find the most relevant directory. If your website is not of high quality, chances are the website link is rejected. But if you know what you’re doing and offer quality, these directories offer unique opportunities to expand your reach and future-proof your link profile.
Image Credit: Ztephen