Promoting Your Website Using Niche Link Directories
By James E Marshall
Directory Submissions Today
In the early days of the Internet webmasters didn’t need to worry too much about how they would get people to visit their website. They could mass submit website links to hundreds of general web directories and see their visitor numbers rocket. These days website promotion is far more difficult, but although web directories are no longer as powerful as they once were there is still value in getting a listing in a directory directly related to your websites niche.
A single targeted link from a well maintained niche-specific directory is worth a hundred links from poor quality directories. Google’s own guidelines recommend that you avoid links from “bad neighborhoods” and many low quality directories are little more than “link farms” that fall into this category. You can usually identify a quality directory by inspecting the website listings that are already there. Directories with a lot of “spammy” looking websites or dead links are usually poorly maintained and unlikely to benefit your marketing efforts. However, a well edited directory in a niche related to your website will not only improve your search engine rankings but will also send you targeted direct traffic.
As an example lets assume you have a travel website that you want to promote. Although you might want to submit your link to a few, quality, general directories under an appropriate sub-category you should make it a priority to obtain listings in well edited travel-niche directories.
Get Listed Early
DMOZ (A.K.A. The Open Directory Project) directory listings have always been considered the most valuable, closely followed by those in the Yahoo! Directory. Unfortunately it’s currently extremely difficult to get accepted into DMOZ, and there is anecdotal evidence of it taking literally months to get a listing approved due to understaffing and high numbers of submissions. The Yahoo! Directory now charges an annual fee for inclusion, and while valuable if you can afford it, this places a Yahoo! listing beyond the reach of many startup websites on a budget. Interestingly though, webmasters who were lucky enough to get free links from Yahoo! some time ago enjoy grandfather rights – they still have links in the paid directory but never have to pay!
It is a common pattern that once a directory has gained popularity the owner capitalizes by charging for premium links, so it’s a good idea to get listed while a directory is still young – before it becomes popular enough to start charging for links.
Directory Submission Tips
One of the essential criteria for getting listed by a quality web directory is that your website must look professional and provide original and useful content to visitors. Directory editors can receive hundreds of link submissions every day and won’t consider poor quality websites as it harms the integrity of their directory. Before submitting your link make sure that your website is finished (not “under construction”) and well presented. It is also better to manually submit to directories, as despite the claims of some software the directories that accept automated submissions are usually of the poor quality “bad neighborhood” category.
Lists of quality niche directories can be found by performing a quick search on Google, but if you’re the owner or webmaster of a travel-related website why not submit your link for inclusion in my new SEO friendly travel directory? All quality sites will be considered for free directory listings.
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