The Best Directories for SEO
Directory submission has long been a standard SEO practice. There are thousands of free directories out there to submit to and each provides a link back to your website. However, Google is starting to de-index many of these free directories. When Google tweaks its algorithm, it is attempting to think more and more like a human Internet user. Do people actually visit these free directories to find information? Probably not. Submitting a site to a free directory helps create a diverse link portfolio, but Google certainly isn’t weighing these links heavily. Does that mean that directory submission is no longer worthwhile? Not completely. The key is just to submit to the right directories.
In SEO, the most valuable links are the ones that are more challenging to get. It’s pretty easy to find a list of free general directories, go down the list, and submit your site to all of them which is why the links don’t hold much weight. Directory links that are much more valuable to your link portfolio are links from niche directories. In some industries, these directories may be hard to find and there may only be a few but it is more worthwhile to spend your time digging to find one niche directory as opposed to submitting your site to ten free ones.
What’s good about a niche directory is that it not only improves a link portfolio for the search engines, but it can also help drive traffic to your site. It’s doubtful that target audience members are spending any time browsing free directories, but it’s much more likely that they will spend time looking at a website that pertains to a specific niche.
There are a few ways to find niche directories. The first is to simply search for them. The next way is a bit more complicated but is worth the effort. Using an SEO tool, generate a list of your main competitors’ inbound links and conduct a link audit. If they have been doing any link building, they may have already done the hard work for you. Take a look at their links and see if they are listed in any good niche directories. This competitor link audit can also provide you with insights for other good link opportunities.
Directory submission isn’t dead. It’s just important to spend your directory submission time more wisely. As with anything else in SEO, quality is better than quantity.