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SEO Best Practices For Business

Updated on July 25, 2015

Web Directory Submission Is Still A Vital SEO Strategy

Despite the brutal firestorm that was unleashed on unsuspecting websites by Google's recent updates to its algorithms, many webmasters and business owners were left perplexed by the digital carnage that was observed after the smoke had cleared. Many online businesses had suffered drastic drops in search engine rankings for their important key words, realizing massive losses in revenue as a result. Also, domain authority was stripped as well, due to many backlinks being removed that were obtained unnaturally. So what was the reason for the sudden correction in the status quo? Obviously, it was no longer business as usual for many websites that were impacted by the updates. According to Google, several updates had been made to the algorithms that are much more efficient at detecting duplicate content and unnatural link building, resulting in many websites taking a hit for these black hat SEO tactics. For many webmasters, it was back to the drawing boards, but this time the link building strategy and content management must appear as natural as possible to not be affected for a second time.

One of the main sources of obtaining backlinks by webmasters was the use of web directory submissions. It is an understatement to say that these directories were abused in the quest to obtain an undaunting amount of backlinks. Due to these links appearing unnatural to google's recently updated algorithms, many websites suffered as a result.

How To Use Web Directories The Correct Way To Establish Domain Authority

As with all other SEO strategies, web directories were blatantly abused in the unquenchable thirst to obtain as many back links as humanly possible. As many discovered, it is "very" possible to have too much of a good thing. During this course of over consumption, several hundred, if not thousands, of web directories were created virtually overnight and passed off as reputable. Now that the tide has turned and many of these spam filled web directories have failed on their own accord, it is up to the webmasters and business owners to separate the wheat from the chaff in this never-ending field of web directories.

If one were to read this article up to this point, they would probably assume that web directories are the devil, if they didn't know any better. Well, that is certainly not the case as you will soon discover. Directories will always have a major role to play in any SEO strategy, and any webmaster who neglects to utilize directories is not going to achieve their domains full SEO potential. Directories are still very important for establishing powerful back links to your website. Many established high page rank directories can usually have several thousand websites linking in to them and when you submit your site as well, you are passed a percentage of the "link juice" to your domain. Before the updates took place, webmasters would bulk submit their URL's to hundreds of web directories at the same time to obtain a massive amount of back links. Now that we know that can be a recipe for disaster, we understand it is no longer about quantity of back links, but more so quality. Many people have misinterpreted this and now view directories as black hat SEO, when that is far from the truth. If webmasters would have chosen a handful of high quality directories and submitted to them only, instead of hundreds of low quality directories all at the same time, this would never even be up for debate. Take it from the head of Google's spam department, Matt Cutts, who describes in the video below that web directories are absolutely okay to submit too, however, it only requires a handful of properly chosen high quality ones to obtain the SEO benefits. Spoken from the man behind the curtain himself, this is SEO gold.

Matt Cutts Explains Web Directory Submissions

In Conclusion

So it goes without fail that web directories are still a viable piece of the SEO strategy to obtain quality back links to you website, emphasis on quality. Without quality back links, it is almost impossible to increase your domain authority which establishes your website as a reputable online presence. This online reputation is what allows your key words to be ranked in Google search results over your competitors as you all fight for that first page position. It is highly recommended that business owners and webmasters research a handful of high page rank, high domain authority directories and only submit to those they feel make the cut. Preferably paid directories because free directories are usually lower grade and carry higher spam scores due to the lesser quality submissions because they're free. A webmaster who is serious about SEO will not mind paying a moderate fee to know their website will be obtaining a powerful, permanent back link that will benefit them for as long as the site is online and operational. Be sure to check our top 10 list below of high quality paid directories, we have already done the research for you.

Top 10 High Quality Paid Directories

Directory Name
Website URL
Page Rank
Cost (permanent listing)
Yahoo Directory
$299 (annual)
$199 (annual)
Clora Business Directory
Best of the Web
$69.95 (annual)
Web 2.0 Directory
Directory Journal
$59.95 (annual)
Hot vs Not Web Directory
Pulso Internet Directory
Index Gala
Earth Web Directory
This list is not all inclusive; these are only 10 of the top directories selected based on their quality scores, requirements for submission, and human inspection of all submitted links, not automatic.

Question For Webmasters and Businesses

If you haven't previously used directories as part of your SEO strategy, will you now begin knowing the added benefits?

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