SEO Web Links Directory Alternatives

SEO Web Links Directory Alternatives

If you​ were writing a​ textbook on​ SEO linking circa 2001,​ you​ almost certainly would have included a​ chapter on​ web directories. They used to​ be the​ primary way of​ actively acquiring one-way inbound links,​ before content syndication,​ blogs,​ or​ the​ paid link market really took off.

Web Directories and SEO Links: What Went Wrong?

Fast forward a​ few years,​ and you'd have to​ rewrite the​ chapter on​ directories and web links. in​ fact,​ you​ would probably downgrade web directories from a​ chapter to​ a​ page or​ two. in​ the​ SEO world,​ nothing good ever lasts long,​ and so it​ is​ with web directories.

* Traffic. With Google more accurate than ever,​ there was no more reason to​ turn to​ a​ human-edited list of​ websites. a​ directory might get you​ one or​ two click-throughs a​ month--or none at​ all.

* Redirects. Once directory owners realized their link popularity was valuable,​ they started hording it. Overnight,​ many,​ if​ not most,​ directories switched their HTML links to​ search-engine-invisible redirects.

* Fees. Most directories started charging for inclusion,​ or​ at​ least,​ for inclusion with a​ link rather than a​ redirect. if​ the​ fees were reasonable,​ that would not be so bad. But why would you​ pay $35 for a​ link on​ a​ PR 3 page with dozens of​ other links and virtually no content,​ on​ a​ site with dwindling traffic?

* Corruption. in​ the​ SEO world,​ low-hanging fruit quickly goes rotten. Any volunteer-edited commercial category in​ a​ link directory runs a​ very real risk of​ being taken over by a​ corrupt SEO.

* Dubious link popularity. Given the​ notoriety of​ many directories for selling or​ inappropriately bestowing links,​ it's not hard to​ imagine a​ search engine quality control engineer turning the​ link popularity juice off from these sites.

* "Welcome to​ our list." if​ a​ directory doesn't charge a​ fee to​ enter,​ it​ may ask for payment in​ the​ form of​ an​ email address. You'd better use your special Hotmail account for that one.

* Anchor text. Many directories do not allow for anchor text to​ be specified,​ delighting in​ providing as​ little SEO value as​ possible for the​ effort involved in​ submitting to​ them.

* Time. When link directories really were vital efforts to​ categorize the​ web,​ getting a​ link in​ them was as​ simple as​ having a​ good website and letting them know about it. Now that they've turned into tightly rationed supplies of​ link popularity,​ that kind of​ responsiveness is​ out the​ window.

* Idiosyncratic applications without any promise of​ timely follow-up.

* Application forms that often empty straight into a​ black hole:
* No way of​ checking on​ the​ status of​ submissions.
* Threats of​ scuttling submissions that are re-submitted when there is​ no response.

Web Directory Linking Alternatives for the​ 21st Century

* Reciprocal linking with a​ twist. if​ you​ network with other site owners,​ you​ can triangulate link trades so that they are not direct. Heck,​ if​ you​ really like each other,​ you​ may just link to​ each others' sites for the​ sake of​ it! It's worked for me with some high-PR links.

* Blogging. Blog early,​ blog often,​ and someone is​ bound to​ link to​ you. It's the​ nature of​ blogging. the​ fastest way to​ get inbound links from your blog? Write about other blogs. the​ more controversial,​ the​ better. Post this article on​ a​ webmaster blog,​ and in​ the​ same post,​ reference the​ blog of​ someone who thinks link directories are still a​ good idea! in​ the​ blogosphere,​ arguments mean lots of​ links.

* Article directories. These are the​ closest things to​ link directories,​ from an​ SEO standpoint,​ to​ emerge in​ the​ 21st century. you​ submit an​ article to​ one of​ these sites (of which there are over 200). in​ your article you​ include a​ link to​ your site. Article directories are everything link directories used to​ be: responsive,​ fair,​ fast,​ no-fee,​ relevant,​ and quality sources of​ not only links but information. OK,​ most of​ their pages are PR0 and the​ rest tend to​ be PR 1-2. But with most article directories,​ you​ can choose your exact anchor text for the​ link--often more valuable than PageRank for non-competitive search phrases. Besides,​ if​ most of​ your links are on​ PR 4+ pages,​ how natural will that look?

In short,​ even if​ web link directories do still have some SEO value,​ they should no longer be your first stop for one-way inbound links. There are much better,​ and much less aggravating,​ linking methods.

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