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Directory Submissions for Search engine optimization

Learn how valuable backlinks can boost your search engine ratings

Backlinks and directory submissions

When you are looking to improve the search rankings of your website, your first priority should be the content of the site itself. But it takes more than that to get highly competitive placement on the search engines. Once your site is ready to go, something you will need to understand for successful SEO is the value of link building.

One of the criteria that major search engines use to rank sites is the number of links running between your site and others. The more quality links you have, the more reputable your site will seem, and the more likely the search engines are to give it visible placement. Pursuing these links is known in the SEO world as link building.

Among links, incoming links are the most valuable. These are links that other sites place on their own pages that direct users to your website. These are valuable because they show that your site has something worth reading; the more reputable the site thank links to you, the more valuable that link is in the eyes of the search engine. Also, the more of these links you have, the better, assuming the sites from which they come are reputable. If you only get links from sites that the search engines recognize as 'spam', this could actually hurt your rankings. On the other hand, if the sites that link to you are legitimate and relevant to your website, their links can hold even more clout.

So how do you go about getting incoming links? There are many approaches, some of which are more time intensive, and others of which are more effective. For example, as your site grows and provides more and more valuable content, some sites may link to you on their own. This takes no effort but may take time and cannot relied upon. On the other end of the spectrum, you could also negotiate link swaps with other websites, where you each link to each other. But these are not as strong as one-way, incoming links, so they are generally not worth the effort of negotiation.

One of the best ways of generating reliable incoming links is through directory submissions. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of online directories that build listings of websites and sort them into categories based on the services and content they provide. These serve a double purpose:

  1. The search engines take these directories into consideration when they determine the relevance of your site to a particular search term.
  2. A good directory also provides a link back to your site. It is unlikely that the link itself will bring visitors, but its existence further bolsters your standing in the search engines.

With so many directories out there, it can be difficult to determine which are worth your while for submitting your site. Not all directories are created equal, though, so it is important to know what to look for. Some directories are free, while others charge a fee for submission.

Good directories are not just something anyone can sign up for. Reputable directories (and those that are respected by the search engines rather than blocked by them) have actual human editors that review sites before allowing them into the directory. The higher the editorial standards on specific websites, the higher the overall quality of directory, and the higher its sway on the search engines.

If you are looking to submit your website to online directories, consider the following criteria:

  1. The editorial policies of the directory.
  2. The search rank of the specific page your website will be on.
  3. The age of the directory (older is better).

If this seems daunting, you can also pay someone else to provide directory submission services for you. You can pay a flat fee for a certain number of submissions to directories that have already been researched and deemed reliable for submission.