How To Harness The Power Of Web Directories: The Missing Link In Your SEO Strategy
Author: Robert Burko
So you want exposure on the Internet? Of course you do. You want to drive people to your site, because that's the only way your online business can succeed. And the more eyes you can get to your page, the better off you are. It's common sense.
You've probably already thought of Google, and rightfully so. It's the top search engine, so you want to make sure you're a part of it. You may have also done some search engine optimization, and tweaked your site in certain ways so that Google will index you better. That's a good start, but it's also where many people go wrong.
The search engine marketing community often discusses this faux pas: people become obsessed with ranking on Google, and forget that there's so much more to the Internet, so many more places where you can be found. It's back to common sense again: don't put all your eggs in one basket. Here are some reasons why:
- People use multiple search engines.
According to Nielsen//NetRatings, 58% of the people who search on Google also use another search engine. The same is true for 70% of MSN searchers, and 71% of Yahoo searchers. If consumers are looking for information in several places, it only makes sense for you to be in as many of those places as you can.
- Google indexes your web directory listings.
Ironically, when you work to broaden your horizons beyond the Google universe, you're also working to improve your chances of showing up on Google. That's because when a major search engine indexes the Internet, it also indexes the content of other directories.
Here's the best part: if you can get listed in a web directory that provides search-engine-friendly one-way-links (that is, links that connect directly to your URL), you are essentially acquiring a "vote" to your site, and therefore improving your site's authority in the eyes of Google, Yahoo and other major engines.
There are thousands upon thousands of Internet directories where you can list your site. Some will charge for submission, and the price will vary, from as little a few dollars, to as much as hundreds. Some will accept your site right away, and others will need to review it, to ensure the integrity of their database.
Common sense applies again here: the goal is to get listed in as many directories as you can, so you get maximum exposure. But web directory submission can be very time consuming, so you have to be selective to maximize your productivity. Here are a few things you'll want to keep in mind:
- If the price seems too high, it's probably not worth it. If you have a little money to invest, it's a good idea to get into some of the paid inclusion directories. Pick and choose from some of the mid-level ones, and try to diversify your presence by picking some foreign directories, as well as some local ones. Some directories also offer special inclusion, where you pay a premium to get listed quicker. It's definitely worth it if you're looking to improve your traffic as quickly as possible.
- Before submitting to any web directory, check to make sure the directory is not banned by Google. Here's a handy site, where you can type in the URL of the web directory and find out if it's banned right away: http://123promotion.co.uk/tools/googlebanned.php
- Be prepared before you start submitting. Write a few descriptions for your website in different lengths (50 words, 100 words, 200 words), so you can just copy and paste when you're submitting. This is guaranteed to save you a lot of time.
- If you don't want to spend a lot of time searching for, picking and choosing directories, start at this page, which provides a great list of the top search-engine-friendly directories on the web: http://www.eliteweb.cc/directory/internet/web_directories
- If you don't have a lot of time to devote to this, don't worry about doing it all in one shot. Bookmark the link above, and take a few minutes every day to do one or two directory submissions, until you make it through the list.
Good luck, and happy submitting.
About the author
Robert Burko is president and founder of Eliteweb.cc (www.eliteweb.cc), an internet portal featuring a best-of-the-web search engine and a comprehensive search-engine-friendly web directory (http://www.eliteweb.cc/directory/).
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