Website directories come in all shapes and sizes. Some provide link juice, others do not. Some require reciprocal links, some do not. Some ask you to pay a fee while others will list your website for free. Which ones are the best ones?
Answering that question is difficult because the answer depends on a lot of other variables that may or may not have an answer. How much traffic does the website directory get? What is its PageRank and does it matter? Is it a niche directory? How long is the wait to get listed? What is the fee and can you afford to pay it?
A directory’s authority is perhaps the most important thing. Many website directories are here today, gone tomorrow. They won’t help you any. But how do you know whether a directory has staying power or not?
I’d say that any new directories springing up today have a lot of proving today before you should take a bet on them – unless its a niche directory with little competition in the niche. High PageRank doesn’t mean anything. The directory could still be no good. Paying for a link is not always advisable, though some pay-to-list directories, like Best Of The Web, are definitely worth considering. And if you list your website in too many directories that require reciprocal links you’ll end up with more outbound links on your site than it’s worth to have the inbound links. So that’s not advisable either.
Here’s a simple method for determining whether a directory listing is important to your website or not:
- Is the directory a niche directory (these should always have highest priority)?
- Do they require a link back? (Only link back to a few directories and only the best)
- Does the directory require a fee? (Save these for last)
- Is it a high traffic directory? (Traffic is more important than links)
- How many other sites like yours are listed in that directory (more competition means you must stand out more; sometimes you can do better by listing in a directory with fewer competitors)
- Is it a general directory? Is there a category for sites like yours? (If not, pass it by)
- Where does the directory rank for key search terms related to your niche? (the higher the better)
Generally, directories that serve your niche should be highest priority. Even paying a fee to be listed in a directory that serves your niche specifically is better than a free listing in a general directory. If a website directory looks a little shady or you’re not sure about its credibility and authority then pass it by. Don’t take unnecessary risks with your long term link building efforts!