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How Directory Submissions Can Help Diversify Your Backlink Profile

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Link Diversity in SEOLink diversity has become all the more important in SEO now than ever before and should take more of your attention, especially after the recent Google algorithm updates. Earlier, it was possible to focus on just a few target terms and build a large number of links from similar sites to get your site to rank on Google. However, you’d now need a much more diverse backlink profile to help you rank on top.

Link diversity is all about making your backlink profile look as natural to the search engines as possible, wherein you have links from different types of sites and each targeting a variety of terms.

As a webmaster or an SEO professional, you need to build links using various tactics such as guest posting, link bait tactics (e.g. infographics, widgets, etc.), forum contributions, press mentions, directory listings etc. The more tactics you incorporate into your linking strategy, the better the chances of your backlink profile looking more natural.

The role directory submissions can play in helping diversify your backlink profile and helping your link portfolio look more natural has always been understated. There are more than one ways in which directory submissions can help diversify your link profile.Though directories are collectively considered a single link profile, practically they offer diversity in the following ways:

  • You get links from a number of unique domains since there are a large number of directories to which your site could be submitted.
  • These directories are hosted in different geo-locations and IPs thus giving you links from sites hosted in different parts of the globe.
  • You can vary your anchor text by using multiple titles and descriptions: this is something you can use to your advantage with directory submissions, controlling the diversity of your anchor text profile by using as many titles and descriptions as you can with your submissions.
  • Each directory has its own unique set of categories and your site would be listed in each directory’s own relevant category. For example, your real estate website could be submitted in the “Real Estate” category in Directory A andthe “Business – Properties” category in Directory B and so on. This would make each link look unique in its own way.
  • There are niche directories which are industry specific and which can get you links with a high relevancy score.
  • Premium directories are generally high quality and high PR paid directories that allow you to build links to your home page as well as inner pages: getting links to your inner pages can help further diversify your backlink profile to make it look more natural.
  • Not all links are approved at once since each directory has its own editorial timeframe before the links are put up, thus ensuring that you get links on an ad-hoc basis with no set pattern. This makes your “link graph” look more progressive instead of all your links coming at a single point of time.

Since directory submissions can help to a large extent in diversifying your link portfolio, it’s something that you should perhaps consider incorporating as a regular feature in your linking strategy. You don’t want to lose out on opportunities to diversify your link base while you can. Though it’s also worth mentioning that you don’t want to be relying on it as the only linking strategy because then the whole point of “diversity” would be lost. So it’s important to maintain a balance.

P.S. – While doing submissions, use as many titles & descriptions as you can write (or have us write) because that will go a long way in making your backlink profile look more natural.

Related Posts:

What is Link Diversity and its Importance in SEO

SEO is Changing: The Difference Personalization Makes

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Google Personalized Search

Google has long been on a quest to deliver not just top 10 search results, but personalized search results. Google want to know what you like, so it can give you more of what you like. Just because something is objectively useful doesn’t mean it’ll be useful for you. Google means to bridge this gap through a range of different personalization technologies.

Google started out by tracking sites you clicked on in the past, then giving those sites priority. Then it added Universal Search, where images and videos would be added into the search results. Local results were also added in, so if you search for “Pizza Miami” you get the pizza shops closest to you, not just the ones with the best SEO.

Google Panda came out, which added a whole host of artificial intelligence variables to SEO. Instead of just analyzing a website based on backlinks and keyword density, now Google can actually “look at” a website like a human being and determine whether or not it’s a high quality website. It can evaluate the design of your site, the conversations and to an extent the level of quality in your content.

Then, of course, you have Google’s newfound love with social media. The love affair began when Google started looking at Facebook and Twitter as indicators to add to the algorithm. It then escalated when they added Search Plus, where anything you +1 in Google Plus gets highly preferential treatment.

As time goes on, there’s little doubt that Google’s going to get more and more personal. Your search results will be tailored for you, rather than just the objectively highest ranking content.

How can you adapt to this changing relationship between SEO and personalization? How can you make the most of new personalization technology to bring you more traffic?

Create Real Interaction on Social Media

Social MediaDon’t just wear your likes or followers as a badge to be shown off. Don’t go on Fiverr and buy 3,000 likes from people who’ve never heard of you. Don’t try and build a social network for the sake of looking like you have a social network.

Instead, aim to cultivate real interaction. These real people will comment on your Facebook pages, watch your videos, retweet your tweets, +1 your content and all in all boost the indicators that Google looks at when they’re trying to personalize your results.

Participate in your own social networks. Host discussions. Challenge your audience. Ask questions. Get people to interact. Social media surely helps in building great amount of trust.

Be Timely, Be Relevant, Be Fresh Google Quality Content

Google loves fresh content. A large percentage of the searches done on Google are about time-sensitive events. Even if they aren’t about time-sensitive events however, Google still places a heavy preference on websites that comment on or generate fresh news or content.

One easy way to leverage this is to watch the news in your industry closely, then comment on it whenever something significant changes. For example, let’s say you’re in the poker industry and a big tournament is coming up. You might want to do a series of articles covering the tournament, teaching how to play in the tournament or give tips for people who’re playing games on the sidelines.

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Is Using Controversial Content Killing Your Brand?

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Creating controversial content

You’ve seen it a million times before: In an effort to gain more readership, a marketer uses a controversial headline like “AdSense is Dead” or “Is XYZ Company a Scam?” While this kind of marketing certainly does garner readership, in the long run it can come back to haunt you.

First of all, if you use a controversial topic but don’t follow through, your credibility will be hurt. If you come out with a statement like “AdSense is Dead” when AdSense really isn’t dead, people are going to feel a little jaded that you used that headline to catch their attention.

Second, people will get desensitized to it. If your primary marketing strategy is shock and awe, sooner or later people are just going to start tuning out everything you say. Even when you say something substantial, people just won’t have their ears open to you anymore.

Creating controversy can be a small part of your strategy. However, it shouldn’t be your primary copywriting or marketing stance. Here’s how to create phenomenal content, without having to resort to controversy.

Educate People About Industry Changes

Educate People About ChangesIf you run an SEO blog and Google comes out with a new algorithm, talk about it. Tell people how it impacts them. If you run an environmentalism blog, talk about new advances in solar technology and how people can participate.

Don’t just report on the news. Share your own opinion and add value in your own way as well. For example, if you’re talking about a new Google algorithm update, use your own personal experience to give people some tips on how to adapt.

Be a Niche Expert Be a niche expert

If you’re trying to be an expert to everybody, that’s a surefire way to get lost in the crowd. People who need to use controversy tend to be people who’re trying to target really, really big markets.

A much better way to garner attention is to become known as the expert in a specific niche. Build a name for yourself as the one person who knows a lot about a very specific topic. For example, be the LinkedIn guy, rather than the marketing guy. Be the Thailand guy, rather than the travel guy.

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Case Study: Diverse Link Building Methods Helps a Religious Website Rank First on Google

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“The team at Directory Maximizer is quite professional, we are using their services from the last 3 years and they have worked round the clock to add value to our search engines rankings. Their pricing structure is remarkable as compared to several other service providers. I wish them all the best in their future projects.”

– Mayank Goyal

URL

www.rudraksha-ratna.com

Rudra Centre was founded in the year 1997 with the sole idea of enlightening people about the merits of Rudraksha and help them understand the scientific and practical usage of Rudraksha. It commits to supplying good and genuine quality Rudraksha to people worldwide.

Requirement & Challenges

With two important keywords to rank for, and a task  in hand to enhance the site’s exposure in this competitive domain, www.rudraksha-ratna.com needed to be smart about their link-building strategy. From the onset, Mr. Goyal was very much clear about what he wanted to achieve. He had a clear vision of ranking high for his targeted keywords. Along with that, he also wanted to increase the visibility of his site which was much needed due to the competitive nature of the industry he is in.

Action Taken

Mr. Goyal wanted to have variety in his backlink profile so keeping this in mind we used different link building processed to build links for www.rudraksha-ratna.com:

• General Directory Submission – We submitted www.rudraksha-ratna.com to quality search engine friendly directories which give out permanent one-way links and are constantly indexed by Google and other popular search engines. These submissions were done regularly over time & was not a one-time activity which sends out a signal to the search engines that the site is cared for.

• Social Bookmarking Submissions – The social bookmarking links ensured that the site got instant visibility and exposure which helped a lot in increasing traffic to the site.

• Custom Link Building – On Mr. Goyal’s request we also sourced a list of  niche websites & directories only relates to his website’s topic & built links from them. Getting links from relevant websites from the same niche is considered valuable by the search engines & these links have no doubt helped www.rudraksha-ratna.com tremendously in increasing it’s rankings.

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Why Directory Submissions are Effective even after Google’s Penguin Update

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Finally Google has launched it’s much anticipated ‘webspam update’ and named it after the cute bird Penguin.  The entire SEO fraternity – blogosphere, Twittersphere and SEO forums are abuzz with reactions to this update. Google says it is fighting web spam, but we really don’t know how effective this update is. In case you were caught up with something else last week, get a quick overview from here. We have had a couple of customers asking us how directory submissions and links obtained using this tactic are affected with this update.

What is the Penguin Update?

Let’s take a quick snapshot of the Penguin update to begin with.  The update aims to punish sites that are detected with the following issues.

  1. Inbound links from dangerous sites
  2. Aggressive exact-match anchor text
  3. Low-quality article marketing & blog spam
  4. Keyword stuffing

Over the last 6 years of our existence, we have seen several search engine updates, especially from Google and directories have survived all these updates. I agree, the value of links from directories is not the same what they used to be then, but it still remains relevant. The key component of modern search engine algorithms is backlinks. The number and quality of backlinks remain the most important factor to calculate rankings. Many of our own sites, including directorymaximizer.com have a link profile which is dominated by links from quality directories.

A step back – What are Directories actually?

Web directories are basically sites where you get information classified across categories. Not many people may be using it to ‘search’ for information these days, but the very purpose of directories cannot be ignored at all. For example, if you are part of a trade or industry association,  how would the organization maintain an online list of its members without taking a ‘directory’ approach? Or how would an educational institution share a list of its alumnus? Or how an event website can maintain a list of participants and sponsors for a mega event?  Check out some of these sites to know how a ‘directory’ kind of approach is invaluable.

http://www.usa.gov/directory/tradeassc/index.shtml

http://www.pmalink.org/search/newsearch.asp

The point which I am trying to make is, just because a website has a directory approach to maintain its content, it does not become spammy and no search engine has ever considered it so.

There’s no denying the fact that these days web directory listings have the added (or primary) objective of link building, and many have made use of this loophole to abuse the system by using automated submission tactics and softwares.

Directory Submission Process

So what would constitute “safe” link building? In a nutshell, you find a site that’s relevant to your site and request them to link to your content or they find your site to be useful and link to you. A manual directory submission process also follows a similar process–

manual link building process

So, our role is nothing but help you with this tedious task. We have developed an expertise in this process, over the years and we offer it as a service to webmasters to save their valuable time.

Are directory links good or safe after the Penguin update?

Broadly, there are two kinds of directories.

Free directories Paid directories
Where you don’t pay anything to get listed. You   are granted a listing if the editor of the directory  finds your site suitable. These directories have high authority and in order to meet their expenses of maintaining their staff and other expenses, they charge a fee for listing.

The first category is obviously not paid links. The very objective of second category is not to charge for links, but a listing fee which is part of their revenue model. Can’t these links be considered safe then? Would you consider your $1000 annual membership in a local industry association (where you get a link) unsafe? Would you consider the link you get from sponsoring a mega event where you expect to get a huge exposure by paying $50000 a spammy tactic in that case?

The fact is, as long as you follow the directory guidelines and general SEO principles, directories are a good source of backlinks. But, consider these facts to be on a safer side –

  1. Make sure directories are indexed – If a directory itself is indexed and cached by search engines, it’s defintely safer to get listed there than getting listed in directories that are not indexed. All the directories in our list pass this test every 15- 20 days. If a directory is found not indexed or cached, we immediately drop it from our list. Check out our updated list of directories with number of pages indexed in each.
  2. Spread your submissions – Our customers have the option to spread submissions across 5 weeks or across a year so that your link building process is more natural and progressive. As a proactive measure, we have slowed down our submission process by 10 days already. Moreover, different directories have different approval policies and the approvals won’t happen on a single day.
  3. Vary anchor text – Using our service, you can provide up to 20 titles (which will be used as anchor texts) and descriptions. Make use of this to ensure your link profile is built with multiple anchor texts. It’s also recommended to build some links with natural phrases that would include your official site name and not only target the big money keywords.
  4. Diverse link profile – Directory submission is just one part of entire SEO process and link building tactics. Diversify your links using tools like guest blogging, niche directory submission, social bookmarking, networking etc.
  5. Link to Inner pages – All your links should not be pointing to the homepage.  Build links to relevant inner pages of your site as well.
  6. Avoid Automated Submissions – Stay away from automated submission tools, software and link networks.

Apart from the above, make sure your site follows all these on-page factors.

To summarize, directory submission is still relevant and to make it more search engine friendly, we have made the following changes in our system.

  1. Our directory selection process has become more stringent. Apart from a whole set of parameters we have been following, we have added this – check if the directory is indexed and cached by search engines. If a directory is good in the eyes of search engines, the links from it should help in some way. See our updated directory list here.
  2. Our submission process is slowed down – we have put internal restrictions to the number of directories a site is submitted in a day to ensure the same site is not submitted to many directories within a short period of time.

While we’re trying to adapt our services continually to help you get better results, from your end, you might have to make changes in the way you go about your link building by incorporating some of the suggestions above like: varying your anchor text, diversifying your link profile with other link sources, etc. so that you get the full benefit of our services.