Time and again, with various Google updates, people tend to reconsider their linking strategies. More often than not, a question that pops into people’s minds with regards to directory links is “Are directory submissions still worth it? Should I continue?” There are one too many misconceptions about directory links that need to be cleared before taking a decision.
Myth 1: Directory links are of no value anymore
Fact: We’ll be the first to agree that directory links have lost some value over the years. They used to be a lot more valuable earlier. However, it cannot be said that they have absolute zero value now. If that were the case, then many sites still using directory submissions as part of their linking strategy wouldn’t rank for some of their target terms. What we’ve seen and observed:
- Websites with a solid and diversified backlink profile and that were not ranking for certain terms, started ranking for those terms targeted “exclusively” with directory submissions
- Websites with little to no links and who did their submissions targeting multiple long tail terms, started seeing ranking results as well for those terms
So they do help, you just need to use it as one of the many linking strategies to help diversify your backlink profile. Also important to note, you need to target multiple terms (not focusing on one or two terms) and those terms should preferably not just consist of broad-based big volume keywords but also some long tail key terms.
Myth 2: Too many directory links are bad for your site
Fact: They say “too much of one thing is a bad thing” and this saying would apply to any linking strategy you choose to adopt. Search engines are increasingly giving importance to link diversity, so if your link profile has only one type of link, it may not look natural and could be suspicious. So too many directory links wouldn’t be bad for your site unless those were the absolute and only links you had to your site, in which case they would not count for as much as when you’d have a diverse link portfolio.
Myth 3: You should not make too many submissions at a time
Fact: This would depend on the site being submitted. If it’s a brand new site with little in terms of backlinks, then we’d recommend using our “spread over 5 weeks” option when placing an order or using the “monthly 100 submissions” subscription option. This would ensure links come in slow and steady and in the mean time you could focus on other linking strategies as well. While, if it’s an established site, we’ve observed that it doesn’t really matter if you submit to all directories on our list at a time because the directories anyway take a long time to approve the links – some approve within a week but many take weeks and months before the links are approved – and so you wouldn’t get all your links at once, as many people think.
Myth 4: Manual submissions can be replaced by automated directory submissions
Fact: We’ve seen many people falling to the allure of automated link building software but it just won’t help and we’d strongly recommend against it. Automated software tools blast your site off to thousands of directories in a few minutes and they i) do not select the best categories in each directory, ii) have no respect for the directory specific submission guidelines and iii) only submit to directories with no captcha. The well-managed directories always have some sort of blocks in place for automated software tools, like the use of “captcha”, a mathematical equation, etc. that can only be filled in accurately by humans.
Myth 5: You can build links only to your homepage from directories
Fact: While there are so many directories that list only home page links, there are a sizable number of directories (especially paid/premium directories) that allow submitting your inner pages. This would help in diversifying your link portfolio, in that you could build a few links to your inner pages as well, which are otherwise not the easiest thing to do. Using our “paid directory service” [where you can submit to top quality paid directories at discounted rates], you could submit inner pages as add-on links along with your homepage link.
Myth 6: Directory links are only temporary
Fact: Most directories give out permanent links that will last as long as the directory exists. We have not seen many directories remove links after a specified period, they more or less stay on permanently in the directory. It is only in certain cases, when the directory scripts run an automated check on their listings to see if the sites still exist and if it finds it not to be accessible, then the listing might be dropped.
Myth 7: There is no use in submitting a site to a low PR directory
Fact: PR or Page Rank is never constant. The directories that presently have a PR of 0, 1 or 2 may be new directories that have the potential to increase in PR over time. When some of these directories gain a higher PR, many of them tend to become paid directories. Hence by not submitting your site to low PR directories for free presently, could prevent you from having a valued listing in what might well be a high PR, paid directory in the future. It doesn’t cost much to get the submission done anyway.
Myth 8: There’s no point submitting to directories that look similar to each other
Fact: Although several directories may seem similar in terms of layout structure and the categories they contain, this does not in any way mean that the directories will not be valued independently. There are many directory templates available on the web. Several directories may use a single template. However this does not mean that all these directories are the same. They may look alike and even contain similar categories, but each directory would have different listings, different guidelines and most importantly, its own editorial staff that review and approve/reject the websites submitted.
Those were 8 common misconceptions that we’ve observed and tried to clarify. The point of it all, we’d recommend continuing with directory submissions as “one of many” linking strategies that you choose to adopt. They have shown results in many cases and we see no reason to stop – it’s one of the few means where you can get a continuous flow of links with regular submissions while working on other tactics.