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Low Quality Web Directories

27 July 2004

Why are Directories Important?

Since search algorithms are just programs without intelligence they must rely upon the intelligence of humans to structure their search results.

Some search engines such as Google make it extremely rewarding for a webmaster to list their site in many different directories. Building links from many different websites from different IP ranges meshes your site into the fabric of the web.

Listing your site in a few dozen directories also strengthens your websites relevancy and position. If some of your more powerful links are not indexed for one reason or another your site can still be considered relevant by search engines on many topics based on the fact that you have inbound links from many different IP ranges.

Traffic from Web Directories

Usually you will not get much traffic from most directories. I have a site in a fairly popular category of the Yahoo! and DMOZ directories. This month so far they have provided 31 and 24 visitors each.

The single biggest reason to list in directories is that they help search engines understand what your site is about and help improve your relevancy.

Recent Directory Problems

Google AdSense makes it extremely lucrative to become a middle man selling traffic. A large number of websites are polluting the web with no information, just a bunch of pages designed to sell Google AdSense ads.

Many directories state that they accept free submissions so they can build more inbound links and then they never accept any sites.

I have a directory of directories so I keep up with all the new directories and know where to submit clients websites. I get a ton of submissions every day and get to see a bunch of directories.

Good Directories

Some niche specific directories do not provide static text links but drive a significant amount of prequalified traffic to your site. Many niche specific directories are works of love and provide free listings.

Many directories are focused on quality and provide static text links to your site. These directories not only help send direct traffic but also improve your sites relevancy in search results.

Directories Who List Anyone

Similar sites existed in the past by the name of free for all (FFA) pages. Some unscrupulous money hungry parties accept any site that pays them. They place the sites in semi organized categories and call it a directory.

These type of directories are just there to collect money. You pay them, they spend a minimal amount of cash renting links from one or two sites and collect money. Eventually these types of directories get delisted from Google and when they get banned you wasted your money.

Duplicate Empty Directories Created to Sell AdSense

I have had about 20 directories similar to spain-directory.com and splendes.com submitted to my site. Not a single one of them listed any websites. In fact I even tried to submit a site to one of them and the site submission page was broken.

Sites such as emfind.com, pearlfind.com, moonfind.com, findeyes.com, beyondfind.com, and findww.com all look the exact same and were submitted to my directory within the past week.

AdSense Directories

Adtsar.co.uk is literally a directory of AdSense ads. When that site was submitted to my directory the description they used was "Browse and search adwords for the latest offers which are relevant to you!"

Article Summary

AdSense and cheap link rentals have made it easy to create garbage directories to collect your money.

Since directories are becoming such a profitable business model the number of directories will continue to steadily grow throughout the rest of the year.

If they are not spending money advertising or building their brand or if you are unsure if a directory is sketchy ask around at a few directories before spending any money.

- by Aaron Wall, author of The Search Engine Optimization Book.

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