Directories are DTF*.
Best of the web or…. ?!
Directories are only whispered on the wind while SEO is being shouted from every mountaintop and valley. Yet, is our dialogue just? Of course, directories are inextricable from SEO as they provide all-so-valuable backlinks. Still there is some trepidation as web-developers approach these harlots of the web, the cheap politicians that will tout your name next to your antithesis for the same price. As a business owner seeking the cost effective solution for promoting your business online, are directories the answer?
Cheap Tricks or Cat out of the Bag?
The Internet is a mall. Do you want to be on the directory?
In fact, directories are the most underrated topic within the SEO diatribe. They are fast, easy, and cheap: yet they are also effective. An “authoritative” directory will deliver the goods every single time: a nice, juicy backlink with ranking to spare. Not to mention the real, organic traffic from the visitors who use that directory and trust its affiliates
That’s right: submitting your site to many directories can lead to you SEO Super-stardom in record time and on a thin budget.
Authoritative isn’t about hat size, gavel slamming, or letters after a name. No, authority is ascribed by Google based on various, secret factors that ultimately attempt to determine if a site is trying to pull a fast one on Google. Yes, Google, ever-vigilant, seeks to determine which sites are offering real product reviews and referrals vs those that are paid by Macy’s.
How does it do it? Shhh! I already said it was a secret, but I have a hint for you if you’ll keep it down. Foremost, it has to do with the number of outbound links that the site has: the more, the more spammy it appears. This cases directories and social networks into an unusual territory: naturally, these sites are designed to have tons of outbound links. Yet Google, in its diabolical genius, finds some exception for them and pardons them in part. Unless, of course, they are indeed a spammy directory designed to bolster SEO with no human-readable content whatsoever.
Who’s Authority are you, Anyway?!
How will Jill Schmoe know which directories are authoritative compared to those which are not? Well, the first hint is if the site appears selective in its links. If it has an application process and, better yet, a selection process through which it qualifies its links, it is more likely to be authoritative. If the directory is specific to your industry, even better!
It is also possible to determine trust-flow, backlink status, and pagerank through myriad SEO tools. At risk of endorsing one particular tool over another (only to discover a year down the road that they’re all spyware), I will refrain from recommended a specific piece of software. Use the tool of your choice (hint: Chrome extensions are helpful), your intuition, or both. Better yet, have an expert deliver even better service in half the time.
*DTF: Down to Follow