In the world of Web 2.0, link building has shifted to social bookmarking and social media sites. People produce high quality content in hopes of baiting social media site users to link to them. Webmasters are also using social bookmarking sites to generate easy one-way back-links. Many people quickly forget the benefits of Web 1.0 link building. Although Web 2.0 spurred the creation of many new forms of sites, Web 1.0 did not die. Website link directories, although not what they once were, are still all over the net.
Link directories organize links to hundreds or thousands of sites. The most popular of these are the DMOZ, Best of the Web, and Yahoo directories. For a long time, webmaster used this as a method of link building. Over time though, webmasters used this site format to spam links. The result is that many directories have been discounted. Many internet marketers now ignore them as a link building method.
Directory submissions should be used as one method in your overall link building plan. These links are low quality, but they are one-way keyword anchored back links. These links do not provide massive authority to dominate competitive niches, but they can provide a significant amount of juice to niche sites focusing on long tail keywords.
An important part of link building is to create a diverse link profile. Directory links allow you to increase the size of your link profile by generating links from a variety of new sites. Do not discount this age old method of promotion, because many skilled internet marketers won’t.
The most important part of directory submissions is to generate good back links. You will not be receiving any quality direct traffic from these directories. Their purpose is to generate links to improve your rankings. With this in mind, you need to evaluate the quality of the directory. Many spam directories link out and promote gambling, porn, and Viagra sites. You want to avoid these directories, since they may create a negative association with your site. Look at a directory’s pagerank, the pagerank of internal pages, the number of pages indexed, and the sites that directory supports.
There are two important tips to remember when doing submissions. First, this is for anchored links. Try your hardest to get an anchor that includes your main keyword. Second, you need to vary your anchor text. Having too many links with the same text does not look natural. You should make effort to mix up your anchor text when submitting to web directories.
Simply put though, directories are a solid option for those building links to long tail niche sites. When combined with other link building methods, they can be very effective.