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What do you look for?

Discussion in 'Directory Reviews' started by toradrake, Nov 25, 2014.

  1. toradrake Member


    When you are deciding on whether or not to submit a site to a directory, What are the key things you look for before you commit? With so many directories out there, how do you decide who to submit to... Are there key questions you ask yourself, or do you just go for the most known ones? Are there directories out there that can actually harm your placement if you submit to them, if so how do you weed them out?

  2. Converse Active Member


    If you look through my directory reviews, you can see what I look for. Actually however, I will submit to directories that don't do well in my reviews. At a minimum, some of the things that I look for include:
    • Are there published submission guidelines and does the directory enforce its own guidelines?
    • Are sites listed in appropriate categories, and are site descriptions relatively free of spelling or capitalization errors, and promotional hype?
    • I would pass on directories that promise instant approval of submissions.
    • Usually, I would pass on directories that offer reciprocal link submission options, although I will sometimes submit a site using another option. When they agree to list your site in return for you listing their site, that is a link exchange, not a directory. If everything else looks good, I might submit my site using another option, however.
    • Although not an absolute, I recommend caution with any directory that emphasizes its PageRank or its value as a back-link.
    • Look through several of the directory's categories and if you are seeing a lot of empty ones, that's a negative. This is especially true when a directory has been around for a few years and still has a lot of empty categories.
    • While there can be advantages to submitting your site to a new directory, a significant disadvantage is that most new directories either go offline within a year or turn to crap, as new directory owners find that it's not a very effective get-rich quick scheme.
    • Does the directory offer anything else besides a directory script and a bunch of categories? In other words, a directory operator who has taken the time to offer peripheral content, such as extended category descriptions, a regularly updated blog, or other resources is more likely to still be around two years from now. Keep in mind that authority directories, those that have been around for more than a decade, might be able to ride on their authority, but new directories should be offering more.
    I may add others later, but these come to mind. For my own sites, and I have a lot of them, I haven't seen any harm from having them listed in directories, so I am far more willing to take a chance, and I doubt that it will ever bite me as far as the search engines are concerned. Oh, I have paid to submit my sites to promising new directories that were no longer online a year later, but I wouldn't pay very much to be listed in a new directory.

    If your marketing funds are limited, I would recommend doing your best to make room for at least a couple of the top paid directories, but you will also find a lot of free or inexpensive submission options from reputable directories. By all means, submit your site to DMOZ, but don't hold your breath waiting for someone to review it. You might find that it's accepted in a short amount of time, or you might have to wait years; either way, it's free.

    I strongly believe that web directories should follow the same rules of language that every other site is expected to follow, in that site descriptions should consist of grammatically correct sentences, and that they should be truly descriptive, however I don't use this rule in order to determine whether or not I would submit my site to a directory. Certainly, when I see that, I would not hesitate to submit my site, but keep in mind that when web directories first began, most people were connecting to the Internet via dialup and server space was at a premium, so the web directory industry developed a standard that called for sentence fragments and only a line or two of text in a site description. Even if they wanted to change that at this point, it would be unreasonable to expect a directory with more than 500,000 sites to go back and modify each of its site descriptions. That's not going to happen, so you will come across some perfectly reputable web directories that use skimpy sentence fragments rather than full sentences.

    Jill likes this.
  3. toradrake Member


    :D Your always so informative @Converse, are you a professor or something? Thank you for your insight which is always informative.

    Do you mind expanding a little more on this? Why would you be cautious against directories that make that type of claim?

  4. Converse Active Member


    I was once the program chairman for the emergency medical technology department of a state college and, for two years, a community college, at the same time, but I ran the community college program only until they could find another qualified person to do it, since it had previously been a satellite campus of the state college I worked for.

    I have been doing this for a long time, so I do know what I'm talking about when it comes to web directories.

    Actually, I am in the process of writing an article about just this topic for a blog site that I'll be launching soon, probably within the next day or two. Google has already found it but I am not announcing it until it has a few more posts. I am waiting on some from a few more people who have promised me some.

    Briefly though, a directory that heralds its SEO value is a directory that is really just selling links and that is something that we know that Google frowns upon. It should be more than a matter of semantics when a directory's submission guidelines refer to its fee as a submission fee rather than the payment for a back-link.

    Yes, the payment of a submission fee may be what supports the directory financially, in part or in whole; there's nothing wrong with that because, unless you have the backing of a company like AOL, the bills have to be paid somehow. But if the only purpose that the directory serves is to sell links to webmasters wanting back-links, then it is a link-selling site and not a directory.

    While the number of sites indexed by a search engine may be limitless, that is not true of a directory, so you aren't likely to find everything there is to find about every topic imaginable in a web directory. But then, what good are 50,000 pages of results returned by a search engine when no one is going to look beyond page two anyhow?

    In that way, a well managed web directory can to a much better job of presenting the most useful sites on a topic than a search engine is likely to do, and they may also include some that aren't as useful as long as the site owner's have paid to have their sites included.

    To simplify the way in which a web directory is supposed to work, a directory category on the topic of blue widgets should contain at least a few of the most informative sites on blue widgets, which have been sought out and added to the directory for free by directory editors. It might also contain other useful, but less informative, sites on the subject that have been submitted by the webmasters, who have paid to have their sites included there. A directory user cannot tell which were added for free and which were added because someone paid to have them included, nor can a competitor who, seeing that other sites in his niche are located there, might submit his site as well. A well managed web directory should not include junk sites, whether or not someone is willing to pay to have them included. Keep in mind however, that some sites turn to junk after they have been added, and it can take time for directory staff to notice. Many directories have a facility for someone to notify directory staff of this.

    Briefly, the reason why an emphasis on the SEO value to a web directory sends up a red flag to me is that it indicates that they are probably just selling back-links. I have come across some that were reasonably okay, despite this, but I can't think of any really great directories that emphasized SEO value over the usefulness of the directory itself.

    Jill likes this.
  5. toradrake Member


    Working at a community college sticks with you, LOL . I worked for LA City College with the disabled teaching them assistive technology and computer use, so my explanations are a bit on the "simplistic" side. I've been told that even though I have good information, my simplistic way of explaining things makes it sound as if I don't know anything. It's a burden I bare. LOL

    Thank you for explaining that. That is very good information. I can't wait for you to present that article. I would love to read it.

  6. Jason76 Member


    The answer is pretty much a no-brainer. One would ask, "Does the directory reject low quality sites?" or "Is the directory well designed?". One would ask "Was the directory always a directory, or is it just some high PR old domain remade into a directory?".


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