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Are Directories Dead?


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23 replies to this topic

#1 JakeG

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 09:31 AM

Every time I had a new site to optimise, I always started by submitting it to a bunch of directories. I never thought this would help SEO much but it always got the site indexed and sometimes some referrals. Recently I took on a new client and went through my list of directories and I noticed that all of them were showing zero pagerank on all but the homepage. OK I know pagerank doesn't mean much but it seems like Google have detected that these are directories and have done something.


Does anybody still bother submit to directories? I think I'm not going to do it at all any more, none of them seem to send any traffic anyway. Has anybody seen any free directories that are not showing this "penalty"?

#2 cbp

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 03:12 PM

Google have PR'd zeroed the toolbar on the internal pages of almost all directories (except a couple a key directories). The pages are generally still indexed in Google. They tend to still have reasonable PR on the home page. They may well still have PR on the internal pages, but Google is choosing to display it as 0 in the toolbar --- I assume that they doing this to bring the run-a-way creation of new directories solely for the manipulation of link building to get better SERPS.

The way I look at it, that if I was a search engine, I would devalue any link that is obtained by self promotion (ie directory submission; article submission; forum signatures; etc) ... so yes, I think directory submission is dead.

#3 lenwood

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 03:12 PM

From what I can tell [url=http://www.highrankings.com/forum/index.php?showforum=21]Submitting to Directories[/url] is a waste of time. DMOZ and BOTW may still pass value, but DMOZ is nearly impossible to work with, and BOTW is pretty expensive. In my experience its more worthwhile to focus linkbuilding efforts elsewhere.

#4 JakeG

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 03:59 PM

If directories are dead then maybe there is no need for this subforum, or maybe at least the description should be changed from "There's no need to submit to search engines anymore, but you do still need to submit to directories." tongue.gif

#5 projectphp

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 05:27 PM

Depends what you men by "dead". They certainly exist, so we can scrap the existent argument smile.gif

I think it is time to effort, and who you are talking about., If a site has zero links, I can see the benefit of directory submissions. If someone is supe small, say a local restaurant, ditto.

For many people, though, it isn't really worth the time and/or effort, unless you pay someone (or Some India based Indians) nothing to do it.

#6 STL Stephen

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 10:20 PM

For what it's worth, I have been seeing a steadily decreasing amount of referral traffic coming from directories. It could just be the subject matter (sports blogs - kind of an incestuous group of linkers), but I'm sure if you plotted out a graph with referrals from search engines vs. directories, you should have your answer.

#7 Say Yebo

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 11:51 PM

Depending on the industry - there are still some great verticals. My law firm clients get a significant amount of traffic from law-specific directories.

But I don't depend on directories to get a site indexed. I just give new, unindexed clients a link from my site - even if it's a temporary one - and generally they get indexed within a week or so.

#8 healthdirectorymoz

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 12:54 PM

Hyperlinks encode a considerable amount of latent human judgement and Google is getting better at devaluing low hanging fruits. Going forward anything that doesn't look like editorial vote will get diminishing rate of return.

Having said that, there're still a handful of directories which maintain high editorial standards and pull some weight especially if your site is new. For established sites, directories are mostly useless unless they are super niche.




#9 austk

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 12:59 PM

I don't really know as far as the industry goes, but to me, they have been dead for some time. It just seems like it is a lot of work put in for really diminishing returns.

#10 bailey.rein

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 01:31 AM

For me Directories are not dead... [url=http://www.highrankings.com/forum/index.php?showforum=21]Submitting to Directories[/url] that have high PR will help your site boost traffic.... I do not submit lots of directories, I only choose those websites that have PR.. we all know that in this line of business it needs a little patience... for your website to be able to rank on search engines there are also many strategies to work from..

#11 oneofthe3lions

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 07:31 AM

It is too generic a statement to say that they are useful or whether they are useless.

There are a great many useful directories, most of these are targeted to specific industries and often receive heavy and relevant traffic. Things like suppliers directories and yellow pages and business.com type portals are certainly worth getting some exposure on.

Of course a link in a link directory that is never found for any relevant phrases that your users search for is totally useless and always was useless until the debacle of being able to increase the displayed page rank a few years ago sort of mixed things up a bit.

Most of us here have always said, "if you think one of your clients would find that particular directory in the first place via search or bookmark, think it is really useful and there is a good chance of finding your business there and then go on and make a purchase from you then get the link for sure"


#12 Mhoram

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 11:36 AM

I have a client who made a lot of money running an ordinary, niche-market, reciprocal-link-required directory, until Google trashed her rankings in 2007. From what I've read, it seems she wasn't the only one to have that experience. Since then, we've gradually built traffic back up by adding content and other features, but Google seems very resistant to ranking the pure directory pages themselves, even after we made all the changes they requested.

I told her to look at it from their point of view: if someone searches for 'blue widgets', Google doesn't want to return a list of links to directories that link to sites about blue widgets; it wants to link directly to those sites about blue widgets. Directories were great before there were search engines, but as the search engines get more sophisticated and better able to take people directly to the sites they're looking for, directories become less and less important. A search engine like Google has no reason to ever want to link to a directory, unless it's simply unable to find any pages specifically related to the search.

I honestly don't remember the last time I looked for something in a directory, but it would have been as a second resort after failing to find my target in several search engine queries.

#13 Sean Ansari

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 05:12 PM

Submitting to a whole list of junk directories is of no use . I would suggest you to submit to the most authoritative and if possible niche directories ( directories that are exclusively for your theme).

#14 kayes

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 05:34 AM

Directories are not dead.You just got be careful with what you are picking.But I would always suggest you to carry on your link building campaign else where.

#15 Hsekhar

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 04:44 PM

Directories are still "ALIVE", LoL. I mean, it may not do as good as it used to do, [url=http://www.highrankings.com/forum/index.php?showforum=21]Submitting to Directories[/url] is still worth it. Recently I submitted a old site of mine with around 5 anchor texts and surprisingly it showed up on the first page of Google for a couple of keywords (anchor text keywords) I used. Of course, they are not very competitive but, still, It never used to rank for those keywords on the first page (used to be on the third page).

I am not sure if it was the effect of directory submissions, but I think it is, as there wasn't any recent SEO done to the site.




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