Q and A: How do you choose “Good” Directories for Link Building?


Dear Kalena…

How do you distinguish a worth while directories from non worth while directories when designing a link building campaign? there are so many directories on the web but what factors you will consider it is a worthwhile? Kalena Page rank, alexa ranking or ? the second question is I have in mind is when design a link building campaign, often some directories require a review fee, so what do you suggest for link building if the website has no budget?


Dear Proson

As you are no doubt aware, Link Building is one of the most important strategies for raising the visibility (and rankings.. and traffic… and enquiries… and sales…) of your website via search engines. However, because it can be hard work and tedious, Link Building is also often one of the most neglected SEO techniques.

Directory Submission, involves submitting your site for inclusion to online directories, and is one (of the many) activities which can help build up backlinks to your site.

As you have highlighted, there are many many directories out there – some are free, some offer guaranteed listings for a fee, some will review your site for a fee,but will not guarantee you will be included.

Finding directories is pretty easy (there are even directories which list directories to help you with this), but it can certainly be difficult determining which directories are worth being listed in, and which are worth paying money to be a part of.

Just because a site is free doesn’t necessarily mean it is of no value, and many paid directories can be a complete waste of money.

But, back to your question – How to distinguish between a worthwhile and a useless directory. Here are some tips that should help you decide :

A Good Directory…

  • Will not guarantee listing – If they are selective about the types of sites they listed, they are likely to be better quality and offer better link value
  • Will be targeted – general directories are OK, but a directory that focuses on your particular niche is going to be much better for you
  • Will add value – by including extra relevant content and information rather than just a list of links
  • Will have a history – Older, established directories are often better than new ones (even if they dont look as pretty)
  • Will be up to date – check the existing links on the category/page you expect to be listed on. If it contains broken links, think twice about listing
  • May link to your competitors – If the directory already links to your competitors, and they are ranking higher than you in search results , it’s an indicator that it is worth joining
  • Will have good PR – while Page Rank is not the be all and end all, if the directory (home page AND sub pages) has a low or no PR, then it is probably of little value to you

You should also consider local business directories, as these are often free, or inexpensive, and links form them can significantly improve your local search visibility.

Some Good Directories

Following is a small sample of some directories which are widely considered to be “good”

DMOZ (aka The Open Directory Project) is regarded as a reputable directory that lists only sites of good quality. Submission is FREE, but there is no guarantee of a listing. Listing requests are screened by volunteer editors, and listing can take months (if it happens at all) – depending on the category and how active the volunteer assigned to it is. DMOZ used to be a “must have”, but there has been much debate whether it is still of much value. Because it’s free, and easy, I would generally recommend a submission .

Yahoo Directory : ranks second to DMOZ in popularity but is one of the more expensive paid services (US$299 a year). However a single listing in Yahoo Directory will get you listed in multiple international Yahoo directories (18 last time I checked), and is important if you have the budget.

Best of the Web :  Another older and well used web directory which takes pride in the listing and categorisation of quality web sites. US$99.95 per year or US$2499.95 lifetime.

JoeAnt : Like Best of the Web,  Joe Ant is an older and valued directory which is a hybrid of paid and volunteer editing. US$39.99 review fee.

Gimpsy : Very similar to JoeAnt, this is also an authority directory and excellent for link building. US$49 review fee.


Andy Henderson
Ireckon Web Marketing

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