Almost every day I hear that directories are “bad” or “Google hates directories” so I set out to find out why that belief is so widespread and what the truth is regarding listing in business directories.
Last May (2012) around the fifteenth, the SEO forums were abuzz about Google suddenly penalizing and de-indexing hundreds of free directories.
SEOMoz followed up with comprehensive research on directory value which found:
Analysis of 2,678 Directories Shows 20% Penalized / Banned by Google
That was enough to make the skittish shy away from directories altogether and is the likely root cause of the inaccurate belief that all directories should be avoided.
Some assume that because Google penalized 20% that it is only a matter of time before they penalize or ban the other 80%. While this could happen, we do not know that it will happen.
Matt Cutts is on record in this video regarding why links in some directories are still considered high quality to Google:
Here’s my take on listing your business in QUALITY business directories:
they are one of the fastest, simplest, least expensive ways
to get high value incoming links quickly.
The reason that matters to me is that while there are many powerful ways to make sure your business gets found, most of them require more time and resources than the average small business has.
Yes, Google may keep penalizing some directories, but probably not the best ones. Worst case – even if they did (and in the case of high quality directories I do not believe they will) – before that happens you can use them TODAY to get on the radar where you can start attracting organic links from major sites.
If you are so afraid that you don’t build quality incoming links using the best directories to get noticed, that won’t happen because no one will find you to link to you!
It is important to understand the difference between sites that build Google PageRank by using hundreds or even thousands of poor quality incoming links and real sites like this one that publish quality content that attracts quality links.
This concept is best explained by Aaron Wall of SEOBook in this visual:
The older, more established directories that have always been selective about only linking to real businesses – and those that have quality incoming links because they publish original, quality content, are unlikely to be devalued by Google.
The wiser directory owners are at this very moment working on plans to make their directory sites even more valuable to their visitors, and that will make them less likely to be penalized.
The highest quality directories will move beyond only being a directory to
become sites that are regularly visited and send real buyers on to you.
SEOMoz does excellent research on which directories provide the most SEO value. Using their Top General Directories list, we have the research below to share with you.
TOP BUSINESS DIRECTORIES
Many hours have gone into researching which directories still provide value. Here is what you will find in the table below:
- The first section of the table below shows Quality Directories from the Top 50 SEOMoz General Directory List along with listing costs.
- The next section has some additional directories that are not in the Top 50 SEOMoz list, but known to the owner of DIRJournal. The numbers shown for these directories are from OpenSiteExplorer.org which is powered by SEOMoz’ Mozscape.
- All of the directories shown were contacted and asked if they would be interested in offering a discount. Those that responded are shown in the last section. Most of these discounts are for a limited time only – and the sooner you get started the sooner you benefit.
Take advantage of the discounts found at the bottom of the table below.
|DIRECTORY||Authority||MozRank||Type and cost|
|Splut.com (UK)||71||7.10||Free but sells ads|
|OnTopList||85||6.82||$29.99 / $39.99 / $49.99|
|Ally Directory||61||6.71||$24.99 / $49.99 / $74.99 / $99.99|
|Joe Ant||71||6.64||Free / $39.99|
|Incrawler||61||6.49||$24.95 / $49.95 refunded if not accepted|
|Yahoo Directory||100||6.48||$299 to submit plus $299 annually|
|Business.com||85||6.46||$299 yr / ppc / ppl / premium / display ads|
|Zorg Directory||56||6.45||$49.99 / $69.99 / $89.99|
|Gimpsy||62||6.39||$49 with $20 refunded if not approved|
|BOTW||85||6.38||$149.95 / $199.95|
|DIRJournal||67||6.37||$59.95 yr / $99.95 yr / $159.95 permanent / $249.95 permanent|
|Domaining.in||75||6.31||Free / $1.99?|
|Site Sift||62||6.28||$29.95 / $49.95 / $99.95|
|Searchsight||71||6.25||Free / upgraded – cost unclear|
|Shobby.co.uk||56||6.13||Shopping UK cost unknown|
|Site Promotion||58||6.12||Free / $8.96 per link per year|
|Capterra Find Software||67||6.08||Free / upgraded – cost unclear|
|WebWorldIndex||68||6.07||$25 / Regional Free|
|Abilogic||68||6.06||$15 / $19 / $35|
|ProLink Directory||64||6.01||Free / $9 / $19 / $59|
|2yi.net||52||5.97||$15.95 / $18.95 / $21.95 / $38.95 / $64.95|
|HotFrogUK.co.uk||57||5.90||Free / £9.95 a month|
|Local||86||5.86||Free / $49.95/mo & up|
|Websites Promotion||58||5.85||$19.99 yr / $36.99 permanent / $49.99 yr / $79.99 permanent|
|A List Directory||63||5.78||Free / $3.99 / $9.99 / $49.99 permanent|
|Hot vs Not||68||5.77||$42 6mos / $60 12 mos / $108 3yrs / $200 permanent / Free with backlink|
|UncovertheNet||64||5.76||$59 yr / $159 permanent / $89 yr / $189 yr / $189 permanent|
|AllInfoDir||45||5.76||$26.95 / $49.95 / $69.95 / $99.95|
|DiscoverOurTown||70||5.73||Free / $199 / $249|
|Gii.in||54||5.67||Free / $25 / $50 / $150 / $200|
|UKDirectory.co.uk||58||5.62||£50 / year or £165 lifetime (exc. VAT)|
|FamilyFriendlySites||74||5.61||$19.93 yr / $49.99 permanent / $59.93 yr ~ partially refundable|
|City Star||52||5.57||$19 mo / $29 mo / video $59 mo / $39.95 permanent|
|Gateway Worldwide||52||5.52||Free / $9.95 / $14.95 / $19.95|
|Additional Directories*||Authority**||Page***||Type and cost|
|Aviva Directory||72||77||$49.95/yr or $149.95 permanent|
|Dmegs||83||87||Free or $9.95/yr|
|Ezilon||75||79||$69 per year / $199 permanent|
|Alive Directory||67||73||$74.95 yr / $94.95 yr / $224.95 permanent / $299.95 permanent|
|ArgusVision.net||43||52||$54.95 lifetime / $84.95 lifetime|
|Web-Designers-Directory.org||68||74||$89.99 / $139.99|
|WebHosting-Directory.org||47||55||$74.95 / $124.95|
|*These directories were known to the owner of DIRJournal, but not in the Top 50 SEOMoz list.||** Authority = Open Site Explorer Domain Authority||*** Page = Open Site Explorer Page Authority|
||DISCOUNT / OFFER|
||20% off all listing types|
||3/31/13||20% off all listing types|
|OnTopList||ontoplistcode||$30 off premium listings; $10 off regular listings|
|Aviva Directory||GrowMap||3/1/13||$20 off annual or permanent listings|
|Wow DirectorySkaffe||WoW Directory and Skaffe Directory have free submission reviews on weekends and we feel that free submission is the best possible discount. Free submissions are normally processed within couple of weeks if accepted.|
|City Star||Discount Page
|Hot vs Not||GM20HVN||3/31/13||20.00%|
|Busy Bits||2013||12/31/13||30% off|
|Ezilon||s1z8v (PayPal) SMV8Z (CC)||7/30/13||30% off|
If you would like a copy of the spreadsheet including data not shown above or would like to use the information above for posts on other sites, please contact Gail Gardner.
Agencies and directories are encouraged to contact DIRJournal
to discuss cross-promotional and collaborative opportunities.
This data has been proofread repeatedly; however, whenever you do research this extensive errors can creep in. If you see anything that needs corrected, do please let us know in the comments or by contacting us directly.
What do you think? Are you still afraid to list in business directories?
Are you using directories? Do you have experience you’d like to share?
Please let us know in the comments.