The SEO benefits of web directories

When the internet was in its infancy, and long before the advent of search engines or SEO services, hierarchical web directories such as Yahoo were the main resources for finding content. Many early users probably have fond memories of clicking through A-Z lists starting with such top-level headings heading such as “health”, and navigating on down to the “common cold”.

However, now with search engines ruling the waves, directories seem rather out of step with the times. Yet it would be a mistake to write them off. They remain useful resources for people who prefer to browse, and navigate through lists. Directories can be less immediately restrictive than search engines, as search engines tend to work by “homing in” on matching content, whilst directories are more inclusive, always showing you alternative routes.

What’s more, directories still have their uses in the world of Search engine optimisation, or “SEO”.
First and foremost, they facilitate the rapid indexing of sites. You should always submit your site to directory listings, since this is still one of the fastest and most reliable ways to get your site indexed by the major search engines. The search engines have a good relationship with the major directories, and take pains to include them when regularly spidering the internet.

In particular, you should aim to submit your site to Yahoo and Dmoz, though other directories are worth considering, including paid directories. Paid web directories have the added advantage of providing a review of your site, and helping you increase the profile of your website.

Directories also provide you with one-way links. One-way links to your site are valued more highly than reciprocal links by search engines when ranking sites in search results.

Many directories also enable you to provide links to your site with specific, targeted keywords. This helps your cause no end, as it is not always easy to create custom, targeted one-way links to your site from other parts of the internet, especially free of charge. The effective placement of keywords is, needless to say, an invaluable part of any SEO campaign.

Some directories in particular are also useful in helping bring extra traffic to your site, though finding the right ones for you will take some careful research – especially if your site covers a niche interest area.

There is moreover, the inevitable cost benefit, in that many directories are free to submit listings to, and so on a “nothing to lose” basis it really is worth adding directories to your SEO campaign.

However, it can be a fiddly process submitting your site to directory listings, especially choosing the best paid directories for your site. It’s with this sort of issue that professional SEO services, such as those offered here at, can be particularly helpful. We are used to tracking down the best directories, and wording submissions in just the right way to improve your site’s listing in search results. Sometimes professional search engine marketing services can be very helpful, especially in the early days of an SEO campaign.

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