While web directories are very useful tools to promote your website, they have to be used with caution. It may surprise you to find out that submitting to as many web directories that you can find may not be a wise move – it may actually harm your website’s page ranking, rather than help it.
A web directory is not a search engine. It does not list web pages in order of relevance, like search engines do. Instead, they list website links in a categorized and sub-categorized manner. web directories are quite useful to your website because they help direct visitors, or traffic, to your website. The main advantage of having your website submitted to web directories is the fact that it increases your search engine visibility and ranking. So a lot of people ask, just how many web directories do you have to submit to for it to be effective?
Search engines make use of various parameters to determine the relevance and importance of your website over its competitors. Among the important factors considered are links to your website from other websites. Search engines consider a link from from another website as a recommendation from that website. Because of this, it is a good way to improve your website’s importance or value in the eyes of the search engines, which increases your page ranking. This has an even greater positive impact if the web directory enjoys a high page ranking itself. It is like having a recommendation from an already respected website. So the higher the page ranking of the web directory, the better it helps the page ranking of your own website.
To understand why not all web directories can help your website, we need to go back to what search engines think about when ranking web pages. Most search engines, particularly Google, continually change the factors used in ranking web pages. Google may consider some web directories as nothing more than a quick way of webmasters to gain links back to their websites, and therefore rank them extremely poor. Google may also frown on links appearing in non-related pages and may consider them as ‘link spamming’. This would mean that having your links just posted on hundreds of web directories, including those with bad page ranking and relevancy, may not help your page ranking and may even lead to your website being banned.
In conclusion web directories are certainly very useful. Getting your website listed in several high quality web directories would definitely help your website’s promotion campaign. There’s no fixed number of web directories that is recommended, nevertheless you should be careful that you only use high quality web directories with great category relevance and page rankings. This doesn’t mean that you should avoid all new web directories with low page rankings as a new web directory with low page ranking today might improve in the future, besides they’re easier and quicker to get listed on.
Whether free or paid listings, go for web directories that also offer other services apart from web listings, as they are ranked better by search engines. If you are paying for the service, be sure to check the page ranking of the pages where your link will appear and not just that of the web directory home page. Finally, the answer to the question of how many web directories to submit your site to is simple, submit to as many quality web directories as possible.