Link Building : Directories

Link building has been critical component of the online marketing mix since the first commercial sites and Internet resources originated.

As search engine optimisation has evolved over the past decade or so, links have become fundamental to defining the value of a site. Whether links are obtained via the old fashioned email request, building or buying relevant authority sites, directory listings, blog comment participation, and the recent phenomena or link baiting; link building has become an important, sometimes frustrating, and ometimes entertaining challenge for SEO’s.

Some of the most valued links can be obtained via payment, and many successful SEO campaigns begin with buying links or paying for editorial review.

Before there were search engines, there were Internet directories. Yahoo, MSN, LookSmart and Netscape have all been involved in the directory business at one time or another, and directories can be an effective way to define a site’s niche while generating some valuable links.

Netscape’s Open Directory Project (DMOZ) took the ‘free’ approach of having volunteer editors review directory submittals, but the realistic business model of paying editors to review the quality of directory listings can assure a fast and efficient turn around.

Below is a list of a number of valued web directories which you can submit your site to and have that listing reviewed (and hopefully approved) in a relatively prompt fashion (all prices are in US$):

1. Yahoo! Directory : The most popular and possibly oldest web directory still lists and reviews sites on an annual basis and these listings are long term traffic generators. $299 per year.

2. Best of the Web : Another older and well used web directory which takes pride in the listing and categorisation of quality web sites. $69.95 per year or $199.95 lifetime.

3. Business.com : A proven and well priced directory of business, both brick & mortar or online. $199 first year, $149 to renew.

4. Aviva Directory : One of the newer directories in this list, Aviva has built its reputation with Web 2.0 oriented marketing, link baiting and blogging. It’s a sleek and well thought out directory which your site should be listed in. $34.95 review fee.

5. RubberStamped : offers a clean, user-friendly, up-to-date directory that features human reviewed sites. $29.95 review fee.

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

7. Gimpsy : Very similar to JoeAnt, this is also an authority directory and excellent for link building. $40 review fee.

8. GoGuides.org : Because all submissions are human reviewedGoGuide is considered a trusted source for finding quality spam free content by the major search engines. $69.95 review fee.

9. Umdum Directory : Umdum receives high traffic, has over 100,000 inbound links, has been well received by the SEO industry and is growing daily. $40.00 review fee.

There are many, many other valued web directories out there which offer paid express reviews. More can be found via resources like Search Engine Colossus , Paid Directories and SEOCompany.ca.

There is also a very wortwhile list of some of the Strongest Directories (based on the page strength tool at SEOMoz) compiled by Aviva Directory.

Note : A good number of web directories offer featured or sponsored listings which will list up to two or three sites at the top of the directory categories, above all other directory listings. Listings such as these can be very valuable in terms of traffic generation and building your site’s reputation and authority.