Web directories are gigantic bookmark lists, organized into logical categories and subdivided into hundreds of sub-categories, sub-sub-categories, and so on... The advantage of the directories is that the sites listed are usually of a higher quality, because sites are selected by humans, so it's not as easy to "get in" as it's for search engines.
The major Web directories like Yahoo! Directory and Open Directory are great traffic sources. Apart from this, many search engines use them to supplement their search results.
When you submit your site to a Web directory, your site is queued for review by a site editor. That means a human being actually visits your site and determines whether or not it should be included in their index. Therefore, it's important to realize that most of the techniques you use to optimize pages for spider search engines won't work for directories.
Site editors verify that the category you selected is appropriate and that the title and description are accurate and relevant to the content of your site. In addition, each Web directory has its own criteria for evaluating sites.
Here's a few general tips to help you evaluate your website before you submit...
- You should have your own domain name.
- Your site's name should match your domain name.
- Display your company's contact information in plain view.
- You should have secure ordering (if applicable).
Each directory has its own rules and guidelines for submitting. Read the submission instructions carefully to avoid being rejected or banned...
Remember, it's very difficult to change your site's listing in Web directories once you get listed, and therefore, you need to ensure that you do everything correctly the first time.
Time should be taken to select the "single most relevant" category for your site, not just the first pertinent listing. Browse the directory. Look for competitors and similar sites. The extra time spent determining where your site best fits could be the difference between getting listed and being left out.
Look at your submission from the editor's point of view. Did you choose a category that is relevant to your site? Is your title and description relevant to your content? Is the form filled out completely?
If there's a comments box on the application, point out the strengths of your site. Find something unique about your site that will add value to the directory.
You should also submit your site to as many of the smaller directories that are specific
to your area of interest, as possible. This is important for improving the
link popularity of your site.
To find them, go to your favorite search engine and enter this into the search box...
[+"Your keyword" +directory] (without the brackets)
Try to do it for your main keyword and more general keywords.
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