Let’s be honest, link building has become sort of a struggle these days because you have no idea what Google loves and what it doesn’t. And in the 2006 era, directory submissions were like the invention of the wheel. Every kid on the block was using it and reaping the benefits.
But these days, it has become somewhat risky to get links from local directories. Moreover, we have seen websites get penalized because they overdid the directory links thing.
Does this mean that local directories and all the directories, in general, are bad and you should drop them like a hot potato?
Well, the answer is in the grey area.
It all depends on which directories you are using and whether or not you are taking the right precautions. In fact, I should put more emphasis on the word precaution because if by mistake, you happen to submit your website to a dodgy directory, you will run into a huge risk.
And the whole world knows how painful it can be to get a link removed from a directory. Unless you are going to use Google Disavow Tool.
So for example, you would find your website in hot waters with Google if you decide to submit it to a lot of low-quality directories.
Instead, you should choose to opt for fewer links, but they should come from a better quality of directories. Directories that have a better reputation.
Gone were the days when you could just hand over your money for those “link building” services and they would take care of the whole thing for you. But that would put you on a fast track to penalization these days.
These days you want to go for quality over quantity.
But how do you decide which local directory is better than the other one? Shouldn’t there be some points that you should be able to check off and easily decide which directory would be suitable for you?
I’m glad you asked that question. That’s exactly what I’m going to answer here.
How to Choose the Highest Quality of Local Directories
Instead of crossing off local directory submission off your list, why not use my handy checklist that will guide you.
In fact, if you use these 4 points to identify the high-quality directories, they will, in fact, be a LOT better for your SEO strategy. Because then you will have a couple different types of links pointing to your website. And that’s something Google loves to see – a variety of links.
So, there are 4 things that you should consider before deciding to submit to a local directory. These things are absolutely critical and should not be ignored at any cost.
I had to find out the hard way that not all directories are created equal.
Not Accessible to Masses OR Paid Directories
This point wouldn’t be applicable in a lot of situations, but you should still look out for this option. Paid directories have the revenue to actually analyze the links that are being submitted to them and so they can turn down spam links to maintain the integrity of their directory as a whole.
But you should also ensure that they are indexed on Google. In fact, you should always check that every directory you check out is indexed on Google. If they are not indexed, just ignore them.
You should also make a rule of only submitting your website to directories in your category. There is no point in getting a link from a directory about dentists to a website that is talking about car accessories. And Google can see that.
Local Directories Relevant to Your Niche
Again, this is an important one. If the directory is not relevant to your niche, you might as well spend that time watching videos on YouTube.
What do I mean by this?
Always try to ensure that the directory you’re looking to submit a link to, has a relevant category in it. So if you had a website that talks about SEO, maybe look for Internet Marketing or something related to the Internet in the category section.
And if you are too lazy to do that, try searching for your keywords with the name of the directory and see if it appears in the search results.
For instance, if you wanted to find out if directory1.com has a category related to SEO, you would go to Google and type in “link building directory1.com” and see if it comes up.
Link building would be a relevant search term for SEO.
If you cannot find directories that have that category, start following blogs that compile a list of directories. Through that, you are guaranteed to land at least a couple local directory links.
Have Variety. Change Things Up a Little
The best thing you can do while creating local directory links is to have variety. This will diversify your backlink profile and dilute the concentration of keywords you have. You never want to have a ton of links coming in that have the same anchor text. That is a dead giveaway that you are doing something fishy.
Your best bet here is to write different titles and descriptions. These titles and descriptions can contain long and short tail keywords that you are targeting.
Again, you want to make sure that these keywords are relevant to the directory. Or you should just find a relevant category that your keywords would fit in. Vice versa.
Directories are actually a great way if you are looking to diversify your backlink profile.
Timing Is Everything
Now that Google almost instantly knows when you are creating a link, you want to be very careful about when you are creating these links.
And not just that, you also want to be careful about how fast you are creating these links.
If you are using a software tool for this, then you might want to make sure that the software is creating these links as slow as possible. Because if it just goes out and creates thousands of directory links in just a matter of days, then you might as well say goodbye to your website.
That will trigger an instant penalty because Google hates software’s that are used for link building.
You want to schedule your links so that they are spread out over a couple of weeks and the links are gradually going live.
Here’s the truth.
After the Panda and the Penguin update, links that are organically created have a lot more value these days. So your main goal here should be to make these links look as natural and organic as possible.
Some High-Quality Local Directories That You Should Check Out
I know how hard it can be to find a decent local directory to submit your website to. So I have compiled a small list of directories for you to check out and see if your website fits in any of their categories.
If it does, then you’ve got a head start J
- All Business Now
- Better Business Bureau
- Seek On
- Pick N Buy
- Joe Ant
- Map Quest
These days a ton of people are dealing with local companies and websites. So the value of getting links from local directories is much higher than websites that are not targeting a specific geographical area.
This also means that you want to be careful with the few local directory submissions that you do.
Google still loves local directory links or any directory links in general. As long as they are high-quality links. Because these types of links will never go out of style as long as they are of high quality.