I was reading a post today that made me chuckle a little, it concerned some research into what SEO’s think about directory links. If you want to see the actual results head over to SEOs leery of directory links.
The post is merely showing the opinions of many SEO‘s and online marketers and their feelings about spending time acquiring directory links.
I don’t know if it is a negative or positive factor that 54% thought some directory listings were still worth the effort. You see that means nearly half of the SEO’s asked either weren’t sure if directories were worth it, or simply thought they were a waste of time.
In this post I wanted to clear up the directory issue, voice my opinion and then back it up.
This is the problem – A lot of those who answered the question via twitter will be regular readers of the elite SEO blogs, there is nothing wrong with this until you start to take every piece of advice on face value. You should never read anything and presume it is correct, always look into it and do the tests yourself before forming an opinion.
A lot of the top SEO’s have been discouraging directory links, claiming they hold little value and are not worth the time. Then this becomes the opinion of the faithful followers who don’t really want to research the issue themselves.
The truth is directory links do still count and some pass on good amounts of link juice. I am not advising you to spam lot’s of low quality directories but what I am saying is relevant directories or directories with good authority will still help to increase your rank within Google.
OK, now down to a little evidence. Ideally I would have wanted to do a month’s indepth study of multiple sites, but unfortunately am short on time over the next month or so. Anyway…. I examine the SERPS regularly and due to my job am continuely assessing the link profiles of different sites.
One thing that always stands out is that the top sites all use substantial amounts of directory links to rank highly for their choosen keywords, all sites in competitive areas anyway.
On average I would say 30% of a top sites links come from directories, some relevant and some not so relevant. These listingws are providing, relevance, anchor text and in a lot of cases link juice or PageRank.
How do I know this? Well as I said it comes from experience but let me give you a quick example.
bigmouthmedia rank number 1 for ‘search engine optimisation’ in the UK. Highly competitive keyword which delivers 10s of thousands of visitors each month. Do you think they have used directories to build their link profile??
Above are big mouth’s top 23 links, the number at the side is the amount of link juice being passed. I have highlighted the directory links within the top 23.
The main thing to remember is that these no good directory links are passing a good amount of link juice and helping the site to rank.
Yes, I know this only the top 23 links but as you scroll down the top 3000 results a similar pattern emerges, 28% of the links are from directories and a lot pass good amounts of link juice!!!!!
So directories don’t work? Aren’t worth picking up?? I guess not, if you don’t want to rank from competitive terms, stay away from directories. if you don’t want to attract lot’s of search engine traffic stay away from directories!!! Sorry couldn’t help myself.
Remember I am not telling you to go out and mass spam directories, but what I am saying is DO DO DO use them as part of your link building strategy, don’t listen to anyone who says they no longer work. Don’t even believe me, go away use some good SEO software and check your competition out, I guarantee they have implemented directory link building to some degree.
If any of you had any doubts about directories, I hope this goes some way to clearing up the uncertainty.
As always your thoughts are welcome.Line Break
Author: Tim (292 Articles)
Tim Grice is the owner and editor of SEO wizz and has been involved in the search engine marketing industry for over 7 years. He has worked with multiple businesses across many verticals, creating and implementing search marketing strategies for companies in the UK, US and across Europe. Tim is also the Head of Search at Branded3, an SEO agency in Leeds.