Google SEO & Search Engine Marketing Services

Do Blog Directories Help SEO?

This blog posts is based on a question I was asked by my good friend timethief and it relates to blog directories. Technorati, blogcatalog, bloglines etc… all directories where you can list your blog and get a link back to your site; in return these directories normally suggest that you fire a link back to them.

So let’s get straight to the point and really we need to answer it in 3 ways.

1) Are blog directories worth joining?

2) Are the links from directories worth getting?

3) Should you send a site wide link back to the directory? (normally in the form of cute badge :) )

Let’s discuss this in the above order;

Should You Join A Directory

This is the simplest to answer, joining a directory and participating in the social aspects of it are a completely personal decision. I have been a member of blogcatalog for a while now and every now and again I join the forums, I also get involved with Yahoo answers and have the old bloglog member’s box at the side.

This is not for the purposes of SEO, this is simply to meet new people and input my knowledge here and there when people are struggling to understand SEO concepts.

So, should you join a directory?? Yes if you want to benefit from an online community and develop new relationships, just like using stumble, twitter, digg or any other social platform.

Are The Links Any Good?

A link is a link at the end of the day but for the purposes of this part of the post let’s concentrate on link juice.

In order to gage how much link juice these directories pass I went to my SEOmoz tools and looked at my top 445 links.

My actual ‘blogcatalog’ directory link did not make it into the top 445 (being beat by articles on article directories), I did however get a link from the discussion area but it passed zero in terms of link juice:

blog directories

Technorati made it in the top 300 just passing 0.03 link juice, yahoo and other directory listings were nowhere to be seen.

OK, however even a zero link is worth it if it passes anchor text, ermmmmm, nope just a bare link at these directories.

So no juice, no anchor text and no relevance, are these directory links really worth it?? Let me answer that at the end of the post, sorry to keep you in suspense :)

Should You Link Back?

Most of the links we send back to blog directories come in the form of badges we litter our sidebar or footer with. Should we??

Well let’s look at this logically:

It’s not a reciprocal link

It won’t be penalised for been reciprocal as the link from our sites point to the homepage of the directory and the link from them comes from a deep page, it’s what is known as triangular linking, not as bad as reciprocals but not great.

What are we left with?

Simple, you are left with 10 badges on every page of your site leaking link juice and helping the directory gain link juice. Even if you no follow these links it is still lost link juice since Google’s link evaporation announcement, in that no follow links might as well follow as the link juice is lost either way.

So my answer is straight forward, I do not recommend linking to every single blog directory out there, all you are doing is building their rank whilst diminishing your own.

So We Don’t Bother Submitting Our Blogs To Directories?

Ah well, not exactly.

You see even though these directory links carry very little link juice and you cannot anchor the text, they still carry something just as important, trust. If you have a link from technorati, blogcatalog, fuelmyblog or any of the mainstream directories, you have links from highly trusted sites. This will help build your trust and enhance your rankings.

So, to some up:-

YES join directories to socially interact
YES Get a link from these directories
NO Don’t link back to the directory with badges that appear on every page of your site

You may have noticed I’ve removed the badges I had to blogcatalog and technorati, I was going to keep them on hoping someone might favourite me but that hasn’t happened, so I got rid as they offer no other benefit to my site.

This is all my opinion and I am sure there will be social bloggers out there telling me I’m wrong, but that’s life I guess.

Hope this has helped decide how you might deal with blog directories in the future.

Line Break

Author: Tim (254 Articles)

is the owner and editor of SEO wizz and has been involved in the search engine marketing industry for over 9 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 Director of Search at Branded3, a Digital Marketing & SEO Agency based in the UK.

Share

{ 17 comments }

timethief October 29, 2009 at 2:56 pm

Thank you so much for answering my questions re: the value of backlinking to blog directories and confirming what I thought was the case. I appreciate your educational posts and tutorials, and will not hesitate to ask you more questions in the future. :)

Tim October 29, 2009 at 3:02 pm

@timethief

Anytime, I am always looking for interesting things to add to the blog so the more questions means more material.

Hope your feeling better

ileane October 31, 2009 at 3:20 pm

Hi Tim,
This question came up on the WebsiteBabble forum and at the end of the discussion I still wasn’t sure what to do. This post is a great help but I still have a few questions. For example I wanted to add my WordPress.com blog to BlogCatalog but without the link back added to my blog I was turned down. I also heard that listing in some directories will cause you to be penalized by Google. Have you heard this before? Which directory listings does Google penalize for?

Thanks for your help.

Tim October 31, 2009 at 4:18 pm

Hi ileane,

OK the reciprocal link issues is a tough one, yes some directories do insist on a backlink when you first want to be listed. I would recommend picking out 3 or 4 of your favourite directories and use them, you can always remove the reciprocal link after a few months. The blog directories do carry some trust but there not worth a permanent link back from every page of your site.

The fact that submitting your sites to Google will get you penalised is a myth, in fact Google actively encourages listing your site with DMOZ and Yahoo’s overp priced directory, its only the really spammy directories that will see your site seriously punished, the directories that were made to get links from with no care about site quality. Do not be afraid of submitting to the popular blog directories, this will not harm your site.

hope this helps

Andrea Markham November 2, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Thanks for the info. I get so confused as to how to submit when, where and how and how often! If I submit my site/blog to Google, do I have to keep submitting it every month or every time I make a change? Or does once do the trick? I’ve heard conflicting opinions since they saw Google’s crawlers will detect when you’ve made a change. Any advice you can give will be greatly appreciated!
Thanks a bunch!

Tim November 2, 2009 at 2:33 pm

Hi Andrea,

Thanks for dropping in.

Submit to Google only once, however make sure you have some solid backlinks before doing so as Google may not index a page that is not being linked to. Submiting more than once is nothing but spamming and however told you to do it more than this is confused about the way Google works. Google will automatically check for new info on your site periodically, you can speed the crawling up in webmaster tools and you can also ping you r blog everytime you up date, this helps all search engines know you are publishing something fresh.

Hope this helps.

Nita November 5, 2009 at 4:09 am

I made a comment but I got a blank page after I submitted so I am not sure that it went through. It was a huge comment so here it is in short.
I came here from TT’s
Which directories are good?
Google has a ping service although they don’t say it is, the ping is in the url. I read you can ping it regularly. I am doing, after something I read on the web. Is this a wrong strategy?
If my earlier comment got through, you can delete this one. Thanks.

Tim November 5, 2009 at 4:27 am

Hi Nita,

Not sure whats going on with the comments, the length shouldn’t matter.

Anyway with regards to directories it is really up to you, blogcatalog, technorati, fuelmyblog and bloglines are some of the bigger ones, the ones that carry the most authority. All I recommend is that you keep the links back to them as minimal as possible as you are losing link jice through it.

Pinging is an essential part of blogging and it works by sending a message to the ‘blog’ search engines to let them know you have new content – ONLY PING WHEN YOU HAVE NEW CONTENT – If you use wordpress you can set it up to ping automatically in settings->writing I think, or you can go to pages like pingmyblog.com or pin-o-matic.com to do it manually.

Hope this helps

Nita November 5, 2009 at 6:32 pm

Yes it does Tim, thanks. However what about pinging Google? Is that okay? This is the url I go to:
http://blogsearch.google.com/ping
In any case google is not responding! They don’t index my pages for days afterwards. I think perhaps my blog is too new.

Only use this ping if your site is not already indexed in Googles blog search results, check if you’re listed by search “yoursite.com” in google blog search

Tim November 6, 2009 at 1:57 am

Hi Nita,

I would definitely ping Google, only when you update your blog though. This will help Google crawl you content but the only way to increase the amount of pages you have indexed is by getting links back to your pages, this way Google can see you have some general popularity on the web.

timethief November 28, 2009 at 3:53 pm

Tim
The Google ping url Nita has provided displays this:
“If your blog is not listed in our results, we want to hear about it.
Enter your blog’s web or feed address below and we’ll do our best to add it to our index as quickly as possible.”

I think we can safely conclude that it’s not meant to be used every time we publish a post.

Tim November 28, 2009 at 3:56 pm

Thanks TT,

I have to admit to being lazy and didn’t look at the link. This links is only relevant if a blog is not listed in Google blog search. I’ll update the comment.

Poem Stream November 14, 2010 at 10:42 pm

Tim, Thanks for this article. I was happily going about linking to many directories hoping that I might generate some traffic and improve site’s visibility in Google Search. However, I have noticed that some of my other site that I submitted to few directories don’t even show up in Google Webmaster Tools as links. I guess I should spend my time elsewhere. What are the best tips for increasing traffic and visibility in Google Search results? I will add, I have found that submitting to followlist.com has been beneficial in terms of traffic, but you have to question whether I’ll have problems with spammers.

Tim November 15, 2010 at 2:14 am

Hi There,

In terms of building links there is nothing wrong with directories they just tend to hold very little value. To start your link building off you need to publish a few articles and approach some blogs for either guest blogging or ask them to link back to a relevant article of yours. I also like blog carnivals for early links and as long as your providing valuable content it should work well.

Candra Evans January 13, 2012 at 9:23 am

Thank you for this article. I’ve submitted my blog to several listings, but it hasn’t been very effective. All the while I had badges all over the place. I was also curious about their effectiveness because there are thousands of other bloggers just like me, looking for the same increase in traffic. Is there enough exposure to go around? I wonder.

Jen September 4, 2012 at 5:02 am

That depends really, i agree with the part of interacting socially through directories. one can find similar bloggers and learn from them or share with them. its up to you to whether submit to a hundred directories or submit to none :) but i think submitting to like 3 -4 directories wont hurt either..

Mujtaba December 22, 2012 at 8:52 am

Thank you for sharing this article…very helpful to newbies like us. even i submitted my blogs to different directories, DMOZ being one of them. Is it necessary to submit to dmoz as i have heard it is most trusted? and its still not being submitted to Dmoz! how much time do they take?

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: