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:
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 (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.