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Using Web Directories To Get More Traffic

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A lot of web site owners do not consider that web directories are worth the time, effort (and occasionally money) they will spend on submitting their sites as they don't think people really use the directories anymore.

These site owners may be sadly mistaken as the directories can still play an important role in your overall SEO strategy, and may even help you to gain a better ranking in the more familiar search engines.

It is true that web directories are not as well used by the general public today as they once were; in the past before the search engines became popular and powerful they were the method that many people used to find the websites and information they sought.

Yahoo started out its life as one of the best organised and biggest directories on the web (in fact it still is.) Many people still use specialist directories to find websites relating to a specific niche or area of interest however.

To understand how listing your site with a directory can affect your ranking on a search engine it is important to understand how web directories work.

Firstly directories only list websites that have been submitted to them, nothing is added autonomously.

Once your website has been submitted to the directory a real person or people will visit your site and review its relevancy to their directory, and the quality of your site content and then use this information to add your site to the appropriate category and subcategory of the directory.

Most directories do not use search terms or keywords but have a listing of their categories and subcategories that visitors must search through to find the website they are seeking (Yahoo and DMOZ do let visitors search the directories.)

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The directory then posts a link to your site. 

The human checking of the relevance or worth of your site is one of the things that help increase your search engine ranking; the engines know that the site is relevant to the topic and that it matches the description it was given in the directory.

The link to your site from the web directories are inbound links that will be recognised by the search engines and link popularity is an important component of SEO.

The search engines send out spiders and indexing bots that regularly index both the directories and the links they contain (the link to your site) onto their parent search engine.

The more directories your site is listed on the more times it will be indexed by the engines and thus the more valuable inbound links it will be seen as having.

The only warning to mention when listing your website in the web directories is to avoid link farms and ensure that the directories you choose to list your site with do not block the search engines from indexing either the directory or the links it contains.

There is more to a good SEO strategy than just link building, but link popularity does play a fairly big part in the final ranking that your site is awarded by the engines (especially in the early days of your site) and anything that can help you get a higher ranking on the search engines will always have a positive effect on your website and your business.

So in summary even though you will probably not generate very much direct traffic from the web directories they are well worth being listed in for the advantages to your SEO.

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