SEO Tools: Using Web Directories

One “SEO tool” or technique that can help all business owners is the use of directory submissions.

One of the primary factors in most first-tier search engines’ algorithm is external links. You want links from other sites. Preferably one-way links, but reciprocal links have value also.

There are many web-directories on the internet- both broad and specific. In fact, before Yahoo was a search engine, it was (and is) a web directory. A web directory works on a business model similar to the Yellow Pages. You submit information to the directory, the directory hosts ads, advertisers pay money to the webmasters.

Some more “enterprising” webmasters have come up with a different business model to support their web directory. Everyone values incoming links to their site because of the SEO value. What would you pay to get a link to your site from the Google homepage? Obviously Google does not sell links, but you can imagine the value to your company.

A small web directory can provide a similar value on a much smaller scale.

However, there is a problem.

This practice of buying links is against Google’s terms of service and can get your site removed from the SERPS altogether.

Of course, it is not against Google’s policy to buy advertising on a site as long as you state that you are an advertiser. You can also buy “memberships” in organizations and “receive” links.

The practice is not as black and white as it appears. However, if your business is flagged by Google, and removed from the search engines, the results will be very black and white. It is best to err on the side of caution with your business.

Here are some examples of legitimate directories I have worked with. I will try to add to the list as I find more:

Web Directory List:

seo resources
SEO Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

Text and Links are the Fundamental elements of SEO

Search engine optimization is complex, but it essentially consists of two fundamental elements:
1) Text
2) Links

For CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, this knowledge is probably all you need to converse with your search marketing department. Of course, it always helps to understand the “why”, and after reading this article you will be caught up.

Small business owners and SEOs must know more; but sometimes, in our chase to solve the mystery that is The Search Algorithm, we lose site of the fundamentals and goals. It is always good to be reminded what is important.

Concentrate on link building and adding text (or “content”) and you will improve the visibility and rankings of your site.

Url Links and Chain Links

Why are links one of the two most important factors in SEO?

Links are an important part of SEO because of Google. Originally, Google’s Algorithm was based primarily on the following concept:
1) If site A has more inbound links than site B it must be “more popular”
2) If page B has more inbound links on it than page B it must be “more popular”

In Google’s collective mind, more links and more popularity equaled a more reputable page.

I am using the past-tense, because Google now uses links as only one of many factors that determines what site will show up number one in the search engine rankings. Supposedly there are over 200 variables used to in Google’s formula, though The Formula is a closely guarded secret.

Why is text one of the two most important factors in SEO?
Think about the act of “googling” or searching for something. You are typing words (text) into a form and telling a computer to “go find sites that have these words”. You are not drawing a picture, making a sound or downloading your memory (though that would be cool). Thus, a search cannot find pictures and sounds and videos unless they have corresponding text.

Text is an important part of SEO
This is why your site with pictures (and only pictures) of cyclones is not ranked #1 for “cyclones”. The search engines just see that you have a picture file.* If you want your site to be search engine friendly, a good rule of thumb is to stick some text on your site.

*There are advanced techniques (beyond the scope of this article) that you can use to get around these problems. Speak to your SEO expert.