Link Building 101: The Power of Directories Part 3

by Paul Teitelman October 21st, 2008 

This series has focused extensively on the power of directories for link building. So far, we've examined why they are so powerful in part 1 and then we looked at how to evaluate their potential power in part 2. This post will wrap-up the series by providing a short-list of the three most important pitfalls to avoid when making directory submissions (both paid and free).

1.) Avoid Submitting Sites One-by-One

Bulk submissions are amazing for a few reasons. First of all, you can get some awesome discounts and savings by negotiating a lower price per submission, assuming you have around 20+ sites to submit. Secondly, you can also negotiate to have the directory owner manually submit all of your sites for you. Just send them a spreadsheet file with site URL's, titles, descriptions, keywords and suggested categories. This will save you save you lots of time that it would take you to submit all these sites manually one-by-one. Don't ever underestimate the power of bulk when it comes to directory submissions (and link building in general for that matter) in terms of increased efficiency and price savings!

Link ninjas

2.) Don't use Same Anchor Text Everytime:

Now this is straightforward, or so it seems. Within SEO and link building, it's crucial to vary your anchor texts. But, with directory submissions the majority of the power derives from the anchor text. Therefore you need to do everything you can to ensure that the anchor texts you get approved are keyword-rich. As you continue with your submissions you obviously need to vary these anchor texts, but remember to always keep them keyword-rich.

One of the easiest ways to get favourable anchor texts approved is by including the keywords within the company name or brand. Now you won't be getting the most ideal anchor text (would be just the keyword(s) itself), but it will be better than the administrator just using your company title or brand by itself. So, instead of just submitting your brand name as the anchor text, you would submit your brand name plus the anchor texts. Here's some examples in a few niches:

Health niche: If your client was "Dr. XYZ's Clinic" and your main keyword is "Hollywood dentist ", you could do "Dr. XYZ Hollywood dentist" or even "Dr. XYZ Hollywood dentist clinic."

Law niche: If you are targeting "personal injury lawyer Calgary" and your client is "X,Y,Z Law" you could do "X,Y,Z personal injury lawyer Calgary" or even "personal injury lawyer Calgary X,Y,Z."

Get the picture? The point here is to make sure you utilize the power of directories by ensuring you submit keyword-rich anchor texts!

3.) Don't go Crazy with Submissions! As with all other link building strategies, you need to be careful and watch the velocity of your link building. Don't go crazy and try to make 1,000+ submissions in a month as you'll probably end up doing more harm than good in terms of rankings. As with all link building strategies you need to be cautious about the rate at which you build links, but especially with directory submissions since it's very tempting to pay an outsourced worker on DP a few bucks to submit to a couple hundred directories.

This last point brings up a couple of other very important factors to consider when making directory submissions:

First, use deep links where possible so that you can target some of your important product pages or sub-pages. Secondly, when making directory submissions, a general rule of thumb is to only pay per approval. I can't stress this point enough; with directory submissions (usually free directories) there are a lot of scammers (with most residing on DigitalPoint) that offer "1000 directory submissions for $5" or some other ridiculously low offer. With SEO and link building: if it's too good to be true, there's usually a reason why= SCAM!

To avoid being duped by one of these scammers make sure you only pay per approval and not just per submission. Remember to keep these points in mind and avoid the three aforementioned pitfalls when submitting to directories! Hope you all enjoyed the series!

Paul Teitelman

I'm a SEO Manager here at SEP and am responsible for overseeing the organic ranking of clients for their major keywords. When I'm not in front of computers my main passions are drumming, hockey and hanging out up north at my cottage in Muskoka.

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19 Responses to “Link Building 101: The Power of Directories Part 3”

  1. I did go crazy at first and had too many links – Google penalized me. It took a while but that went away. Thanks for the advice.

  2. I have recently started to build backlinks to my website and I really appreciate this information..thanks.
    I will make sure I check the first 2 post.


  3. Utah SEO says:

    Have bulk submission resources?

  4. Great article. I'm fairly new to SEO but I appreciate your take on things. Most newbies don't realize the anchor text issue, and it leads directly to failure. Gracias, again.

  5. Dbz says:

    I dont fully agree with all of what you have posted, however it is a interesting read, But I think directories no longer carry the weight in their links as they used to, Google even made a post on directories recently.

  6. Thank you for the article. I've been doing some SEO for my company's website and I used directory submission to build links. I agree with the points 1 and 2 in your post.

    The anchor text should differ from directory to directory and should contain your primary and secondary sets of keywords.

    As to the point 3 where you're talking about a huge amount of submissions in a short period of time, I think it doesn't always hurt the website. Not all the directories will approve the listing immediately. Some directories will approve the site quickly, others can take weeks and others can take months to approve the submission. So, the links will appear gradually.

    And I am not sure about deep links. On my opininon there are few directories that accept deep links. The majority of directories allow submit the main domain only.

  7. Paul Teitelman says:

    @Date entry… So you too learned the hard way? Now you know though! :)

    @Marc… Thanks a lot hope you enjoy the first two posts!

    @Utah… sent you a private e-mail. Check it out!

    @Breeders Cup… Much appreciated! You might also like some of my earlier posts on link building if you're just starting out in SEO. Good luck to ya!

    @obz… Hmmm, I don't agree. Directories maybe losing their power but they are still a very powerful strategy within SEO.

    @Julia… Thanks for the feedback! I agree with most of your points (about the difficulty in finding deep link directories) but I do think that it's critical to watch the velocity of your link building campaign. Especially with directories because if you don't know the approval rate, and you submit to a 1,000+ sites in a month, you may be getting more than you bargained for!

  8. Great tips you have! I didn't know about tip 2 though.. thanks by the way!

  9. Good article on directory submission. I completely agree with you to not go crazy like 1000+ links on each month. getting irrelevant links will not give value to the site, instead just may back fire our site.

  10. Paul Teitelman says:

    @Link Building: Thanks glad you understand the importance too!

    @Finance blog.. Much appreciated, I tried hard to make this series readable for link builders of all skills and experience, so really glad you enjoyed the post!

  11. Thanks for the great advice on bulk submitting. I would have thought that individual URL submitting would have been the way to go. I'll be changing my habits.

  12. Link building is a further step towards better page rank & more visitors.

    It's very correct that you shouldn't use same anchor text or text everywhere while submitting your site details on directories.

    Thanks again for the posting!

  13. I wouldn't recommend clients to submit their sites to directories with no authority or reputation. It is important because many of the directories are considered as spamming ones, if not money making ones. It is better to get listed in 3 powerful directories than 1000 rubbish directories.
    Rif Chia

  14. I'm a bit sceptical about directory submissions nowadays,they tend to lose value as the day goes by.Link building should be natural.

  15. […] after getting a fair amount of feedback on my last series I decided it was finally time to offer a "Top 25 Most Powerful Web Directories" list. […]

  16. Awesome tip… Pay per approval. That really does cut through the non-sense. lol

  17. Paul Teitelman says:

    @Baby shower… The power of bulk is seriously underestimated when it comes to link building. Link builders need to make use of the economies of scale just like any other business model.

    @Ayush and Singapore SEO… Glad you guys enjoyed the post and are in general agreement with me!

    @bank… You're right, but this trend has been going on for a while now. Hence, making it even more important to know which directories are powerful.

    @how to make money… (nice anchor text dude haha) Yeah, that tip is a doozy. Effectively eliminates those terrbile "1,000 directory submissions for $5" which do you no good what so ever nor will you have the time to check on the report.

    Hence, pay per approval and get all the live links in a report so you can quickly ensure the work has actually been completed.

  18. I need bulk submission resources too, can u please tell me?

  19. SEO Experts says:

    Hello Paul

    I am agree with your last 2 points but i guess bulk submissions is not good for sites. Also, link quality is more important than the number of links. what do u say?