Linkbuilding: Blogs vs Directories

by Stijn Driessen May 13th, 2010 

There are many ways to gather links online. Some are more easy to get than others, and this does not necessarily have to imply that the ‘harder-to-get’ links are of more value. There are other things to consider than the effort and time that took you to get that link on which I will not elaborate in this blog. In this blog I want to compare two methods that are relatively easy to get links online. These are reacting on existing weblogs and adding your website in open directories.

Reacting on weblogs
An effective way to gather links is reacting to blog posts that are related to your website. Of course you have to keep in mind that some blogs tag the links in the reaction as non-follow and other blogs first require an administrator to ‘accept’ your reaction in order to fight spam reactions. Furthermore it will take you some time to read the blog before being able to have a response that is of value.

However, by reacting on weblogs you know for sure the text around your comment is related to your website and thereby increasing the strength of the link. Next, in blog posts and reactions are not that many links on one page and thus is more likely to add strength. Also, popular blogs usually are indexed more often because of the new content every now and then. Therefore new links are faster indexed. Last, as discussed previously non-follow links are also of value for your SEO campaign.

In sum:

Pros Cons
Related to the topic

Link between text

Few links on one page

Faster indexation

Time consuming

Often non-follow

Sometimes requires administrator to ‘accept’ your comment


Another effective way to gather links is by adding your link to a lot of directories. A directory is a website organized with categories and under each category are links related to that specific category. Hence, links in one category are related to each other and thus are also related to the topic of your own website. Although on most directories in a broadened sense. Directories are not that hard to find. Start with one and usually they also have a category of other directories online.

Although directories are of value there are also some remarks. Many directories on the internet are not that active anymore and free links require a lot of time before being approved by the webmaster. Sometimes it can take up to four months if you get listed anyway. Furthermore, links in a webdirectory are on pages with 10+ links and are therefore of less strength. Even though you would have budget to pay featured links this would not help your SEO campaign.


Pros Cons
Related to the category (broad)

Easy to find, require less time to submit

Slow acceptation rate of links

Often inactive

10+ links on one page


If you have enough time for your SEO campaign I would advise you to do both. This will also make your link building strategy more natural than only having in-links from directories or blog comments. But if you do not have that many time for your SEO campaign, you are more likely to get quality links from commenting on blog related blogs. This is because: faster acceptation rate, links between text, links between more relevant content, and fewer links on one page. Consequently, better quantity of links, link juice and relevant content.

Stijn Driessen is SEO strategic at Easy Internet Marketing.

Stijn Driessen

Senior Internet Marketeer at Easy Internet Marketing. Follow me @ twitter.

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12 Responses to “Linkbuilding: Blogs vs Directories”

  1. what do you think of paid directories? the ones that are including links for $19.99 or $29.99 or $39.99. do you think those are worth paying for?

  2. Well, it's not always possible to find blogs or directories to comment on that are related to your niche. I think it's faster to do blog commenting than directories. Plus, you get to learn from the content if you do the blog commenting way whereas directory submissions are mind-numbing.
    .-= Tyler Davis@Get Taller recently posted: Grow Taller with Hyaline Cartilage? =-.

  3. Sara Viator says:

    I personally try to do a blend of both, but not a lot of blogs offer follow tags for their comments. Directories are good, but can get a bit pricey for the nice ones. I think it's great to have both of these as part of your strategy though.
    .-= Sara Viator recently posted: Eternity =-.

  4. Hey thanks for the great info. Blog commenting is a great way to gain links. I also think it is important to not just comment on other bloggers website's just for a SEO benefit, for that is not really fair. I believe that actually contributing and adding value to other person's blog with a relevant comment is a fair exchange for the owner of a blog and the visitor of that blog.
    .-= Reggie Barnett recently posted: 3 Surefire ways to improve in affiliate network marketing =-.

  5. pinoypen says:

    You got it right there with regards to web directories. i had encountered a of web directories who hadn't updated their directory for quite awhile. Its better to do blog and forum commenting, even if its time consuming, its enjoyable as you learn along the way.

  6. Zack says:

    Good summary. It is a good practice to do both. The thing about directories is you are one and done. You can seek out a couple hundred and often times get anchor text as well, but that's it. Commenting on blogs is something you can continue to do day after day.

  7. I have found that directories take a long time to get approved most of the time, unless you pay for the listing. Frankly, I see blog commenting as top priority because it is so easy to strike up a conversation or take part when you find something interesting to comment on. Even though directory submission can be made easy with semi-automation tools, blog commenting can be just as fast if not faster. And less tedious.
    .-= Brandon Connell recently posted: Contest: How many blog posts can you publish in a day? =-.

  8. I think directories are not good for website promotion now. They just copy each other and are not much valuable for users. Because of that blog promotion is better than directories!

    I think most of the websites schould be subbmitted only to and some paid directories (like Yahoo directory) :)
    .-= Websitesdevel recently posted: Top 10 most popular article directories ideal for article submissions =-.

  9. Marcin says:

    As well as you mentioned, you may want to do both.

  10. Commenting on relevant material is very important via the comment section. As you say, even if it is nofollow, there is some benefit.

    As for directories, I think people overlook them now-a-days, but they are still important. Even though link juice suffers because of so many links, this directory link still holds lots of value.

    As you say, do both and you will doubly benefit :)
    .-= Richard Cummings recently posted: How To Redirect Web Image Results To Web Page =-.

  11. Tammi Kibler says:

    I would add that commenting on blogs also helps you build relationships within your niche, can establish your authority on a topic, and may lead to guest post opportunities.
    .-= Tammi Kibler recently posted: Free Mind Mapping Software Online =-.

  12. I would recommend doing both too. Directory paying would only seem appropiate if the directory really adds something. The Yahoo directory and the directory are appropiate, but only if you have enough budget.
    .-= Stijn Driessen recently posted: Artflow =-.