As I said in a previous post, I am reading Aaron Wall's SEO Book, which has given me a lot of new insight into how to successfully build and market a site or product online. In this post I want to talk briefly about posting to directories and how they can help you drive traffic and stabilize/build your PR - Page Rank with Google.
In case you don't know, Google assigns a page rank to every website page. A PR value is one of the measures the search engine uses to measure "Relavancy" or how important a given source is. Basically a source/website that has a lot of relevant backlinks - links from other similar type websites will have a higher PR value than one that has less. Anyway by listing your site in some of the larger directories such as Yahoo, Gimpsy, and Business.com, you can help improve both your traffic to your site and your Google Page Rank (PR). So I want to talk about a personal experience I had with some of these directories and some pitfalls to avoid when listing in them.
First off, the larger directories such as Yahoo, Gimpsy, Business.com, and Bestoftheweb, charge what is called a "review" fee. For Yahoo it is currently an annual fee of $299. It ain't cheap. So before you go and list your site and pay for a "review" which DOES NOT GUARANTEE A LISTING. You should be aware of several important factors:
1) Most of these directories DO NOT GUARANTEE A LISTING for the fee paid. In fact most of them have very stringent guidelines that must be followed in order to be listed, and even then your site may be rejected if they deem it to not fit or not be good enough.
2) READ THEIR EDITORIAL GUIDLINES CAREFULLY BEFORE YOU SUBMIT YOUR SITE - For example, Business.com only accepts B2B or business to business type websites. So B2C sites such as a dating website or a blog will be rejected!
3) KNOW THIER REFUND POLICY For exmaple Business.com did refund my money after they rejected my site, but Bestoftheweb tried to not refund my money and I had to raise a big stink before they finally decided to give me my money back - more on that later ;)
4) DO NOT USE ALL CAPS LIKE I AM DOING NOW Most directories will reject your listing if you use titles or descriptions that are in all caps or that have a "call to action" like "Buy this now!" or "Join today!". So avoid doing this.
5) Make sure you choose the most relevant subdirectory to submit your site to Most directories require you to search their directory to find the most relevant category or subdirectory where you site should go. Make sure you choose the best one before you submit.
I submitted my site to Business.com, Best of the Web and Gimpsy. Gimpsy luckily accepted me into their directory and Business.com and Bestoftheweb rejected me. Business.com was nice enough to refund me my submission fee without any hassle after they explained to me they only list B2B websites - i.e. busineses that sell to other businesses - wholesale.
Gimpsy - luckily accepted my site! Whoohoo!
BestoftheWeb rejected my site after I spent $80 and gave me a one sentence "review" that was: "not enough original content" which makes absolutely no sense for a community site where the "content" is its members and their profiles. So I had a bloody fight with BotW to get my money back! And they kept refusing saying that I was paying for a "review" not a "listing" and I said bullshit - I paid for a listing not a review.
And it went back and forth a lot. Finally I threatened to cancell payment throughh my credit card and report them to the better business bureau for offering fake "listings" and paying for one line "reviews". They finally caved and refunded me my $70.
Anyway you should probably note before you submit to these directories that they don't accept anyone with a website and a credit card - you have to meet their very rigorous editorial guidelines and then you need a really really good site to be approved. So take extra care when submitting to these high profile directories.
You can purchase Aaron Wall's SEO BOOK Here: