Thursday, December 07, 2006

Building Links – How to submit and choose the best web directories

Almost every web master now knows that building backlinks to your web site is essential to obtaining high rankings in the search engines. Web directories are a part of building backlinks, but not all web directories will benefit your web site and some web directory listings will benefit you more than others. If you do a little checking first you can save yourself time and money and get the most backlink bang for your buck.

To check a web directory for quality, start by installing the Google toolbar. The Google toolbar can help you to obtain good information about a web site. After you install the Google toolbar, go into settings, then options, click on the More tab at the top and check the PageRank and Page Info button. Once enabled go to a directory homepage of a site to which you are considering submission. In the Google toolbar hold you mouse over the PageRank button. This will give you the web page’s PageRank on a scale of none to 10. A PageRank of five or higher is generally considered a good quality directory.

If you type site:www.directoryname.com in the toolbar search box this will show you the number of pages that Google has indexed for the directory web site. If a high percentage of pages show up as supplemental results this could be a sign of a weak directory. Supplemental results are web pages that Google considers to be of less importance and are kept in a different index.

Using the Google toolbar go back to the directory homepage and click the PageRank button in the toolbar and select cached snapshot of page. Take note of the date- this was the last time the page was crawled by Googlebot. Browse to the category in the directory that you want to submit to. See that the page is in the Google cache using the toolbar. You can check to see if the page is indexed in other search engines using the cache:www.site.com command in the search box. You want to submit to directories that are crawled and updated regularly.

You can also use the PageRank Button to check the webpage backlinks. Backlinks are used to determine a web page’s importance and look for quantity and quality of backlinks from a variety of sources when evaluating web pages for links. Go to some of the web sites that are in the directory that you are evaluating and see if the directory links show up in the backlinks of the webpage that you browsed to. If the backlinks show up when you use the backlinks button this is usually a sign of a good quality web directory.

When submitting to web directories use a long term strategic approach. For example if you plan on submitting to 100 directories submit to them over a period of six months or about four per week. We always suggest obtaining links from other sources as well such as blogs, forums, and testimonials.

When submitting to directories make sure your site is complete and is relevant to the directory category that you submit to. It can hurt a directory if they consistently link to low quality sites. So to ensure that your submission does not get denied or delayed in the process make sure your website is relevant and complete.

If possible use your keyword in the title anchor text, some directory owners are lenient and will allow this. When writing your description, make sure to use as much keyword phrase rich text as you can. Remember you want to point good content at your web site’s content.

If you have a web site and you are trying to optimize for different sub web pages within your site see if the directory owner will allow you to deep link or link to a page other than your homepage. As long as the content is relevant most directories do not have a problem with this. As a rule I try to link 15%-20% to internal pages in my sites.

Remember when building links to go slow and steady and from a variety of sources.