However there are some good reasons why some web directories can be VERY useful to you and your business’ SEO, and almost all directories actually serve some kind of a purpose. Because the best directories are checked by humans for relevancy and informational “worth” of a site before adding it to the directory, search engines often rely on this process being carried out for them. Some web directories, like DMOZ, have a very strict inclusion policy, making the job of the search engines that much easier.
What General Directories Provide Great Value?
There are some great general directories that do provide value, like DMOZ and Yahoo, however these are few and far between. Generally you are better submitting to two classes of directory, local and topical. However some general directories rank well for obscure keywords because a) they have a lot of links/SERPs for that category and b) that category has low competition. In order to find which general directories provide the best value you can use a Directory search engine.
Topically Relevant Directories:
The best way to find topically relevant directories, is search for “Your Keyword, Directory” and “Find a *Keyword*. There are so many great directories out there that are specialised for your industry. The one that we are listed in, which gives us a lot of traffic, is Xemion.
There are plenty of topically relevant directories, as well as directories that rank well for obscure keywords. Here is a list of keywords that one directory ranks well for;
Sydney Dog Grooming
Melbourne Day Care
Sydney Mobile Vet
Some local directories are way under priced and of high quality. Quality local directories tend to drive significant hyper targeted traffic. In Australia Hot Frog is a free web directory that basically allows you to build your own web page, but with all the benefits of being a local website.
Use Roboform to submit your sites, but mix up the link anchor text and descriptions. This is because a)Google hates SPAM submissions, and b) Unique original content is more likely to be retained in the search engines.
When submitting your websites to directories, you should also, always try to include your physical address and telephone number. If you are feeling adventurous, you should also include your best offer for a product. This will increase your SEO ranking in Google Places as well.
You can use the lower value web directories to improve your SERPs by encorporating them into the outer rings of your link wheel. Some web directories allow deep links, and links to pages on things like VOX and Blogger. You can use them to build up the profile of your outer rim, increasing the amount of link juice that flows down into your main websites. You should use Directory Critic to find the directories that have good PR and also allow deep links.
Lastly, a good method of finding which web directories pass the most link juice is to use Open Site explorer on your competitors. Open Site explorer is great because it not only takes into account the domain authority but also the page Authority.