In short no, directory submissions do not work, at least in my opinion and experience. But this would be a very short post if that was all I had to say, let me tell you some more about why I believe submitting your sites details etc to endless directories across the globe simply do not work. Obviously I am not talking about the likes of DMOZ etc, but you know the type, “10,000 submissions for $100”. Why would something so cheap be so worth doing, also my eye brows are raised by the amount of work involved, if some individual claiming that submitting your site to 10,000 directories is worthwhile and can do this for $100, whats the catch?
OK, so most of us have been contacted, usually by email by so called industry leading companies saying something like “we really like your site but you need to do this to be better than your competition”, my first question is “really?, well my sites are number 1 and 2”. Obviously these people are not spending time on your site, you are looking at one of possibly millions of emails sent on that day alone. All of these people are off-shore directory submission businesses, automatically pinging your details to thousands of un-known directories around the globe, or if your lucky you will get a dodgy guy passing links on through black listed link farms.
Why Don’t They Work?
So your Mr Google, and you want to display the best results possible to Mr Bloggs who searches for “fluffy blue widgets”, is the best result the one which is listed in every directory on the web? No it is not, the best result is the one which is different to the crowd, individually exposed by some benchmark or another. The key is finding this individual golden egg and utilising it to its capabilities. Look at your competition, I will guarantee that if you are number 2 and they are top, that they are doing something different to you, it is this individuality that separates them as the “best result”. It maybe content, powerful links or any number of algorithm pleasing tactics. So I take you back to the main point, “why don’t they work?”. Several years ago now, directories were the place to be, they were great for links and traffic, now everyone has jumped on the bandwagon, all your competition are right there next to you in amongst the hundred or so other listed companies. Directories are easy, they are cheap and cheerful, and this is exactly why they are no longer of value.
Think of it Like This
Basic economics shows the answer to this, it is a question of supply and demand. If something, a commodity or a directory listing becomes demand, the supply will rise to offset this demand, but in turn the supply becomes more competitive and so the power that was once available from being in the big demanding environment has diminished. Gradually the demand falls, followed by the supply and so the benefits of being in the small pond will once again rise. Though in the directory market there are a few reasons why this is different.
As the demand rose, so did the supply of weak directory sites, listing all and sundry in its pages. Sites were popping up all over the place and everyone wanted to be in them because of their SEO benefit, but, Mr Google knows that people, companies and businesses are using this as a means to an end which was never the intent. So Google stopped passing this benefit, it was too easy and never a benchmark of a sites quality to Google’s searches. Now the stragglers are still passing off the benefit it meaningless packages, using the UK’s lack of knowledge in the SEO market to their advantage. But who can blame them, if they are making money then so what? That’s good business, seeking an opportunity and filling a whole.
In my opinion again, a business who understand that directory submissions do not benefit SERPs has no right to pass this off, but one who is simply selling 10,000 submissions is fair game. Buyer Beware!, a common phrase used all over the world, and one that I stick by.
What Else is There?
What you need in this world of highly competitive SEO is relationships, people always know people who know people who can do or provide something. If you are running a carp fishing website, talk to companies, local shops or carp rig suppliers and find a golden egg. You could be forgiven for submitting to directories, writing articles and blog posts but again this is all to “samey” in Google’s eyes. My results have been drawn from sticking to the norm with a twist of flair, a Margarita if you like. Do the same as your competition, only better and offer up Mr Google something fruity, something to gets its teeth into. This is where relationships come in, so you know a guy who’s girlfriend sits on a committee for her uni, perfect, set up a day to supply a service or a competition that she can launch on the uni website. BANG! You have a .edu link for Google to analyse proudly.
Be true to the rules, be original but please don’t be a sheep.