Is there any value left in building links through directories

March 27, 2010 // Search Engines, seo

Although content, on page and on site SEO aspects are all essential for a successful online marketing campaign however it’s the link building where people and businesses can sometimes come up short. It’s still one of the areas where I continue to see people promote and sell techniques which are not only a waste of time and money but they may harm website rankings and performance.

Until last year Google had recommended that one of the best ways to start building links to any website was through directories, examples such as DMOZ and the Yahoo directory had been listed on Google’s SEO page . The removal of this immediately started the debate based around whether or not SEO companies should continue to use them and if so are they considered to be “paid links” or not?

In my experience building links through directories is still one of the most important steps to take once a new website has been built. Creating these initial links not only helps build up link equity relatively quickly but it also helps new content get indexed faster – which is essential for any new launching business.

There’s a few tips to use regarding directories that will help you in building directory links:

1. Look for the right categories, make sure you choose a relevant section in the directory for your website, a directory page with good relevant links is a better one than a page full of random websites
2. Submitting your website to new directories may not be immediately beneficial to your SEO campaign and you’ll hear a lot of people say there’s no value in doing this. Out of 100 new directory submissions you may get 3-6 of those actually link build themselves by which creating value. This kind of technique is only beneficial after a long period of time, like 12 months plus.
3. Build links in directories that have a TLD local to your market, for the UK directories focused/based in the UK ( will send more value than your standard domain.

This is not only an effective way to gain some good rankings for medium to long tailed keywords but this kind of technique provides a good starting point for any successful link building campaign.

Matt Ridout

About the author

My name is Matt Ridout, I've been working in digital marketing for 9 years; worked for agencies and currently Head of SEO at fashion startup called Farfetch. Try to test my own theories.

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