Are Free Directory Sites Still Safe and Helpful in SEO?

Free Directory to submit or notIn my previous post I have mentioned that Google updated its webmaster guidelines, and as explicitly elucidated therein, the purpose of which is to direct the webmasters or site owners in paying attention to the quality guidelines. Yet, another important feature of the update is the specific examples of what techniques should be avoided, and perhaps, they were provided for the optimizer to clearly understand what specifically was meant by the guidelines or notices they have previously sent.

Thus, as you have probably seen, the link scheme had noted about the common examples of unnatural links that violate the said guidelines. And one of those is having low-quality directory or bookmarking site links. But what does “low-quality” mean? That is what you will know in this article.

How will you know whether or not a directory site is low- quality?

This question is primarily the reason why I come up with this post. You may not be aware of it, but search engine optimization is not only about gaining links; it must also be useful to the users! And interestingly, the main point is that there are webmaster guidelines that you should strictly follow to have a site that is not just valuable and engaging, but can likewise make an edge over its competitors.

Let us Clearly and Thoroughly analyze this matter:

What’s the Danger of Submitting to Directory sites with the same IP address?

submitting to directory sites having same ip

The directory sites with the same IP address which are mostly free directory sites that appear like link farms, and apparently, having them is a violation of Google guidelines since the process involves link scheming. For such reason, you should, therefore, check first the IP of your directories to avoid being penalized. You can easily check it by using whorush or in seoquake you may find it more convenient to add extension in your browser by clicking the whois feature.

How about Submitting to Directory Sites with over optimized keywords?

Overoptimized Directory Site

In the above-given site, you can see that the free web directory and free directory terms are over optimized, and you can see the great difference between the linking root domains containing anchor text and the link containing such anchor text. Although it has higher domain authority, but I always consider the logic behind the rules of Google to conclude that with that number of links on their money keywords, it seems that there is something wrong with it.

(Note: If you want to check the anchor text links, you can use the opensiteexplorer)

Below is what you can notice when you inspect their links.

link structure of low-quality directory site

As you can see, it is just like tricking the search engine as if the site is of high-quality and safe. Thus, whenever you intend to link into a certain website, don’t ever forget to examine it first before finally linking your site to a wrong one. Ask yourself with this question: What will happen if I link into with that site? Could it be beneficial or risky to my own website? If you are aware with what you are doing and know completely what is about the site, then certainly you can avoid having links into “low-quality” sites, and being penalized by Google that may cause your site to become “invisible” in the search engine.

Is it Safe to Submit to Directory Sites with more ads than content?

directory with more ads

The illustration simply shows that the site is not only for directory submission purposes, but also for advertisement, and if the ads outweigh the content, it can devalue the directory site. Thus, it is not safe at all remember that search engines value more the essence of information.

Can You Take the Risk of Submitting to Directory Sites that are penalized by Google?

How can you know that a site is penalized?

Here’s how you can determine whether or not a site is penalized:

1.) Through index search using the code . If you have found NO result, then, for certain, it was deindexed by Google.

index search

2.) Checking through domain name search. A site is penalized if you cannot find any result on the first page.

domain name search

This technique was actually suggested by Kurtis on SEOMOZ daily SEO blog. If you want to know more about it, you can visit here. However, prior to that, Barry Schwartz had already posted about Google deindexing free directory sites, and in which according to the Webmasterworld around 50% of the free directory sites are not found anymore on Google.

Here are the Signs of a QUALITY DIRECTORY SITE:

Quality Directory Site

Actually, we have also made a list of sites and, from there, we are able to determine that not all free directory sites are of “low-quality”, and there are still some which have value or good for linking or optimization purposes.

At any rate, the importance of directory sites is still undisputed since, insofar as SEO is concerned, they are one of the effective techniques that can provide us with diversified links. However, bear in mind that checking a site is a grave duty before submission not just because of the threat of being penalized by the search engine, but also for a fact that VALUABLE links (trusted sites) are a must for us to gain!

Al Gomez

SEO Consultant, Online Marketer & Blogger, Web Developer & DLINKERS Founder.

“Chose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”