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Building Links with Automated Directory Submissions - Way Back Wednesday #10

Adrian Bredeson
by Adrian Bredeson on Aug 17, 2011 12:11:00 PM

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Web directories have always been an important tool to find Websites. They also became important to build link popularity. They were more important five or ten years ago. But they still have a place today – especially quality directories.

Before E-Power Marketing launched in 1998, there was automated software and submission services that would submit your Website to hundreds and thousands of Web directories. The shortcomings of these automated submission software and services made it possible for E-Power to successfully begin search engine marketing.

Back in 1998 the Yahoo Directory was arguably the most important place to be listed on the Web. Yahoo was the predominant search engine. Back then it would first display results from its Directory. Consequently it was vital for a Website's Yahoo Directory listing to have a keyword-filled description. When a Website used automated submission software, Yahoo would pick up the Website name and URL – but not the description. This resulted in sites using automated submissions to have poor Yahoo search visibility. Instead E-Power manually submitted our clients to the Yahoo Directory which resulted in them having good Yahoo visibility.

Thirteen years later many Website owners have not learned that quality directories will not accept an automated submission. So automated directory submissions live on, even though they are more worthless than in 1998.

The Web directories that do accept automated submissions were made irrelevant by Google in 2007. See What Makes a Good Web Directory, and Why Google Penalized Dozens of Bad Ones about how Google penalized almost all free Web directories.

Quality directories still matter. These are well edited by humans and have strong categorization of businesses, or better yet, a vertical market focus. Look at the directory you're considering. Does it provide value to consumers in helping find quality Websites relevant to the category focus? Or is it a hodge-podge of Websites, some of questionable nature?

Quality directories are recognized by search engines as valuable Web resources and links on these directories help link popularity. To use them effectively, you need to craft your listing specifically for that directory and make the submission one at a time. Automation of search engine marketing won't help you.

You may think automated submissions to Web directories help your search visibility while you save time. However, since automated submissions don't help your search visibility, you actually wasted your time.

Talk to E-Power Marketing about effective Web directory link building via the #WayBackSEM Twitter Chat today. Follow @EPowerMarketing and give us your take on automated web directory submissions.

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Adrian Bredeson
Written by Adrian Bredeson
As Director, SEO and Social Media at E-Power Marketing, Adrian is primarily focused on the organic success of client programs through SEO, social media and content marketing. Adrian also heads up the agency's marketing initiatives. With a background in psychology and PR, her passion for telling a brand's story by understanding and engaging with their target audiences has been put to good use at E-Power!

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