Promotion & SEO

Web Directories – Are they useful?

I’ve had a lot of people ask me whether I think its worth submitting websites to ‘web directories’… “will I get traffic by submitting my site to a directory?”. The answer isn’t as straight forward as it used to be.

When I first started out on the net, developing websites… waaay back in 1998; I was advised by experienced webmasters that I could get good traffic by submitting my sites to web directories. There are free directories and also paid ones, but I was advised to go with the free ones to start off with.

Back then, I got what I considered to be decent traffic. But things have changed now. There are now millions of web directories all over the net – the free directories no longer give you as much traffic. People use them less to find sites and more to submit their own sites.

But, saying that… I wouldn’t say its a waste of time submitting your site to free directories. Far from it. There are still a lot of benefits to getting your web site into free directories.

The idea is to get your site listed in as many directories as possible – but just make sure these directories are related to your sites content. There’s no point in listing your Travel related site in a photographers directory! In fact you’ll most likely get banned from that directory anyway.

Here are some advantages of submitting your site to directories:

1. For Permanent Listings / Backlinks: Many webmasters and SEO specialists consider that older links are of huge importance to search engines and they supplement not only the ranking value of your domain, but also amplify the resale price.

2. Anchor Text: If you can use the right anchor text in your directory listing then it will help you rank higher in search engines for those important keywords.

3. Screenshots: A lot of web site directories now offer automatic screen-shots for your web site. This makes it visually pleasing and can get you visitors who click onto the screen-shot.

4. Deep Links: They are extremely helpful. Web sites with deep links are likely to perform much better than those that don’t any!

5. Direct Traffic: You might not huge traffic directly from the directory you submit to, but you will get some. More importantly, you will get traffic from better search engine placements – which directory lists can help improve.

Disadvantages of submitting your site to directories:

1. Time Consuming: This is probably the only disadvantage to listing sites to directories. It can take a lot of time – UNLESS – you have the right tools. Check ‘directory tools’ for more info.

Some useful tips:

Avoid using services that promise bulk submissions to directories. It is very difficult to check the quality of such directories, your site could end up in directories that have no relevance to your sites contents. This will add no advantage to your site and would be a waste of time.

Remember that directory submissions are a long-term SEO strategy and not a link strategy. Hence, do not expect extreme inbound traffic from your directory submissions, but instead have patience.

By Shay

Hi I'm Shay! Thanks for visiting
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11 replies on “Web Directories – Are they useful?”

Web directories are useful. It just takes time to submit to directories and more time for google to discover those links. But it is advantageous as we get free banklinks with the anchor text of our choice.

Hey once i was also submitting my site to web directory..then dint see any traffic coming …but i dint no it really helps.

Thanks for very interesting article. I have been a fan of free web directories because they are very easy way to build up backlinks in no time. However I have observed that Google give less weight to backlinks from web directories.

i personally run a network of 8-10 directories and i am still getting daily 50+ submissions non-stop on my free ones, which supports your articles that people still submit to directories

I think the time that is spent in submitting to web directories is worthy. These submissions will turn into backlinks and inturn develops your pagerank.

Hi Wolvie, thanks for your comment. It can take a bit of time, you’re right… but there is software out there to speed things up. NOT the fully automated scripts, but software which is kinda semi-automatic at directory submissions.

I’ll write another follow up article to this and list some useful resources – software, links, PR directories etc. Watch this space!

I do believe web directory are really useful and agree that will consume lot of times. More useful is submit to more higher Page Rank web directory. Hope you could provide us with some of that which is free.


Yes, web directories are useful if the right one’s are chosen. I used one software (free version) recently which had a list of around 500 free directories. It was semi-automatic, like you said, in the sense that it automatically moved to the next directory and filled out the forms – you just have to watch and see that everything is falling in the right place and occasionally you have to type in a captcha. And, while doing this I made some observations about directories and your article confirms those obs. Well written!


PS: Did I tell you, I am putting up a bookmarking site called “LinkCite”
( ) and will have a permanent link there in my personal favorites. What do you think about this domain name? Please drop me a line.

Hey ItsSri, thanks for that. Yeah I checked out the site, looking good – and yes, the domain name is very fitting to the bookmarking service you’re going to offer. Keep us posted on the site’s development progress. I left you a comment in regards to the appraisals etc. Congrats on that too.

I wasnt very much aware of usefuleness in submitting domains to web directories. But after reading the article submitting to web directories is worthy.

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