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Directory Submission Sucks

directory submissionMaybe Google is right; maybe we should stop doing directory submission for SEO and link building purposes.

I’m not talking about submission to authority directories, such as DMOZ and Yahoo! Directory. I’m talking about the thousands of web directories out there waiting for us to submit our site to them.

Of course, not all of them suck. But let’s face it – the majority is.

I trusted directory submission as a link building strategy for quite a long time. But I’m becoming more and more fed up of the whole web directory things. Here’s why:

Google devalues web directories and what’s inside – including your site listings

Despite how hateful we are toward Google, it plays major roles in our SEO and link building activities. And no matter how hard you try to convince yourself, deep down you always know that Google doesn’t really like web directories and, in effect, decreases the importance of web directories.

A question: How about other major search engines? It’s sad to say, but Yahoo! and the others seem also not considering web directories as much as before.

…and the search engines devalue web directories for some obvious reasons

We need to admit – it’s easy today to build web directories. The difficulties in building a ‘handcrafted’ web directory such as Canny Link are over; you can now start a web directory in 15 minutes: Get a domain name, install the script, configure the script, and you’re done.

The simplicity in creating web directories should bring the best of directories, right? Wrong.

One of the biggest impacts of the ever-presence web directory scripts is the growing number of low quality web directories. The numbers of low quality web directories are growing exponentially. New web directories are popping everywhere, while plenty of web directories are becoming dead early in their life – all thanks to the simplicity.

Indeed, the hardest part in building a web directory is marketing and link building – and not many are serious enough doing them.

Not only that, web directory owners seem not that serious in building their directories – link approval is almost random, despite the quality of your sites – some web directories are zombies (they are live sites, but no link approving activities) and some others are simply dying (script errors, etc.)

The end result: Directory submission is becoming more and more useless

I was a fan of directory submission – I even own web directories – but not anymore.

I have hired some directory submission service providers that submit your sites to hundreds or thousands of web directories with high acceptance rates, say 70 – 80%.

Well, you know what, let’s forget high acceptance rates.

The real question is: Will your listing page get indexed by the search engines?

From my experience with some of the latest directory submissions I did is unanimous: MOST of my site listings (containing a link back to my sites) are NOT being indexed by the search engines.

For example, check out my credit card site,

I’ve purchased a directory submission services to 3,000 web directories 2 months ago. Today, the stats say: 0 Google backlink, 0 Bing backlink, 115 Yahoo! backlinks, and 120 AltaVista backlinks.

So, from the 3,000 web directories my site is submitted to – with an 80% approval rate guaranteed, the site is only getting a total of 235 backlinks – less than 10%. So, where did the 90% go?

Again, the above is not a one-case-only. I have some other similar directory submission results, and this makes me to draw a conclusion you read in the title: Directory submission sucks.

If you want to waste your money, don’t listen to me

To be fair, there are directory submission services that stand out – they submit to a hand-picked list of web directories that perform in search engines. However, if you don’t want to lose your money, don’t do bulk directory submission services.

Instead, submitting your sites to a handful of top quality web directories still works, as far as I know. Of course, they cost you a lot of money – i.e. Yahoo! Directory listing requires you to pay $299 annually to keep your site listed. It’s costly, indeed.

As of for me, I’d better be focusing on getting in-content text links for SEO and link building purposes. How about you? What’s your view on this?

Ivan Widjaya
Directory submission is no longer effective

Ivan Widjaya is a webpreneur and an owner of a site network. He actively runs, a small business tips blog, and, a cloud business blog .

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