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বুধবার, ২৯ জুন, ২০১১

Submitting your website to directories

One of the things you can do to promote your website is to submit it to the directories on the Internet. This way you can get visits directly from the traffic those directories may send you and, simultaneously, let search engines know of the existence and reputation of your website, improving its search engine results. This point has some importance given that most search engines take links to your website as votes or recommendations.

The pros

Because of its nature, a web directory is a perfect place to get links, due to the fact that their content is, well… a set of links to other websites. Joining this with the fact that the most important part of a website is its content, you can think of a directory as a link eater. Every link you send them, that fits their quality requirements, will be added.
The most important benefit of a directory your website is listed at, is the traffic you can get from it. Being listed at directories, will not only get you direct visits, but also from the search engines, as these links will increase your popularity and your search engine results. This is based on the idea that search engines take links as votes or recommendations from one website to another.

The cons

Something you wont like about this technique is that links between two websites with poor relevancy will have a lower quality than links between two very related websites. Unless you’re promoting a directory website, the relevancy between the content of your website and the content of the directory will be very low. One thing that’s in your favor is that, as the directories are most times organized in categories, your link will be placed among many other links in the same niche, making the source page a lot more related to your website’s content.
Another issue about directories is that, as they receive a huge amount of spam everyday, the people in charge of reviewing the websites submitted to them is overwhelmed and soon abandon the task, leaving the submmissions in a freezed query. This will shorten the list of active directories you can submit to, and sometimes, when you’re unable to know if a directory is active or not, make you work in vain.

The process of submission

A good start is to make a list of directories to begin the process of submission. There is an easy way to build this list and it starts by searching for some keywords that you think should return directories, like for example “web directories”. With the search results, you can start harvesting your first directories and building your list. Once you’ve got enough, browse the obtained list to find more directories.
Yes! A directory is a list of websites split into categories, so you can go, for example, to the category “Computers and Internet -> Web Directories” and start fetching their list of directories to add to yours. Doing so with a few directories will get you a huge list to work with.
Once you got all the directories you need you can start submitting. The task is simple: enter the directory, find the submission form and fill it with your website’s information. To achieve this, take into account these considerations:
  • Some websites requiere you to browse to the most appropriate category before submitting your website and only then hit the link to the submitting form. To automate the process you can do this for all the directories you submit to.
  • The link pointing to the submit form may display different strings of text (depending on the author considerations), that may include things like: “submit”, “submit your website”, “add your website”, “add URL”, “submit URL”, “recommend a website”, etc.
  • Be careful of writing a thoughtful description about your website. Many directories require such descriptions and have some regulations about them. To avoid being rejected because of this, make it truthful, avoid using all caps or promotional language and respect the character limit imposed by the directories rules.
  • Always use a valid e-mail address as directories may ask for an e-mail confirmation before adding your website to the review queue. If possible, use an e-mail from the domain of the website (e.g. webmaster@yoursite.com). A small number of websites require that the e-mail address must be from the same domain the website is.

Detecting abandoned directories

Getting to know which directory is active and which abandoned is not always an easy task, but usually you can get some information that will let you establish a probability. Some of the factors you must look at are:
  • The directory’s statistics: Many directories display a panel with some statistics about it, like number of categories, number of websites listed, etc. In some cases the number of websites pending for review and the websites aproved today are also displayed. From here you can estimate how much a directory has been left alone. If you think that a webmaster may review 100 websites a day, a directory with a queue of 5000 websites or higher is pretty much abandoned.
  • The latest links: Some directories display the latest links in a dedicated page. Looking at the date the latest links where added you can get an idea of when the last addition happened.
  • The number of websites in each category: Once you’ve found your targeted category, take a look at the amount of websites listed there. A free directory which is a year old should be displaying more than one page of links. If you find an old directory with one or two links in a specific category, then it’s very likely to be abandoned.
  • Errors in the pages: You may expect an active website of any kind to be, at least, free from important errors. Considering that links are the main content of a directory, an important error in this case should be a form not working right in the process of receiving a link or the category pages returning a “404: Not found” error. This could be interpreted as a sign of an abandoned directory.
  • Contacting the webmaster: A last but effective resource for checking the maintenance state of a directory is the contact form. The response of the webmaster (or the lack of it) will state for sure if there’s still a person behind a directory. This method is especially recommended when submitting to paid directories (before making any payment).
Submitting your website to directories may not get you to the top of the list among your competitors, but may certainly give you a nice push. And when you’re trying to reach the top, a nice push is worth the effort.


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