A web directory is a link directory on the World Wide Web concentrated in listing other web sites displayed by category and sub-category. It is some sort of a huge reference library and an effective tool, by way of link building, to generate a bit more traffic to your website. The categories are based on whole websites and arranged by subject from general to specific thematic lists. 

Web directory submission

 website directoryCredit: Image: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=2280Web directory submission is a way to build your link popularity. Community editors, who maintain a website directory, evaluate the submitted sites for inclusion in the directory. Web directories list sites submitted by site owners and webmasters who also want to find relevant directories they can link to. A web directory listing may contain free directories and paid listings to which you can choose to position your site for submission. Top website directories such as the Open Directory Project carry a large number of listings and extensive categorization. ODP is by far one of the best free website directories used by search engines and other directories.  Specialized categories vary in relevance to your field in business, location, language and other preferences.

Website directory guidelines

Not all submissions are guaranteed acceptance in website directories. Be sure to follow the guidelines and policies set up in a website directory to avoid rejection. Listed below are some common rules followed on how to submit to website directory:

  1. Give your  websites a thorough examination from URL to web content.
  • Never submit sites that have the same content.
  • Never disguise any submission using the same URL more than once like this http://www.mmr.com and http://www.mmr.com/page.java .
  • Never submit URLs that has content similar to other sites you may have submitted in the website directory. Multiple submissions of the same or affiliated sites is subject to deletion or exclusion of such sites.
  • Never submit sites with large content of affiliate links.
  • Never submit a site with illegal material content such as articles soliciting or advocating violence or fraud, child pornography, libel and material that invades intellectual property rights. As to pornographic sites, submit them in the Adult category.
  • Never submit sites under construction.
  1. Search the web directory for your sites to be sure that they are not listed yet.
  2. Identify the best category for your sites and submit them to the most relevant category.
  3. Site descriptions should be concise, accurate, and objective. 

For some web directories, your submissions may take some time to be reviewed by editors depending on volumes of submitted sites to a particular category.

Steps in finding website directories

Finding website directories is an easy task if you have the patience and time to do so. Otherwise, an option would be is to employ an expert to facilitate the work for you. Nevertheless, knowing the basics in searching for a good website directory must be in your priority list before any submission.

  1. Check for the most popular web directories.
  2. Using a search engine, register “free website directory.” A list of sites will pop up where you can choose to submit your website to for free.
  3. A website directory that contains a list of site directories all in one page is a good place to start with.
  4. Look for a specialized niche website directory and check out similar sites such as yours to determine which niche directories they use.
Why submit to a website directory?

Web directories are compiled by humans and to add website to directories means conducting a meticulous human process that automation cannot perform authentically.  Why submit website to directories? Because of human intervention, search results are high in terms of relevancy of website directory. Any search engine spider crawls starting at a directory and if you are listed in one, search engines, during their next crawl, will find you.

As a rule, directories have high Page Rank values themselves. When you are listed in one, the directory actually links to your site. This high-quality link is an influential factor to your site ranking and is considered an excellent support for your overall link popularity. Your link is important if supported by a relevant description for the search engines that are capable of analyzing your link context.

Search engine optimizers often target human edited directories on the basis that reputable links can improve rankings in major search engines. Submission of sites to web directories is highly considered as a common search engine optimization technique to generate back-links for the submitted web site. Website directory submission cannot be fully automated like search engine entries. Manual directory submission is a time consuming and tedious job often outsourced by webmasters. If you opt to pay a person on where to find website directory placements and do submissions for you, be careful in choosing the right party. They must be trustworthy to give good results for your money’s worth.

When your site is accepted for inclusion in a website directory, re-evaluate the edited description. If you are not amenable with what you see, send an e-mail to the editor explaining your disagreement. Be very specific as regards to your concerns so that you can get positive feedback from the editors concerned. It may take a long while, anywhere from several weeks to a couple of months before your site can get listed on partner sites especially from free website directories.

Paid website directories

If you have no patience in the waiting game, your only option is to submit your site to website directories employing the paid-for-inclusion model. This method offer additional listing options to enhance listings, including additional links to inner pages and features listings of your listed web site. You may be obliged to pay additional fees but the benefits are worth paying for. The listings of websites in the paid-for-inclusion web directories are displayed according to their bid amount. In bidding web directories, the more you pay the higher up the ladder your site goes. With a higher listing, your website gains more visibility and increases the chances for visitors browsing the directory to click on the listing and from hereon, up the ladder you go!