• http://silvery.com Chris Silver Smith

    I like this article, though I wish you’d mentioned local directories. Those are valuable for ranking within Local Search.

  • http://www.ericward.com Eric Ward

    Debra, from your article: “To suggest all link builders sell useless submission services or the directories are white elephants is inaccurate and insulting”

    Not what I wrote at all. It’s there, plain as day for anyone who wants to parse it. Here’s the copy/paste…”Hundreds of companies still sell useless directory submission services”.

    As you can see, I wrote “hundreds”, not “All”, and I stand by it. I did not write “All” nor would I because, as you know, I despise absolutes, and beyond that, there are plenty of useful directories, and services to utilize them, especially within verticals, local, etc.

    Lastly, you’ve known me for ten+ years. I’m not a hater, and you know it. It seems what you are miffed at is that I did not make a clear enough distinction between the crap and the non-crap out there in directory land. Fair enough. You could have done that here without acting like I insulted the SEO world. Jeez. As I told you in my email to you last night, you also could have had me provide a brief clarification you could have used in your column.

  • http://www.brentcsutoras.com Brent Csutoras

    @eric I don’t know… that is how I took it as well when I read the article. Maybe more for the fact that in your article a month before you said the following:

    “Link building has so many “boondoggle” services it’s ridiculous. I couldn’t cover them all in a single column here if I had to. I could mention a couple, like press release distribution for link building (pointless), or so-called top tier directories, (which I can count on one hand and none o them really matter either). Sorry Yahoo, you kinda sorta matter, but I’ve got client sites ranked 1st at Google that aren’t listed in Yahoo period.”

    Where I took it as saying that no directories, even top tiered ones, really matter, well because that is what you said.

    I personally think that Deborah is right on with this article and think that directories like BOTW, Yahoo, and many others she listed, have great value for a website trying to do well in search.

    Wouldn’t you agree?

  • AlanCh

    I’m a big fan of trusting Google et al to do the logical thing in their listings – that is, trying to replicate human decisions.

    Therefore, if a plumber is a member of a recognised industry body [perhaps guaranteeing work performed], and that plumber’s site has a link from the ‘directory of our members by location and qualifications’ element of that body’s website, surely the SE will give that link some credit?

    By the same token, paying £25 for a link in an ad-surrounded list of plumbers in a ‘directory’ of plumbers on a domain something like plumbers4U.cc is not going to figure highly on Google’s ‘validity’ radar.

    In real life, which ‘directory’ would you use if you had a leaking tap?

    And Debra & Eric: Share your toys and play nicely or you’ll be sent to the [virtual] naughty step ;-)

  • http://www.millennium-hosting.com taoseo

    Yes I have a local directory for the Toronto area (Canada). Those are directories that should be taken seriously too cause well in my case, I only allow businesses and websites from that area to post their info.

    It’s funny how that same pharma spammer keeps posting his website thinking he’s going to get his global services into my regional directory.

  • http://www.staffingtalk.com greggd@tempworks.com

    this is the most entertaining exchange on the saturated topic of seo i’ve read in a long time…thanks all

  • http://www.staffingtalk.com greggd@tempworks.com

    AlanCH…Google, evil-as-the-rest-of-them-Google, itself is a directory…it directs us. And we pay for links there with ppc as well.

  • http://www.ericward.com Eric Ward

    @Brent…Great point about the prior article. Yes, I agree with Debra that some directories have value for some sites. But now let’s be brutally honest about another undiscussed point. A web site’s success in the long run is not going to be dictated by general directories, no matter how well edited and curated those general directories are. A web site must be able to prove, over time, that it can earn and sustain vertical merit based links, or else general directories -even as good as BOTW and Yahoo, wont matter anyway. As a site ages, if the only links it ever shows ability to get are general directories, then as helpful as those general directory links might be at the start, that site is still on death row. A site better show vertical resonance, in the form of citations and links, or it’s over.

    @greggd…Hey, Debra and I both know a good blog argument is worth linking style points :)

    @taoseo…Sadly, big pharma brands are among the worst link spammers

  • J_Mac

    Debra wrote: “Yahoo! and BOTW are both paid inclusion with expensive review fees, but that cost is part of what keeps the junk sites out of their indexes. Each employs human reviewers to look at the sites submitted and determine which category they should be placed in.”

    This is just not true. I do my own SEO and one of my competitors has no less than 10 websites that are built around keywords featuring crappy keyword enriched content and they are all listed in BOTW.

    All of these site even follow the same layout template as their only purpose is to drive traffic to his main ecommerce site and offer no real ‘value’ to the directory or its visitors in terms of real content.

  • http://www.mediawhizsearch.com Marjory

    You can add this to your list of valuable directories (although it’s almost impossible to get listed – if you do, it’s well worth it)
    http://lii.org/ – Librarians Internet Index.

  • http://davidodonnell.com.au davidodonnell

    I agree there is still value in directory link building when done right. Also, thanks for reminding me of that method of mining quality directories for other quality niche directories!

  • http://www.alliance-link.com Debra Mastaler

    The focus of the article was on general directories, not local or niche. We agree they play a role in local search and use them as well.

    @Marjory I didn’t use Lii because they don’t accept commercial websites.

    J_Mac I’m pretty sure BOTW suffers from some misfits just like Google does.

    @AlanCh The naughty step might be kinda fun ;)

    @Eric Yep, I agree a website should not depend on directory links alone, it’s why I recommended they be a part of your link building mix.