Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Steve Bonin on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Tuesday, October 8, 2013).

Do we still advocate using directory submission as a valid SEO tactic?

My question of the day is:
Do we still advocate using directory submission as a valid SEO tactic?
If so, how many and is there a decent service to do this?

This question begins at 00:28:55 into the clip. Did this video clip play correctly? Watch this question on YouTube commencing at 00:28:55
Video would not load
I see YouTube error message
I see static
Video clip did not start at this question

OUR ANSWERS

Answers from the Dumb SEO Questions Panelists.

  • Tim Capper: Yes, but niche ones related to your business, so get the words "decent service" out of your vocabulary There will more then likely be only 5 or 6 hyper relevant ones to any business.
YOUR ANSWERS

Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Dave Elliott: Local and niche only. If you dont imagine that you would ever use the site to find stuff or it has any other use to the industry/site dont bother with it.
  • Tino Triste: I agree with + 
  • Steve Bonin: + ;+ ;Thanks guys this is helpful
  • Tino Triste: Glad to help + 
  • Tim Capper: Yes, but niche ones related to your business, so get the words "decent service" out of your vocabulary

    There will more then likely be only 5 or 6 hyper relevant ones to any business.
  • Simon Fryer: +

    It's certainly not a standalone tactic but submitting to a few highly relevant directories is a good call, especially if it's a new site/business as they are quick to turn around and help establish a footprint.

    If you have a budget for it trade association directory links are a good kick-start.

    I'd say directories are a bit more valuable if you're targeting localised keywords (NAP)

    
  • Unique Websites: IMO, the days of paying for directory input are long gone. As said above, I would only use niche and local directories, possibly 1 or 2 respected others such as dmoz or aboutus.

    I read an article recently by someone who's helping a company hit by unnatural links, and that suggested that Google is comparing your links profile with the link profiles of your competitors. If you have - for example - ;50 links from ;directories (even good solid high page ranking directories) and your competitors don't, this could be a red flag for unnatural links.
  • SEO and Social Media for Attorneys: Comments from Matt Cutts of Google on what to consider when submitting to a Directory.

    When considering submitting to a directory, I’d ask questions like:
    - Does the directory reject urls?
    If every url passes a review, the directory gets closer to just a list of links or a free-for-all link site.

    - What is the quality of urls in the directory?
    Suppose a site rejects 25% of submissions, but the urls that are accepted/listed are still quite low-quality or spammy. That doesn’t speak well to the quality of the directory.

    - If there is a fee, what’s the purpose of the fee?
    For a high-quality directory, the fee is primarily for the time/effort for someone to do a genuine evaluation of a url.

    Matt Cutts, Google

    
  • Janna Maica Feliciano: Aside from the niche & locality of the directories, you should also check if it is well-maintained (e.g. Not spammed, new websites added to list regularly, and other factors you consider as "quality")
  • William Gomes: Personally, no. Come on, when was the last time you used a directory to find a site?

    If your answer is yes you did then yes submit to that one ;)
  • Mark Preston: Got to agree with Janna, I stay away from anything that is not strongly related to my niche or a local directory. However some of the larger sites are still going all out for any old directory sites as ; mentioned in the post by +Kirk Fletcher below
  • Unique Websites: On the subject of directories, would you say that (which charges a hefty fee and gives dofollow links, sometimes lots of them) could trigger a penalty?
  • SEO and Social Media for Attorneys: I am still confused about how Google determines which directories are good and which ones are bad. The directory you mention seems to meet some of the criteria of a good one. It would matter where the dofollow links come from. ;
  • Tino Triste: + it's simple... If you feel that you might get referral traffic from a directory you should submit, otherwise don't bother. 
  • W.E. Jonk: From the expert panel in this weeks SEO Questions hangout on air on 00:28:55 into the YouTube video: 

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on G+, Tuesday, October 8, 2013).

Reference Links

All Questions in this Hangout