For years on SEJ we’ve been a proponent of listing sites web directories as a form of traditional organic link building. And over these years many web directories have come and gone. As linking gets less oriented on brute force anchor text overload and moreso is taking a natural approach, sometimes it can be very easy to overlook the fundamentals.
There are three directories that I feel are the building blocks of developing a strong foundation in a site’s initial backlinks, and those are Best of the Web (affectionately known throughout the SEO industry as BOTW – “bot-wa”), the Yahoo Directory (how long is this going to be around?) and DMOZ (anyone steering the ship?).
One thing I love about BOTW is that I know that the folks behind it are really solid, stand up folks and from a directory guidelines standpoint, stick to their guns and end up rejecting almost as many sites as they approve. What this means to me is that I am effectively reassured that the pages that link to my site are not going to be littered with spam and questionable backlinks in the future. The Best of the Web team keeps things updated and uses their paid review service to employ a staff with a high regard for quality assurance.
Unlike Yahoo & DMOZ, I know that BOTW will be around in the future so an investment in advertising or listing a site is worthwhile, and with their quick turnarounds with approving or rejecting submittals, I know that my investment is more or less also bringing me a peace of mind — unlike the DMOZ blackhole that many good sites fall into.
The BOTW crew is always trying new things and innovating, which is cool to see too. They took the initiative to go head to head against YellowPages.com and Google Places with BOTW Local and now they are getting into the Online Education channel with the BOTW Online Degree Directory. If a company like this is getting aggressive to compete in two of the more competitive spaces on the web; local and education, then this tells me that they know their stuff and they get the market.
Take the time to check out BOTW and look for a relevant category to sub your site (if it’s not listed already) or become an editor in their Blog Directory.