Link Building : Measuring Directory Value

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I’m always looking for tips on link building and am a fan of using directory links as part of the overall link building mix; usually somewhere around 3-5%.

Directories are probably the oldest form of link and traffic building, dating back to Yahoo!, DMOZ, and Go.com’s directory efforts.

They are also still an important part of Internet marketing in terms of site categorization via co citation, establishing a reputation by being listed with the best sites on the web, and establishing some core anchor text which still has ranking influence.

But besides the major directories, how do you decide which directory or category best fits your site and/or is deserving of having your site listed?

John Scott of v7n has an interesting theory of taking the average PageRank of the sites listed in a category and if that average is more than a PageRank 4, chances are that listing would have more quality than a listing in a directory category with an average outbound PageRank of 3 or below.

From Scott’s post; Web Directory AuthorityRank – Average Outbound PR

Average PR of Outbound Links can be seen by going to a category, and checking the PR of all links on that page.

For example, this page… contains the following outbound links, with the following PR:

http://www.bizrate.com/ – PR8
http://www.edealsuk.com/ – PR4
http://www.pricegrabber.com/ – PR8
http://wwww.shopping.com/ – PR8
http://www.uksave.net/ – PR5

As you can see, this particular category has a average PR [an average outbound PageRnak of 7] that is fairly high.

Interesting directory link building tactic. Scott also adds another tip:

In order to forecast how a page will fare in Google, I do two things. First, check the descriptions. If a lot of the descriptions are duplicate content, then the web directory probably does not have editorial integrity and Google most likely knows it.

Another way to evaluate the worth of a directory is via tools like SEOmoz’s PageStrength.

Aviva (which is also a directory) has put together a list of directories as ranked by SEOmoz PageStrength. The list has been around for a while, but was updated and I think is worth revisiting; What are the Strongest Directories?

How do you measure the value of directories and the sites you build links on?

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
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