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What are web directories and how can they help my site?

The Internet is a huge place and finding your way around can sometimes be difficult if you’re looking for something in particular. This is where web directories come in. Web directories are like the Directories or Yellow Pages you have in the real world [An example of a web directory: Aviva Directory].

Web Directories basically organize websites under relevant category topics. If you had a website that sold T-shirts, you would have your website listed in a category like “Shopping –> Clothing –> T-shirts” or something similar.

So the natural question to ask out here would be, “Do people even use web directories to find stuff online?” OR “Aren’t the search engines like Google and Yahoo supposed to help people find what they’re looking for?”

It’s true that not too many people use web directories these days to find what they’re looking for. However, it’s not that they’re not used at all; they are still used by some people. More importantly, getting your site listed in a web directory does serve a couple of other purposes than just people finding your site there.

Getting a link to your site from various web directories can help improve the chances of your site ranking higher for particular search terms in Google, Yahoo and MSN. After all, if you want your website to be successful, it would have to be found by people and the best way for that would be your site coming up on top for the searches that matter. When people search using particular words, you would want your site showing up in the first few results for those words.

So how exactly do web directories help in improving my search engine rankings?

The answer would be better understood if you learned a little bit about how search engines rank websites. Websites are ranked based on many different factors: right from the content of the website to how many other sites are linking to the site. While each factor is important in its own right, there is none more important than how many other sites link to your website.  

If another website links to your site, the search engines like Google & Yahoo consider that link as a vote for your site and take that as a factor when ranking your website. It also looks at how the site is linking to yours, if that site links to you mentioning keywords like ‘click here’, it wouldn’t be considered as important as a link that mentioned ‘cotton t-shirts’ or whatever the appropriate term may be for your site.

This is where getting links from web directories help. Firstly, every link from a directory is counted to a certain extent by the search engines when deciding the site’s ranking. Secondly, in most cases, you get to choose how you want the directory to link to you. So, in effect, you not only get a link but a link with your target key terms. This becomes hugely beneficial because it isn’t easy otherwise getting a link and especially one that links to you the way you want it.

Apart from just the link factor, if your site is new or just been launched, a web directory link would help the search engine in finding your site and including it in its database. So given the benefit of web directory links, it only makes sense to get your site submitted to as many directories as possible. You could sign up with our directory submission service to help get you started.

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