I have not blogged about directories or directory submissions in a while, (or maybe never on my Internet marketing blog here), so I think its about time! It seems perfect timing because I got sent this question about directory submission via email yesterday:
Hi Mat,I have started (well I have tried) to list my site on free directories.
I got the message below and don’t understand where I should paste this code
on my site. Can you please help?
To validate the reciprocal link please include the
following HTML code in the page at the URL
specified above, before submiting this form:
<a href=”http://www.direcotryhere.com/”>Directory name</a> (directory name has been removed)
I look forward to your reply.
Thanks for you question Julia, but my recommendation is to always stay away from directories that make you link back to them. I really am not a big fan of reciprocal linking with directories because I feel that link building is much like a voting system. If someone gives you a vote (by linking to you) and then you give them a vote (by linking to them) the votes (in a sense) cancels each other IMO.
Before giving out a link, especially a reciprocal link you need to ask yourself –
- What is the benefit to my site?
- Is the link going to get me traffic?
- is it going to add to my users experience?
The answer to those questions are – probably not if we are talking about a free directory. You get very little traffic from directories in general anyway, even the big ones like the Yahoo directory, and DMOZ. I have listings for all of my sites in both, but hardly ever see traffic from them in my analytics. That is not why I list with them. I list with them for trust, not traffic and there is no need for me to link back to them. The only reason this directory wants you to link to them is they are tyring to link build as well, and use your site as another place to do so. There is simply no value in it for you.
Finally – The short answer
If you are going through and submitting to a big list of free directories, I would suggest just skipping any that require a reciprocal link and move onto the next one. As a good rule of thumb – anytime you are thinking about reciproal linking (directories or not) you should remember to ask yourself those 3 questions above, and I don’t think you will ever make the wrong choice.
If you have any questions about directories, or directory submission – please feel free to ask away in the comments, and I would be happy to help in anyway I can!