Friday, June 27, 2008

Is That Directory Worth Submitting To?

This post can now be seen at

It was interesting to see the number of questions that came in through comments and email after I ran the post below (Directory Submission Discount Codes) asking if Directories were still a viable link source.

If you follow this blog you know I think they have a place in your overall link building efforts but shouldn't be done as a stand-alone tactic. I consider them part of your foundational linking efforts and not your ranking salvation.

In my opinion, there are a lot of free and paid directories that are worthless for various reasons. Here's the short litmus test I use when trying to decide if a Directory is worth my time or money:

1. Is the directory page your link will sit on in the index of G and Y?

If the page your URL will be added to doesn't show up in the index, then it does you no good ranking wise. Then you have to decide if the traffic alone is worth it.

2. When was the page last cached?

If more than a couple weeks, you need to check for exclusions and nofollows. Or ask why. Or just move along.

3. Does the page have more adsense ads than submissions on it?

This is a particular pet peeve of mine. I don't think I need to compete with adsense ads when paying for a listing. If there's as many ads as submissions, I walk.

4. Does the directory allow you to deep link?

Linking to your main dot com is good, deep linking is better.

5. Does the directory allow you to use your own Title?

It's more advantageous for me to use "Link Building Firm" than Alliance-Link in my submission Title if I'm linking for rank. On the other hand, a handful of links with my company name doesn't hurt either.

6. Does the directory offer a lifetime link?

This is personal preference but - pay it once, be done with it, move on. If you go the annual route you may be asked to pay more the next year. My exception to my lazy-pay-it-once rule is

7. Is the directory listed in the Google Directory and/or the DMOZ?

The answer to that one should be self explanatory :)

If you spend a little time poking around all the Directory categories on the DMOZ you'll find a bunch of juicy little aged directory nuggets to add your site to, buy mailing lists from or strike up a promotional advertising deal. Use them for all they're worth!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

When Bad Publicity Equals Good SEO Links

Question: What does SEO, cool specs and lifestyle brands have in common?

Guest columnist Leon Bailey Green!

When bad publicity equals good SEO links
by Leon Bailey Green

Whether or not you believe all publicity is good publicity, you can't ignore the fact bad publicity can attract high quality SEO friendly links.

To put it lightly the likes of Amy Winehouse and Britney Spears have been through a lot lately. Both have been worthy of many a mention on the BBC News website. A link from the BBC is priceless to many SEOs.

A story on BBC News about Amy Winehouse's arrest in April contains a high quality link to her website.

Imagine the BBC News link juice that Kate Moss would have achieved over the past few years if she had her own website. More recently Dunkin' Donuts had to pull an ad featuring Rachael Ray wearing an Arab inspired scarf. The scandal broke, or was created (you decide), by a blog which probably unwittingly linked to the Dunkin' Donuts website.

Many traditional PRs say when bad things happen react quickly with your side of the story. In the online world quickly is even quicker. And you should consider reacting on your own website – well, you never know, some people might link to it (NB calculate the risk. Make sure that page doesn't get Google bombed for your brand!).

Visit LEON's website for more analysis on fashion, culture and lifestyle brands online.