Step 8 - Article and Directory Submissions
Directory submissions have been around since the Yahoo!
directory went live in the early 1990's. The crawler based search
engines, including Google, Yahoo! and MSN recognize links from top Internet
directories. Passing the review process by one of the editors of the top
directories signals a stamp of approval and vouches for the site's quality.
Getting your site listed in the DMOZ (Open Directory)
and the Yahoo! directory is a sure way to gain trust
and link popularity. No wonder, web directories and e-zine directories
are popping up all over the web trying to make money off the directory
and article submissions hype.
In recent years, directory and article submissions have become the new
favorite scheme of many unscrupulous webmasters to gain link popularity.
The search engines have answered back with an even tighter scrutiny of
links coming from new article and junky directory sites. The hardest part
of directory and article submission is too weed out the hundreds of low
quality directories from the really valuable ones that actually will make
a difference in your ranking. With hundreds of low quality directories
competing for your submission dollars, it's a really though job to decide
where to put your money for maximum ROI.
Here are some of the most important criteria to take into consideration
when submitting to directories:
is it to get a listed? The easier to get listed in the directory
the more spammy sites the directory will likely contain. This can affect
the "link power" you can gain from getting listed. Getting listed
in the DMOZ or Yahoo! directory is tougher for a good reason. The editors
are selective about the sites they let into their directory. The higher
the barrier to enter a directory, the more valuable your link will become.
What types of
sites are listed in the directory? You can get a sense of the sites
listed in a directory by visiting MSN.com and entering
the command: "linkfromdomain:directory.com." If you see a lot
of sites in the search results you would not want to be associated with,
don't submit your listing.
What is the age
of the directory? The older the directory the better. Newer directories
have a very low trust factor on the search engines, and your link on the
directory pages may not be given any substantial link reputation.
What is the Google
PageRank of the directory? The higher the better obviously, but
don't stop at the home page. ook deep in the category pages if the Google
PageRank is distributed to all the internal category pages as well.
Are you able
to specify your own keywords in the link anchor text? This is probably
one of the most important factors in directory submissions. If you can't
specify your own anchor text to use in the directory link you may not
gain as much keyword relevance from the link.
Are the links
in the directory static and passing the Google PageRank and Link Reputation?
There are few directories that don't play by the rules and charge
a significant amount of money for links that are simply useless because
Do the Title tags of
the category pages where your link is placed match closely your websites
theme? Take a look at the Title tag
of the page where you are considering submitting your site, does the Title
contain at least a few of your main target keywords, if not, look elsewhere
or suggest a new category.
How many unique
inbound links can be found to the directory? The higher number
of unique links pointing to the directory the better and the higher your
chance of getting a decent amount link reputation out of your submission.
Are you able
to add a description to your link? A great description of your
site can substantially increase the click through rate of your link in
the directory, so aim for a persuasive description emphasizing a few benefits.
Are you able
to submit multiple links under one listing? It's a big plus to
get few more links from the same directory with different link anchor
text, but it's not an absolute necessity.
Are there more
than 50 links on a category page? Too many links on a single page
dilutes the effectiveness of your own link, so check carefully and demand
another page if the directory tries to put your link on a page with too
Are there other
directories on the same C
Class IP address? A trick from the early days of SEO when webmasters
placed several sites on the same server and aggressively interlinked them.
This trick is no longer working, so stay away from directories hosted
on the same server cluster.
Can you enhance
your listing by purchasing category sponsorship? It's nice to sometimes
have some control over where your link is placed. With a feature listing
you can jump to the top of your selected category.
If you are looking
for additional traffic, does the target directory's Alexa rank justify
the submission costs? A somewhat reliable traffic measurement tool
is the Alexa Traffic Rankings for gauging traffic
to any website you don't have direct access to, but still would like to
know how popular it is. A web master related site with a ranking around
40 thousand could get about 500 unique visitors a day.
Directory submission preparations
When submitting your link to any directory, you will be asked
for some basic information about your site.
As a minimum most directories require the following submission information
about your site:
URL — This
may be your home page URL, but some directories also allow you to submit
your internal pages for deep linking.
Title — This will be
the anchor text of the link to your site so choose your keywords carefully
and try to minimize the use of stopwords like "in, the, with, etc."
Description — This will be the description below your link.
It's important to have some of the keywords from the title of your link
Keywords — This should match closely the META keyword
tag content of your home page. Don't use keywords here that are not used
on your site.
will most likely not find an exact category to submit your site to, and
the categories vary from directory to directory. In these cases, try to
enter a search phrase that matches your website's keyword focus into the
directory's search box. In some cases your competitors are already listed
in the directory, and you may want to look up the category they are listed
in to help you decide on the most appropriate category.
Prepare the content of these submission fields in a text file for easy
copy and pasting when it comes time to submit your link to the directories.
You should use the same information for the directory submission in as
many as 5–6 directories, but after that use different anchor text targeting
different URLs for the next 5–6 submissions. Some directories may not
allow you to change the URL pointing to your internal pages, but you should
try in any case.
It may save you some time to fill out link submission forms automatically
with a handy web browser based tool called RoboForm.
A helpful list of general Internet Directories to consider for
We have complied a detailed list of top quality Internet
directories with their Google Page rank, total number of Google backlinks
and finally their Alexa rank to help you gauge the mount of visitor traffic
you can expect from these directories.
Our own website is listed in many of these directories, the cost
can ran range from free to a few hundred dollars. Trendmetrix also maintains
its own internet directory
called Root Directory.org.
We suggest you start from the top of this directory list and decide
how much you can afford to spend. If you have a small budget you may want
to skip over the Yahoo! directory submission as it is nearly $300 per
year. You are probably better off spending money on 10 smaller directory
submissions from our list.
Niche directories and trade directories
If you have followed our example in the Link
Popularity Analysis lesson and used the Links Plus+ tool to find links
to your competitors' sites, you may have come across links that are from
trade directories or loosely related categories of link pages. These are
excellent submission opportunities to get your own site listed in as long
as the theme of the directory matches your site's theme. You can use the
search engines to find the most appropriate directories for submission.
Try this on Google: "import car parts"
+ "directory." When the query results show up, there will
be a lot of directory sites such as business.com and jayde.com. You can
try the same search query with your own keywords and simply add directory
to the end of the search phrase.
The manual search can work well, but the fastest way to find these niche
directories is to use the Links Plus+ tool's keyword search feature in
combination with "Link Suggestion Form Search Terms.” The reason
this approach works well is because the directory submission pages contain
search terms like these: "add a site,” "suggest a site,” "and
submit your site" etc.
Finding web directories where your site should be listed
Using the Links Plus+ tool to find niche
and general directories can substantially cut the time needed to locate
and submit to these directories. Here is a quick step by step method to
1. Open the Links Plus+ tool and search for
the target keywords for your website and select a few "Link Suggestion
Form Search Terms.” In this example, we have entered the keyword "import
car parts" and checkmarked the search modifiers "add a link"
and "add a site.”
Entering search keywords and selecting link, and directory search modifiers
in Links Plus.
Select Google in the search engine list, but you can also select any
of the 431 search engines that accept English language search queries
in this example.
Selecting the search engines for the keyword search in Links Plus.
Open the Advanced window tab and select the
link analysis data shown below. Please
note, once again we have decided to exclude duplicate links and internal
links to clean up the search to speed up the review process.
When you have selected the options below,
hit the Start button to begin the keyword search on Google looking for
potential directories and link partners that match our example website's
keyword theme, in this case "import car parts.”
Selecting some advanced options in Links Plus.
the Links Plus+ tool starts returning the results, you should see a window
similar to the one below. Notice most of the links are listed in the DMOZ
directory, which is an added benefit of getting listed on these sites
if you have a website that's automotive related. You can use similar search
techniques with the Links Plus+ tool to find web directories and links
that are the most suited to your market segment.
The results returned in Links Plus+ from Google in response to the query
"import car parts" + "directory."
your link to the selected directories
Now that you have reviewed some of the directories you would like to
consider for submission, it's time to transfer them to the Links Campaign
Manager by clicking on the "Add Checkmarked" button on the screen
Once the transfer of the selected sites is complete, you should see
a window similar to the one below in the Links Campaign Manager. We have
decided to submit our link to www.theautomotivedirectory.com directory
using the Auto Fill function which will automatically insert our website
details into the web form. At this point our directory submission is complete,
and all we have to do is hit the Submit button on the form.
Using the automatic submission form filling function in Links Plus to speed
up directory and link partner submissions.
Are you a good writer? Do you know your market segment inside out? If
the answer is yes, then nothing should stop you from creating more valuable
content for the web, but this time with a twist. Instead of uploading
your new web pages to your site, you will submit them as articles to major
e-zine sites so they can publish them for you. You may be already wondering
why you would want to give away high quality content to "complete
strangers" for nothing in return.
Aha, but what if we told you there is something in it for you as well.
You get to insert your own "resource box" at the bottom of your
articles. What is a "resource box? It's a mini bio of you and a small
description of your business with a link back to your site. In many cases,
you have complete control over the "anchor" text and the URL
you choose to link back to on your site. This is a great way to increase
the "deep link ratio" of your link popularity.
Isn't this a good deal? We think so, providing you follow our simple
step by step guide on how to write your articles and how to submit them
and most importantly where to submit them.
It's a win-win deal for you and the article publishers as well. The
article publishing directories need your content for their members to
read so they can monetize your articles with advertising space surrounding
your articles, and you also gain some direct traffic, but most importantly
you increase your site's link popularity. In some cases the search engines
may even rank the article at the top of the search results or at least
in the top 10 if enough people find it useful. They may even point links
to your article.
A well written article is not an infomercial for your website
The writing style for articles is much different from writing website
content. The articles that get the most views on e-zine sites are those
that help the reader solve problems and provide answers to their questions.
Striking the right cord with your readers will make or break your articles.
If your article smells like a sales copy, your readers may not even finish
the first paragraph.
You have to ensure your article stays on topic without ever talking
about your product or services directly. It's not an easy task, but if
you want your articles to be approved by the e-zine editors you have to
follow their rules. This means no blatant advertising and self promotion
The structure of your articles
Article writing is not magic, but there are some rules you have to follow
to have great success with them, here are the most important ones:
Article Title should be a maximum 110 characters including
all spaces and hyphens, which is about 12 words or less. Make the title
catchy, but at the same time think of incorporating your keywords into
them. This will become the title of the actual page as well where your
article is published. Good title tags are intriguing and memorable. Try
using these words in your title: "how to,” "top 10 reasons,”
"the truth about…"
Abstract or Summary
Description can be a maximum of about
500 characters. There are no hard rules on how many words the abstract
should contain, but about 60–70 words should be more than enough. Make
the abstract an enticing intro to your article that hooks the publisher
and spurs them to read on.
be a collection of words that appears in your articles the most frequently.
The formatting of the keywords is very similar to the META keywords on
your web pages, which are comma separated.
Article Body should be about 600-800 words long, but it
depends a great deal on the publishers' requirements. Some publishers
want in depth articles of over 2,000 words. You have to experiment with
the most suitable article length for your topics, but don't try to box
yourself into a specific rule for article length.
article should be written with no HTML formatting as most article
submission sites may not accept HTML formatted articles. If you have written
your articles in Microsoft Word, convert them to plain text prior to submission.
Include your main
keywords in your articles similar to the way we have discussed in the
Page Optimization lesson.
advertorials, or blatant self promotion allowed in the article
links in the article body to your own site or affiliate sites,
but text links that are not formatted as "live" links may be
allowed to resource sites in the body.
Resource Box should contain about 30–40 words. This is
where you can talk about yourself and your business preferably in the
third person. Provide no more than 2 live links to your site, at least
one of them should be formatted with your website address as the anchor
text, in case the publisher doesn't allow "live links.” A live link
is a clickable link and not simply text. Here is an example of a "live
link,"s www.mysite.com and
this is a non "live link" www.mysite.com.
An example of a good article ready for submission
Here is an example of how to create a framework for a well written article
and getting it published. Let's suppose you own a golf training camp for
young people, and you want to write a 700 word article that explains the
best way to select a golf camp. Your target audience will be most likely
the parents of teenagers, so your article must convince them a golf camp
is the right choice for their children over a few hours of private lessons.
Your article title will be "Golf
Camps—The Right Choice For Your Teen!."
Your article must describe the differences between
private golf instructions and golf camps in general.
Your article also must emphasize the benefits
of instructors getting to know their students and identifying their personal
weaknesses and strengths.
The article also has to address every parent's
concern about the safety of the children while away from home.
The article must talk about the organizations
that certify golf camps and how the parents should check for references.
A camp should also provide other fun activities
for young people to participate in such as water sports, team sports and
other types of recreations.
And finally you will create a resource box with
two links to our website, one of the links will be the actual URL of the
As you can see article writing is not magical, but it must have the
right focus while staying clear of promotional language. We can offer
you another piece of valuable advice. When you write your articles, speak
out loud as you write them. We guarantee your articles will sound more
natural and be easier to read.
Submitting your articles
The hardest, and most time consuming part of article distribution is
the initial set up of the logins and the actual e-zine directory site
selection. Be prepared to spend a minimum of two hours on submitting to
about a dozen directories and that's with the use of RoboForm,
which helps us automatically fill article submission forms with our article
content, resource box, and keywords. Although only about 30–40 article
directories out of the close to 500 are worth submitting to, it can be
still a challenge to find enough time for article writing and submission.
So, let's start discussing the article directory selection process first.
Most of the selection criteria that apply to directories also apply to
e-zine sites, so instead of repeating them, please click
here to review them. Having said that, there are some subtle differences
in how we rate article directories vs. general directories. In the case
of article directories, the estimated traffic we may get directly matters
a great deal more since we actually want our articles to be found and
read by humans as well, not just the search engines. Therefore, the most
important submission factor to us, as content providers is the ability
to insert live links back to our sites from the e-zine sites.
Comprehensive article directory list
In the past few years we have collected over 400 article directory sites,
and we have used the Links Plus+ tool to gather all the necessary data
to rank them based on their Google PageRank, Yahoo! link popularity, Alexa
ranking, and the article directory's age.
Once again we had to rely on the not so accurate Google PageRank and
the somewhat skewed Alexa rankings to get some sense of popularity for
a particular article directory. The article directory rankings based on
these factors will not be 100% accurate, but it's still a very good gauge
for us to consider whether or not we should even bother submitting our
Please visit our comprehensive, 8 page Article Submission
and Ezine Directory List on our website. We suggest you take a close
look at the top 30–40 article directories on this list. We have had great
success submitting articles to these e-zine sites for our own company
and our clients.
Directory and article submission are still very effective means of getting
new and well established sites promoted. It should be in every web master's
web promotional arsenal. However, directory submissions are very tricky
as new directories are popping up almost daily and deciding which ones
are worthy of your submission dollars is a real challenge. Links from
new directories are scrutinized by the search engines and heavily discounted,
so submitting to well established older directories is the way to go.
With some careful planning and using our checklist in this lesson you
should be able to maximize your submission dollars and time spent on directory
submission and article publishing projects.
Even if you don't consider yourself a good writer you should research topics
well suited for your website's audience and hire a freelance or "ghost"
writer to write your articles on your behalf. Here are a few places where
you may want to look for hiring article writers: Getafreelancer.com