The jury is still out on whether listing your site in free directories is good for your site’s search engine optimisation. Same people say Google ignores directories for rankings, some say that a few of the authority directories, especially DMOZ – The Open Directory Project, are important. There is even rumours that Google will penalise sites with a lot of free directory inbound links. My rule – list your sites in a few authority AND relevant directories but definitely don’t go for a blanket approach, quality over quantity.
Regardless of the search engine implications listing your site in directories at least gives you a chance for some free traffic coming from the directory. Don’t expect miracles but if you have some time devoted to link building consider free directory listings as a path of least resistance to get started.
This listing of free web directories is a great place to start because it includes statistics on how well positioned the directories are within the major search engines. It’s interesting to note how Google completely ignores some directories while Yahoo will index the entire site. Zeal.com is a good example. Google ignores it, Yahoo has 1.8 million entries for it.