Free Traffic From Free Directories

The Open Directory ProjectThe 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. is a good example. Google ignores it, Yahoo has 1.8 million entries for it.

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  • […] It should be noted that any page that has excessive outbound links and little content will be flagged as a link page or link directory and unless you are DMOZ no directory is ever going to wheel a lot of power in search engines (incidentally try this post if you want a list of good directories that do wield some power). While the quantity of outbound links may not affect the PageRank of a given page it certainly does effect the amount of PageRank that page passes on to the linked sites since it is divided amongst all the outgoing links. This is why linking your site in directories is not a super effective SEO practice, and it shouldn’t be, because directories are relatively easy to get listed in. Directories are okay if you just want to get noticed and get the search engine spiders to visit your site, but if you want valuable links you are going to have to work harder. Quick SEO Tip: I just mentioned that the number of outbound links reduces the PageRank value that each link passes on. Remember that Google looks at each page individually and not as a whole site so your intra-linking – your link structure within your site – is very important. You don’t want to pass PageRank to pages that don’t need it (such as disclaimer and privacy policy pages). Your PageRank should be passed to your most important sales pages and your site-map so don’t place links to less important pages on every page of your site. Footer links are a good example where people often waste links – only put your most important pages in your footer links. […]

  • […] In order to maximise your chance of success using this technique choose some of the higher profile directories. If you read this post – Free Traffic From Free Directories – you will find a link to a solid listing of reputable directories that you can submit your site to. […]

  • I think more links – better anyway. Any rumors about Google will penalise sites for doing so, I think is not true becuase as written in Google rules , you can be penalise only doing something wrong with you own site.

  • […] If you are interested in more directories to submit your site to take a look at this post about Free Directories from Entrepreneur’s Journey. […]

  • Brilliant Tip for Newbies, Keep it up

  • Another way to get exchange links is that you can go:
    It may help u find the right link to exchange.

  • HKM

    Getting your site at DMOZ is really hard

  • Great list. I have been looking for something like this for my new site.

  • Too bad the list of free directories is gone…

  • Good advice on quality vs quantity when it comes to submission to web directories.


  • Great post, I’ve often wondered about the value of directories. Recently we ran a few tests and found that you can get a site to move in the serps by just using directory submissions. This was the shotgun method rather than targeting quality directories. Who knows how well it will hold but we are using it as a link base to build from. I also recommend that you avoid the directories which require a payment for a site to be included. Many paid directories are launched solely to make temporary money. Their owners will promote the directory and try to inflate its PageRank to attract submissions and then switch to yet another new directory using the same bait. Many also have been banned or penalized by search engines for the practice of selling links without editorial review.

  • When you say that footer links waste PageRank do you mean just if they link to disclaimer and privacy policy pages? Are you hinting at something more than that?

    I always thought it did not really matter too much about footer links to other content pages, because the link-love would be passed around the web site through the footers, and I think it helps keep your readers on your site.

    If when they end up at the bottom of the page there are plenty of footer links to keep them on your web site.

  • Hey Steve,

    I’m referring to send pagerank juice to pages that don’t need to rank well.

    You should put no-follow on footer links that point to pages like the disclaimer etc so the other links pass on more juice.

  • Hi! Yaro.

    Thanks for clarification. I’ve just looked at a few sites which my Disclaimer page has higher rank than the content. Oops!

    Looks like I’ve got to do quite a bit of ‘No-following’ to put that right.

    Presumably Google likes us to do that as it makes their ranking system actually work better? After all, I presume that it does their reputation no good at all to have high ranking Disclaimer and Privacy pages.

  • Thanks for the advice. I was thinking it would be best to stick to only relevant directories, too. I figured you had a better chance of actually getting traffic from a niche directory.

  • Hi,

    Below you can find a list of free and reciprocal directories that we build. All the links are valid for search engines and update weekly:

    Have fun

  • I think links in free directories should be kept to a minimum, really. There are more effective ways to promote your site. A link in an established directory like DMoz would be ok, but there are so many pointless directories.

  • It seems as though quality over quantity is starting to apply to every avenue of positioning ourselves on the web. I’ve made the mistake of quantity over quality for one of my web projects for link building, that mess was hard to clean up 🙂

  • I think that a listing in a direcotory or a blog directory is not for the sake of getting traffic. It’s for getting an inbound link. If it’s a quality inbound link from say, a blog directory with an Alexa less then 100,000 and a PageRank of 5 or greater, then it will score popularity points with the search engines. And I think that you do need, at least a few quality inbound links to your site or blog. Then the rest will grow organically.

  • How do you know what is a good backlink, and what is a bad? If quality beats quantity, then how do you know what is a quality link?

    -Matt San Clemente Mortgage

  • Save now! thank for share you list.

  • Still waiting for some feedback from DMOZ – I guess being one of the worlds biggest authority site, it takes some time to review and approve a website.

  • For some reason, I have never had any luck with DMOZ. I am starting to wonder if the days of getting a link from DMOZ are gone, and are also no longer worth the effort. BTW is Zeal free, and is it worth the effort to get a link? What directories many no longer be worth the effort and which ones still are WAY worth the effort, in your opinion? I have some in mind but am curious what your thoughts are for 2010 and beyond?

  • yea…but the problem here is getting your site in DMOZ. It’s harder than lifting an elephant..

  • yea…but the problem here is getting your site in DMOZ. It’s harder than lifting an

  • I have a list of directories I always post to for a new site, but it’s definitely good to spread them out as newer sites tend to be much more vulnerable to a google ‘knock out’. As long as you don’t obtain thousands of crappy directory links all at once, it’s usually not an issue..from my experiences!

  • what a nice post.

    Misbah Mumtaz

  • There is so much debate and no absolute answers. From all that I have read, it sounds like the more links you have the better your ranking will (eventually) be!

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