Webmasters easily assume that web directories are not Google compliant because they are an older form of internet marketing not in-tune with modern SEO practices. However, there are a handful of Google compliant web directories which still exist on the internet today.
If you are looking to get your website listed in any web directories, you must make sure they are Google compliant first. This is more important than listing your web directory on a hundred non-compliant web directories.
Ken Anderson, a web directory guru (he has been involved in web directories for many years, beginning with the Open Directory Project, also known as DMOZ. He was an early meta editor for the ODP. He has also been a Go Guide, and a Zealot with the Zeal Directory, both of which are now defunct.) owns a quite interesting online directory review site where he reviews quarterly some of the best directories by comparing using a few metrics.
Every three months several better known directories are reviewed, a Top 10 list is created and published. There are four review assemblies for 2013 and another four for 2014. In each semester the previous top 10 directories are challenging with other ten or twenty different directories throughout the following semester.
The criteria he’s using are: aesthetics, size, intuitiveness, editorial discretion, usefulness, Alexa rank, MOZ domain authority, MOZ page authority, page MozRank, and page MozTrust, as well as Majestic Trust Flow and Citation Flow.
It is interesting to browse the website to see which directories are reviewed, the objectiveness of the reviews and how a specific directory performs over time. That way it is easier to figure out which directories are useful and possibly Google compliant.
These 5 directories were in all Top 10 lists:
- Best of the Web
- Jasmine Directory
- Aviva Directory
- Directory Journal
So, we can assume safe passage using these directories. However, you will want to list on as many other Google compliant web directories as you can (and afford).
Below are four facts that you probably never knew about Google compliant web directories. This should help you get started when screening web directories for compliance.
1) Editorial Approval is Required
Google loves web directories which have a high level of editorial discretion over their website listings. This ensures that only quality websites are chosen for the web directories. In fact, you’ll want to choose a web directory which is strict in their review process.
They should have a reputation for rejecting websites over small issues pertaining to their content or relevance. Google always favors top quality content and they will reward web directories which only publish top quality website listings.
2) The Listed Websites Must Stay Updated
An editor may approve a website for inclusion in their web directory, but that doesn’t mean it will stay there. A Google compliant web directory has a tough job of ensuring that their website listings stay updated by their respective webmasters. For example, if someone gets their website approved and then stops updating its content, then it will lose its ranking in Google.
Plus, the web directory that listed the website will lose its compliant status with Google too. For this reason, editors are frequently checking on their listed websites to make sure they are staying up to date. If the editor catches a website listing that is out of date, it will get removed from the directory.
3) They Must Have Functionality and Credibility
Google compliant web directories must have functionality and credibility on all its web pages. There is no room for script errors or any kind of problems like that. If there are, then Google will penalize it for non-compliance with their search engine.
The reason that a lot of older web directories are not Google compliant is that they are no longer fully functional. The web scripts and files which run these web directories are old and have not been modified by their administrators for years. Google likes websites which use the latest web programming languages. If a web directory still uses basic HTML and CGI, then find another web directory immediately.
4) They Are Non-Promotional
When is the last time that you saw a web directory use flashy copywriting or advertising? They will never claim that they’re “the best web directory on the internet” or “the number one web directory for your listing.” In fact, you often see web directories as just a list of categories and website listings. There is hardly any copywriting on them at all. This is what you’ll want to see because Google compliant web directories do not practice outbound marketing.
They also don’t try to encourage people to purchase their listing services. It is the webmasters who come to the web directory and request their listing services on their own.
A powerful web directory stays strong because of its editorial discretion and strong listing standards. Nothing else matters to Google more than that.