Web directories were once considered one of the easiest ways to build backlinks. Listing a website on free web directories often got mentioned as one of the must-do things after launching a website.
But as Google got better at differentiating between quality and low-quality backlinks, this link-building tactic became obsolete to the point that nobody even considers submitting websites to directories today.
Many of the top directories for SEO that actually worked back then don’t get much attention these days. But does that mean directory listing for SEO doesn’t work anymore? Let’s find out!
In this article, we will discuss web directories and their relevance today and will give a list of online directories that still have value.
What is a web directory?
A web directory is a website that collects links to other websites, categorizes them based on the niche, and lists them so that users can easily find websites related to specific topics. Web directories are usually hierarchical, with general niche websites listed at the top and more specific niche websites listed below.
In the late 90s and early 2000s, using a web directory was the only way to find websites. Most search engines didn’t exist in those days. But as search engines came into existence and got better at what they do, web directories started losing relevance and popularity.
However, some web directories have changed their approach and are still relevant in some use cases. They have undergone a transformation over the years, and some new web directories are in play.
Today, you’ll find two kinds of web directories on the internet: human-edited directories and automated directories. Human-edited directories review each website thoroughly before including them on their website, and automated directories use algorithms to list websites automatically based on the content.
Are web directories still useful?
Well, in terms of SEO, backlinks, and traffic, web directories are not as useful as they used to be ten years back. While web directories were mostly about backlinks and SEO back then, they’re more about online visibility, customer acquisition, and reputation management today.
Now, if you go and list your website in all the web directories out there, it probably will do more harm than good. Some web directories list low-quality and even spammy websites, and it can affect the reputation of other websites in the directory.
And, Google considers backlinks from low-quality web directories as unearned backlinks, so it is necessary to hand-pick the web directories you want to list your website in.
But what if you list your website only on high-quality web directories? Well, Google still respects good, quality directories, and getting your website listed on such directories can contribute to your SEO. Now, let’s see some of the best web directories and blog directories.
9 Web directories that still have value
The best business listing directories for all kinds of businesses
● Google Business Profile (DA: 100)
Listing your business on Google Business Profile is not an option anymore; it is a necessity for online marketing. Everything from making your business visible online to outranking similar businesses in local SEO starts from your Google Business profile.
An optimized Google Business Profile with all the information your target audience might look for, including your business name, address, phone number, and website address, is the best way to ensure your business shows up for related searches.
Also, data tells us that 50% of Google Business Profile interactions produce website visits, and more than 5% of Google Business Profile views result in a conversion.
● Facebook Business (DA: 96)
Facebook is, of course, a social media platform, but it has grown above and beyond that over the last decade.
Having an official Facebook business page offers your business more online visibility and a way to drive discussions and engagements with your audience. It doesn’t directly affect your SEO performance, but more brand mentions and links in user-generated content means you come on Google’s radar more often. And Google crawls, indexes, and shows Facebook pages in search results.
Also, according to Facebook, two in three Facebook users visit a local business page at least once a week, and 8 in 10 Facebook users use their smartphones to interact with local businesses. So having an official Facebook page will also bring you more business and engagements.
● LinkedIn Company Directory (DA: 99)
LinkedIn is known as the social media platform for companies and professionals, and they manage a separate company directory. If your target customers are companies or professionals, your business should have a LinkedIn Business profile. The platform is great for finding clients, managing professional communications, and attracting talent.
And yes, Google indexes LinkedIn pages as well, and they show up in Google search results.
● Business.com (DA: 81)
If you’re looking to build a customer base and are ready to pay for it, Business.com is an option worth considering. It is one of the oldest and largest paid directories, and it can help you target your potential customers through ads.
With a DA of 81, monthly traffic of over 630,000, and hundreds of articles and resources for business owners, getting your business listed on this platform will help you drive traffic and earn trust among potential customers.
● Bing Places (DA: 50)
Bing Places is the Google Business Profile equivalent of the Bing search engine. It doesn’t have much market share compared to Google, but it is the default search engine for Microsoft Edge, and Microsoft holds more than 70% of the market share in desktop operating systems.
Listing your business on Bing Places will help your target customers who prefer Bing search engine find your website, contact information, address, and business information in a snippet.
● Yelp (DA: 93)
Yelp is one of the most popular local business directories today, with over 90 million unique visitors per month. 45% of customers are likely to check Yelp reviews before visiting a business, and 35% of them make a visit to the local business within 24 hours.
The platform lets users share ratings, reviews, and photos and incorporates maps, making it easier for customers to find your business. The point is, if you want to improve your visibility to potential customers, you need to be on Yelp, and you need to manage a good reputation on the platform.
● Better Business Bureau (DA: 91)
Better Business Bureau is a business listing directory that has maintained a good reputation all these years. They need businesses to apply for accreditation and approval to be featured on BBB, so they have a robust review process in place. The best part is that it is one of the most credible sources for consumers, so getting your business listed on this platform will help you gain trust and legitimacy among visitors.
They have a monthly traffic of over 12 million, and it is one of the top 1200 websites globally, so it is worth going through their approval process and getting your business listed there.
● Chamber of Commerce (DA: 61)
Chamber of Commerce is the digital version of the local, printed Chamber of Commerce. This directory is extensive, with over 30 million small business listings, and it is a good idea to get your business listed on their digital platform.
They offer free listings and paid advertisements and also provide educational resources and articles that’ll help you manage your business better.
● Blogarama (DA: 59)
There’s only one free blog directory that has maintained its reputation and traffic over the years, and it is the oldest blog search directory on the internet: Blogarama. They have over 180000 blog directory listings, 150000+ visitors per month, and hundreds of thousands of subscribers.
You can plug in your RSS feed, and Blogarama will auto-update your online directory listing with the latest posts from your blog. Note that it is not a local or small business directory; they only list blogs.