Directory sites have been around for a long time. There are still many of them that are going to stick around, like Yelp or YP (though the latter’s writing is on the wall).
In fact, directory sites used to be miniature search engines. They follow the same principles as a search engine where they have a lot of sites that are indexed in their system and depending upon what you’re looking for, you can find a variety of services that are helpful.
So why the switch from a directory site to an information site?
Well, several years ago, directory sites were trusted a lot more. People used them a lot more. Now, basically all they’re used for is SEO purposes, where an agency buys a listing and gets their clients’ websites found within the directory. Most of the pages within the directory aren’t very powerful (yes, we are admitting that!) and most of the time, they’re just overpriced. We felt that while we were trying offer great service, it just wasn’t a good idea anymore (translates into, it was too hard to make money at it anymore, lol!).
Also, over the last couple of years, Google has been cracking down on a lot of these directory sites.
Think about it: Google is the behemoth in terms of search engines. No one even comes close to Google in terms of the size, scope, and magnitude of searches, indexed sites, and so on. Google understands exactly what the point of having a directory site is for–just for getting a link.
Well, Google is also trying—and succeeding, we’ll add—at making SEO harder for people. And we get it. If it’s super easy to game the system, you’ll get all sorts of terrible search results and easy spam, which is never a good idea. It’s why Google overtook the search engine market, because they knew that if they offered a better service, i.e. more related results from the query, then they’d get used more. So, they’re making it harder to game the system by specifically targeting several of these directory sites, like ours, and forcing them down.
Are we bitter?
No. It’s the way of things. Things grow, things die.
But, what we’ve decided to do is make a site that offers some of the insights we learned about being a directory site for several years. We’ve learned a lot about the land of search engine optimization. We’ve learned a lot about how important staying up-to-date is. And we’ve learned how to stay in Google’s good graces (which is why we decided to leave this website behind, and make new companies that can help us and our customers).
So, what we’re going to do, is start adding some of the information that we’ve found to be helpful over the past few years.
The first thing that we’ve found helpful is to avoid spammy directory links. Yes, we have been a directory for years and years. Some of these directories are actually still helpful, like Yelp. And there are also depending upon what niche you’re in that can really be helpful. But, just because the link is free does not mean that it’s going to be a good link! We can’t stress that enough, so we’ll repeat—JUST BECAUSE THE LINK IS FREE DOES NOT MEAN IT’S A GOOD LINK!
How did we learn this?
We used to do a lot of reciprocal links. Some of these were great. Many of these were not. And what happened, is we inadvertently hurt ourselves. We lost several rankings, which meant not many people were uploading their site to our directory, and so we lost out on a lot of business.
Don’t let that happen to your site.
That’s it for this post.
The next tip that we’re going to include involves what to look for when you’re actually getting a site to link to your site.
This is one of those secret things that your SEO agency doesn’t want you to know!
Until next time,
The guys at AddNewLink.net