5 Types Of Directory Backlinks (+ How To Build Them)

Adam Steele
Jun 10
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Of the 15+ types of backlinks that we’ve featured in our in-depth link building guide, directory backlinks remain particularly controversial – all courtesy of the polarizing remarks that are coming from the opposing sides of the spectrum.

On one hand, we have the likes of Moz insisting that building directory backlinks is still a relevant SEO strategy. The extensively renowned SEO platform even conducted data-backed research on the matter, which reportedly established that business directories somehow continue to influence Google search rankings – especially for locally listed businesses.

This, as it turns out, contradicts what Google has been reiterating for years. In 2016, for instance, two of its senior Webmaster Trends Analysts publicly went on record condemning the use of directories to build backlinks.

Garry Illyes, in particular, tweeted that directory submission sites are often not the right link building method.

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Gary Illyes’ 2016 tweet on building directory links. Source: Twitter

John Muller then weighed in with an emoticon that was subsequently interpreted as his own goofy way of disapproving the same directory backlinks.

But, the drama didn’t end there. Barely six months later, John dropped yet another bombshell by clarifying that directory backlinks “generally” don’t help with SEO.

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John Muller’s 2017 sentiments on the relevance of directory backlinks to SEO. Source: Twitter

This comes from the same company that, during the previous decade, was proactively encouraging webmasters to set up their inbound links on directory websites such as Dmoz. Then as time went by, black hat practitioners started misusing the opportunity, which ultimately forced search engines to pull the plug on the directory backlinks.

Or did they?

Well, we’ve been building directory backlinks for years, we’ve seen the results, and we’re now revealing the whole truth – and nothing but the truth – about this controversial matter.

We’re finally settling the debate by setting the record straight on how directory links work, how they’ve evolved over the years, plus the type of impact that they have on today’s SEO. Most importantly, though, you also get to learn how you can leverage different types of directory backlinks, what you’ll be getting in return, and how you ought to optimize the campaigns.

What Are Directory Backlinks?

Just as the name itself suggests, directory backlinks are those inbound links that you gain from external web directory sites.

“Web directories” here refer to specialized platforms that operate as some form of an online catalog for other websites. They typically maintain an extensive web-based database, on which you’ll find an organized registry of basic information on third-party entities and sites.

You can, otherwise, think of directory websites as the digital version of the famous Yellow Pages publication. Just as you’d scroll through the Yellow Pages to find the details of a business or individual, web directories facilitate the same but on a digital level. All the data is held and disseminated through the web.

The information itself is normally collected through these two methods:

  • Automated – some web directories have an AI engine that automates the whole process of data retrieval, analysis, and segmentation. They use complex algorithms to capture basic information from relevant sites, which is then organized accordingly, before finally being added to their internal listings.
  • Human-edited – these are manually-controlled web directories. Data entry is coordinated and reviewed by human editors, who then proceed to arrange it based on a custom formula.

In most cases, the directories tend to prioritize the standard identifiers. They call on online businesses and bloggers to submit their brand name, along with the accompanying address and phone number. These are the details that we cumulatively refer to as “NAP”.

The address field is particularly critical, as it’s where you get to place inbound links to your site. Each webmaster is given the chance to specify their website URL, which is then listed on their directory profile as a backlink.

But, it doesn’t end there. While NAP is the most basic level of information, modern directory submission sites are known to supplement it with additional details such as product descriptions and company history.

Some of the directories offer even previous customers the chance to review the listed businesses. This is the system you’ll find on popular directory submission sites such as Better Business Bureau, or BBB in short.

Overall, each BBB business profile comes with the following sections:

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Sample BBB business profile page.

  • NAP – on which you’re supposed to specify the name of the business, its phone number, and location. What’s more, webmasters can enter directory backlinks that point to their site homepage.
  • Business overview – which briefly explains what your business is all about and what it specializes in.
  • Business details – which outline the history of your company, its management team, plus registration details.
  • Customer reviews and complaints – where past customers get to post their testimonials, reviews, and complaints about your business products and services.
  • Rating and accreditation – where you’ll find the combined grade and rating score awarded to your business by the BBB platform. These are the indicators that give prospective customers a rough idea of what to expect in terms of reliability.

Even if you happen to score poorly on the ratings, at least you get to keep the directory backlinks on your profile. This is important because…

Why are they important?

Make no mistake about them. Although remarks from Google’s executives might suggest otherwise, directory backlinks are not dead.

They’ve, instead, morphed with the ever-changing web rules and search engine algorithms. Some of link building benefits that you stand to get in return include:

#1. Improving your search engine rankings

On reviewing SERPs analytics generated from hundreds of our recent link building campaigns, we managed to vindicate Moz’s research on the influence of directory backlinks.

Yes, that’s right. It’s now official that they’re still relevant to SEO. By building directory backlinks, you get the chance to improve not only your search engine rankings, but also the amount of organic traffic to your site.

Don’t get us wrong, though. We are not saying that Google’s executives are entirely wrong.

You see, if you take a step back and review their remarks with an open mind, you’ll notice that they’re not completely writing off directory backlinks. Rather, they are cautioning webmasters against maintaining the traditional methodologies of building directory backlinks.

Google itself learned the hard way just how much people are willing to misuse the backlinks for SEO gains. Back in the 2000s, when its search algorithm ranked websites based largely on the volume of backlinks and keywords, you could easily rise to the top by riding on spammy links.

This is what drove the search engine to respond quite aggressively over the next decade. And in the 2010s, we saw Google refine its ranking algorithms to prioritize quality over quantity.

Penguin itself was introduced in 2012 to clean up the SERPs by flagging and penalizing low quality backlinks while, at the same time, promoting high-quality backlinks that seem natural.

Among the first victims to bite the dust were web directories that hosted low quality links. Google was quick to deindex them, as they operated a lot like link farms – complete with randomly built inbound links.

So unforgiving was the crackdown, in fact, that it even penalized the beneficiaries of the low-quality links. Websites that had built a backlink profile from many spammy directory sites were ultimately blacklisted and deindexed from the SERPS.

And that was just the beginning. Google has since grown even more intelligent, and it still continues to update its link quality algorithms multiple times a year. This has made things particularly challenging for link builders, as many of their traditional tactics have now been ruled out.

Consider, for instance, checking out Google’s webmaster guidelines. You’ll get a rough idea of the huge risks involved, plus the types of link schemes that you should avoid when building directory backlinks.

If you, however, manage to play by the rules, you should be able to convert high-quality directory backlinks into favorable search engine rankings.

This is where you exclusively target quality directory submission sites that enjoy a high domain authority rating. We are talking about the likes of the Better Business Bureau – which has an impressive DA score of 91, along with a monthly traffic volume of 14 million.

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BBB domain rating and link profile. Source: Moz

Then for local SEO, you might want to capitalize on link building opportunities that come with Google Business Profile. As many as 64% of web users today use the web directory to find the contact details for local businesses.

#2. Increasing your brand awareness and credibility

Another good thing about business directories is, they are quite popular among consumers. So, by getting yourself published within the listings, you won’t just be building directory backlinks – you also get to showcase the business in front of a wide audience base.

You might not realize it – but the brand awareness that you get to build from that forms the foundation for future traction.

Google’s own data shows that the standard buyer journey doesn’t really begin when they contact you. Rather, it kicks off way before they even land on your website.

The five core touchpoints are as follows

  • They begin with a search engine inquiry.
  • From the business suggestions generated, they make their choice and then proceed to visit the store physically.
  • They could also check out your website or app.
  • Then for the sake of comparing the available options, they might additionally sample what your competitors offer on their platforms.
  • The physical map eventually comes in at the last stages, when they finally need to find your local store.

All in all, therefore, you could say that your customer’s journey begins when they discover your brand. This could be on search engine business listings, social media directories, local citations, etc.

So widespread is the practice, in fact, that as many as 94% of consumers today rely on directory submission sites to discover info on new or recently used businesses.

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How buyers use directory websites. Source: Business Listings Trust Report

Then if you zero in on the return opportunities, it turns out that 48% of consumers go back to the same directory listings to confirm the details of brands that they’ve engaged with before.

As such, we can agree that directory backlinks are capable of pushing your brand not only to new leads, but also to potentially repeat buyers. This means that web directories ultimately play a very critical role in sales and conversion optimization.

You’ll notice that when leads get to learn about your brand, they still refer to the directories for business details. In particular, they pay special attention to your NAP – phone number, address, and name – along with the accompanying product details, plus the website URL.

This is the information they ultimately use to get in touch with the business and kickstart the conversion process.

#3. Pulling in warm referrals

Still on the issue of audience exposure, you can also count on the directory backlinks as a referral channel.

When prospects scroll through directory submission sites and then land on your company profile, it’s the inbound link that will eventually redirect interested parties to your online business website.

Such referrals are always a welcome addition to organic traffic. As the directory backlinks try to help you secure better rankings in the search engines, they happen to double up as supplementary lead generators.

We’re calling them “leads” because these are no ordinary web visitors. They’ve already sampled your business information, and possibly even have a good idea of the type of services or products that you offer.

As such, you won’t be struggling with the often tedious lead qualification process. The act of clicking on the directory link can be interpreted as an expression of interest, which in other words, is a cue for fast-tracking conversion.

Now, in actual figures, you can expect more than half of the hits on your Google Business Profile to end up as referral traffic on your website. That translates to at least 33 link clicks per month.

As for the resultant conversion rates, directory backlinks have proven that they can even outdo other regular digital marketing channels. Mobile local search is particularly outstanding, as a whopping 78% of the search instances eventually lead to purchases.

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Conversion rates for local SEO search. Source: Neustar Localeze

And that’s not all. These buyers have also shown that they don’t take long to convert. 63% of the purchases take only a few hours to complete, with 13% more coming in by the close of the business day.

#4. Simple, cheap, and straightforward link building

One other thing that you’ll appreciate about this link building strategy is its ease and simplicity.

While the likes of content marketing, guest posting, press release, and link exchange programs require weeks, months, and years of dedication, building directory backlinks is only a matter of minutes across many web directories.

You won’t even need specialized technical skills. The whole process is as simple as filling in a couple of forms and then forwarding the details to directory submission sites.

Also, keep in mind you don’t have to spend a dime. Although there’s an array of paid directories on the market, the biggest and most dominant ones offer free listing.

Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) is the most prominent free directory, followed by Facebook, Yelp, and Instagram. You might also want to consider Apple Maps, Thumbtack, Super Pages, Bing, MapQuest, and the LinkedIn Company Directory.

Now, with all these options, you should even have an easy time expanding your overall link profile. At a time when 66% of web pages don’t have any inbound links and 26% happen to be limited to backlinks from three sites or less, directories give you the rare opportunity to build yourself several inbound links from a wide range of sources.

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The bulk of the websites today have zero referring domains. Source: Ahrefs

There’s just one caveat. If by chance, you get carried away and somehow end up overdoing the whole link building exercise, you might come off as a spammy black hat SEO practitioner – a status that could land you on the wrong side of Google’s radar.

5 Types Of Directory Backlinks (And How To Build Them)

While Google has thrown out quite a number of directory sites from its networks, you’ll still find a multitude of them pushing on strong within the interwebs.

They don’t operate in the same manner, though. Web directories today come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, plus they happen to be structured fairly disparately.

Now, when it comes to link building, all these variations can be classed into five subcategories – based on the build and type of listings that they feature.

  • General directories.
  • Business listings.
  • Local citations.
  • Paid directories.
  • Niche directories.

Most notably, however, each of these classes of web directories has its own unique influence on SEO. So, it’s only logical that you handle them differently in your link building campaigns.

Here’s a breakdown of what each type entails and the appropriate link building approaches to use. We’ve also featured their constituent sites – but, keep in mind that some of the mentioned web directories are versatile enough to fall under multiple subcategories.

#1. General directories

These are your regular everyday web directories that are open to working with everyone. They accept directory backlinks for all types of websites, regardless of industry or field of specialization.

You’ll find, for example, directory backlinks for professional agencies, blogs, publications, online stores, fashion brands, product suppliers, etc. This allows you to list anything – from a marketing website to a footwear shop, a restaurant, or maybe a cloud-based app. The choice is all yours.

One popular example of such a directory is the official Yellow Pages site. You’ll notice that it’s structured a lot like the traditional yellow pages publication but in digital form. The website serves as an all-inclusive directory for all types of businesses across all the standard industries.

That means you can search for pretty much anything – from financial companies, health practitioners, legal firms, and insurance providers, to dentists, auto repair technicians, restaurants, and accountants.

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Some of the business categories listed on Yellow Pages.

And here is a screenshot of how your listing page will appear on the site.

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Business listing on Yellow Pages.

Thankfully, it doesn’t take much to build such inbound links. Many of the players in this subcategory offer free directory listings with no strings attached. What’s more, their requirements are pleasantly simple and accommodative.

The only problem is, even Google itself is perfectly aware of the easygoing nature of general directories. So, although it might pick up on your directory backlinks, pushing your luck with multiple links could easily land you in the trap of spammy backlinks.

Yes, that’s right. Trust Google’s algorithms to flag up any sudden and sharp increase in backlinks from free directories.

Therefore, you ought to be very strategic about the whole campaign. The trick is to steadily build just a handful of links on the most relevant general directories.

And while you’re at it, remember to space out all the new links accordingly. Do not publish them successively at short intervals.

#2. Business listings

Business listings act as online databases of companies and brands. While general directories stretch out to accommodate even bloggers and unregistered entities, business listings focus exclusively on service providers and product sellers.

We’re talking about the likes of :

  • Better Business Bureau
  • BizJournals
  • 411.com
  • MerchantCircle
  • Yelp
  • LinkedIn
  • MapQuest

And so forth.

Their job is to give consumers basic details about the businesses that they might be interested in. Some, as we explained, even supplement the company information with reviews and ratings from past customers.

This gives you the chance to leverage your business listing for more than just SEO. When you finally get the directory backlinks up and running, you could use the same page to boost your credibility and overall trustworthiness.

One particularly outstanding platform when it comes to that is Better Business Bureau or BBB.org in short. Consumers love it for the thorough background checks it conducts on companies and their customers.

The web directory will, for instance, need proof that the company you’re registering is a legitimate business. That is the whole point of its business accreditation system.

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Getting your business accredited on BBB.

Then for the customers who come in to drop reviews, BBB will have to check and confirm their legitimacy.

So, in a way,  business listings double up as places where people find and recommend brands that they can trust.

That means that the campaign shouldn’t always end with link building. You might want to follow it up with reciprocal linking, as a way of redirecting happy customers to the review page.

#3. Local citations

Local citations, in short, refer to local business directories. These are specialized business listings that are capable of filtering the listed entities based on their areas of operation.

So far, 85% of consumers have been using such directories to find local businesses. The local search algorithms on the websites have been built with geopositioning capabilities, which zero in on the relevant results that are in close proximity to your specified location.

This makes local citations particularly suitable for businesses that happen to run physical brick-and-mortar outlets. By publishing their information on the local directory sites, they stand to:

  • Build directory backlinks to their websites.
  • Increase brand awareness within their area of operation.
  • Position themselves on Google as a highly relevant entity in the locality.

You see, although the web is fundamentally celebrated for its far-reaching connections, it turns out that people are now increasingly relying on it even at a local level. More and more consumers are going to location-based business directories for recommendations within their locality.

And in figures, you could say that up to 97% of people are learning about local companies primarily through the web.

This is a trend that even Google was quick to pick up on. It then went on to set up Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business), which has now grown to become the biggest local business directory. As many as 89% of consumers regularly use it to find information on local companies.

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The most popular local business information directories. Source: Business Listings Trust Report 2021

The directory itself is natively integrated with the rest of Google’s products – including the primary search engine, plus Google Maps. Once you set up your business profile and directory backlinks, Google will proceed to organically list your company in all the relevant local SERPs and Google Map searches.

Here’s how the results are typically structured on desktop search, for example. From this display, web users should be able to call you, proceed to your website, pinpoint the location of your business on the map, as well as review your standard hours of operation.

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But, don’t restrict your citation building to Google Business Profile. You could further reinforce it by creating secondary directory backlinks on other prominent local business platforms.

Consider, for instance, expanding to:

  • Yahoo Local Search.
  • Hotfrog
  • EBusinessPages
  • EZlocal
  • ChamberofCommerce.com
  • Local.com
  • MapQuest
  • Apple Maps

…etc.

Google is intelligent enough to crawl even through these external directories, from where it pulls additional data and then uses it to provide more relevant results to your target market on when, where, and how to find your company.

In particular, you should aim to get your business to the top three rankings on local search. This zone alone pulls in 60% of all the organic traffic, with half of it going specifically to the number one position.

And it all pays off quite handsomely.

Thanks to Google’s accuracy in proximity targeting, the consequent visitors are bound to convert much quicker than regular SEO traffic.  A whopping 72% of local search instances usually lead to searchers visiting a local outlet within a radius of five miles.

#4. Paid directories

Unlike many of the online directories that we’ve already mentioned, paid directories are not open to everyone. Rather, you must dig into your pockets to get a seat at the high table.

The system here is almost identical to what we’ve seen with paid guest posing opportunities. You basically pay a fee to get your website and directory backlinks featured on popular platforms.

On most occasions, they charge a recurrent subscription fee on a monthly or yearly basis. The amount, on the other hand, depends on the popularity of the website, the level of competition in your business niche, plus the perks of the listing package.

One of the biggest industry veterans in this space is BOTW, or Best Of The Web in full. The web directory has been around since 1994, and it now offers both free and premium business listings.

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Free and paid directory packages on BOTW.

Well, unfortunately, there’s not much to brag about on the free package.

You only get a basic profile for showcasing the brand name, address, phone number, service description, hours of operation, plus an About Us excerpt. It also features one industry category per listing, along with a couple of customer reviews.

That’s as far as it goes. Conspicuously missing from this list of free offerings is directory backlinks. The package entirely denies you the chance to garnish your free profile will URLs to your website.

BOTW, instead, reserves the privilege for users on either of its two paid options.

Premium”, to begin with, is a recurrent subscription package, charging about $299.40 per year. This will give you a comprehensive business profile – with extras like dofollow directory backlinks, multiple business verification modes, a FAQ section, social media links, coupons for customers, and a trust badge.

“Basic Profile” is the third option and it provides slightly less for a one-time fee of $397.

Another seasoned paid directory that you could try out is Family Friendly Sites, or FFS in short. Keep in mind, though, that the platform tends to lean towards family-oriented companies.

Otherwise, if you try to search for additional alternatives, it won’t take you long to notice that premium directory submission sites are worryingly limited. But, there’s a good reason behind this scarcity – and it has everything to do with Google’s strict guidelines on the selling and buying of inbound links.

The search engine’s quality algorithms have, over the years, cracked down on many of the directories that offered paid linking opportunities. Prominent examples include:

  • Uncover the Net
  • Big Web Links
  • Alive Directory

And the war is now more intense than ever. Google is still coming for all those platforms that openly solicit directory backlinks for a fee.

This leaves you with just three options.

The first one is obvious – you could either avoid them entirely.

The second one, on the other hand, is reserved for highly skilled SEO practitioners – the type that knows how to calculatedly set up paid directory links without drawing any form of suspicion. You can count on them to make your backlinks seem 100% natural.

The final alternative entails working directly with Google. Instead of hiding in the shadows, you could try to list your business as a paid ad. Besides, 67% of smartphone users and 72% of their tablet/PC counterparts already insist that they’d want ads that are seamlessly customized to, among other factors, their localities.

The choice is all yours.

#5. Niche directories

Niche directories are more like the direct opposite of general directories.

That means your listing won’t be sharing the limelight with millions of other unrelated businesses. Instead, you get to publish your listing and directory backlinks on a platform that is centered exclusively around your industry.

If you’re running an online marketing agency, for instance, the appropriate niche directories for you would be the platforms that are dedicated to listing digital marketers. Real estate agents, on the other hand, would go for property-oriented web directories.

Practical examples of niche directories include websites such as TripAdvisor, Houzz.com, and kbb.com.

TripAdvisor is all about restaurants, hotels, lodges, travel destinations, and pretty much anything else related to the hospitality industry. Houzz.com leans towards built design, and is perfect for showcasing architects along with their works. Then KBB – or the Kelly Blue Book – features car dealerships by city and vehicle make.

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Niche-specific listings on TripAdvisor.

Well, these types of websites may not be as established and popular as general directories, but at least they make up for that through specialization.

By focusing on just one industry, niche directories save you the trouble of sorting out your supposed warm leads from the crowd. All the traffic that comes here is made up of individuals who share a common interest. So, you’ll be dealing with highly qualified leads.

This seamless alignment of interests is even applauded by Google itself. According to the principles outlined in its Search Quality Rater Guidelines document, the search engine algorithms tend to highly prioritize subject relevance in their quality assessments.

Backlinks published on niche directories, for instance, should earn you quality points by virtue of passing on link juice from a highly related publisher.

3 Tips For Building (High-Quality) Directory Backlinks

Whichever types of directory backlinks you choose to pursue, here are three critical pointers that’ll guide your entire link building campaign:

 #1. Confirm the domain authority and indexing status of the directory submission sites

Don’t just forward your business details to random directory sites for the sake of it. Gone are the days when the number of backlinks used to count. Google’s search algorithms now prioritize quality and relevance over everything else.

In particular, Google’s backlink quality analysis takes into consideration, among other factors:

  • The Page Rank and authority of the publishing website.
  • The history and ranking status of the publishing website.
  • The level of correlation between the source and destination domains.

With that in mind, you should start by establishing an accurate system of evaluating all your prospective directory submission sites. The objective here is to separate the high authority sites from the low quality ones that lack the credibility to influence search results.

There are many approaches that you could take in your analysis. But, for the sake of accuracy, you might want to get yourself either of the following web authority analysis tools:

  • Moz Domain Analysis Tool – Moz is a highly developed SEO intelligence tool suite that is credited with the formulation and development of the Domain Authority scoring system.

On its Domain Analysis tool, you just need to enter the website URL of any directory, and the system will handle the rest. It’ll examine the subject’s PageRank indicators and then reveal its Domain Authority score based on a logarithmic scale of 0-100.

Here’s a sample report that we got after running the analysis on Google My Business. Moz gave it a Domain Authority of 94, all courtesy of nearly a million linking root domains.

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  • Ahrefs Website Authority Checker – This is Ahrefs’ equivalent of Moz’s DA checker. But, instead of “Domain Authority”, it uses Domain Rating as the principal metric for expressing the relative strength of a website’s backlink profile.

That said, the evaluation procedure here is pretty similar to Moz’s, just enter the directory’s URL and the highly advanced tool will give you a summary of the analytics.

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  • Loganix DA Checker – This is what you use when you need to analyze multiple directories at once. The free tool gives you the chance to enter up to 10 URLs – after which collates all their essential domain metrics from Moz and Ahrefs, and then proceeds to showcase them on one centralized report.

#2. Complete your directory submissions with relevant business information

Don’t get so carried away by your quest for building directory backlinks that you forget all about the finer business details. There’s so much more to link building than just the website URLs.

You see, Google’s search algorithms will ultimately examine not just your published website link, but also the rest of the content attached to your directory listing. It’ll be looking to learn more about your company from the NAP, business description, anchor text, customer reviews, and any accompanying media. Each of these pieces of information is vital to your SEO and overall SERP placement.

Other than that, keep in mind that it’s your web audience who’ll ultimately be interacting with the profile listings. And, to be specific, this is where they’ll be starting their journey – which means that their first impression of your business will principally be formed by what they find on the directory submissions.

Now, with stakes that high for both search engine and audience parameters, you cannot afford to take chances with the composition of your directory profiles.

Remember to:

  • Complete all the information fields offered by directory submission sites. The more details you provide on your business, the better Google and your customers will relate to the bottom line.

Prospective customers want to know, for instance, your hours of operation, the types of payments that you accept, your reviews and ratings, all about your primary products and services, the availability of parking spots around your store, any special offers or coupons they stand to get, and so forth.

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Business directory information that consumers consider to be the most important. Source: Neustar Localeze

Research shows that consumers are 2.7 times more likely to perceive your company as reputable if they’re greeted with a complete business profile. And then when it comes to conversion, consumers are 70% more likely to drop by and 50% more likely to buy from a company with a complete business profile.

  • Engage the audience with more than just text. You might want to throw in some high-quality images and videos to showcase the value that you offer as a business.

According to Google’s quantitative market study, business listings that include a virtual tour and photos are two times more likely to trigger interest from prospects.

What’s more, photos alone have been shown to attract 35% more clicks on the directory backlinks. Then as for Google Maps, businesses with photos tend to generate 42% more direction requests than their counterparts.

#3. Review inconsistencies every now and then

Let’s be honest. Once you finally get those directory backlinks, you probably won’t bother tracking or checking up on the directory submissions.

And in the unlikely event that you do, chances are that you’ll only prioritize the biggest directory submission sites, while the less prominent ones will be left unattended.

This is the reality for many webmasters. They invest a lot of time in pursuing directory backlinks from different platforms, but then fail to attend to them accordingly after publication. That’s how they eventually find themselves with multiple outdated business listings, providing mismatched and inconsistent information across different directory submission sites.

Well, of course, you can bet that the audience is always going to notice. As many as 85% of consumers admit to coming across listings with incorrect or incomplete details over the past 12 months, while 77% complain of finding conflicting stuff across various directory submissions.

And the result?

For starters, it’s common for affected businesses to lose the market trust that they had managed to build from the directory listings.

66% of consumers claim that even something as small as an incorrect phone number could make them lose trust in a business. Then as for the address, 60% insist that inconsistencies would damage their trust.

It doesn’t end there, though. Another thing that consumers find disturbing is low quality images and outdated content. About 45% of them feel that it would reduce their confidence in a business.

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Directory inconsistencies that will make customers lose trust in your business. Source: Business Listings Trust Report

Then if we cross over to the side of Google, you can expect its AI engine to flag up even the less obvious inconsistencies. So, on top of denting customer trust, outdated listings could potentially compromise even your SEO and search rankings.

Now to avoid such an eventuality, you might want to:

  • Keep a record of all the directory submission sites that feature your listings – you could paste the URLs to an excel sheet or a CSV file. At least then, you should be able to follow up and update each web directory whenever you introduce changes to the business.
  • Otherwise, for increased accuracy in tracking and optimizing the directory submissions, it’s always advisable to switch to an automated listing management solution.

Moz Local is a great one for maintaining consistency across all your business listings and directory backlinks. You just need to create the posting once and it’ll forward copies to all the relevant platforms, apps, and publishers.

The same applies to the editing process. Instead of reviewing each web directory individually, you only need to make changes to the original listing and Moz Local will automate the updates.

Over To You: How To Kickstart Your Directory Backlinks Campaign

I guess we can now agree to settle, once and for all, the big debate about the role of directory backlinks in SEO.

For starters, we’ve confirmed over and over again that they’re still alive and kicking. Although the rules of engagement have changed quite drastically over the years, the fact of the matter is, search engine algorithms continue to factor in both nofollow and dofollow directory backlinks in their rankings.

Google won’t accept it publicly because of this secrecy stance that it has been taking lately. As we’ve explained before, the Google of today is not the same one that we knew in the 2000s.

The company had to stop releasing information on its ranking computation formula, as black hat practitioners were notoriously taking advantage of the insights to develop their own specialized manipulation tricks. This is the reason why Google PageRank Checker was even discontinued in the first place.

So, don’t expect Google to open up about how it handles directory backlinks. That would only embolden link spammers, and they’d have a field day trying to compromise the quality of sanctity of the search results.

Google remaining tight-lipped on the matter has also increased the risk levels for webmasters and SEO practitioners. Since they’re no longer getting explicit link building guidelines, trial and error have become the order of the day – and, as you’d expect, this blind approach doesn’t really spare them the wrath of Google Penguin.

Tell you what, though. You don’t have to struggle with all that uncertainty. Just leave your directory backlinking campaigns to our team of specialists, and they’ll sort you out,

You see, Loganix has been keeping abreast of the developments at Google all these years.  Plus, we continue to perform an array of very thorough SEO tests on a regular basis.

As a result, the link building services you’ll be getting here are all based on extensively proven techniques – each of which is aligned accordingly with Google’s latest algorithm updates.

But, you don’t have to take my word for it. Just get in touch with us today and see our specialized all-inclusive SEO campaigns for yourself.

Written by Adam Steele on June 10, 2022

COO and Product Director at Loganix. Recovering SEO, now focused on the understanding how Loganix can make the work-lives of SEO and agency folks more enjoyable, and profitable. Writing from beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia.