One of the first things you will do when you visit a web directory (or link directory as they are also commonly known) is navigate your way to the category that suits your website the best. If it's a quality web directory then it will contain a wide range of detailed categories set out in an easy to follow hierarchy. The best directories cater for all types of different niche websites, if you own a franchise related website then you want to add it to the franchise category rather than having to settle for a very general business category. Finding your specific niche category and submitting your URL is going to help search engines such as Google associate your site better with the keywords you have chosen.
Because owning and maintaining a website directory can be hard work and often very time consuming, some directory owners automate their submission approvals, this may save time but it is clearly a bad idea. Genuinely human edited directories fare much better because of a tougher submission criteria. If websites are accepted for the wrong categories or don't follow the submission guidelines then the directory will quickly deteriorate into a meaningless list of backlinks to sites that may or may not offer any useful content to Internet users and searchers. Spending that extra time on link approval allows users to follow benefit from having their site as part of the directory.
While a large number of web directories have good submission criteria and are easy to navigate, it doesn't mean much if they're extremely slow in their approval process. Some directories are notoriously slow at approving new URL submissions while others are run by people who have little time and end up forgetting about it all together. This can be a waste of your time as you are much better off submitting to sites that are consistently approving submissions and maintaining an active directory. Those who keep an active submission process going with fast approvals are also more likely to be keeping up with recent trends, boosting both the quality of their site and in turn the quality of the backlinks that refer web surfers back to your own website.
Assuming the directory you are submitting your site URL, title and description to has a pass mark for the previous criteria, then you're probably onto a good thing. Obviously if you are looking for free Internet marketing and promotion of your site then you don't want the directory to turn around at the last minute and ask you for a yearly subscription. There's not much more annoying then filling out all the forms and going through the whole submission process before realizing that you have to pay money. Even directories that require a reciprocal link can be frustrating as this requires extra work on your part and can lesson the impact of your original backlink.
In a nutshell you'll find that there are thousands of website directories out there but not all of them are of a high quality. Don't waste your time submitting to low quality directories or spending hard earned cash when you could be taking advantage of directories that will allow you to quickly and easily submit your details while providing you with backlinks, referrals and better search engine rankings at the same time. Market your site with directories that give you the best results and allow you to spend more time improving the quality of your own site.
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