You may be like thousands of others that are asking yourselves, what exactly is a link directory and how can it possibly benefit me? The truth of the matter is that whether you are a web site owner trying to promote your web site to as many places as possible. Or your a web traveler seeking out new and interesting information, these link directories have something to offer you.Web link directories have been around since almost the beginning of the Internet. Actually Yahoo was nothing more than a link directory when it first started.Now there are literally thousands of link directories all over the Internet. Many are “general” link directories that cover a vast amount of topics such as Yahoo was, while others are what are called “niche” directories that cover a single or more pointed topic.For The Casual Web UserLink directories offer a unique way to experience the Internet. They usually host thousands of links separated into topic categories and subcategories. Since they are a smaller number of links you will find websites that you would never have come across using other methods such as a search engine listing millions of sites which don’t always fulfill exactly what you’re looking for. And since most directories don’t generate heavy traffic just for the links they house, most offer other services be it video news, articles, community forums, or many other countless things to enhance your browsing experience.So the next time you are looking for something to do or new places to see. Think about those link directories. They have a lot to offer that is really underutilized.And now you’re asking yourselves how do I find these directories? Well search engines are good for something sometimes. You can put in keywords such as “web links” or “link directories” to get a starter list to check out. From there go into the web directories or link directories category on these sites you visit and before you know it you’ll be experiencing the Internet in a refreshed and exciting way.For The Website Owner Looking For ExposureWhat’s the goal of just about every person that has a website? That’s easy to answer, it’s traffic, traffic, and more traffic. It doesn’t really do much good to have an awesome website if no one ever comes to visit it. Not to mention if your purpose is to make money then you have little hope without others seeing you. Most website owners have heard of a thing called SEO(Search Engine Optimization) and this is what they concentrate on. Trying to get closest to the top of search engines as possible. What many don’t realize is that even with the best SEO your site won’t get the search engine weight or importance it deserves without something called “back links”. Back links are other web sites that link to yours. This is where link directories come in. The need of back links intertwines with the need of being linked at a site that is related to your topic. And your competition isn’t likely to list your link on their front page, or anywhere else on their sit for that matter. So there are thousands of directories both paid and free to submit your site to that are either “general” directories that cover a variety of topics or a “niche” directory that covers a specific topic. The link directories that offer a free regular link are the best ones in my opinion to go to. These sites will usually offer regular links for free then will offer the ability to resubmit your site in another topic related category as either a regular or featured link. An example of this is listing your site in it’s appropriate subcategory and then resubmitting again to the root category as either a regular or featured listing usually for a small fee. This will allow you to take advantage of the visitors that may not go all the way to your subcategory.Many of them are regularly indexed by search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and MSN as well as others. This in itself hastens the speed your website will find it’s way into the search engines. But it also adds an increased importance in a lot of the search engines eyes because your site is linked to from all these different topic related places. Basically if your website is listed in lets say 150 of these web directories and another website identical to yours isn’t listed in any of them. And both sites are identical down to the meta tags, the site in the directories will list faster and higher in the search engines because of it’s added exposure to the Internet.So now how do you get into all these directories? Many owners pay submission companies to submit their website to thousands of these directories for them. That is well and good and I won’t tell you not to use a company such as this as long as it’s reputable. But don’t rely on them 100%. The higher quality directories will often have spent hours upon hours to prevent automatic or bot submissions. These sites will have to be submitted to by hand. And you can find lists for quality directories around the Internet. There are even many niche directories that are dedicated to listing other link directories.A Couple Things To Remember When You Are Submitting Your SiteI come across this almost daily on my link directory. Fill out all the fields! A submitted link that has no description is pretty much useless to any local traffic the directory has. If they don’t see what you are they won’t visit you. In my directory at pc-factor.com if you don’t have a description then I don’t approve the link. Also, make sure you fill out the Meta Keywords and Meta Description. A lot of directories even have a button that will automatically retrieve your meta tags for you. Not filling these 3 fields out does nothing but make your submission a waste of your time. You won’t get anywhere near the exposure if any at all like you would if you just spend a couple extra minutes and do it right.Used correctly link directories offer you the exposure that you are wanting. Not only to their own visitors but to every person on the Internet. Being listed in these sites will also increase your exposure to the major search engines and get you listed faster and in a higher position. Many of these sites also allow you to submit your site to it’s dedicated category and then list it again, usually for a small fee, in the topics root directory as either a regular or featured link. Giving you double the exposure. Using a submission service for 100% of your link submissions would cause you to miss out on these opportunities. And is usually the reason you are submitted without a description or meta tags as well.
Do you want to get more quality visitors to your business website? If you do, you should check out the vast amount of Internet directories, where you can obtain low cost listings and some free listings too!Search engines and directories are two different types of websites. However, many people do not know the difference between them. Search engines have databases which use “robots” to search the Internet to find new websites and web pages. The “robots” electronically scan the Internet and when they find new content, they return the content and index it into their database.Directories are human edited and build their indexes with editors who visit websites and add to the directory those sites that they consider to be a valuable resource. Directories also accept direct input from website owners.National/International DirectoriesThe best known national/international directories are DMOZ, Yahoo, and Looksmart. These directories employ humans to review websites that are submitted for possible inclusion into their directory. Directories have an advantage over search engines and that is; “they organize the data by categories”.Specialty DirectoriesThere are also many specialty directories as well as local directories. An example of a specialty directory is Dental Care Doctors (www.dentalcaredoctors.com). If you are a dentist and are listed in the directory, your listing will show up when a potential patient searches for a local dentist using a zip code.Another specialty directory is Find My Best Agent (www.findmybestagent.com); a directory to find automobile insurance agents. Again just type in your zip code and a listing of agents within your local area will show up.There are specialty directories on the Internet for almost any type of product or service you can think of.Regional DirectoriesA good example of a regional directory is Massachusetts (www.massachusetts.com). You will notice on the home page you can select from and search the directory by categories like restaurants, mortgages, painting, carpentry and more. You can also use the Yellow Pages menu to select by any category. Another regional directory is (boston.com). Here you can search their directory for local businesses. A search for “Mansfield Doctor” resulted in 7 directory listings of doctors, while a “Foxborough Doctor” resulted in 11 listings.Local DirectoriesA few examples of a local directory include: AreaConnect, TopixNet, HometownLocator, and EventJar. These directories allow you to select the city and state from their national database. If you go to (hometownlocator.com) and enter the city or town name and the state into the city search box, you will be directed to that town’s special web site. These directories often use the Yellowpages directory of data. If your business is listed in Yellowpages.com, your listing will show up in many of the local and regional directories.Membership DirectoriesDon’t forget one of the most powerful directories and that is your local “Chamber of Commerce” (tri-townchamber.org, attleborochamber.com, easton-chamber.com, and napcc.org)If you provide local services within your community, you should join your local chamber and get your website listed on their website. In most cases, the new business that you will get from being in the Chamber’s directory alone will pay for the membership.If you belong to other local, regional or national organizations check with them and see if their website has a directory where you can get listed.