One of the best ways to get your website known and ranked higher in the search engines is by submitting your website to web directories.

There are literally thousands  of these web directories out there these days and to ensure that the big search engines like Google and Yahoo! are going to find you, it is highly paramount that you  make sure you are submitting to quality web directories. Before we discuss how to determine what features a quality web directory possess, we need to really know what  a web directory is.

What is a Web Directory

In today’s world, Online marketing is one of the best ways for you to promote your business online. There are a lot of tools to use to market online, and one of these  is a web directory.

A web directory acts much like a search engine, but on a much smaller scale. Web directories are an index of websites that have been submitted by website owners and  categorized by directory owners. Directories normally have search features, allowing users to search through the entire index, just like a search engine.

There are a lot of differences between a directory and a search engine but the main difference is that very few directories contain the number of links that a search  engine does though Search engines also collect data from websites, which is used to categorize and rank them.

Unlike search engines, Directories lack the ability to  “crawl”, or examine websites, therefore any information not submitted by the site owner to the directory is not available in the directory on the site. Most  directories use meta tags and keywords to search for websites, whereas search engines use complex algorithms that take into consideration much more than meta tags.

Types Web Directory

There are several kinds of web directories. Below are just a few of them:

General Web Directory: This type of directory features free listing as well as a featured listing of all kinds of websites. It is comprised of a lot of categories and  sub-categories where web listings can fall under.

A perfect example of a general directory is DMOZ. This site will let you access different types of websites. Here,  you can find such websites that deal with finance, travel, business, and technology, among many others. This general directory makes use of the World Wide Web as its  source and then proceeds to categorize and make its listings based on it.

Reciprocal Link Directory: A reciprocal link directory is the kind of directory that entails linking back to the website that has sent a request for inclusion. With  this type of directory, the link directory and the requesting website will be referring to each other.

Niche Web Directory: A web directory that limits itself to a specific type of industry is called a niche directory. A perfect example for this would be a directory  that only accepts paid listing of any website with content, services, or products related to real estate.

This then would be known as a real estate web directory.  There are now quite a lot of niche directories that cater to all types of industries on the Internet. This is because this type of directory is used in gaining  benefits from search engine optimization or SEO.

Bidding Web Directory: The listing criteria of bidding directories are what made them quite reputable these days. It is a premium web directory. Based on its name, anyone can understand that bidding  is required to be able to be listed in a bidding directory. The minimum amount of the bidding will be provided on a field right on the request page for inclusion. You  will be able to gain a higher position in the directory if your bid is also higher than all the others. It is possible for you to be listed on the web directory’s home  page if you were the one who got the highest bid.

Being listed under a web directory does not only heighten your link popularity but also speak volumes about the quality of your website.

This is because all web  directories available are generally edited by humans. A human-edited directory accepts a link request that is reviewed by humans instead of a program or an automated  bot. A person reviewing the requests sent to a human-edited web directory does so by checking them against a number of pre-defined parameters as per the web  directories submission policy.

If your website meets all the requirements set in the submission guidelines, then your website will get listed in this directory.

Features of a Quality Web Directory

There are several things you should look for in a web directory before you spend the time to submit your website information and these include:

Domain Rank: This is one of the algorithm google uses to rank a directory or website as the case may be. It used to be page rank before.

Not only should the web  directory that you want to submit to have a decent domain rank, but make sure that the page of the category in which your site will be featured has a good rank as  well.

A higher domain rank generally means a higher amount of people clicking on a day to day basis and this will lead to an increased chance of those people finding  your site.

Appropriate category: Sometimes a directory can have a wide range of categories to choose from and sometimes only a hand full. Be sure that your website will go into  a category that makes sense. You don’t want to have a computer site and be in the Agric category because there was no computer category.

This type of action can  actually hurt you with the search engines so you don’t ever want to do this.

Quality of listings: Take a minute or two and click on a few of the sites that are listed in the directory. If you are running into a bunch of sites that have no  pedigree, or worse are spam sites, it will be better if you leave such sites as they will end up hurting your site more than help it.

Not that every site associated  with the web directory has to be ranked, but a quality web directory will have quality sites listed on it, it only makes sense. If Google views you as associating with  sites that spam, you will be lumped into that category and your personal ranking will be hurt.

Good Site design: A quality web directory will look up to date in its design and will not be littered with ads. Some ads are alright as everyone is entitled to make a  living, but if the web directory is clogged with these ads, then chances are they care more about you clicking on their ads than they do about you submitting your  website to their directory.

New links: Many quality web directories have a link that you can follow that will take you to the newer submissions on the site. Take the time to check these out and  make sure they actually were recently added. It does you no good to submit to a web directory that may have actually been abandoned and has no one to update the  submissions.

In conclusion, finding good quality web directories to submit your website to will only help you in the long run, so it pays to take a little time and determine if a web directory is  actually worth your time.