One of the factors search engines go off of to rank your site in their results is the number of inbound links from relevant sites that point to to your site.  To a search engine, an inbound link from another website is like a sign that says what your website is about. The more relevant websites that link to your site, the more reputable it is to the search engines.

For example, if there were a thousand links to my website that said Atlanta Web Design from relevant websites, then chances are that I would be on the first page of Google, Bing, and Yahoo for the search term, Atlanta Web Design.  So what kind of sites are relevant websites?  Website directories.

Website directories are nothing more than websites that link to other websites.  The links are arranged by categories and subcategories.  For example, my website would most likely be listed under Businesses –> Internet –> Web Design –> Web Designers, however, the categories and subcategories differ in each directory.

Some directories are free and some are paid.  Most of the free directories ask for a reciprocal link back to their website.  After all, there is no such thing as free.  They need some benefit for linking to you.  Personally, I’d rather pay the directories and not have to worry about linking back to them.  Also, I get my websites reviewed way faster when I pay.  Usually, my submissions are approved within 24 hours.  Some directories charge a one-time fee, and some directories charge you a yearly fee.

Most directories are human edited regardless of whether they are paid ones or free ones, so you won’t be able to get away with stuffing your link title and description with a bunch of keywords.

Here are a few directories that you could start off with:

  • JoeAnt (Google PR 6) – $39.99 one-time
  • (Google PR 6) – $8.95 one-time
  • DMEGS (Google PR 5) – $9.95/year or free with reciprocal link
  • Gimpsy (Google PR 5) – $49 one-time
  • (Google PR 4) – $25/year for a featured link

These are reputable directories that won’t break the bank. For more SEO directories, check out my page of SEO resources.

What does Google PR stand for?  Google PR stands for Google PageRank.  PageRank ranges from 0 to 10.  Sites like Facebook and even MySpace have a PageRank of 9.  My site?  Right now, it is at 3 although it was at 5 at one point.  I aim to get back to a 5 again.