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In many of the Webmaster forums I frequent, there is always a majority that believes submitting to low PR directories should be avoided at all costs. Their belief is that submitting to low PR directories offers no benefit. In this article I will expose this myth for what it actually is – untrue. The fact is that using free submissions to get listed in high PR directories has little SEO impact.
Take a look at some of the higher ranking free web directories. If you are lucky, you will find some that have a mod installed which shows the directory stats. Those stats include the total number of listings, number of categories, number of that day’s submissions, and the number of pending submissions. If you run across one of these high ranking directories with this mod installed, take a look at the number of pending links. I’ve come across a few that had over 20,000 pending submissions to be reviewed!
High PR directories that allow free submissions normally have a backlog so large that it would take months to get to your submission for review. If you are lucky enough to get reviewed, chances are your listing will appear very deep within their directory. And let’s face it. High PR directories have much higher listing standards.
Quite a while ago I too believed that high PR web directories were the only directories worth my free submission time. What I saw was quite disturbing. Many of these high ranking directories did not send E-mail confirmations. They did not even send an E-mail confirmation that a submission was received. As odd as that was, I continued submitting away. After a couple weeks I noticed that I had hardly received any approval or denied notices. Even a month later, I still did not receive any measurable amount of confirmations. Finally it started to sink in. These high PR web directories were accepting free submissions, but had no intention on ever reviewing any of them.
The fact is that being on a quality free web directory list can generate substantial traffic for a web directory. And with that traffic comes improved Alexa ranks, which sometimes are used as a marketing tactic to pull in more paid submissions. And let’s not forget that being on free web directory lists also provides the directory owner some additional backlinks for their directory.
Once reality set in, I was determined to change my free web directory submission tactics. What I did was compile a quality list of newer free web directories with the intention of putting it to the test. I quickly discovered that free directory owners needed to populate their directories, so they reviewed my submissions very quickly. They also had more lenient listing standards, which really helped my approval rate. With so many free submissions getting approved, I was shocked to see that the search engines were indexing my links so quickly. But it made sense since my listings were not competing with hundreds of other listings in those directories. In many cases my listing was on the first or second page of my chosen category. And since these were newer directories, I had few worries about listing in a directory that was penalized by the search engines.
My test turned out to be a good learning experience. The site I had submitted had only backlinks from my personal free web directory list. Within a week of submitting my little rump off, my positions in the serps climbed dramatically. I was dominating some of my most important keywords in a mildly competitive niche. More importantly, my site was now ranking well for long tailed keywords. Those long tailed keywords sent me over twice the amount of visitors then my primary keywords. After Google’s next toolbar PR export, my site was a PR3. Six inner pages were PR3’s as well.
I decided to continue the upkeep of my list and offer my service to brick and mortar businesses that had an online presence which was designed to drive traffic to the product and services they provided in the offline world. I was able to replicate this success for each of my clients.
The lesson is simple. As Webmasters and SEO fanatics, we should not be sending in free submissions to high PR free web directories. We should use our time more effectively by submitting to directories that really want, and intend on reviewing, our free submissions.
To this day I still use my own free web directory list for client submissions. And last year I decided to share it with my Website visitors. If you are interested in using a result driven free web directory list, please use the link below.