If you were link building in the early 2000s, you may remember submitting one or more websites to a relevant directory with a decent PageRank to acquire an easy backlink.
But just like many link building tactics of the past, when it became too easy, Google began to frown upon those links.
The question now, is: are web directories still a valuable source of links for webmasters in 2022?
Where Do Web Directories Stand Today?
Today, Google’s algorithm is a lot more complex.
While links are still one of the top-ranking signals, Google no longer views all links equally.
Links from a web directory listing are a lot less influential than a super relevant contextual link from a high-authority site in your niche.
That’s not to say web directories are completely meaningless.
According to Moz research, web directories and local citations still appear to be a small ranking factor – especially for local businesses.
However, Google’s John Mueller himself has said that directory links “generally” don’t help with SEO.
What’s a marketer to do?
Move beyond viewing web directories as a source for links.
Instead, view directories as a source of traffic and trust.
Any business with a local presence needs to maintain their local citations with a consistent NAP, but web directories won’t help with your SEO much beyond that.
The real returns will be from the credibility and traffic they drive to your business site.
As you begin your search for web directories, keep those two criteria in mind.
Consider these questions before you start filling out your listing:
Is this a reputable site? Put another way: If a customer saw me on this site, would they view my business as more – or less – legitimate?
Is my target audience likely to visit this site? If not, it’s probably not worth listing your business.
Now, let’s get into what you came here for the web directories that are still relevant today.
Web Directories That Still Have Value Today
In an effort to remain relevant, many web directories of yore have transitioned beyond basic listings to detailed review sites.
Many of the sites I’ve listed below reflect this trend.
I could have included many more on this list, like Jasmine Directory, Brownbook, and Bloggapedia, but based on their current traffic numbers (or lack thereof), I’m not sure they’re worth the effort anymore.
Instead, I’ve chosen to focus on only those sites that are more than a mere citation opportunity for your business.
These are all web directories with real traffic numbers that could translate into real value for your website.
Useful Web Directories For Any Kind Of Website
Since 1994, Best of the Web (or BOTW for short) is still a trusted online directory used by more than 16 million businesses.
It receives 60,000-70,000 visits per month.
There’s also blogs.botw.org for blogs and local.botw.org for local businesses.
A lifetime listing (with a link to your website) costs $297.
Originally formed as a business domain directory, AboutUs now allows all kinds of websites to be submitted and discussed.
The site receives 100,000 monthly visitors, on average.
Spoke is an online community for finding and discussing business people, companies, news, and more.
On Spoke, you can add a web listing for a business or a person.