One of the old tried and tested methods for getting links to your site was to get yourself listed on hundreds of directories. I’ve looked at SEO friendly directories in the past and, to be honest, found the whole submission process mind numbingly boring. Besides, the number of quality links it generated was minimal.
This has prompted me to look at my methods for generating links to my sites and, since everything else these days is “two oh”, I kinda figured I would call it my Link Policy 2.0.
The subject of directory submissions has come up again over the last few days at two different sites that I regularly read. Firstly there was the article over at Cornwall SEO which suggested that the rise of social media sounded the death knell for traditional directories. Hot on it’s heels was the post at Performancing that suggested wholesale directory submission doesn’t work and that you should focus on submitting to as few as 10 directories.
I think that both Lyndon and Ryan are spot on with their evaluations of what works and what doesn’t. Big G are obviously looking at linking policies in a big way at the moment. You only need to read Matt Cutts’ article on paid linking (and the subsequent huuuge thread on Digital Point) to see that webmasters need to re-evaluate how they get incoming links to their sites and that includes directory submission and social media.
Now in the same way that not all directories are created equal, not all social media sites are necessarily worth busting your balls over. 10e20 recently published a list of the top 20 social bookmarking sites and it makes for interesting reading. There’s no surprises that Digg are currently rated #1 but for how long?
Along with social bookmarking and directory submissions you also have things like article syndication, blog commenting, press releases, forum signatures and all of the other accepted ways of getting links. This is all well and good but, in order for any of these to work, you firstly need to take a long look at your website and make a judgement call otherwise you are going to waste a hell of a lot of time generating useless links.
- What is my website about?
- Who are my target audience?
- Why would people want to visit my site?
- What will they get when they arrive?
Until you know the answers to these questions, how can you come up with a successful method for generating backlinks? Sites like Digg, for example, work better for technology sites than they do for sports orientated sites so there’s no point going all out to try to get Dugg. Maybe StumbleUpon is a better target with their individual sports groups. Equally it’s much better to submit your sports site to 10 directories that focus on your topic than to spend days submitting to 100 generic sites.
I’m currently re-evaluating what this site is all about by asking all of the questions above to ensure that I get the maximum return from my link building policy. What are you doing to get high quality back links to your site?