Despite what some might think, web directories are highly valuable for local businesses. It is true that some directories can be spammy, but they are not inherently poor in quality. There are plenty of solid, well-regulated web directories online. Before search engines became the most prevalent way of finding information, people used web directories to find relevant websites. These listings are still an important way to help people to find your company.
What Does Google Think?The idea persists that Google takes a dim view of local business listings. The reason why people have this perception is that in 2012 Google penalized several hundred web directories. This move made many businesses understandably cautious about putting their info into local listings. However, it is important to recognize that the reason why Google penalized these sites is that they were poor in quality. Since then, Google has not made a practice of penalizing directories simply for being directories. Google actually focuses on listings that are not adding value for users.
Why Are Directories So Important?Putting your information into an online directory can be tedious. There are hundreds from which you can choose. And it’s not exactly riveting to enter the same data (your address, phone number, etc.) over and over again. So why do directories matter? What if the major TV networks had advertising space available during the Super Bowl and offered your business a free spot? All you have to do is claim it. You would be out of your mind not to take advantage of visibility that brands are willing to spend millions of dollars on. That example is a little extreme, but the point is still true. There are powerful, high traffic sites that will allow you to claim your listing for free or a minimal cost. Brands will pay a lot of money to be featured on other sites with similar domain authorities. If you’re not claiming your listing on these free sites, you’re turning your back on extensive visibility and consequently, on revenue. The most important site where you need to claim your listing is Google My Business, which has a domain authority of 100 and can certainly help boosting your local search engine optimization strategy.
The Internet Saves Time and MoneyPerhaps you are a believer in the power of the traditional yellow pages, print marketing, or radio and TV advertising. Moz points out that, if so, you have every reason to pursue local business listings online. By doing so, you can accomplish the same goals for much less money. Advertising yourself in print, such as in the phone book or through brochures, is expensive. In contrast, while not all online directories are free, you save a lot more through using them than you would by turning to print marketing. Online directories also enable people to solve their problems much more easily. When users do find you online, they can click on a link to find out more about your company and actually talk to you. This is not an ability people have when they discover you by means of radio or TV. The number of people you can reach online is far greater than those you can reach through print or other means.
Protect Your BrandThere is another reason why you need to claim your online listings. If you do nothing, you are leaving an opportunity wide open for someone else to claim your listing and damage your reputation. It’s essential that you pursue local listings order to protect yourself from trolls and underhanded competitors. You need to do so even if you only go after the minimum number of listings.
Top 11 Important DirectoriesHere are what we believe are the top 11 most important directories on which to list your business.
Business DirectoriesLet’s start with the human-edited, high quality private directories that are not covered by third party listing services.
Important Search Engine Map Listings
Yellow Pages Type Directories
More to Know About Local ListingsThere is a lot more you need to know about listing your business in online directories apart from what we’re covering here. For example, how do you find directories specific to your niche? What are the directories that are the most important to your business besides those in our top 10? There is advice you need to be aware of, such as the necessity of making your name, address, and phone number (NAP) exactly the same across the internet. You should also know that there are databases you can pay to be in and which can be an enormous advantage to you. Databases partner with directories, saving you the valuable time you would spend entering your information manually. Databases also enable you to manage multiple listings from one location. You can find a lot of the information you need in the post linked above. Don’t neglect your reputation or squander a golden opportunity to increase your revenue. Do what you need to do today to take advantage of online directories.
Something strange happened in the sunny days of July: Google appeared to lose market share to Yahoo and Bing. At least, that’s what the numbers reported by ComScore said. After the Internet ratings company adjusted its reporting methodology, something even stranger happened: the numbers didn’t change.
If you’ve ever wondered how to get a little better control over what parts of your web site get crawled by the search engines, how they crawl your pages, and how to encourage them to visit, keep reading. This article will explain the various protocols that the search engine robots (particularly Google’s) follow. It will also touch upon ways to help you guard against scraper bots.