How do you know if it's a good directory?
You're building your online business into an empire. You are advertising like crazy to drive traffic to your website. As part of that, you are submitting your site to all sorts of directories. How do you know if it's worth your time and money?
One simple rule:
Rule #1: The page you want to be listed on must be indexed by Google
Your site listings only count if Google sees them. So make sure the page with your website has been recently indexed by Google. That's it. You're done. Unless you have a few questions like these:
Doesn't Google index every page on the web?
Nope. We all wish. But they have finite resources. So they only index the most authoritative stuff - and they decide what is authoritative and what isn't. All pages and links were not created equal - and Google decides which ones are and aren't.
How do I know if the page my listing is on has been indexed by Google?
The easiest way? Use an SEO toolbar. Here's the one we recommend:
It's free. After installing, go to your desired page and click the blue circle with an "i" in it. This will tell you loads of useful information. But the most useful one is the "Google cache date." If it has a date in the last 5-6 weeks, celebrate. That means Google is indexing that page regularly (and thus views it as authoritative). Listing your site on that page will bring you great value.
If I'm using an SEO toolbar, what does it mean when the Google PageRank is gray or shows an "n/a"?
First of all, stop chasing PageRank. Contextual factors, editorial citation, etc. have a much greater impact on rankings than PageRank. Google has a love-hate relationship with directories. Historically, they have viewed them as "selling links" and showed a PageRank of "n/a" (gray) to confuse those wishing to purchase links. In the last few years, Google has grown to love human-edited directories, since they help search engines categorize websites. From all of our testing, the gray "n/a" means nothing as long as Google indexes that page.
Where does HotVsNot.com fit into this?
We're glad you asked! HotVsNot.com is designed to give as much power to your website as possible. Our goal is to make sure that every category on HotVsNot.com is indexed by Google as regularly as possible. We work tirelessly to give you the most traffic and exposure possible. The bottom line is this: We have yet to find a category in HotVsNot.com that hasn't been recently indexed by Google.
Which is why we believe HotVsNot.com provides tremendous value to webmasters and site owners. And we'll promise you this: if your desired category page hasn't been recently indexed by Google, your listing is free. And we'll make sure that page gets indexed regularly by Google.
Most directories are, frankly, a rip-off. The directory PageRank doesn't matter if Google doesn't see your listing. Before you pay for listings, do your homework.
Aren't you just suffering from a conflict of interest and delusional about how great HotVsNot.com is? Are you just selling me snake oil?
Heh. Valid question. Here's our answer: We don't just run this powerful directory. We also run a mini-empire of hundreds of well-optimized, high-ranking, and high-earning
websites. We know web marketing. When launching a new site, the first place we add a listing is right here. We are eating our own dogfood, except it's more like caviar (if you're into that stuff), or filet mignon (our personal favorite). If we didn't know that HotVsNot.com had tremendous value, we'd get rid of it.
A few more thoughts...
There are a few other recommendations we have when looking for quality directories:
- Directory Age: Google likes quality listings on old pages. New listings on old pages will give you an extra boost. If a directory is too new, it may be a bit risky. Make sure the directory (not just the domain name) is at least a few years old. (HotVsNot started way back in 2004).
- Be cautious with directory networks: Oftentimes, you'll find a network of interconnected directories. Their survival may be interdependent, and if Google penalizes one, they are likely to penalize the whole group. These networks can also be a bit spammy, which further increases the likelihood of a Google penalty. (HotVsNot is anti-spam, of course!).
- Backlink Count: Any webpage is only as good as the sites pointing to it. A higher backlink count is generally better, as is the quality of the links. Look for a higher backlink count (HotVsNot has hundreds of thousands).
- Beware of sitewide or front page link sales: Some directories sell sitewide links or front page links. If a link looks blatantly out of place, it probably falls in that category. Google hates that, and will ultimately penalize the site (and your listing if it's listed there). Of course, we don't do link sales here at HotVsNot.com
- Human-edited: If it's not human-edited, it will likely be hit with a Google penalty at some point. HotVsNot.com reviews every listing that is included in the directory. Though some sites pay us to review their site for inclusion, we also include many of the best sites on the web, added by our editors.
- Paid directories: Generally, they are more legitimate than free ones. If a site is serious about having quality editors and worthy marketing, they need to fund it somehow. If it's free, you wonder how long they'll be in existence. When they disappear, so will your link. HotVsNot.com is built to last. Of course. ;-)
Best of luck with your marketing!
The HotVsNot.com team