SEO experts generally frown on web directories. However, some genuine sites do exist that can help you generate backlinks and referral traffic. The key is knowing which directories are still considered legitimate. By learning more about the available options, you can decide which one fits your budget and provides the benefits you’re looking for.
In this post, we’ll explain what web directories are, their role in SEO, and then provide you with a list of eight web directories that you can still use for SEO in 2022. Let’s jump in!
- 1 What Are Web Directories?
- 2 8 Best Web Directories for 2022
- 3 Final Thoughts on Web Directories
What Are Web Directories?
A web directory is a website that collects links to other sites and categorizes them by topic. Web directories are often hierarchical, with the most general topics at the top and more specific topics below. You can use them to find information on almost all subjects imaginable.
There are two types of web directories out there:
- human-edited directories are edited by people who review each site before including it
- automated directories use computer algorithms to automatically add websites based on their perceived content
In the early days of the internet, using web directories was the only way to find websites. Google and other search engines didn’t exist yet. However, with the development of search engines, web directories lost their popularity. For the most part.
Nowadays, search engines are the go-to places for finding information online. However, directories are still valuable for locating specific websites and sometimes even come up as the first results in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
Additionally, some people believed (and still do) that web directories are more reliable than search engines because humans have reviewed their listings.
Do Directories Help SEO?
Many SEO experts believe that web directories are not as important as they used to be. Using (some of) them can even hurt a website’s search engine rankings because Google and its peers see them as spam and/or unearned backlinks. That’s why many web directories are not as well-indexed by search engines as other websites.
Therefore, including a website in a web directory may not significantly impact its visibility. Additionally, some web directories include low-quality sites, which can hurt the reputation of other websites within the directory.
That being said, there are some ways that web directories can help SEO. For example, including a website in a good quality web directory can help it get more links, improving its rankings in the SERPs.
Plus, some web directories are well-indexed by search engines. Therefore, including a website in one of these directories can help it achieve better visibility through backlinks.
Backlinks are links from external websites that point to another site. They are important for SEO because they help a website rank higher in search engine results. The more backlinks a website has, the better ranking it will typically have.
Additionally, many genuine web directories will include a short description of your website, helping you improve your site’s visibility and attractiveness to potential customers.
How to Tell if a Web Directory Is Legit
You can often determine a web directory’s legitimacy by looking at its domain name. The domain name should be a .com, .net, or .org domain.
Additionally, you can check to see how many websites are included in the web directory. A good quality directory will have many sites listed.
You can also verify if search engines index the web directory. A well-indexed web directory will rank high in the SERPs, and you should be able to find it by running a simple search. If Google still includes it, then you can infer a decent reputation.
Finally, you can look at a directory’s PageRank. PageRank measures the importance and quality of a website. Therefore, a directory with a high PageRank is likely more valuable than one with a low PageRank.
8 Best Web Directories for 2022
Keeping all that in mind about web directories and their role in SEO, let’s look at some legitimate options to consider using. Below are eight of the best web directories for 2022.
Note that we compiled this list taking a handful of factors into account. In addition to ensuring the directories are reliable and credible platforms, we also considered their pricing and features to give you a well-rounded list of options.
1. Best of the Web (BOTW)
BOTW.org is a human-edited directory that has specialized in quality websites since 1994. It’s well-organized and easy to use, with clear categories and an intuitive layout.
Key Features for BOTW:
- Carefully, hand-reviewed sites
- Deep linking and dofollow links
- Social media sharing
- Editor’s picks
- Coupons and specials
- Media uploads
BOTW is for you if…
- You’re looking for a web directory with a clean, intuitive interface.
- You want to use features such as deep linking.
- Reputation management and lead generation are important to you.
BOTW Pricing: BOTW lets you get started free. You can create a business profile and reviews. You’ll need a paid plan to choose multiple categories and add other features like a Trust Badge, starting at $24.95 per month. | Learn More About BOTW.
2. Facebook Business
Facebook (or, as it’s now known, Meta) is one of the most popular social media channels. However, it also acts as a traditional business directory, with Facebook Business pages indexable by Google.
You can create a Facebook Business page to display your operating hours, contact information, location, reviews, etc. Establishing a Facebook presence can make it easier for your customers to contact you. This platform can also help garner attention from new audiences and drive traffic to your website. You can also add a Facebook plugin to your website to share posts from your page and gain new followers as well.
Key Features for Facebook:
- Customer reviews
- Business contact information
- Images and videos
- Messaging features
- Marketing tools for driving traffic to your site
Facebook is for you if…
- Your existing customers or target audience are active on social media.
- You want to run paid advertisements across the social media channel.
- Photos and Calls To Action (CTA) are important for your web directory listings.
Facebook Pricing: You can set up a Facebook Business page for free. You also can pay for additional services, such as advertisements and promotions. | Learn More About Facebook Business.
3. Google Business Profile
Many search engines have their own web directories. Google Business Profile, formerly known as Google My Business, is Google’s web directory. It can be particularly beneficial for local SEO.
Google Business Profile is powerful because it’s more than your standard web directory. It connects to Google Maps and Google Search, which can, in turn, boost your SEO.
In addition to your location and business details, users can also view customer reviews and contact information. Plus, Google Business results often appear at the top of organic search results.
Key Features for Google Business Profile:
- Integration with Google Maps and Search
- Image, hours, contact info, etc.
- Customer reviews
- Dofollow links
- Direct messaging
- Insights and analytics
Google Business Profile is for you if…
- You own a local business.
- You’re working with a tight budget and want to submit your site to free directories.
- You want to track interactions and closely manage reviews.
- Want to embed reviews on your website with a plugin.
Google Business Profile Pricing: You can create a Google Business Profile account for free. | Learn More About Google Business Profile.
Yelp is among the most popular web directories, receiving millions of unique visitors per month. It’s an excellent platform if you’re running a local business and want to display customer reviews.
It offers a wide range of business categories and lets visitors share User-Generated Content (UGC) such as ratings and photos. Yelp listings also incorporate maps, making it easier for visitors to find your store’s physical location. Overall, a solid Yelp ranking can drive traffic to your site and boost your SEO.
Key Features for Yelp:
- An audience of over 90 million monthly visitors
- Reviews and custom messaging
- Business URL, photos, contact info, etc.
- Map integration
- Paid advertisements
Yelp is for you if…
- You’re a restaurant or local business owner.
- You want to boost your local SEO.
- You’re interested in running paid ads.
Yelp Pricing: Yelp lets you create a free listing, with the option to upgrade to a paid package (pricing varies). | Learn More About Yelp.
5. Better Business Bureau
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a web directory designed to help people find reliable and trustworthy businesses. As one of the most credible sources for consumers online, listing your company on the BBB can boost your legitimacy and earn trust among visitors.
It’s also worth noting that Google uses the BBB’s user sentiments when ranking sites. However, unlike other web directories included in this list, you’ll need to apply for accreditation and approval to be featured on the BBB.
Key Features for the BBB:
- Business accreditation
- Customer dispute resolution
- Trusted BBB seal for your website
The BBB is for you if…
- You want to increase trust among potential customers.
- You’re looking for highly reputable and reliable web directories.
- You don’t mind going through an application process.
BBB Pricing: You can create a free BBB profile, but it must be approved for accreditation. | Learn More About the BBB.
6. Chamber of Commerce
ChamberofCommerce.com is a digital version of the printed local Chamber of Commerce. It’s been around since 1998 and provides an extensive list of online small businesses. In addition to educational articles and resources, it offers both free listings and paid advertisements.
Key Features for the Chamber of Commerce:
- Contact data, reviews, locations, and business descriptions
- Millions of visitors per year
- Tools for launching a new business
- Business growth and management tools
- Ad removal from profiles
- The option to dispute negative reviews
- Multiple category listings
- Membership fulfillment kits
The Chamber of Commerce is for you if…
- You are a small business owner.
- You’re looking for a web directory that offers free and paid options.
- You want tools for launching your site, such as a federal tax ID number and a business bank account.
Chamber of Commerce Pricing: You can join ChamberofCommerce.com for free. You can also upgrade to a premium plan for control and advanced features, starting at $179 per year. | Learn More About the Chamber of Commerce.
Business.com is a quality option worth considering and one of the best web directories for online businesses. This site can make it easier to target your audience and drive traffic to your website through backlinks.
Created in 1999, Business.com is one of the largest paid web directories. The listing results include sponsored links as well as text-matching webpages.
Key Features for Business.com:
- Sponsored links
- Hands-on reviews spanning over 200 categories
- Qualified traffic
Business.com is for you if…
- You own an online business.
- You’re looking for a premium directory.
- Paid sponsorships and advertisements are something you’re interested in.
Business.com Pricing: N/A | Learn More About Business.com.
Finally, Blogarama is one of the best web directories for bloggers. Unlike most of the other directories listed in this post, this website is made specifically for blogs rather than general business websites.
The oldest directory dedicated to blogs, Blogarama receives millions of visitors every year. It can help drive traffic to your site and expand your readership.
Key Features for Blogarama:
- Hundreds of thousands of subscribers
- Free submissions
- Free advertisements
Blogarama is for you if…
- You run a WordPress blog.
- Your primary concern is growing readership and engagement on your blog posts.
- You want to expand your audience.
Blogarama Pricing: You can submit your blog to Blogarama for free. However, Business and Premium packages are also available, starting at $49 per year. | Learn More About Blogarama.
Final Thoughts on Web Directories
Submitting your website to web directories can boost your SEO efforts. However, it’s important to choose the right online directories to make the most of your submissions.
As we discussed in this article, there are several different web directories where you can submit your website, depending on your budget and which features you need. In summary, some of the most popular and legitimate options include BOTW, Google Business Profile, and Facebook Business.
Interested in creating your own directory website, check out these WordPress Directory plugins.
Do you have any questions about using web directories? Let us know in the comments section below!
Featured image via TonzTonz / shutterstock.com
I remember years ago when you could submit to literally hundreds of directories and get a quick ranking through the spammy links that you got back. Then Google started penalizing those links and many webmasters lost their rankings overnight. When it comes to links it is better to be cautious and get just few high-quality links than to get hundreds of poor-quality links that will cause problems down the line.