Matt Cutts Tells Us Which Web Directories Can Impact Your Search Rankings

May 15, 2007 • 9:23 am | comments (10) by twitter | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Over the weekend, Matt Cutts updated his recent blog post about how to report paid links. He added some questions and answers which gave the members of the Search Engine Watch Forums an idea of a quality directory.

Since Google does put weight on directories, Matt says that submitting to directories are okay, provided that the directory accepts quality sites and is not simply a free-for-all link site.

A: I’ll try to give a few rules of thumb to think about when looking at a directory. When considering submitting to a directory, I’d ask questions like:

- Does the directory reject urls? If every url passes a review, the directory gets closer to just a list of links or a free-for-all link site.

- What is the quality of urls in the directory? Suppose a site rejects 25% of submissions, but the urls that are accepted/listed are still quite low-quality or spammy. That doesn’t speak well to the quality of the directory.

- If there is a fee, what’s the purpose of the fee? For a high-quality directory, the fee is primarily for the time/effort for someone to do a genuine evaluation of a url or site.

This makes sense. There appears to be nothing wrong with submitting to directories that highlight the sites that are distinguished, and paying for them justifies the manual review of the site.

Forum discussion continues at Search Engine Watch.

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Barry Schwartz

05/15/2007 06:16 pm

I added more of Matt's post over at <a href="">Search Engine Land</a>.

David Eaves

05/15/2007 07:39 pm

Great post I am glad Matt has confirmed that, hopefully submissions to my dir will pick up now, there has been alot of people getting confused thinking that paying for a directory review is paying for a link, I currently reject around 30 - 50% of all submissions.

Cvos SEO

05/15/2007 10:30 pm

This gives creedence to the historical and current importance of the Yahoo dir and DMOZ.

Alan Marks

05/16/2007 12:54 pm

Article directories, and link directories are things that were onece old, and now they are so old they are new again. These things don't just matter in terms of links, but also the traffic which flows through them, even a nofollow link is valuable if is on a site which has plenty of traffic going to it. Not to mention the fact that not all search engines respect the nofollow attribute on a link.


05/16/2007 04:37 pm

Sounds like a good idea - but fee based directories are not always best. Some directories have sponsor links [paid link ???] also - you pay to jion, so it's still a for all who pay directory. ???

michael b.

05/17/2007 04:38 pm

Aside from DMOZ and Yahoo can anyone recommend other valuable directories?


03/18/2008 06:14 pm

To Michael B. It's probably best to only submit to nitch directories that are relevant to your site. The only general one I'd really put heavy weight on other than Yahoo/DMOZ is


06/10/2008 05:40 pm

Directories are a useful way of organizing the internet, just as the yellow pages existed in print, the same kind of thing can exist online in a paperless, interactive environment.


06/29/2009 06:55 am

So nothing new to report. Matt has simply stated what all intelligent people have known for ages: it is quality not quantity that counts.


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