In the early days of search engine optimization there were web directories the Thing.
Back then, the Google algorithm was much easier to play.
If your website was listed in a variety of online directories, it must be very special – or at least that's how the algorithm saw it.
The number of directory links that you have had a positive impact on has given your website a positive rating in the search engines.
Online marketers started planning to pollute the web with directory listings on their website.
It was an easier time.
Where are web directories today?
The Google algorithm is much more complex today.
While links are still one of the top ranking signals, Google no longer shows all links equally.
Links from a web directory are much less influential than a highly relevant context link from a high authority website in your niche.
That doesn't mean that web directories are completely meaningless.
According to Moz research, web directories and local quotes still seem to be a small ranking factor – especially for local companies.
However, John Mueller of Google himself said that directory links "in general" are not helpful for search engine optimization.
What can a marketer do?
Go beyond viewing web directories as a source of links.
Instead, view directories as the source of traffic and trust.
Every local presence company needs to maintain its local quotes with a consistent NAP, but web directories don't help much with your SEO.
The actual returns are from the credibility and traffic You drive to your business site.
Keep these two criteria in mind when you start searching for web directories.
Consider these questions before you start filling out your entry:
- Is this a serious site? In other words, if a customer saw me on this website, would they view my company as more or less legitimate?
- Will my target audience likely visit this website? If not, it's probably not worth listing your company.
Now we come to what you came here for: the web directories that are still relevant today.
Web directories that are still valuable today
In an effort to remain relevant, many web directories have gone from basic entries to detailed review pages.
Many of the websites below reflect this trend.
I could have added a lot more to this list, like Jasmine Directory, Brownbook, and Bloggapedia, but given the current traffic (and lack thereof), I'm not sure if it's worth the effort.
Instead, I decided to focus only on websites that are more than just a citation for your company.
These are all web directories with real traffic that can translate into real value for your website.
Note: Unless otherwise stated, all traffic estimates in June 2020 were taken from SimilarWeb.com. With the exception of BOTW, Yahoo and BBB, all of these web directories offer free entries.
Useful web directories for every type of website
Best of the Web (or BOTW for short) has been a trusted online directory since 1994 and is used by more than 16 million companies.
It receives 40,000 to 60,000 visits a month, with about half of that traffic happening in the United States.
There is also blogs.botw.org for blogs and local.botw.org for local businesses.
A lifelong listing (with a tracked link) costs $ 299.
Originally set up as a business domain directory, About Us can now submit and discuss all types of websites.
The site receives an average of 200,000 monthly visitors.
Spoke is an online community where business people, companies, news and more can be found and discussed.
In Spoke, you can add a web list for a company or person.
At the moment, 1.4 million companies and 5 million people are listed on the website.
It receives over 80,000 monthly visitors.
For blogs only: a web directory to rule everyone
In some ways, Google My Business is now the forefather of web directories.
If you are an SEO expert, you already know the enormous advantages that listing your company on Google My Business are not only a good idea, but a basic requirement for online marketing.
Google My Business continues to gain relevance as a ranking factor for local searches. Google is also the world's largest search engine.
A streamlined Google My Business listing is the best way to ensure that you’re visible to the majority of Internet users who are looking for what your business offers.
6. Bing places
Next up is Bing Places, the Google My Business equivalent for the second most popular search engine in the world.
While only about 6% of the world use Bing as a search engine, it is important to remember that this is the default search engine for Internet Explorer and Edge and that Microsoft continues to dominate the desktop computer market.
Make sure you reach these PC users by adding your business to Bing Places.
You can't talk about Bing without mentioning Yahoo, the third most popular search engine.
Adding your business to Yahoo Local (and six affiliates) starts at $ 8.25 a month.
Yelp is still the leading website for local businesses.
If you want customers to find your business, you need to be on Yelp – and get positive reviews.
By March 2020, 211 million reviews and 35 million monthly mobile app users were reported on the website.
Yes that is The Yellow Pages.
If you were wondering what happened to the company that used to hand out yellow books on your doorstep, they went online.
The use of your company is free of charge, although you can assume that you will be bothered when you register to choose their advertising options.
Beyond an industry listing, YP remains relevant by offering coupons, providing listings for a variety of industries, and posting blog content regularly to bring equity back to internal links on their directory pages.
This site also converts. When people go to YP.com, they look for contact information. 60 million people visit YP.com each month, 91% of whom contact a company within 24 hours.
11th Chamber of Commerce
ChamberOfCommerce.com is the online version of your local Chamber of Commerce (where you should also strive for a listing).
This website is said to be the most robust online listing of small businesses since 1998.
It also offers a resource center for small business owners with free offerings, paid ad options, and educational articles.
The site has more than 2 million business members and monthly traffic between 450,000 and 600,000.
Superpages is a local business directory with more than 1 million monthly visitors.
Businesses can add basic information, reviews, photo coupons, and of course a link to their website.
MerchantCircle's premise is simple: "Find the best local dealers."
The website contains listings for all kings of merchants and contractors, from lawyers and notaries to brokers and agencies.
Over 100 million consumers visited the website last year to search the listings of 2 million companies.
The website is visited around 1 million times a month.
15. Better Business Bureau
Having a listing on BBB and being able to refer to this accreditation on your own website remains an important signal of confidence for today's consumers.
You need to apply for accreditation. However, once approved, customers can visit the website to verify that they are a company they can trust.
BBB is one of the 1,000 best websites in the US and the 4,000 worldwide.
The monthly traffic figures are between 14 and 17 million. It is worth having a list here.
16. B2B yellow pages
This website never seems to have left the 90s, but is still a functional web directory of over 16 million companies.
The site receives around 300,000 visits a month.
17. Next door
In recent years, Nextdoor has grown from your friendly neighborhood website into a viable business directory.
Nextdoor has a very dedicated user base, with 67% of members sharing business recommendations on the website.
As soon as you have claimed your free business listing, you can market it to these users with one of NextDoor's advertising options or with completely free business postings.
They look and feel very similar to Google My Business Posts.
However, they offer a great advantage that is not available on Google My Business: as soon as they are published, they are immediately displayed in the feed of all people who are within 3 km of your company.
Did we mention that NextDoor is one of the top 100 websites in the United States with over 100 million monthly visitors?
In Larry David's iconic words, that's pretty, pretty good.
Not surprisingly, eLocal is a local business directory.
Around 85,000 monthly visitors use eLocal to find companies, doctors, contractors and more.
A small company network can be aligned first and then a directory.
It is designed to help local business owners connect and collaborate.
The site has more than 4.5 million members in less than 5 years of operation and receives over 4 million monthly visits.
This can be a valuable website to generate new business through referrals, partnerships and more.
Local.com lists over 100,000 local companies with websites and contact information.
The website receives almost 4 million monthly visitors.
In addition to the directories listed above, there may be additional high-traffic niche directories that are relevant to your industry, such as: B. Avvo for lawyers or Porch for DIY enthusiasts.
On BrightLocal.com you will find an excellent list of these, which are organized by the domain authority.
There are also online services, especially Moz Local and Yext, that allow you to create, update, and otherwise manage your local quotes in dozens of online directories.
A listing in many of these directories is just a quote, but these services include the big names like Yahoo, Yelp, and others on our list.
Working with one of these services can significantly speed up the process of adding your website (and taking the work off your plate), which is why they are not free.
However, depending on how many websites you manage, they can be worthwhile.
The conclusion in web directories
Ultimately, listing your website in directories in today's SEO age depends on two important things.
- Do you increase the likelihood that your website will be seen by more customers?
- Better yet, will a listing on this website deepen consumer confidence in your business?
If you answer one of these questions with yes (and ideally both with yes), this web directory can have value for your company.
All screenshots made by the author