10 Characteristics of a good directory or site for linking and other linking tidbits

By Catherine Potts | Jun 19, 2007
More Articles by Catherine

In no particular order:

1.) Free

2.) Good Page Rank/Trusted site

3.) Non-spammy/not a “link farm”

4.) Aged

5.) Has categories, that are focused

6.) Niche

7.) Human edited/quick review

8.) Directories or sites that aren’t all owned by one person/company, this drops the value

9.) Directory/site that has quality backlinks

10.)High quality of outbound links

Other Linking Tidbits:

Justilien of Search Engine Watch:

Investigate the outbound links to check the quality. Are these the sites you want yours to be associated with? One can often just mouse over the URLs, and if a number of the sites have multiple dashes in the URL, it is a signal they will link to just about anything. Another quick check is to see if they are linking to sites with real substance or just MFA (made for AdSense) sites. Ask yourself if you think people actually use the sites linked to.

If you’re evaluating your own site’s value here is a great article by Eric Ward for Search Engine Land referring to your sites present value in the “circle of trust”. If you have a site that is trusted by Google, you may benefit in the future when you add new content. A value, Eric says, that is underrated by most.

Justilien of Search Engine Watch also agrees that Page Rank is not the sole method of determining a site’s value. He also refers to the “trust” factor. Especially since a website, or directory, can get up to a page rank of 4 within several updates.

Related to the network of sites are links from new sites with few backlinks. If a site has not acquired trusted backlinks, it has little link value to pass. Again, these are often created just to sell links from them. If the site is new, and has few trusted backlinks, it has not had time to prove its trust to search engines. Thereby, it has little or no link trust to pass to your site.

It might not be possible to have all the qualities you desire in a directory or site where you’re seeking a link. The more research you can do and the deeper you get into the linking process, the easier you’ll be able to tell who will benefit your site via linking and who will not. On the surface link building appears to be easy but it’s not quite as simple as it seems. It’s not only about finding a directory and inserting information into the form.

It becomes more challenging to find the best possible strategies for your clients (or yourself). With all the competition out there, one must stay on top of all industry news and developments, daily.

The Linking Matters website discusses the link building mindset one has to acquire and some general qualities a successful linker will need (not all are listed, just the most applicable to this article): knowledge of marketplace, obsession, insight into customer language (i.e. what terms customers are likely to use while searching), quality inbound links (IBL), track results, stay on top of industry changes and be relentless.

A great article posted here in March of this year with 5 industry experts: Eric Ward, Todd Malicoat, Rand Fishkin, Roger Montii and Rae Hoffman. This article gathered independant insight regarding 10 questions. I found it very valuable to see what these experts said without influence of the other four, you might too.


Stuntdubl offers a suggestion for a 5 minute link value test.

LinkHounds offer a link harvester tool where you can gain visibility of all sites pointing to a domain or a specific page within that domain, take a look see.

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