Directory Submission


Directory submission is a tactic used in search engine optimization (SEO) where a website is added to a web directory, which is an online list or catalog of websites. This practice is akin to listing a business in a digital version of the Yellow Pages, where websites are categorized based on their content, focus, or industry. The primary goal of directory submission is to improve a website’s visibility and increase its backlink count, thereby potentially enhancing its search engine ranking.

Types of Directory Submission

  1. Free Directory Submission: Websites can be listed for free, but there is no guarantee of quick review or inclusion.
  2. Paid Directory Submission: A fee is charged for reviewing and listing the website, often ensuring faster inclusion and sometimes a permanent listing.
  3. Reciprocal Directory Submission: Inclusion in the directory requires the submitting website to add a backlink to the directory on their site.
  4. Niche Directories: These directories focus on specific industries or topics, offering more relevance but a narrower audience.

Importance in SEO

While the impact of directory submission on SEO has evolved over the years, especially with search engines like Google updating their algorithms to prioritize high-quality content and links, it can still play a role in an SEO strategy. Properly selected, reputable directories can:

  • Increase a website’s backlink profile, contributing to its domain authority.
  • Drive targeted traffic to the website from people browsing the directories.
  • Enhance online visibility and brand recognition.

Best Practices

  • Select Reputable Directories: Choose directories with a good reputation and relevant to your industry to avoid being associated with spammy practices.
  • Quality Over Quantity: Focus on submitting to a few high-quality directories rather than mass submissions to low-quality directories.
  • Accurate Information: Ensure that your website’s description, category, and details are accurate and consistent across directories.
  • Monitor Outcomes: Track the performance and traffic coming from each directory to determine their value to your SEO efforts.


  • Dmoz (The Open Directory Project): Though now closed, it was one of the most respected web directories due to its selective inclusion criteria and human-edited listings.
  • Yahoo! Directory: Also discontinued, but it was a notable example of a paid directory submission service.
  • Industry-Specific Directories: For example, a legal directory for law firms or a healthcare directory for medical services, where businesses can list themselves to be found by a targeted audience.


Directory submission can be a useful component of a comprehensive SEO strategy, particularly for new websites seeking to establish their online presence. However, its effectiveness and relevance have diminished over time as search engines have become more sophisticated in evaluating link quality. Today, it is essential to focus on the quality of directories and the relevance to your niche, rather than pursuing directory submission as a primary SEO tactic.

Nedim Mehic

Nedim is a senior technical SEO specialist, and the co-founder of Beki AI. On the Beki AI blog, we share new and innovative strategies to SEO and content marketing.

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