I remember reading somewhere a while ago that link directories are no longer profitable. They’re dangerous as they link to questionable neighbourhoods, and they easily fill up with spam. These were the arguments presented in the statement. They’re too thin to be taken into account.
A link directory need as much attention and work as a daily blog or a full-fledged web site. It needs constant optimization, link checking, cleaning-up and approval. It also needs category research, keyword research and some features that help subscribed web sites. These features include followed links, clean design, direct links (no redirection) and a powerful local search engine.
If the link directory is general, it must be carefully cleaned-up and use some strict submit rules. If it is a niche directory, the task is easier, but it still needs the same attention and link check up.
In time, PageRank will grow and your link directory will become a powerful tool for every SEO out there. They say that only when you reach PR 4, you get some attention. Below 4, your link directory is non-existent.
So far, I’ve got 3 link directories, a general one, and 2 niche (restaurants, clubs, cafes and blogs). The general one is 2 years old and I have already 1000 web sites subscribed. The blogs one is fighting spam, and the other niche one needs some promotion and marketing.
After a while and beyond 500 links, they are on their own. Webmasters notice the directory, add their web site and wait for approval. Your task is to regularly visit and approve everything. I approve around 15 links per day, and I’m sure my visitors like this. I’m always with a eye on my directories.
Further optimization include XHTML standardization, validation, keywords, tags, titles, site thumbnails and overall appearance. The first quarter of 2009 will bring thousands of backlinks to all my 3 directories. They will gain traffic, PageRank, respect and will become authority.
If you’re not up to the task of maintaining a link directory, don’t do it just to have one. It’s not worth it. Spammers are very good fighters. Or you could ask me to help in exchange for some backlinks. Advice is free over at Butterfly Media Romania Blog.
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