I’ve seen it said that ‘directories are unnecessary since you can advertise for free on search engines like Google.’ Such statements are really quite misguided as you can advertise in search engines and directories for free as well as pay for an enhanced listing.
The reality is if your web site doesn’t rank in the first 3 pages of Google’s search results then it’s not going to get much organic traffic from them (organic means visitors from searches). There are hundreds, if not thousands of web sites all competing for those 30 spots. So you might say, with hard work you can get there right? You might think that when you achieved a top 30 spot but then 3 months later Google changes its algorithm and you find what you were doing before no longer works. What people forget is Google isn’t there to be a public service, it’s a business that encourages you to buy adverts to guarantee visitors from them, just like a directory.
So what directories do is ensure that their site comes out higher in the search results for a wider range of keywords than any single site can manage. People that run these sorts of sites are often technically minded with knowledge in a wide range of topics from graphics to coding, from writing to Seo. Directories act as a doorway filtering those with a passing interest to those who are genuinely searching that aren’t a Google search guru. People won’t spend hours using Google searching if a directory shows all the information and links they need all in one place.
You probably heard of Seo and social marketing, these are both important things you have to be doing day in day out particularly on sites that are selling fantasy services. Seo isn’t just about writing a blog though it’s a good start. A blog is a tool for increasing the number of keywords that are associated with your web site which other people find via Google. Writing a blog doesn’t get you in the top 30 however. You have to spend time promoting on social networks most relevant to your business, which won’t be the same for everyone. It all depends where your target market hangs out.
Writing long posts for blogs can very much have a negative affect on the Google Analytics for a site by inducing a high bounce rate which Google interprets that as a negative flag. You see the attention span of a typical blog reader is around 5 minutes before they leave the site. If you write many long posts then only 1 of them are going to be read by a visitor before they leave. The objective of having a blog is to get the visitors to click on your other pages.
It’s also important how you use social networks. If you are just posting links then that gets a bit spammy and that’s seen as a negative. The ideal combination is to post links, content and to engage a little with your audience. Don’t engage too much as twitter and Face-book are time suckers that only take you away from your core activities that make you money. Balance is key.
However there will be changes ahead for directories and search engines alike when linking to adult sites that contain pornographic imaginary. Those sites will need to invest in age verification software or to remove those images. Failure to do so will mean sites will be de-listed by everyone including Google.