Qualities of a Quality Directory

This really is a continuation of the prior post, “Is Your Directory Past the “Use by” Date?“. I’ve been following a pretty good discussion over at the V7n Webmaster Forum on the topic of Attributes Of A High Quality Directory. The points I covered in the prior post here seem to have been pretty well covered there, but there are some others mentioned that are probably worth discussing here.

I won’t bother quoting the members, possibly because it might be some kind of intellectual rights violation, but more likely because some of them know where I live, but I’ll refer to the concepts covered.

One that jumps out early on is the point that submissions should be judged on the merit of the site without regard to any financial consideration. In my opinion that falls into the “editorial integrity” characteristic that I discussed in depth on the last post here… but I didn’t specifically mention it.

That point is one of several reasons why good directories typically charge a non-refundable “review” fee, not a “listing” fee. Directories that bring quality editorial work to the table *must* be willing to reject sites of low quality.  Period.

That point was covered very clearly by Matt Cutts in one of the many videos Google has been kind enough to provide to keep people from having to guess what they do or don’t think, which as you might guess is a bit of a high priority for a lot of folks. Rather than paraphrase… I’ll let them speak for themself on that topic:

That video is brief, but it covers some good points. It isn’t really necessary to be listed in scores of “fly-by-night directories”, (and that is a quote), but being listed in quality directories is still nonetheless a good thing. Good directories serve several useful functions in helping index the best sites on the web.

It also mentions why paying a review fee at a quality directory is not considered “a paid link”. There’s simply a huge difference between submitting to some auto-accept directory vs submitting to a directory that will evaluate the site and place it properly… or yes… reject it if it doesn’t meet the standard.

I notice he also mentions the part about a good directory going out and looking for sites to add, not just waiting for submissions. [I'm always so proud of him when he agrees with me, but I probably won't get away with saying it was my idea.]

Moving back to the discussion at V7n, I notice a few talking about PR as if it is a magic indicator. The presence of that number can be a red herring, and if a directory doesn’t have the other attributes of quality, remember that when something looks too good to be true… it probably isn’t true. Everyone knows somebody who slapped up a directory on a dropped URL. Don’t confuse cause and effect. Rich guys may drive nice cars, but not every guy driving a nice car is rich. Best to look at the big picture, not just a magic number.

Aside from that, I was pleased to see a lot of directory owners in that discussion talking about editorial integrity, quality content, and generally covering the bases I hoped to cover in my previous post. There will probably always be some quickie directories out there, but it’s great to see input from others that are doing it right.

Of course knowing how to do it right is step one… maintaining that course daily is the tough part. On the bright side, it does give me job security.

Hope everyone has gotten started off on a great 2011.

Best wishes ~ Rob


2 Responses to “Qualities of a Quality Directory”

  1. [...] BOTW Blog » Blog Archive » Qualities of a Quality Directory [...]

  2. Thanks for that, I’d attach rather more weight to what Matt Cutts says than the endless parade of SEO businesses who offer to submit your site to 500 or 1000 directories. The number of half-decent directories can hardly exceed a few dozen.