Directory Submissions Do Work!
Many "SEO experts" have dismissed the value of directory submissions, claiming that they offer no benefit in the ranking of a website. I think these so called experts are wrong and have often used directory submissions as one way to obtain inbound links. Of course, I could not prove that directory submissions were helped my rankings, because I obtain inbound links from other sources as well.
I now have some proof that directory submissions work. This is not a scientific experiment, and many of you may say the result is pure coincidence. But then you can say that about anything in SEO.
I have one site (no I am not going to name it!) that was launched a few months ago. It is a niche site, but does have a fair amount of competition with 1.6 million results in Google for the main keyword.
My initial strategy was to seek reciprocal links from relevant websites. Unfortunately this was not successful as no one wanted to link to my site! ;(
I then submitted by site to a few social book-marking sites like del.icio.us and Listible. I also listed by site on Craigs List and the Gumtree. My site moved to the second page of Google for my main keyword and ranked 14th. Not bad for a keyword with 1.6 million results. But obviously this was not good enough as I really wanted a top 10 result.
I then submitted by site to a few directories. It often takes several months before a directory submission is accepted, so this was a bit of a waiting game. In the mean time, I submitted an article to just one article site. This article was not picked up and published by anyone. But the single inbound link from the article site was enough to push my site into the top 10. I was sitting happily in number 5 spot. Article directories are also widely dismissed by many SEO experts, but this result indicates that do indeed produce positive results.
Then, a piece of news was reported about my key word by several leading UK newspapers and the BBC and published on their websites. Three of them jumped above me and I was pushed back to number 8.
Three days ago, by site jumped above two of those websites (one was the BBC!) and 3 of my competitors. I am now sitting happily at number 3. The number one site is one of those newspaper sites, so if it wasn't for the recent news story, I would be ranking second.
So what changed? There were no onsite changes made to by site during the period of movement. There was only one additional inbound link. And it was from a directory! Yes, one of those often dismissed directories accepted by site and that was enough to push me up 5 places to number 3 and above authority sites with a much higher page rank than mine.
This could be a pure coincidence, but in the absence of any other changes, I think it is proof enough that directory submissions and article directories do generate positive results.