<< by on January 8th, 2008
Contrary to what link building expert Eric Ward, recently implied in Search Engine Land, but gave no real reference or detail in support (Google search results as a citation?), Directory link building to improve SEO rankings still works quite well.
We still build directory links for our clients as part of our SEO service offering. The key is we have never built a paid or reciprocal link for any of our clients. We only build free, one way links. We have proven performance that this has worked quite well for our clients in the past, and continues to work for our clients today.
It is absolutely mind-numbing, soul-crushing work and very labor intensive to accomplish results. But it still works. Yes the future of effective link building is with the more complex and costly methods employed by the likes of Jim Boykin’s Link Ninja’s and Debra Mastaler‘s Alliance Link and yes even Link Moses. But right now free one-way directory linking is still working and working quite well.
Link building alone can help you achieve rankings, but improving SEO content is an absolute necessity for maintaining and building on those rankings.
I honestly believe that directory link building is an almost “honorable” way to improve rankings. It’s sweat equity invested in improving your rankings as opposed to some sort of spammy paid link “sponsorship” that I see many competitors employing – and frankly getting away with and benefiting from.
Ironically, the only clients that we have seen have significant declining rankings that have used free one-way directory listings are essentially loosing to competitors that are blatantly buying their way to the top with a myriad of really spammy paid links.
The biggest problems I think we have had are with directories that are free when our clients get placed on them and then later go paid or reciprocal. I believe that we have seen some of those links possibly devalued over time. But, I still think that the vast majority of free one-way directories still have value.
Until, free one-way directory link building stops working, we will continue to use it as part of our SEO process. There were several “dust-ups” in the previous year about this topic and several obituaries for the practice of directory linking is the last year. I could read a myriad of blog posts by very reputible SEOs disagreeing with me. But, I’m still waiting for the “sky to fall” and it hasn’t yet.