SEO For Directories

This SEO for directories guide is for directory owners and people who are thinking about setting up a directory. One of the biggest challenges of running a directory is making sure that all of the pages get indexed by the search engines and avoiding Google’s supplemental index. If pages go into Google’s supplemental index then the links on that page have little if any Google link value and this means that you will not be providing the people who have submitted with a good service. Practically all directories with more then 100 pages will have some of the pages in the supplemental index, if you can keep 75% of your pages out then you are doing very good, if 75% or more of your pages are in the supplemental index then you need to do some work. Here is a list of tips for optimising your directory.

Set up a 301 redirect

This is a simple one but I am sure it helps a lot, set up a 301 redirect from the version of your domain that you are not using to the one that you are using i.e. if you are using http://www.directory.com set up a 301 redirect from directory.com to http://www.directory.com or vice versa if you are using directory.com set up a 301 redirect from http://www.directory.com to directory.com. Sometimes search engines get confused and index URLs using the version of the domain that you are not using, this can cause supplemental results and loss of PageRank. Setting up a 301 redirect is really easy here is a guide that will take you through it step by step:

http://www.xoc.net/works/tips/domain.asp

Set up unique page title tags

This one practically goes without saying but there are still directories out there that have the same page title tag on every page. Most new directory scripts will automatically set you up with these but if you are setting up a directory by yourself make sure that each page has a unique page title tag that reflects the content on the page, again this will help you to avoid the supplemental index, it will also help the different pages of your directory to rank in the search engines for relevant phrases.

Make sure you have some content on every page of your directory

If you have blank category pages in your directory then you are loosing out on search engine traffic, it will also mean that the visitors to your directory will not find any information about what they are looking for. There are a few ways you can solve this problem:

Add useful information about the category i.e if you have a blank category page that is supposed to be listing search engine optimisation sites you could add a paragraph offering a bit of information about search engine optimisation.

Pull RSS feeds from popular news sites i.e. if you have a category page about search engine optimisation that is supposed to be listing search engine optimisation sites you could set it up so that the latest search engine optimisation news is displayed on that page.

Find a quality site and list it in the category yourself i.e. if you have a category page about search engine optimisation that is supposed to be listing search engine optimisation sites, find a quality search engine optimisation site like SEOCO and list the site yourself.

Update your directory regularly

If your directory is getting updated regularly then the search engines will keep coming back to look for new changes, this will help you with getting all of your pages indexed, getting new listings and content indexed more quickly and it will help you to avoid Google’s supplemental index or having pages delisted from the search engines all together. If you are not getting any submissions then add quality sites yourself, make sure at least one new listing gets added every other day.

Get high PageRank links for your directory

High PageRank links will get the search engines to crawl your directory more regularly, help to make sure that all of your content is indexed and help to keep your pages out of Google’s supplemental index. I recommend that you get at least four PageRank 6/10 links for your directory from four separate sites.

Get site-wide links for your directory

Again site-wide links will get the search engines to crawl your directory more regularly, help to make sure that all of your content is indexed and help to keep your pages out of Google’s supplemental index. I recommend that you get at least two site-wide links for your directory from sites that are getting crawled and updated regularly and have over 1000 pages indexed by the search engines.

Get votes for your directory

As well as having some high PageRank and site-wide links for your directory you should make sure that you have lot’s of different sites linking to you. The more votes you get the more search engines will trust your directory, the higher you will rank and the more traffic you will get. A great way to do this is by getting listed in other directories like the ones mentioned in this blog.

Get extra links to the inner pages of your directory

Getting extra links to the inner category pages of your directory will help to get the pages to rank in the search engines, help to make sure that all of your content is indexed and help to keep your pages out of Google’s supplemental index. I recommend you get as many internal and external links to the inner pages as possible. Here are two good ways for you to get extra internal links, set up a blog with your directory and add links to your inner pages on the blog or set up a HTML site map, link to it from every page of your directory and have links to the inner pages on there. A great way to get external links to the inner pages of your directory is by submitting to other directories that offer deep links.

Register your directory with Google Webmaster Central

By creating an XML Sitemap and registering with Google Webmaster Central you can find out if Google is having any problems crawling your directory, what search terms people are finding you under, what websites are linking to you and what anchor text they are using.

If you have or are thinking about setting up a directory follow the tips mentioned in this guide and you are on your way to being a successful directory owner.

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2 Responses to “SEO For Directories”


  1. […] Guide for Directories Dave Eaves of SEOCO wrote an article on good seo practises for directories. Dave mentions supplemental Google results which is important for directory owners to not have to […]


  2. […] Eaves of seoco wrote an article on optimizing directories for the search engines. The article outlines some very important, but often overlooked steps when setting up your […]


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