Introduction: This page is aimed at businesses working on their Link Building campaign. It explains why the Best of the Web Directory is a good choice when considering paying for a listing by comparing it against the other top directories. We then provide you some tips to ensure you get the most from your submission to Best of the Web.
This article discusses the topic from a Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) perspective, i.e. we're not that concerned about the number of people brought to your web site from Directories (although it will be a nice bonus). The primary objective of a Link Building campaign is to increase the number of websites on the internet which "link back" to your web site, hence the term backlink (and in this case we are considering the benefits of buying a listing in a directory called Best of the Web).
Google counts backlinks to your site as a means of "voting" that your site is worth showing in its search results and affects how well it will rank your site.
The higher the Page Rank of a web page which (back)links to your site, the more Page Rank is available to pass to your site from that link. Page Rank (PR) is a 0 to 10 exponential scale devised by Google which indicates the importance or power of a web site on the Internet, where 0=least important (eg. brand new sites), and 10=highly important (well established). As an exponential scale we mean it becomes increasingly difficult, and takes longer, to achieve the higher ranks. The more pages that exist which link back to your site the better, and of course it makes sense to start by approaching sites with high PR. Ultimately the more PR you get, the higher Google will rank you.
Why should I use BOTW for my business?
With Best of the Web ranked by Google with a whopping Page Rank 7, now is the time to make the most of some extra page rank passed to your site using a lifetime listing. In the grand scale of things PR=7 is extremely good, and you need some of it!
Businesses seriously evaluating ways they can increase inbound links to their website, in order to improve the ranking of their site in Google will probably have considered the Best of the Web!directory.
Getting links to your site from Directories is the foundation for all websites building back-links, and a proven technique of passing page rank to your site, providing you choose well established high quality Directories that are not associated with porn, illegal software, trojans, spam, etc.
Many Directories can be submitted to at no cost and produce good results in improving the page rank of your site, but usually these require patience while they review your submission and this can take days, but more likely weeks or months due to the massive backlog of submissions that reviewers have to deal with.
Daily, thousands of web site owners use automated software to submit their sites to the FREE directories. It's no wonder these submission queues are massive, and submissions take an age to be reviewed, if ever! Free submissions can work, but you require a certain mindset, determination and clear strategy to achieve results.
For fast approval and inclusion in Directories you must pay!
But I only ever consider paying to submit to a handful of carefully chosen Directories - and Best of the Web is one of those I use and recommend to clients and colleagues.
The top Directories charge an arm and a leg to list your site, so you want to know what bang you get for your buck.
At £99/year ($149.95) or £199.95/lifetime ($299.95) Best of the Web offers good value for money when you compare it against the other majors in this league for a number of reasons as I explain below.
Page rank and inbound links (backlinks) are the most important aspect of getting your site well ranked on the internet.
BOTW has grown in stature and value from an SEO perspective, and in mid-2010 went from PR6 to PR7.
BOTW is recommended by experienced SEO experts.
BOTW appears at the top of many directory submission ranking lists provided by esteemed resources (e.g. SearchEngineNews.com, SEOMoz.org, Best-Web-Directories.com)
One submission to the Best Of The Web Directory is often much more effective than submitting to any number of low quality web directories.
Google recognizes that a link from a directory like this is real authority and ranks your site up in the search engines accordingly. With BOTW page rank at 7 you will get a link from an inside page that has PR around 4-5!
Comparing the Top Directories - Pros & Cons
The top Directories are generally considered to be as follows;
1. DMOZ is free but nigh on impossible to get into. It takes a very long time for editors to review/approve your site, if they ever do, and is rife with corruption from the volunteer editors - I'm saying this from personal experience and frustration. However, you should always try to get a listing in DMOZ because of their "special relationship" with Google - Good luck with that!
2. Yahoo is $299 for first review and approval, and $299 every subsequent year. Sometimes Yahoo will change your submission details to read the way they want it to match in with other listings and hence affects the way your site appears in the Yahoo Directory.
3. Business.com is $299 every year, but its directory pages are generated in such a way that your link does not always pass page rank. You're paying for the prestige and visits from real people.
4. BOTW gives proper page rank passing links, is $149.95/year, or if you can afford it and you plan your site to be around for a long time, better to go for the $299.95 one-time payment lifetime listing.
The directness and simplicity of use makes us a leading destination for enterprise IT and management technology decision makers. Users looking for software solutions will appreciate the quality of resources and the ease of use of the platform.
Enterprise software vendors listed with us receive highly targeted leads from site visitors who are seeking more information about their products. Because our site visitors are actively in the buying cycle for technology products, vendors in our portal typically experience a higher rate of conversions.
3. Do you have more than one website you are considering submitting to?
Because when you submit and make your payment, your receipt email says....
As stated in the terms of the BOTW Directory Submit service, a BOTW editor will review your site within 3 business days or less for inclusion in the directory. The review fee is non-refundable and will appear as a charge on your credit card statement from Best of the Web.
If approved into the Best of the Web directory, your submission will be reviewed yearly to ensure that the site continues to meet the requirements within our terms of service. You will NOT be charged an annually recurring fee since you chose the One-Time review fee option.
We would like to thank you for your purchase by awarding you a coupon discount of 20% off your next submissions. This offer is good for the next sixty minutes for both blog and web directory submissions.
** Enter the following botw promo code on step 2 of the submission process: qkt8u1
Feel free to share it with a friend, but remember, it's only valid for the next 60 minutes. For web directory submissions, visit http://botw.org/helpcenter/submitcommercial.aspx to get started. For blog directory submissions, get started at http://blogs.botw.org/helpcenter/submitblog.aspx
Now 60 minutes is not very long to prepare for another submission when you are taken off your guard by this offer, so it's better to be ready for this. If you require manager or department approval for the additional (20% discounted) expense, get it beforehand.
Obviously if you are UK based then use botw.org.uk, otherwise if your business is global or USA specific it may be better to use a category in the main botw.org directory, otherwise for other countries try searching for a suitable category in the Regional sub-sections of the main directory.
If you intend submitting and making payment via the UK BOTW Directory (botw.org.uk), be careful not to confuse the categories in the UK directory with those in the main (USA) directory (botw.org), because there are links in the UK directory which suggest related categories in the main directory (and vice versa). If you accidentally select the wrong category (eg. USA when you intended UK), the person reviewing your submission might think your suggested category is inappropriate and place you in the category of their choice instead. (Although you can request amendments to be considered after your submission has been reviewed, its just better to get it right in the first instance).
5. Have you researched the categories you want your site to appear in?
Have the details of all sites you intend to submit ready, by carefully researching the category you want to submit each of them to.
Do not submit/pay your submission until you have done this properly, otherwise you may waste time chasing up and correcting your submission.
Important: Make sure to choose the correct category, and when finally ready to make your submission click the Submit Site link button, found at top right of the actual category page you want to appear in. (This will ensure your submission will inform the BOTW staff reviewing your application of the category you want to be listed in. Failing to do this means the reviewer will choose the category they think is most appropriate, which may not be where you wanted it!).
The absence of a category selection will in no way affect the probability of site acceptance. Acceptance is determined by the content of the site. Nor will submitting to a category BOTW think isn’t suitable adversely affect acceptance. If the review editor determines it is more appropriately placed elsewhere, they will put it where it goes. That said, BOTW do make an attempt to accommodate if there’s a judgment call to be made and you have stated a preference.
Tips on How to research your desired category
Search through the various categories. This means you should go to the BOTW directory most appropriate to your business (Country, Website, Blog or business type, Local, Software, etc).
Then enter your best primary keywords to see which categories appear, these are probably the ones where your competitors appear. You must think like your potential customer would think. What would they most likely enter when searching for your products?
If several categories seem relevant, you might choose one with fewer competitors in it (more outgoing links will dilute the amount of page rank being passed to your site, so its better to choose one with fewer links if possible).
Use a tool such as SEOQuake to help determine the PR of the categories, and try to choose the highest level category (nearest the Top level), as this has the most potential of passing good PR to your site.
Don't worry if SEOQuake shows PR=n/a, this is only because Google doesn't show PR for deep level pages. PR linkjuice will still get passed to your web site.
The further down into categories you go, the less PR google is going to pass to you (and deeper pages take longer before they are spidered by Googles robot), so its better to choose the category nearest the top level that is still relevant to you, however be sensible about this because even though you might request a particular category, the reviewer may place you in what they deem to be the more relevant category.
Sidenote: If you look closely you will note an @ symbol on the end of the name of some of the sub-categories you might choose. Though it will physically act like a sub-category, it is really just a navigation link to get you to the right place (ie – either the correct Topical or Regional subcategory). An @link tells the user “this is a natural subcategory” and takes them there even if it isn’t physically below it on the directory tree, whereas a “see-also” link tells the user “if this topic is of interest, here’s a related place you should see”. They’re similar in use, but not exactly the same.
Once submitted an account is set up for you (immediately), and you are placed in your own professional control panel (see screenshot below), where you can update your business details and contact information, see the listings, sponsorships and blog directory submissions you have made, their status (pending review or approved).
Once your submission has been approved you will receive an email notifying you, at which point you can log back into your control panel to check your listing(s), and see if the reviewer has added it exactly as you wanted, or whether they made any subtle changes.
The control panel appears similar to the following screenshot:-
If there is something you do not like, or disagree with in the way they have entered your listing details, you have an opportunity to ask them to consider any changes (subject of course to their submission guidelines and terms).
The following form can be used to request changes:
>Directory Submit Annual Review Fee $149.95 per year 25% annually
>Directory Submit One-Time Review Fee $299.95 one time fee 25%
Sponsorship Advertising Products
>Premium Sponsorship Ad (Slot 1) $49.95 per month 25% monthly
>Premium Sponsorship Ad (Slot 2) $49.95 per month 25% monthly
While their sponsorship offers a lower price alternative for temporary/monthly advertising, the main thrust of my article is about achieving a permanent link from a high Page Rank value page in the BOTW directory to your website.