Web directories are large, topical, searchable directories that differ from traditional relevancy search engines because their content is maintained by actual humans--not 'robot spiders' checking your site. Hence they are "live." Web directory personnel checks your site and decides whether to include your website in their index. Sites in the index are found by browsing, by category, or by searching sites in the index with simple keyword matching. There are over a hundred Web directories on the Internet, each of varying import. Nevertheless, your strategy should be to submit to all of them if possible.

At this point, it should be noted that of the many web directories on the Internet, two are the most important. These are Yahoo! and The Open Directory Project. While you should certainly make efforts to submit to all of the web directories, these two are the foundation directories for several reasons. As discussed in the Link Popularity & Page Rank tutorial, Google values links to your website with differing weight. Links from some websites are worth much more than others. Links from Yahoo and ODP are among the most valuable on the Internet. Getting links from these websites can do more than anything to improve your page rank. Furthermore, links in these and other web directories will allow relevancy search engines to find you and list you, often much faster than a direct submission to each engine.

Live Directory Benefits
The real power in submitting to live directories isn't so much the link you get in the particular directory, but the additional links you get! Many of the live directories below allow other websites and directories to copy them. For example, the Open Directory Project is the most important live directory on the web. The ODP allows over 200 (estimated) other major websites on the Internet to copy their entire directory. If you submit and are accepted to the ODP, it is only a matter of time before that link propagates itself onto the other websites that copy the ODP. Your one link really generates 200 links. Many of the live directories on the list below power other directories. The list below has over 100 directories that you should submit your site to. You won't just end up with about 100 websites linking to you, you will automatically receive hundreds of additional links! A live directory campaign is a no-brainer.

Submitting to these live web directories involves going to each directory and looking for the "suggest a site" link, usually on the front page or on a page in an appropriate sub-category. Carefully read the instructions for each live directory, as they are most often more involved than simply telling them your web address, as with the relevancy search engines. Web directories often ask you to enter in titles, descriptions, a list of relevant keywords and keyword phrases, and other information.
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