Im not going to post recycled directory submission info, it has definately been beaten to death. The following will be info on what to do once you get to a directory to ensure you are getting the best link possible.
We all know that google likes relevant links, meaning links that come from other sites that Google recognizes as being related to the topic of your site. That doesn’t mean that the entire site has to be related to your topic, rather a page on that site being related to your topic. Look at Wikipedia for example what is the topical category of Wikipedia? Anything and everything, each page being related to it’s own individual topic. With that in mind it is possible to find pages inside of directories that are related to your site and that will help you in your link building efforts.
Whenever you start linkbuilding you need to have your keywords and anchor text in mind, this will help you get the best bang from your link. Then you want to go to the directory and do a search in the search bar for your keywords.
I have a lot of travel sites and one of our biggest clients is going after words like Hawaii Vacation(s) and Hawaii Vacation Package(s), if I was looking for a relevant category to select for their inclusion then I would search those words plus words like, Hawaii Travel, Hawaii Tour(s), if it was hard to find anything I would go all the way down to Hawaii. If there wasn’t regional categories in the directory then I would start with Travel and work my way towards something like vacation packages, activities or another sub category similar to that.
If you are using firefox when doing this open each respective category page in a new tab so they are all organized in your browser. You then wan’t to go to each category page and compare them to find the best one for your site.
The quickest way to find the best relevance in my opinion is to take the name of the directory plus your most important keyword and do a google search, botw “hawaii vacations” This is for botw.org an (absolute must for directory submissions) plus my main keyword. You will see the number one result is botw.org/top/Regional/United_States/Hawaii/Travel_and_Tourism/ so according to Google that is the most relevant category page for my ideal keyword. Most of the time that is the page you will want. The next biggest thing to look at and that would lead you to possibly stop conisdering this page is how many links are going out on it. How many other sites are already listed in that category, if there are 100 on the page with a little number at the bottom that says next and so on, you may want to look for another page. There more links going out the less effect that page will have on your site. I would take a pr 3 page that has four links on it 1,000 times over compared to a pr 6 page that has 200 links on it. I would take a pr 0 page that has 1 or no links on it over the others as well, as long as it is getting cached regularly.
Checking the cache of the page is important if you can’t find anything by doing the google search listed above, you need to be checking to make sure that the page you are going to submit to is indexed in Google and is getting updated regularly. I use the firefox extension by SEOpen this allows you to select the check Google cache in a drop down on your toolbar of whatever page you are on. If the page shows up no cache, or url not found why would you want to be listed in it. A lot of people will pay a submission fee only to get listed in a page that is not indexed. If Google doesn’t have that page in its index then it doesn’t have your link in it either and your not getting any love from that link. If you are debating between multiple category pages, look mostly at the amount of links going out, but if one was last updated in Feb 04 and the other Oct 06 you will most likely want to go with the Oct page as it is getting indexed better for whatever reason.
You also want to make sure that the page is not in the supplemental index, you can do this by using the index tab in the seopen toolbar and it will show the index of the page and if the page is in the supp index or not. Supp index isn’t going to get you any link love either.
Some of you may think this is way too much effort for a directory link as most of the time they barely help you if at all, if you use the seopen toolbar and firefox tab browsing it only takes seconds and that way you make sure you can squeeze whatever link love possible out of that directory. This is also to go along with that fact that you should use these methods on 100 or less quality diretories instead of 1,000 low quality directories. You will get more action from 30 directories done this way than 1,000 submitted semi automatically to whatever category possible. If you are actually going to pay for a directoy why would you submit blindly to it.
A quality directory is one that doesn’t sell sitewide or ROS links in its footer or navs, one that doesn’t allow casinos or porn or any other spammy topic. PR isn’t the golden rule but if there is a good flow of PR that means that there is good site structure and it is easy for the engines to index. Also check the index of the directory, I have seen people posting in forums to come and pay for a one way link in their directory, Ill go check it out and check the index and there is no subpages indexed at all and it is a year old site. That isn’t going to help you. A directory that requires a reciprocal link is more than likely viewed as a link farm by Google and you don’t need to waste your time with that. Usually the best quality indicator is if the link is going to be human reviewed. Also site age is good most old direcotries are the best ones.
Directories I swear by:
SBD.Bcentral.com – Use multi link to help with deep links
Dir.Yahoo.com – This is a must
Uncoverthenet.com – Use Multi Link to help with deep link
There are more you can find them at sites like
*This can also be followed when looking to evalute links you may purchase, why purchase a link that is not indexed, or that is a supplemental page, or has 400 links on it.