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A Few Traits of a Good Web Directory

Directories have taken a bit of a rough ride in recent years, and no more so than from Google which has been steadily axing the amount of value that many major web directories are capable of passing on to linked to websites.
The important thing to remember about web directories is that they're not, by definition, supposed to be a mechanism for SEO, it's only SEOs that treat them such.
Web directories provide many benefits including order and collecting information and providing manual reviews of websites - they can also conceivably help search engines when it comes to categorising content.
However, the USP for the overwhelming majority of web directories out there is SEO benefit.
The first thing that any webmaster should look for in a directory is the possibility of exclusion - it's important to remember that you're not purchasing a link but rather purchasing a manual review of your website.
Anyone who reads Google's Webmaster Guidelines will see that Google has a fundamental issue with any webmasters who purchases links purely for SEO benefit - always check the terms and conditions of the web directory and make sure that there is the possibility that your website can be rejected.
Another thing to look at when evaluating a directory is the quality of the links - when evaluating links Google always considers what it terms "bad neighbourhoods", the links adjacent to your link should be good quality and relevant to your website.
The directory should also not be framed as a directory for "SEO Benefit" and it shouldn't participate in any manipulative practices such as auction style bidding for position.
There shouldn't be any links posted on the homepage of the directory and it's always advisable to try and target specific, rather than general, web directories.
Providing you abide by these guidelines, and do not attempt to manipulate directories for SEO benefit, then you shouldn't encounter too many problems.

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