Entering a web catalog: what to look out for?

As part of a planned off-page optimization, entries in web catalogs or directories are also on the agenda of almost every business site owner. Besides, an own internet site should increase link popularity through a web catalog entry and thus attract more visitors. Suddenly, these backlinks do not lead to huge masses of visitors to your site. But for continuous and permanent generation of backlinks, proper catalog entries should be made, because every visitor to your website counts. Before we discuss the corresponding points to consider when making a catalog entry, we should at least define the term “web catalog or web directory”.

Definition of web catalogs

Binding and non-binding web catalogs
There are web catalogs with and without backlink obligation:

The obligation of backlink means that you insert a backlink on your site to the web catalog in which you entered your page. In effect, you are returning link popularity to the web catalog, which ultimately allows for a positive impact on your site. The question is whether this requirement for online catalogs is acceptable and is a matter of debate. However, it is difficult to put backlinks in high quality web catalogs.

If you don’t want to put a backlink to a catalog, you will have to refrain from this service completely. Therefore, if you can use the trick of creating a link to the catalog after your entry and removing the backlink to your page a few days later. Be careful, this procedure will not go unnoticed in web catalogs because after all, you will also be removed from it.

Paid web catalogs

In addition to the solutions with free entry, there are also paid services. Here, the fact that they are subject to a fee suggests that these entries can be of better quality, where we can answer with a yes or no. Due to the existence of high quality paid catalogs and directories that offer entries at overpriced annual prices, it is imperative to make a comparison before opting for paid entries. It is therefore recommended to always start with free solutions.

1. Enter your site in a web catalog only if there is a relevant category for the subject

If your site’s topic is not categorized in a catalog, it would be better to skip the entry. Similarly, if you list your site in an inappropriate category, traffic will hardly be generated anyway. Ideally, look for catalogs that specialize in your topic, if any.

2. Choose only reputable catalogs or web directories for your entries

But what is a good or serious online catalog?
Once a serious catalog should be in the Google index. Check if the category page you want to list your site on is in the Google index. If you receive positive feedback, it is already satisfactory. If the category is not listed, the web catalog may be brand new or the category page may be too deep in the catalog directory structure. In any case, links on a page not indexed by Google are not evaluated. Therefore, such a link is worthless, since pages that are only rarely updated will only be visited by the Googlebot at significant intervals, so it could happen that a new link on an indexed page takes time to be registered and indexed by Google, usually a few months.

Web catalogs that link your page to a sub-page should be examined more closely
To this end, it is best to test old entries on subpages to see if they are already covered by Google. If not, your entry will probably not be included either. The category page URL should be an HTML (or PHP) page including the domain name and one or more keywords. If you find parameter specifications, session IDs in the URL, or if the link to your page has a redirect, you should not make an entry. In order to be able to determine these details, just go to the browser source code. In addition, there should be no “index, nofollow” in the metatags and the “rel=nofollow” attribute should be absent in the link to your page. Otherwise, the links will not be followed and registered by the search engine robots.

The quality of backlinks to web catalogs is also determined by the number of outbound links on the subpage. The more links, the weaker your backlink. The ideal would be a subpage with only your entry. But a sub-page with up to 20 outbound links is also acceptable. Sometimes you would have to compromise, as many web catalogs have more than 20 outbound links on their subpages.

3. Pay attention to clean entries with significant keywords

The title should contain the most important information. If your domain name is not very significant or does not contain important keywords, you should not mention it in the title. For the description of the requested page, again select important keywords to increase the relevance of the topic. Use the available space optimally and write complete and meaningful sentences. Also, describe your page with each web catalog entry in new formulations to avoid duplication.

4. Also make sure you do not enter your page more than once in a web catalog

Sometimes it may take a while before your entry is activated, so don’t lose patience. In the worst case, your entry may be rejected and it will be almost impossible to get an entry in the directory. Also, you should not make too many entries in a short period of time, for example per day. This backlink building would be too fast and unnatural from the point of view of the search engines and will be evaluated rather negatively. Therefore, do not make more than 10 entries per day. And finally, the most important recommendation: only submit to sites that really offer good content for your visitors and not pure affiliate sites that only consist of advertising and do not offer their own content as added value.

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