How Links Appear in the Eyes of Search Engines

search-enginesOver a decade ago, the popular strategy amongst webmasters to improve their websites’ online visibility and rankings was just to use link directories. They would submit their links to as many web directories as possible and increase traffic to their respective websites. Over time, things have changed, though. There are significant on-site and off-site aspects that now come into play.

According to Google’s Matt Cutts’ YouTube video, search engines still use links in crawling and indexing of websites. But since people have abused these links, it is becoming tough to get value out of link directories and hence links from popular directories which are expensive, are given precedence.

Matt further explained the ways to establish a good directory link. If every site is accepted in the listing, then the chances are that the list would be spammed and search engines will treat the links as unnatural. It is not easy to submit a link to the renowned directories, whether paid or free. They are highly moderated, and therefore search engines assume that such links are of the best quality.

The internet is also awash with mediocre link directories. Therefore, information as simple as proof of registration, reachable contacts, and physical address all comes into play. A link from a site which misses some or one of this vital data may be classified as unnatural.

If you thought paid listings would qualify as a good option then think again! The fact that the directory receives payment to list a link must be justifiable. For example, sites that charge a non-refundable review fee are likely to be considered to be thorough in its moderation and no owner of a pedestrian site would consider listing with them. But don’t forget that there are other sites out there that would do anything for the dollar.

While most people would argue that using link directories has faded with time, the method remains attractive since it is easy to do, relatively cheap and works well if you use it correctly.