ZOMDir > Blog

Monday 15 February 2016

Linkbuilding is hard, creating a meaningful directory is harder

Linkbuilding is hard, however building a link directory is harder. The two main reasons are:
  1. Collecting relevant links related to a subject (location) couldn't be done in a split second;
  2. There is a negative sentiment regarding link directories.

Collecting relevant links is hard

Collecting relevant links is like content curation. You're not only hunting for relevant links for the subject your are working on, you also have to add these links to the corresponding page of the link directory.

Imagine that you want to create a page about broken link checkers. Often you will start with Google. When I search for broken link checker in Google.com I got the following results in 0.33 seconds:

The top 10 links I found* are:

  1. https://www.brokenlinkcheck.com/
  2. https://wordpress.org/plugins/broken-link-checker/
  3. https://www.deadlinkchecker.com/
  4. https://validator.w3.org/checklink
  5. https://www.powermapper.com/products/sortsite/checks/link-checker/
  6. http://www.iwebtool.com/broken_link_checker
  7. https://smallseotools.com/websites-broken-link-checker/
  8. https://wummel.github.io/linkchecker/
  9. https://www.screamingfrog.co.uk/broken-link-checker/
  10. https://linktiger.com/

There is more than the first page

There are more pages about broken link checkers. For example I missed the still famous broken link checker Xenu's Link Sleuth.  

I also missed ZOMDir's Broken Links at a Glance in the top 10, but hey, that's a relative new link checker. What to expect else :-)

However Google indicates that there are more than 1 billion pages found. That is a little bit to much to add to a link directory. 

So you have to curate which broken link checker, or better said which webpages related to broken link checker, should be listed. That makes a huge difference.
There are a lot of articles with titles like 
and so on. Do you want to add these articles? Remember taking a decision takes time...

In depth analysis

Content curation is nothing without an in depth analysis. So you have to take a look at every site you want to add and decide what to do with it. During this process you have to answer questions like:
  • Do you want to add broken link checkers which checks only one page? 
  • Do you want to add online broken link checkers which need a captcha? 
  • Do you add all broken link checkers you find or do you select only the best working link checkers?
Based on your decisions you will have a list of relevant websites related related to broken link checkers. 

Almost there

The latest step in the process is adding the link to the directory. This should be as easy as possible for the curator. I don't know how other directories work, but at an average I'm able to add a link per minute. 

So creating a list of 15 links takes me roughly a quarter of an hour.

Believe me, creating a relevant list of broken link checkers takes hours instead of seconds.

Negative sentiment regarding link directories

The second reason why creating a link directory is hard is the negative sentiment regarding link directories.

For years there had been a negative sentiment regarding link directories. Deservedly because there are a lot of low quality link directories. 

Lots of people bought a PHP script and create a link directory for ABC link exchanges to get high position in the search engines. Even worse, they link unrelated, so links regarding completely different subjects where at one page. This makes the pages completely useless for normal users.

No wonder that Google stated in 2012 that they will reward high-quality sites with a algorithm now known as Pinguin

As a result a lot of marketeers and search optimalisation specialists started to think that almost all link directories are a no go area.

A turning tide?

I think the tide turns at this moment. A study of Backlinko makes clear that ...
Backlinks remain an extremely important Google ranking factor. We found the number of domains linking to a page correlated with rankings more than any other factor.

As Search Engine Watch wrote in 2013, probably the best think you can do is use your common sense.

When you look at a directory (or any other link source for that matter) you have to ask yourself, “does it make sense that this link should pass weight to my site?” If you can honestly say “yes” to this then it’s likely a good link.

Good luck with linking,

* Google results aren't always the same for everyone, so you might find other results

ZOMDir.com is a dynamic directory and a wiki
Everyone is able to add a link in 10 seconds

To learn more view this Slideshare presentation