If you have Googled the question you will have discovered the question is an annual recurring theme.
The question is asked for two main reasons
- Someone considering starting a directory
- Someone considering investing in backlinks from a directory
OK, there may be a third reason: lol, directory owners (like me) want to see what’s happening.
Are Directories Dead = NO!
I agree with Marcus Miller.. largely, directories are dead, except for directories that add value to the listings are alive and kicking.
Marcus Miller | moz.com
Jul 06, 2016
However, the evolution of directories and sites that add value to the listings are alive and kicking. Yelp (not so much in the UK) is one but TripAdvisor is really a a directory of sorts and that provides boatloads of additional value.
In the UK we have several directory types that are alive and well:
- Trade Directories – plumbers, electricians etc
- Care Homes
Google’s John Mueller is spot on.. key words are the issue. Directories rarely rank for anything other than “directory” related keywords, not the keywords related ot it’s vertical. In other words, it struggles to generate any real traffic.
Are Web Directories Still Relevant for SEO in 2020? | cognitiveseo.com
By Adrian Cojocariu
Easily the best article I’ve read on the topic, well researched and written.
Well, as Head of Web SPAM at Google John Mueller said, “in general, no”. But the key words in that answer are “in general”. That’s the usual answer we get from John and, as much as we’d like to say we will dissect it, the truth is that we can only be speculating and interpreting things based on own knowledge and experience. Erm, is inexistent a real word?
Web Directories probably still have a small impact on your rankings, just like any other site that links to you and passes Page Rank. However, because they’ve been abused as an SEO tactic over the years, Google penalizes people that use web directories. With the rise of Penguin 4.0, many of them are probably ignored.
But.. proven, human edited niche directories continue to thrive and are excellent source for backlink love.