Directory Submissions are one of the oldest form of offline optimization and still today, this process is included in almost every SEO packages for link building purposes. Directory submissions were done as a part of getting your sites in various directories, in a hope of getting a large number of backlinks and some traffic. In the initial stages it worked as a website got some pretty good search engine rankings and traffic as a result of submitting them in various directories.
But in the course of time the directory submission process have been over used by many as a part of their SEO activity, which has lead to the situation of spamming. A lot of directories have sprung upon during the recent years and most of these are crappy ones with low quality and reputation. Since there are a lot of free directory scripts available, it became more easy for anyone to create a directory of his own. Most of the SEO guys submit in these directories expecting to get backlinks. Initially it worked, but once the Search Engine giants took notice of this, they started devaluing a large number of directories which had no quality and reputation.
As a result the major search engines, especially Google stopped counting the backlinks from such low quality directories. Even though Google hasn’t made any official announcement regarding this, it is quite evident. Only the links from high quality directories are listed in the backlink details of Google and this states that Google is not considering the links from the third grade directories. Moreover the chances of a site getting traffic from such directories is very much low..
In my opinion, if you are still serious about directory submission for link building, then always go for some quality directory submission such as DMOZ, Yahoo Directory etc which have some decent Google page rank and good reputation. Even if some high quality directory pays for getting listed, it is worth money. Just make sure that the directory or its categories are relevant to your website.
Before that do a research on these directories and find out how much value these directories can add to your website. Try to get listed in directories which have a Page Rank of atleast 4 or more. Since most of the directories with page rank 4 or more charges a small amount, the chances of spam would also be minimal. Even if they don’t charge, the moderation process would be strict and one cannot get their sites listed in these directories easily.
Directory Submissions are still useful, and this doesn’t mean that one should go all out submitting in crappy websites. Just be selective in your directory submission activities and you can surely feel the benefits in few months. Even if anyone offers directory submission for your website, don’t hesitate to ask the list of directories that they are planning to submit. Check the quality of these directories and then only agree for the directory submissions. Otherwise you would end up spending your money without any positive results.