Web Directory and SEO
Created December 24, 2022
Updated March 11, 2024
7 min read

Web Directories, Good or Bad for Your SEO?

Creating backlinks is one of the important things of SEO.

One of the easiest ways to get them is to register your website in a web directory.

But this strategy only makes sense if your brand truly belongs to that directory.

There are many types of directories and you should look for the one that fits you best. 

What is a Web Directory?

Web directories are websites that collect business contacts with different types of details about them.

Unlike search engines that use algorithms to get the data about a certain business and presented to you, web directories are curated by human editors.

In most cases it’s a self-serving business where you yourself enter the data about your business.

This gives you the opportunity to present yourself in the best light.

By creating your profile on a web directory you leave a URL to your website and this URL is a backlink that can be useful for SEO.

Note, however, that not all backlinks are equal in the case of web directories. 

Most of them are nofollow links. It is therefore not these links that will put you on the first page of the search engines, but these links will indirectly have a positive impact on your organic traffic.

Types of Web Directories

The trick to using web directories if placing yourself in the ones that would really help you and their backlinks would be useful. 

There are different types of directories:

  • General Web Directories: Directories list websites and links for many different topics and categories.
  • Niche Directories: These directories specialize in specific topics or industries, such as health, education, travel, or business. 
  • Regional Directories: These directories focus on websites that are relevant to a specific geographic region or country.
  • Blog Directories: These directories focus on blogs and blogging, and they allow users to search for and access blogs on specific topics.

Niche directories are always your friend, there people can find you when they search for a specific topic and they will give you links with better authority.

You should always be careful with General Web Direcories because Google may figure out that you are in too many of them and try to manipulate the backlink algorithm.

How to Choose the Right Web Directories for Your Brand? 

Since you register in web directories mainly to gain credibility and get more traffic, it is very important to pay attention to the type of directory where you submit your business.

The reason is simple. Could you submit your cosmetics business to a specialized directory for dog products? 

Your answer is definitely no. Here are some questions to consider before deciding to put your information in a directory.

  • Does my target audience visit this website? (the web directory)

If not, don’t waste your time, so it’s not relevant to have your site listed there.

  • Is it a reputable website?

If the site is disreputable, do you think that potential customers who see you on this site will trust you more, or less, or just no impact on your brand.

If your answer is: less trust, or even no impact on how your brand is perceived, it’s certainly not worth it either.

6 Web Directories to Consider

Directories have taken a bad reputation since Google began to consider backlinks (backlink) as a factor that can influence the positioning of a site online. 

At this precise moment, most directories became catch-all websites, where everyone was looking to list anything and everything in order to be better referenced online.

Although this bad reputation exists, some directories are still reliable and relevant, here are  few: 

Google Business Profile

Google My Business, renamed Google Business Profile since 2021, is also considered a web directory, but it is much more than that. Indeed, it connects your business on Google Maps, Google Search, and helps you a lot with your local SEO.

Google business profile of a barber shop
Google business profile of a barber shop

Creating a profile on Google Business is a good idea because it is equivalent to creating an optimized page for your company on the most popular search engine in the world. 

Bing Place

If you list your business on the first search engine in the world, Google, it may also be interesting to do so on the second search engine, Bing.

Not to mention that the majority of computers all come with Windows licenses by default; and on those computers, Bing is the default search engine for Microsoft Edge and good old Internet Explorer. 

Yellow Pages

Yeah, it’s the old paper directory, but in a digitized version.

Yellow Pages register
Yellow Pages register

Since Yellow Pages exists in several countries, it is recommended to list your business with information such as website, address etc. 

Although it is free to list your business on the yellow pages, several packages as well as service marketing will certainly be recommended to you by their team.


Facebook is a social network, but Facebook Business acts like a directory, because all of its web pages are indexable in the various Google results. 

Having a business page on Facebook is a great way to build credibility and introduce yourself to a larger audience that will drive more traffic to your website. 

You can simply create a page to give more details about your business.


Yelp is a directory that has existed since 2004 and invites its users to leave reviews of businesses. Businesses listed on Yelp can also respond privately or publicly to users of the platform. 

A Harvard study published in 2011 found that each “star” in a Yelp rating had a 5-9% impact on a business owner’s revenue.

If you are a local restaurant or business, the Yelp directory is perfect for you, it has an audience of over 90 million monthly visitors. 

Chambers of Commerce, Professional Groups or Local Directory

The chambers of commerce of certain regions, or even certain local directories, sometimes have web directories. These directories are very relevant for local business.

In addition to making you discovered by prospects in your area, it offers better local credibility, and contains a lot of information.

There are plenty of other interesting directories such as: Blogarama, Best of the web, Better Business Bureau (BBB) and so on. 

Keep in mind the questions to ask yourself in order to appear in a directory, and if you find that this directory is worthwhile, just list your business and any relevant information that will help the readers of your profile to learn more about your business and how it can help them.


Web directories have had their day in the sun, but they are now widely considered ineffective for SEO. 

While some web directories can still provide a valuable source of backlinks and referral traffic, it’s important to remember that the vast majority of them are no longer considered useful for SEO efforts. 

It is your responsibility as an online business owner to ensure that you use web directories wisely and that you do not engage in any practices that could harm your online reputation or rankings.

With proper research and research-based decisions, web directories can still be beneficial to search engine optimization efforts regardless.

If you need help with getting more leads to your website or positioning it better on Google search, please contact us today. We run the best web agency in Montreal and we can surely help you!