Getting listed in directories as a way to get google rankings.. Is a huge liability. Google does not want this. They are hard at work so that this will no longer work one day.
Also directories most often do *not* use hard links, they use a script that redirects from their site to yours. What this means is.. ugh.. this is complicated.. PR.. etc..
Anyway. Forget directories.
I believe submitting to directories is important for buliding back links, but I also believe that the contents of the website is having an increasing weight not only for google and other search engines, also if you look at research papers posted in places like researchindex.com and others. They mainly try to analyze the content of your site, and discover if really the contents have weight and meaning. So if a website has a high PR just for backlinks, I strongly believe that in the near future little by little things will drift towards content analysis.
Submitting to directories still adds value to a site's backlink count. I also believe that at some point Google will discount the value of directory links.
While directories that use redirects are worthless for generating backlinks, the vast majority of directories I have investigated do not use redirects. Most use regular hyperlinks. It's very easy to check. Just look at the code.
The fact of the matter is that most new web site owners have no ability to generate quality links to their sites, and most sites do not pick up these links naturally. People resort to using directories as a workaround. Today, directories still work. There may be a different tactic in play six months from now.
For those who are interested in directory submissions, here's a starter list of directories that do provide backlinks: List of Free Directories
I'm in the process of testing about 200 directories to see which ones register as backlinks. If it registers as a backlink to the listing page, it will pass PR. Unfortunately, the vast majority of new directories have a low PR or a PR of zero, or they may have a home page PR of 8, but inner pages PRs of 0 to 2.
IMO, PR is currently overrated. Google has substantially devalued it with the recent updates. A year ago it was "all powerful", but several Google reps have recently stated that it is "only one factor out of a hundred" that they use for ranking.
I still think a good PR link gives a new site a boost and starts sending googlebot more often, but all it takes to get a PR of 5 is to have one single PR 6 site link to you, and that will not rocket your site to the top of the rankings.
Most of my clients with #1 or #2 positions for their most competitive keyword phrases have never had a PR greater than 5.
BTW, all the sites on the list I provided above do show up as backlinks. The Strongest Links list provided by Intensity is also considered to be a very good directory list.
Last edited by TechEvangelist; 06-24-2005 at 10:24 AM.