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There are many directories on the internet today. Each directory website uses different categorization depending on its purpose. There are hundreds of free directory websites out there for all types of businesses. There are free listings for most businesses on directories such as YP.com, SuperPages.com, Kudzo.com and many others. Each of these sites represents an invaluable piece of real estate on the internet. While it is true that most people do not use the online Yellow Pages very often, a link from these types of sites or even just a correct citation helps your own website rank better. Search engines use links and citations from these sites to verify and support the existence of your business. A listing on these sites is not only free online advertising for you, it is also an important signal used by the search engines to support your personal website.

In addition to the free directories there are directories you can pay to be listed on such as BBB.org (Better Business Bureau) of AngiesList.com. Directories are often for a specific niche and their cost varies on the type of exposure you receive. These listings are excellent supplemental pages to consider because they tend to rank well for specific keywords and they speak to particular prospects. If you choose to use paid directories make sure that they do not copy content from your site or you will be hit with a duplicate content penalty on one or both pages. Also make sure that you receive adequate reports so you can evaluate the cost and return of investment of this type of listing. Even the free directories sometimes offer inexpensive premium listings. While the placements of your listing may not mean that much to you, rest assured the link and the citation certainly help.

Most of the free directories get their information by scrapping it from other websites. This process often leads to duplicate and incorrect listings. To ensure that you get the correct link and citation from these directories you need to locate all of your listings. The easiest way to find your existing listings is to search your name, your business name and the names of any employees you have working for you. Copy the link for each of the profiles you find into a spreadsheet or word processing document. After you have located as many of your profiles as possible, review the directory’s instructions to determine how to clean, correct, connect or cancel each profile. Each directory has different rules for fixing information and removing duplicate profiles. You need to claim ownership of the profile you want to keep, correct all of the information, clean up the listing by adding images and details, connect the profile to your primary site by adding the link or cancel the listing altogether. This process might be something you have your staff do or you spend a Saturday afternoon completing, but you need to embrace these as free advertising and support for your own website.

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