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Are Web Directories Still Relevant?

man searching for a business in a directory

When's the last time you searched for a product, service, or business using an online directory? You might say, "rarely or never. I just Google things."

So, is it still worth the time, effort, and (perhaps) money to request directory listings? Absolutely! When you follow best practices for submitting to online directories, those listings can boost a business and its website in many ways.

Does Google still see much value in directory listings?

When 'googling' a certain marketing business recently (July 1, 2024), I noticed that 14 of the top 18 listings on their search results page were occupied by directories (snapshots below). Google apparently still finds directories to be a trusted source for referrals!

google seach results with highly ranked directory listings pg1 google seach results with highly ranked directory listings pg1 google seach results with highly ranked directory listings pg1

The top 18 Google search results when I looked up a certain business recently.

Table of Contents

11 Benefits of Being Listed in Search Directories

Here are real-world examples of the benefits that can come from directory listings:

Piggyback off High Rankings

Directories often rank highly in search results. By being listed, you can 'leapfrog' more established competitors in your niche.

Credibility and Trustworthiness

A consistent presence across reputable platforms enhances your authority and credibility—not only to customers but also to Google.

Direct Traffic

Customers naturally trust their peers' recommendations. So, positive feedback on review-style directories can lead potential customers to your website to learn more or place orders.

Boost SEO Authority

Listings in high-authority directories provide valuable backlinks, which contribute to higher domain authority and better search engine rankings. This is one of the quickest, easiest, and most affordable ways we know of to build authoritative backlinks.

Improved Indexing

Search engines frequently crawl directories. Being listed in numerous directories helps search engines discover and index your site faster and more often.

Niche Relevance

Being listed in niche-specific directories puts you in front of a customers who are specifically looking for your products or services, increasing your chances of attracting highly relevant leads.

Local SEO Benefits

Listings on Google My Business and local directories increase visibility in local searches. This can lead to optimal placement in local search results and map packs.

Brand Awareness

Repeated exposure to your brand name in directories can enhance brand recall and trust when customers need your products or services.

Referral Traffic

Listings in authoritative directories can generate referral traffic as other businesses link to--or interact with those directories.

Networking Opportunities

Some local directories allow you to connect with other local businesses, opening the possibility to partner with complementary businesses.

Competitive Edge

Many of your competitors may not be taking advantage of directories. By listing your business, you'll gain visibility and backlinks that those competitors missed out on.


Online directories can be a effective, fast, easy, and affordable tool for building backlinks. They help establish credibility and trustworthiness in the eyes of potential customers, drive direct traffic to your site, and signal to search engines that your site is a trusted source that deserves to be ranked highly.

For a free consultation to discuss your online goals, call us. We'll help you determine the best approach for your unique needs.

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