Do web directories still work for marketing in 2018?

Badway Shalaby
11 Min Read

Internet user penetration in Egypt reached 48% in 2017 according to Statista. The internet has become a very important platform, especially as 81% of internet users in Egypt say that they cannot live without it, according to eMarketing Egypt’s eighth annual report “visions for e-marketing in Egypt”.

Nowadays, it is hard to find internet marketers who would implement marketing strategies that focus much attention, if any, on web directories. It is 2018 and search engine optimization (SEO) tactics have evolved substantially. Nonetheless, Egyptian website owners list their websites in general web directories. We have analysed a few web directories’ Egyptian regional section.

Remember the days when directories were used heavily by internet entrepreneurs and established brick and mortar businesses alike? The use of these directories began to drastically decrease as a form of marketing by the time 2006 came along.

The issues concerning web directories

The problem concerning the premise of using these sites for marketing purposes was, in one word, Google. Google began changing its search engine algorithms at will, just when internet marketing schemes were all the rage among internet entrepreneurs. Selling internet marketing products that were supposed to make you rich in a week became all the rage too.

It was these kinds of marketers who were using internet directories for deceptively driving links to their websites. It did not take long for all kinds of other unprincipled marketers to fill most web directories with garbage.

As a result, Google was forced to take measures to ensure that Google algorithms were not exploited by less than honourable marketing strategies for improving page rankings. These efforts by Google continue to this day and will do nothing but continue to evolve.

Hope is not lost, though. There are still some noteworthy web-based directories that can work well for SEO campaigns if they are used properly. It is just important to remember that this cannot be the only way you drive traffic to your site. It takes a variety of SEO strategies to be successful. Using social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and utilising posts and comments made by your website visitors are other ways, among many others.

Remember what directories essentially are. They are no more than online Yellow Pages. However, back in the days when having one of these Yellow Pages was necessary, would it not have been great to be listed in one? This alone would almost guarantee that your business would get at least some customers, right? It would definitely get more than it would if it was not listed. This is still true today.
Considerations before choosing web directories

It is important to submit your business to a web directory that is well-established and has a good reputation for only listing reputable businesses. It would take a lot of research and professional knowledge to judge correctly if it were not for some tools available to you online.

Alexa Rank Checker is a toolbar that you can download from its website. This tool can easily help you find the ranking of a website. Ranking information includes the number of visitors as well as the performance of competing and similar websites. These will always give a clear idea of the ranking of websites and if you should post with them.

Majestic is another software company that has created its own way of judging the success and quality of websites. This way of ranking a website will provide two types of information. The first is the trustworthiness of the website, which is known as trust flow (TF). The second is the level of domination it has over other websites, which is known as the citation flow (CF). This information can be obtained by using the Trust Flow Checker tool on the SEO Checker website.

The Domain Authority (DA) of a website says a lot. This is information that is provided by the marketing and marketing analytics software company, Moz. The DA of a website tells you the performance of a website when it comes to search engine page rankings. It evaluates how well a website would rank on Google, Yahoo, and other popular search engines. The score is mostly from one to 100, but there are higher page rankings for the more prominent websites.

If all else fails to give a clear picture as to the usefulness and quality of the directory, a personal tour will probably do it. Go to the website and check for yourself. Ask yourself if the colour scheme and appearance is professionally and visually appealing or boring. Ask yourself if it’s well-arranged and easy to navigate. Do a Google search and see what others are saying about this directory.

Then check to see what their rules are regarding business listings. If they will accept just any business listing without any verification or rules you have to follow, they cannot be good quality.

Remember that picking the wrong directory for your business is much the same as taking small efforts to destroy your business. If your business is listed in the wrong place, it can actually have your links ending up being labelled as leading to content regarded as spam, ruining your business’s reputation.

The best directories for SEO marketing

The best online directories will have other benefits besides just posting your site URL. They will also provide incentives to use their platforms as opposed to others. The best ones will also provide the option of posting deep links to your site. Deep links are links that go to specific pages of your site. They increase the internet presence of your site and add to its promotional value.
Jasmine Directory

Jasmine Directory makes it easy to get your business noticed by thousands of potential customers.

There are so many ways to make your business listing stand out with These include detailed descriptions of your business and attractive thumbnails.

This directory follows all the rules set forth by Google. There is a video on YouTube concerning Google compliance by software engineer Matt Cutt. He has a deeper understanding of this issue than most marketers do.

It was founded in 2009 at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics by Pécsi András and Robert Gomboș. It publishes listings by topic and by region, Asia included. This human-edited remains a good choice for information for today’s current users. It is noteworthy that many of the websites and blogs listed were added by staff members.

Like in the case of all higher-quality web directories alive, you will have to pay a certain editorial fee which substitutes for the effort of one of their editors to visit your website, make sure everything is in order, and then review your website accordingly and include it in the appropriate category. There is a one-time fee for a lifetime listing at $115.00 or a standard listing at $59.00 a year.

The directory offers business owners the option of submitting an extra five deep links when signing up for an express listing. Thumbnails are also used as a way to enhance listings.

This directory allows for detailed and comprehensive postings including a business description, social media pages, and basic contact information with a business address and phone number.

Jasmine Directory won eight Top 10 awards which were offered by The WebDirectoryReviews Organisation in 2013, 2014 and 2015.


Alive Web Directory is another well-designed directory that is easy to use. It has many of the same features as Jasmine Directory with slightly different price ranges. There are featured listing options and also regular listing options.

An annual payment of $69.95 a year will get you the regular listing, which is cheaper. The featured listing option will cost you $99.95 a year.


Aviva Directory was started back in 2005 when the internet was changing at high speeds. The developers of Aviva seized the opportunity to build more than just a web business directory.

Like the previous two mentioned, this website’s content is edited and maintained by actual people. Aviva charges $149.95 as a one-time fee and $49.95 per year of service.

BOTW Directory

BOTW or The Best of the Web Directory has been around since 1994. This is a site that has stood the test of time and has evolved with the internet.

There is a one-time fee option of $299.95 or a $149.95 annual fee.
These sites have stood the test of time and are still very relevant today. The fees these sites charge are used to pay reviewers who have to take the time to review the business listing to cut down on bad links. So the fees are not arbitrary at all.

As the web continues to evolve, so will marketing strategies for SEO. So much has come and gone since the internet revolution began. Getting first, second, and third page rankings takes a multi-faceted marketing approach.

A high-quality business listing with a premium web directory can be an important element of a lucrative marketing campaign in 2018 for all business owners including Egyptian ones as well.

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