Link building is one of the fundamental aspects of search engine optimization. However, the proper way to go about it is a bit unclear to most. There are, for instance, a large number of directories that claim to boost page ranking, often for a fee. Is it worth paying for the privilege of inclusion? What are the things to consider when choosing a directory for submission? Matt Cutts gives us some tips.

Google does not treat directories equally. Each of them is evaluated on their merits: the way they gather links, the amount they charge for their services, the editorial value they provide, and so on. Those that simply charge while allowing all comers in do not have a truly useful directory to speak of. On the other hand, the more discerning ones that actually reject sites if they do not meet a certain standard do carry weight. An example would be the Yahoo! Directory.

Matt recalls that Google once encouraged people to submit their sites to directories but this created a culture of linking for profit and not for relevance. Too many unreliable directories sprouted to cash in on paid links. Google has reacted to this by putting more emphasis on the quality of directory listings rather the quantity of the links.

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What types of directories are seen as sources of paid links? –