Are Paid Link Directories Worth the Money?

I was just reading an article on how to start a linking building plan for new web sites. One of the main points was to invest in the general directories. Over the past several years, a lot of things have changed with SEO and even how web sites get listed in search engines. You no longer have to actually go to a search engine and “submit” your web site for inclusion… now they just happen to find your web site, and index it themselves.

The main directories that are continually mentioned to submit your old/new web sites to, are DMOZ, Yahoo Directory, Best of the Web! and However, these directory submissions will not come without a cost. Take a look at the chart below to see what it will cost to have your web site added to their directory.

As you can see, the prices ranges heavily… from FREE to $299 a year. The most popular paid link directory is Yahoo of course and BOTW and right below.

But is it worth it for you to spend up to $299 a year for a link listing? Many sites have suggested that you do research and see if your competitor’s web sites are placed in these directories, and if they are… you should do the same. This sounds like an easy answer… but almost everyone has competitors, and we aren’t all big corporations that can easily swing an extra $1,000 on directory submissions.

I’ve had a few sites in the past that I’ve done paid placement for, specifically getting them listed in the Yahoo Directory and the Best of the Web directory… but I never saw any dramatic results that I feel were a result of being listed in these directories. As always, this can swing heavily based on what your web site and market is in.

More than anything else, if I was to recommend listing your web site in any of these paid link directories… I would focus on submitting new sites which you are looking to establish and grow over time. Once listed in these directories, it can help your overall exposure and being picked up by other engines and directories.

What are your thoughts on paid link directories and have you ever purchased a paid placement?

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  1. Zac, I had my submissions increased when I submitted to paid directories ofcourse my site was also a directory. I think on other hands, if you have a decent blog attached to your website, you won't need directory links because your blog will get you natural links.

  2. well even though the search engine seemed to have responded differently now with links from the directories, I think its still worth the money to submit to those high quality sites.. Most people submit their sites to free directories (other than DMOZ) and i think its a waste of time

    <abbr>Melvin’s last blog post..March Traffic, Earning Details & Announcements</abbr>

  3. Besides getting higher quality backlinks, can you expect much traffic from these types of directories?

    <abbr>Chris’s last blog post..Brute Force Twitter Smackdown or Letdown?</abbr>

  4. I actively avoid purchasing placement, I tried it once for a business site but found that the $200 I spent returned nothing, much like Yellow Page ads the directory was a waste.

    <abbr>Christopher Ross’s last blog post..How to make money with Google ads.</abbr>

  5. Hey Zac, good article.

    I wouldn't even bother with those paid directories. I would go in a search for non paid do follow blogs that i can quality comment and get the link juice from them. 1. it's building your writing habits 2. it will also be noticed by other commentators, 3…. you get my point. I also do constant researches regarding that and as you i didn't find some spectacular increase.

    Now if you go to my site that is under my name you'll see that i didn't back a lot of SEO stuff… just because I don't even bother with SEO since it didn't get me results for my business. ( talking about organic… ) so just to wrap this up for me it's not worth it.

    BTW. you miss Z on DMOZ not s.

    All the best man,

    Hrvoje Livnjak

  6. It comes down to the site you’re trying to promote. I would never submit to these directories for pure SEO value! I’ve ranked plenty of sites, for competitive keywords, without ever being listed in Yahoo, Business or BOTW. But I will pay for a listing for additional brand exposure with company sites.

  7. Zac and fellow subscribers, my comment may appear a bit scatter-brained, because I am swamped with work, but I really wanted to comment on this post.

    The answer to this question actually depends on your new site's business model. There is no blanket statement–yes or no–because there are to many variables to consider before making your decision to "pay or not to pay." However, breaking this decision down to a very simplistic overview can help.

    If you are building a property that you want to have eventually become a trusted source/hub, then establishing trust from the beginning is IMPERATIVE! If this is you, then consider paid inclusion into respected directories.

    On the other side, if you are building an MFA site, basic/thin affiliate site or a test site solely for the purpose of driving paid traffic, then you probably don't care and would be better off spending that $1,000 on PPC.

    Let's assume that you are building a website for the long-haul. If you are, submitting your website to the aforementioned is definitely something you should consider. Not only is this action a signal (albeit a small one) to the SE's that your intent is to build something real, but you are signaling that you are not likely to be a spammer. And, this starts the link juice flowing. Don't forget the SE's crawl one another, which means Google will likely find your link in Yahoo's directory if it hasn't come across it before. (:

    Note: If you are on a tight budget at least consider paid inclusion into the Y! Directory. And do what you can to get listed in DMOZ; no it's not easy and they LAG, but it is free.

    Having said this, you will ultimately realize more total value from editorial links you receive from valuable sites/hubs relevant to your site's niche. Do not pass up an opportunity to go for .edu links if you can. .org is not what it once was. You are not likely to get a .mil link. And whatever you do, don't pay for links on pages called links.html.

    Happy Link Building!

    p.s. If you are considering paid inclusion into a directory and want an easy way to discern at least one value metric, simply copy and paste the URL of the sub directory page your site would be listed on into G, Y and MSN. If the URL is indexed, you know the SE is crawling that page and the links on it.

    <abbr>Eric Itzkowitz’s last blog post..How Much Was Your Most Expensive Phone Call?</abbr>

  8. I applied for my URL, paid and was accepted back in August. Found out by chance today that the URL is no longer in the directory. Nowhere on Help does there seem to be a way of addressing this.

    Please help with either the URL or the email address I should use to contact Yahoo Directory to investigate/complain.

    <abbr>Virtual Family’s last blog post..In search of eternal love……!</abbr>

  9. Yahoo is the only one semi-worth it.

    <abbr>ChrisDOT’s last blog post..Move Over Shoemoney</abbr>

  10. Perhaps worth it..But it depends on how wise you built it.

    <abbr>Insurance Finance guy’s last blog post..Buy Unit trust ASW2020 and ASM today</abbr>

  11. I agree with you. There was a time when directories were given more credit from Google. These days, a link in a directory isn't worth as much.

    <abbr>Minnesota Attorney’s last blog post..Minnesota Personal Injury Law: Uninsured Motorist Coverage</abbr>

  12. DMOZ is nearly impossible to get into these days. I have submitted high quality websites (with over 1000 visitors a day) to DMOZ over the past few years and none have been added to DMOZ. I'm not sure what the problem is, but I don't even submit sites to DMOZ any more. Has anyone else had luck with submitting to DMOZ?

    <abbr>Minnesota Attorney’s last blog post..Minnesota Personal Injury Law: Uninsured Motorist Coverage</abbr>

  13. @Minnesota Attorney:

    I’ve heard a lot of stories about how hard it is to get into DMOZ. I haven’t submit anything in there lately, so I can’t say on success rate. It funny the one that doesn’t cost anything, is the hardest to get into.

  14. There are mixed reviews for getting listing in Paid directories. There are many saying about this from different bloggers and websites but anyone is yet to confirm about the truth.

    In recent Google Search Engines changes my websites got dropped in SERP's but i have taken Yahoo listing for these website & now all of those websites is on TOP 5 pages of Yahoo using high competitive keywords, so i can say that Yahoo listing helped me to drive traffic while Google search engine results are down.

    <abbr>Ricky Peterson’s last blog post..Sick of no page ranks?</abbr>

  15. If you have a brand new site you need to start generating inlinks ASAP. There is nothing wrong with paying to get into the right directories, especially Yahoo. And checkout their Yahoo Search Marketing offering. SUPER CHEAP cost per click traffic. If you have a decent number of web pages in your site, find a company that offers Paid Inclusion into Yahoo. It can be a small gold mine. I say this having watched a feed grow over 5 years now and the ROI is ridiculously awesome.

    With regards to DMOZ, they made an effort last year to say, "We're back. Start your submissions." Sadly, nothing has changed from what I can tell. Of course, this may be true on a per category basis. That is to say that they may be adding new links and updating old for categories other than the one you want to be in. LOL! Truth be known… they have ALWAYS lagged.

    I have a few URLs to some directory lists, which I can supply if you want them. I didn't want to simply add links here, unless Zac says it's OK. In the interim, feel free to shoot an email to me at if you want the links.

    <abbr>Eric Itzkowitz’s last blog post..How Much Was Your Most Expensive Phone Call?</abbr>

  16. I wouldn't pay for any of those. I would save the money for Google Adwords or some other form of advertising. I consider a good blog post or even a well placed messageboard post to be worth more than $300 a year for the Yahoo Directory.

    I say this because I haven't actually used the Yahoo directory for a search in over 6 years and I don't know anyone outside of SEO who even knows it exists.

  17. @Erica:

    Erica, you are missing the point of this. Nobody uses Yahoo Directory (compared to Google search) for search. There are a few benefits including, a new website getting a trusted link from Yahoo (Yahoo reviews your website before accepting your submission), Google crawls Yahoo so your new site is likely to be found that much quicker if you have no other inlinks, and you begin establishing trust right off of the bat.

  18. i've always had great luck with Yahoo and if you can get into DMOZ you are a blessed individual. i have never been able to do it after trying many times. The rest are a joke to me.

  19. You can do a lot of good link building with $300…don't waste the money on one devalued link.

    <abbr>Alexander Dombroff’s last blog post..Fieldrunners highest level!</abbr>

  20. I have never use directories…but myabe i'll give them try

    thanks for the post


  21. I haven’t committed to paid directories, for the individual blogger these paid directory listings are a complete waste of time. You would be better off commenting on high traffic and Do Follow blogs and social networks like Blogcatalog. You do have a point though about new sites getting some decent exposure. It comes down to how well you have done your research in whatever niche market you’re in. If you have the resources or the time then you can build up a lot of backlinks through article directories, but the best links come voluntary from the .gov and .org sites with authority.

    As for DMOZ,, don't get me started!!

    <abbr>Bill Masson’s last blog post..Sqip is Live at last</abbr>

  22. I would only have to say Yahoo is the only directory that is worth paying for. the others I don't think you should waste your money yahoo has help me in so many different ways. great post.

  23. i personally think that it's not worth it , and believe me this is the kind of things that makes google a better company than yahoo , at least google doesn't charge you to be shown in it's results

    <abbr>Letsknowabout’s last blog post..Let’s Know About : Cash Or Stock Options ?</abbr>

  24. Need to know the charges for the same along with the validity duration if i submit my site in in their paid directory option available.

    Also, where on the home page is the link for paid submission is available.

  25. Well worth the money if you're expecting a nice income from your project. I would highly recommend and Yahoo which gives you good local links – excellent for the trust rank.

    <abbr>Make Money’s last blog post..Software I use on my computer</abbr>

  26. I am hard pressed to think of a time when I’ve heard anyone using a directory like yahoo, and it seems to me that the 300 charge just to get quickly indexed by google isn’t worth it either. nothing of value seems to come from the “quick” in this business, and like others have said, it’s so much easier / cheaper to find relevant blogs and comment on them.

    M’s last blog post..Steve Reich’s “Double Sextet” Wins Pulitzer Prize

  27. Hi

    I would avoid using paid directory entries. There are so many ways to get free links (blog commenting, article marketing etc.) that paying for a link seems pointless. You are also more likely to get traffic directly from blog comments/articles than you are from most directory entries.


    <abbr>Neil’s last blog post..Change to Follow Links</abbr>

  28. Now SEO have plenty of alternatives and options available for such directories, even purchase of link are against rule, so payment for directories become useless and people become clever they avoid purchase at high price.

    <abbr>Home theater seats’s last blog post..Home Theater Seating Brochures for Interior Designers</abbr>

  29. With that $299 you would spend on a yahoo directory, you'd be better off buying something else, or spending it some other way. Google heavily frowns on paid links… that I am sure by now… its pretty much meaningless to list on a paid directory.

    Till then,


  30. I am listed in DMOZ and Yahoo directories. I guess the backlinks hlep but I also comment at alot of blogs which gets me free backlinks. I am currently trying to decide on whether I should renew my Yahoo directory subscription or not. I'm leaning towards saving the $300 but I am planning on having this website up and running for some time and want to take advantage of the years of activity and placement with Yahoo directory. Since I am in DMOZ should I drop Yahoo?
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