Checking a Webpage for SEO Quality (According to Google)

My colleague, Will Paoletto, wrote an excellent post about using logic to prove that directory submission was still a valid SEO tactic, despite what you may have heard from other SEO companies. I thought I would take this a bit further and help you decide if the directory submission is really worthwhile by showing you how to judge the quality of the placement page your site would be listed on in the directory.

We’ll start out with idea that you  have an accounting site and you are looking for quality directory submissions.

While a directory may have a decent PR ranking (3-5) you also want to check to make sure the page your listing will be placed on is a quality page. You can use this method for any potential page you are requesting a link for, but this is especially helpful when deciding whether a page within a directory is worth your money.

Here is an example:

The URLZ Web Directory (http://www.urlz.net/) has a home page PR value of 3, which is respectable if not great. If you are considering purchasing a link from this directory your next step should be to identify the exact page your link will live on.

After searching the categories you would find that this is the most likely category for your accounting site: http://www.urlz.net/Business_And_Shopping/B2B_Services/

After finding this page we want to evaluate the importance of it to the search engines, particularly Google. To do this we want to check and see if it has any PageRank value of its own. If you have installed the Google Toolbar you can see the toolbar is empty (no green fill, see screen shot) and therefore the page in question has either no rank or a PR0. Both options are equally negative for deciding if a link on the page would be valuable.

You can go further and see if Google has included this page in its search results. If Google has included it, but is giving it a PageRank value of 0, you may still wish to place link on the page if the content surrounding it is of a similar theme to your site and if the link would be low cost-free. To check if the page is in the Google search results, or cached by Google, you would click the button in the Google Toolbar and select the dropdown option labeled “Cached Snapshot of Page” as seen in the screenshot below.

After choosing this option the following screen will show, displaying any information Google has about this page in its cache or if it isn’t cached. Good news, this page is cached and was last visited just a few days ago from today’s date (Oct. 17, 2008) so Google does have this page cached and possibly is visiting it frequently. Is this worth a submission? That is up to you and your budget. But at least you know it can be realistically considered because it is cached by Google.

If you were to see a message stating the page has not been cached you can deduce the page would be practically worthless for SEO and thus should be avoided. You can use this method on any page you are considering for link acquisition. If the page doesn’t have PR value use this method to determine if Google has the page in its database of searched sites.

15 Comments

  1. Do you mean to say even if the page has 0 pagerank it is still important? How do you decide which directories to include yourself on to make sure you’ll not be penalized in the long run?

    Reply
  2. Directory submission plays a very important role in off-page seo…Thanks for sharing your Urlz..
    We would update our information on this..

    Reply
  3. Look at all that time it took to get one back link, that’s not even guaranteed to be placed or become live.

    And even if it does, the page quality might not be what you expect.

    Still a total waste of time, you can easily get more back links more natural ways than wasting time submitting to directories.

    Reply
  4. Myron, I don’t think a lot of time should be spent trying to decide if a PR0 page is worth submitting to. Let me explain, if the page has relative content and is free, why not? Not every link is going to be a PR5 link. Remember, the page might have a higher PR value at some point in the future. And, of course, if you feel any traffic could be derived from the link then you should post to it. In other words, you should be able to deduce if the page is worth a link based on content. My system for checking the quality is for Google’s benefit only.

    Reply
  5. Aff, you are entitled to your own opinions, but directory links aren’t all a waste of time. This technique just helps to decided which pages in a directory are worth your time. What other link building techniques do you use?

    Reply
  6. Submitted to directories is helpful, but your on page seo is a high priority for any site. Having code that will not stump the spiders and well written content is essential to a successful site.

    Reply
  7. Google sill give tribute its predecessors, online directories. Besides, online directories were like phone directories where relevant sites per category are indexed. so google can just browse their files and find some relevant sites out there on a particular site. So i guess it still matters in search engine optimization no matter how small it matters.

    Reply
  8. Trying out the various methods is the best idea. Thanks for pointing me in the right directions to help me decide what works best for me. I do think though that a little bit of luck is always playing into the mix.

    Reply
  9. I don’t think submitting to the directory is helpful.

    Reply
  10. There are very few times where you actually want a 302 redirect, although they are used more often than 301s merely because most people donâ??t know the difference. 302 redirects are often the default redirect in website control panels, and JavaScript or Meta redirects will produce a 302 status as well. In certain situations however, 302 redirects work wonders.

    Reply
  11. Hi i am new to SEO and i am reading articles and posts on SEO and related topics from quite a while.I found this article interesting and i hope i will get such good article in future also.Shell i would like to know that what is your opinion about Web Analytics?

    Reply
  12. But what about the free submissions directories? Are they valuable as long as they´ve being added in relevant category?

    Reply
  13. I agree with what you have said about directory submission. I consider directory submission as one among the many things that we can do for SEO and best listing in search engine. So dont get carried away with Directory submission where there are thousands of directories available for you to submit.

    Reply
  14. This technique just helps to decided which pages in a directory are worth your time. What other link building techniques do you use?

    Reply
  15. I just started writing link wheels, and they are really a great source for easy backlinks. Directories are pretty useless nowadays.

    Reply

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