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I just started a new site with a forum to discuss stocks. I've already submitted my site to DMOZ. To help promote my site and to help people who are looking for stock discussion forums to find it, I'm thinking of submitting my site to a few more directories but I'm hesistant because I know Google will penalize a site if it believes the backlinks to the site are spammy and/or low quality. So, I have a few questions:

1) If I submit my site to directories with a PR between 4 and 5, will those backlinks be considered spammy/low quality? I noticed most free directories have a PR between 4 and 5, but I don't know if backlinks from those directories would be considered spammy by Google.

2) I'm thinking of submitting it to Best of the Web and JoeAnt, but these are paid. Does anybody have any experience with these two paid directories? Are these two directories considered higher quality by Google?

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2 Answers 2

As long as you don't exaggerate with the number of submission I don't think there will be any problem. Remember that this is the purpose of a link directory site: to promote other quality sites.

The problem with the directory submission is that this technique has been abused in the past and even now. Because of this Google lowered the importance of a link coming from a directory. But there is definitely no concern for a penalization if you don't abuse it.

If you ask any SEO that has some experience it will encourage you to submit your site to a quality high PR directory. But you have to take care of the anchor text you use. Don't stuff it with keywords. Try and be as descriptive as possible and definitely include your brand name in in.

I've been submitting my sites to directories for years and every time I gained some traction with these links, at least at the begininning when I had zero backlinks.

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I'm sure opinions will differ but in my experience Google is pretty forgiving.

When I was new to SEO, I paid $10 for 100 'High PR' directory listings, $10 for 50 "do-follow" social bookmarks, $10 for 50 Press Releases, $10 for 50 or 100 article marketing submissions, etc.

Never got penalized.

However, they were worthless links and I was only buying 50 or 100 of each, not 5,000 or 10,000 of each.

Don't be shady, don't be spammy, don't automate and outsource everything and you'll probably be OK. My belief, from experience, is that Google realizes what is cool now isn't cool a year from now and that new businesses are eager to 'spread the word.' Don't be ridiculous and if it sounds to good to be true it probably is.

But sweating the PR of half a dozen directories you may or may not manually submit to seems like (understandable) overkill. Unless you really get carried away with manipulative practices it is more likely they will simply not count the links than that they will punish you for them.

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