To answer this very critical question, we must first decide, what is a web directory? A web directory is a directory found on the internet that specializes in linking to other sites and categorizing those links (Wikipedia.com).

Most directories are edited and reviewed by human volunteers who have expertise in a certain directory subcategory. An editor’s job is to weed out the most useful and informational sites relevant to a particular category and include them in the directory.

But why are web directories important?

If you want to get increased search engine visibility, submitting your URL
(ex: http://www.whatever.com) to a directory is vital. Search engine spiders use directories to determine the performance level of indexed websites. So, the higher quality directories you submit your site to, the more credible it will appear to search engine spiders. This credibility can also boost SERP rank for your site.

Directories (ex. Yahoo! or Dmoz) only include sites that have passed a review process, meaning they are probably the best of the best as far as finding good, categorized information. Again, submitting to highly reputable directories like these may also improve organic rank for your site depending on the directory’s page rank (PR).

Search engine optimizer’s are directory vultures. They target these human edited directories because they know the value that lies within them. Directories categorize business websites into subsets, driving highly qualified consumer traffic straight to them. If the targeted website has a good enough call to action, that’s a conversion accredited to the directory listing.

The bottom line? Directories are a great way to gain valuable links, build credibility and boost your website’s visibility. The question now is why shouldn’t you use them?