How To Get High Value Inbound Links


Directories are NOT Search Engines. They are directories, like phonebooks, that have been categorizing the Internet for years. Of the most prominent directories on the Internet the top one is DMOZ but there are also some 200 lesser known ones.

Some of the Search Engines use the directory contents in their Search Results. Look Smart is one, AOL is another. Yahoo used to use the DMOZ directory as part of its search results. Many lesser known, but active, search engines use directories as the basis for providing information for all of their searches.

Search Engines will see these highly rated inbound links and raise your ranking. They sometimes see these as added credibility for your website. At the very least it creates more ways for people, and search engines, to find you and this means more traffic – for free!

The DMOZ Directory

The DMOZ directory currently has over 590,000 categories and sub categories. However, the main directory itself is made up of only 16 main categories. All other categories fall under these 16 "top level" categories. Think about this – Everything in the known universe is categorized under 16 categories. This may seem impossible but when you look at the DMOZ directory you realize it is true!

The DMOZ directory is maintained by over 64,700 humans who have volunteered their time to help organize what, otherwise, would be utter chaos. Could you pay that payroll every month?

DMOZ has its own built in search function. But the idea is to click your way through a main category going down, sideways, backwards and up and down. Within just a few seconds you should be able to find the category you are looking for and then you are presented with a list of relevant sites.

The beauty of directories is that you get to decided what is relevant NOT the Search Engines. You then click the related link and your search is over. What could be simpler? My only question is why more people do not use this treasure trove of information.

How to Get Listed In DMOZ

Remember DMOZ is staffed by volunteer editors, which means it can sometimes take a while to get your site listed. I have listed some simple steps below that should speed up your process. This is the methodology I used to get my sites listed within days – NOT your typical months.

1. First and Foremost find a relevant category that has an editor. When you have found the category in which you would like to be included scroll to the bottom of the page and look for an editors name, or handle. If you find a statement that says "Volunteer to edit this category" it means you have found a category with NO active editor. So listing your site here means it could take months to get your site listed.

2. Here is the most important tip I can give you. On the bottom of each category page it will tell you the date that the category was last updated. If the date says January of 2002, for instance, there is a very good chance that no one is going to be updating that page very quickly so move on. Look for a category with a very recent date, which has an editor listed, this illustrates that someone is actively updating that page.

3. You found your category but it does not have an editor, now what do you do? Go back to the top and select the NEXT best category. All DMOZ main categories have what are called "Meta Editors". These are in charge of several, sometimes hundreds, of sub categories. SO if you can not find the proper category submit your site to the main category and the Meta Editor will pass it along to the proper sub-category editor. Just remember this will add time to how long it takes to get your site listed.

4. Other tidbit – Did you know you are actually allowed TWO listings within DMOZ? The first listing is "subject" specific. The second listing is "Geographic" specific. To list in this second category drill down through the "Regions" portion of DMOZ. When you find your region (be as specific as you want all the way down to city) and submit your site for inclusion. Just remember tip # 1 above. The same applies here.

5. What if you still have no luck? Find the closest category that fits and write the editor a really nice email explaining your dilemma. Most of the editors will write you back, IF YOUR NICE! The editor you wrote to will usually give you some helpful tips or maybe even a contact name to work with to get your site listed. You can find out how to write an editor by clicking on their name at the bottom of the page.

6. Your MOST important tip. Read the category description! Read, read the category description very carefully and follow the rules set down. The editor will very often give you tips and hints as to what they want to get from you. If they ask for a 20 word site description DO NOT give them a 25, 30 or 50 word description! If you insist on writing long flowing paragraphs your site will probably NEVER get listed! Why? Because to maintain integrity each editor is required to go read through your site. Bottom line is you are wasting their time by not following the rules – remember these are volunteers that also have other jobs.

7. DMOZ editors do not have conflict of interests. Each editor has to go through a review process where they submit the urls of all the sites that they are associated with. The editor and his associated sites are reviewed and if he is accepted he would be in charge of non-conflicting categories. All editors are currently under review.

8. DMOZ is fair. There is not any race to the top of the lists. You can not buy your way in you can not purchase paid listings to get listed higher. The sites are even listed in Alphabetical order unless you drill down through the categories.

9. Why go through all of this work? Its worth it because DMOZ supplies its database to over 322 other Search Engines, directories, intranets and databases. For a FREE listing that is a lot of bang for the buck!

10. Volunteer to become an editor. You might have some fun or, at the very least, you will learn a lot about how to market more effectively online. According to the DMOZ administration it does not take a lot of time and could be a lot of fun.

ZEAL Directory from LookSmart

How do I add a site to the Zeal Directory?

The Zeal directory is for Non-Commercial sites only. They use the same guidelines as the DMOZ directory uses. So pay attention to the guidelines and be sure you submit your site BEFORE you add any monetization links! I strongly suggest you read their guidelines before pursuing.

Again, this is one of those sites that uses editors and can not be used for advertising. When you write your site description be very careful to only include a factual description. The best way to understand the write up methods that they will accept is to take the test they offer when you first sign up.

Go to: http://www.zeal.com/ and register. Familiarize yourself with their site and take the test. If you miss any questions analyze carefully why you missed the question. This is the most important thing you can do because when you are ready to add your site you'll get it right the first time – and win favor with the editor! Why? Because you made his / her job easier!

Here are just a few other directories you can list in:

joeant.com/

skaffe.com/

bluefind.com/

goguides.org/

gimpsy.com/

wowdirectory.com/

sevenseek.com/

thisisouryear.com/

Remember these will create Inbound Links for your site and also enhances your site in the eyes of the Search Engines. Will they directly increase your Page Rank – No, but they all add credibility to your site.

Also consider listing in topic specific directories. These can be found at:

isedb.com/html/Web_Directories/Specialty_Directories/

In closing let me leave you with the most important tips in getting listed in the directories.

o Do not try to list your site until you have at least 10 Tier 2 pages.

o Do not have any commercial links on your site. All of these directories prefer non-commercial sites and if you have a bunch of links on your site pointing out to sales sites they may consider your site a commercial site.

o Always list with the directories BEFORE you start swapping links. Many of the links you may swap with will go to commercial sites affecting your status.

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Revamping Your SEO Game Plan for 2017 and Beyond


There’s a lot of whisper going on in the online marketing community that SEO is dead. Go on any Web marketing blog or discussion forum, and you will hear all sorts of theories about why SEO is no longer viable. While some of these theories have some degree of validity rooted in them, the truth is that SEO is far from dead and will likely be around for as long as there is a need for online content.

SEO is in a Never-Ending State of Metamorphosis

What’s really going on is that SEO is always changing, which gives it a perception that it’s falling out of favor when in fact businesses merely need to make modifications. Most businesses that have been around during the Internet’s heyday likely remember the good old days when a site can quickly jump on top of the SERP by creating content by the quantity and stuffing them with keywords. Of course, this resulted in thousands of barely readable content all over the Web. Over the years, we saw Google address these issues with the rollout of major algorithm changes like the Panda and Penguin. While this resulted in a better user experience, for a marketer, it meant having to adapt to new rules or else face the consequences of penalization or even being blacklisted altogether.

Make it About Quality, Not Quantity

Creating quality content is what you should already be doing. One of the golden rules of SEO has always been about creating content for human readers and not for the search engine. This rule of thumb matters even more so now. Content should also be more informative and be centered on a specific question around a given niche.

Those who keep up with Google’s current updates are aware that Hummingbird is the latest search algorithm. So what does this mean for SEO? Hummingbird is designed around the conversational search concept. These days, it’s more about mobile platforms and what people speak into their devices when looking up information. Users are more likely to use full grammatical sentences when talking into their tablets or smartphones, and the latest algorithm is better able to understand the user’s intent and semantic meaning of each individual word. What marketers need to do then is create high quality content that addresses the question or issue of what people are asking when using their mobile devices.

Get Acquainted with Social Media

Before, it was all about keywords. Nowadays, it’s more about having a strong social media presence. For every piece of content you create, don’t be shy about disseminating it through social media channels. This means getting your friends to share, comment and hit the “like” icon.

Also, being active on social networks means going beyond Facebook; yes, Mark Zuckerberg’s mega successful social network has over one billion users to date and leaves practically all others behind in the dust. However, other networks appeal more to a certain demographic and may have tools that may make them more viable for generating higher ROI. Pinterest, for example, is better suited for companies that sell physical products that can be showcased through photos and videos. Likewise, LinkedIn is useful for B2B interactions.

It’s now a known fact that content with a high social media presence rank better in the search engines, so that is a whole other incentive right there for taking advantage of the social network sphere. By all means, continue to build backlinks, submit content to article directories and post as a guest blogger. However, actively promoting your content through multiple social media outlets will pay far more dividends in the long-run.

Outsourcing is the Best Solution

By outsourcing, this doesn’t mean looking for a SEO company that promises 1,000 submissions for $20. Such sites are still around and often use article spinners to create unreadable articles that are sent to multiple, low ranking directories and blogs. To make matters worse, those submissions are all sent at once, without the option for a drip feed submission.

Outsource your SEO to a reputable company that offers a diverse approach. Aside from SEO, this should also include social media, local SEO, email marketing, marketing consulting, analytics and so forth.

Contrary to what some may say, SEO is not dead; it’s just that it has evolved into a whole new ball game. More than ever, SEO entails full utilization of social media and the creation of informative content.

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Custom Web Design – Bad Expense or Wise Investment


Price is one of the major factors in determining the type of web development that small business owners would choose to invest in, which is either pre-designed website template or a custom coded website. Since the price of creating a custom website ranges far and wide, from a thousand to ten thousands of dollars, businesses usually stay away from custom website developers, and would rather go for pre-designed template developed websites built on platforms like WordPress. Template developed websites are less pricier than custom built sites, however the costs saved usually make up for the lack in flexibility and capabilities.

More value

In general, custom websites may cost higher than template website designs on the average, but not all of them cost more. A lot of WordPress designers who use pre-purchased web templates charge as much or even more than the reasonably priced web developers. Actually, both custom programmers and template designers have a wide range of prices for their services. If price is a critical factor for your site, shop around to come up with the developer that offers the best quality and price. You will discover that custom web developers offer the same, or even more value than their template designing equivalent, but usually at the same or lower price.

Safe SEO

Many business owners like the idea of a DIY website platform simple because it is fast and simple. You are eager to make public your site immediately, so visitors can land on it. However, when you launch your site now, then make changes when your business expands later, this could hurt your SEO. As an example, when you change website design, web hosts and content management systems, this will affect the way your site is ranked and indexed.

Most often than not, making changes in a site results to 404s, as well as broken links. This confuses the search engines and makes your page ranking go down. If you do not know how to analyze and solve these problems by yourself, your brand will be hidden underneath search results, and may be covered by your former site. In effect, you will wind up paying double; one is for the original template to introduce your site, and another is to redesign completely once your business expands.

Robust capabilities.

Template websites are limited when it comes to structure, navigation and widget applications, while the functions of custom developed websites are only limited by the imagination and skill of the developer. In reality, majority of businesses don’t just need a website, but one with custom applications that are able to manage, analyze and display content and/or data. According to owners of large businesses, template websites do not have the functionality needed to run custom-built applications that will help their businesses and websites to run very efficiently. Website templates match their included simple widgets in terms of flexibility.

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How to Submit Cartoons for Publication


The goal for any cartoonist is to see your work in print. Whether it’s in a magazine or newspapers, there’s nothing quite like having your efforts validated by a real, by-gosh genuine cartoon editor. My first published cartoon was in a nationally published magazine. It only paid me 25 bucks, but the value of being a published cartoonist was incalculable! Here’s a quick primer on how to prepare a single-panel cartoon for submission.

Neat Drawing

Once you have worked out the details in your brainstorming session, you need to transfer your drawing to a clean sheet of 8 ½ x 11 inch sheet of paper. Regular printer paper is fine – as long as it’s clean. Don’t get cutesy with the size of the paper or the color. Bigger paper is a pain for editors who have to pour through lots of submissions, and submitting your work on brightly-colored fluorescent paper will NOT make it stand out – at least not in a good way. It screams amateur and will get it thrown in the trash.

I will often transfer the drawings straight out of my sketchpad onto printer paper via a light box. I like this process because it preserves the spontaneity and comical whimsy of the sketch which is sometimes lost when a piece is overworked in an attempt to make it “perfect”.

Using a Light Box

You can get a light box at your local craft store for next to nothing, or you can go to the internet and look up plans for building your own. Simply tape the cartoon rough in place and then tape your clean sheet of paper over top. Turn on the light and you can clearly see the original through the paper. Transfer the drawing using a black pen. This also eliminates the need for erasing pencil marks which can leave your work messy.

Don’t worry about drawing the border around your cartoon. The editor will do that if they need one – often they don’t.

The Artist’s Market

You can find lots of publications that accept freelance cartoon submissions by looking through a current edition of The Artist and Graphic Designer’s Market. This book contains lists of magazines and what they pay, as well as the names of editors and submission details. Study them and then submit accordingly. This is important because different magazines require different things. Some have a minimum number of cartoons that you have to meet; many list things they are looking for as well as things they don’t want to see.

Mail ’em Out

Once you have your submission packet ready, it’s time to send them in. Most publications ask that you send in copies of your originals. Just make sure that you send them in on decent quality paper – not the thin paper most public libraries use. Each packet will require two manila envelopes: one for the packet itself, and another that you will put your own address and postage on. This is commonly called the SASE (Self Addressed Stamped Envelope) and is a courtesy you offer the editor so he/she can conveniently send back your artwork (along with a check for any they decided to buy!). Don’t worry about any kind of cover letter – they know what a submission packet is for, and your cartoons will speak for themselves.

Once you’ve sent the packet in, it’s time to get started on the next set of submissions. Keep doing this week after week and you’ll eventually get that first sale!

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