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Paid Links vs. Link Exchanges: What's Best For YOU?
There are two different strategies to get backlinks to a website. One of them is to pay a yearly fee to get your site listed in a Directory, the other is to pay a web master to link to you. So, what are the advantages/disadvantages of each? Lets discuss web directories first:
To effectively get the most from your web directory dollar, you need to understand what a link in a web directory can and can’t do for you. In theory, a web directory provides two primary benefits:
(1) Increased link-popularity resulting from a one-way link from a highly-respected resource.
(2) Increased traffic from being listed in a directory that is searched by many people every day.
But for these benefits to kick in, the directory must have a certain level of popularity. So when you pay for a listing, you should look for evidence of value. (Of course, if the link is free, no need to look a gift horse in the mouth - just take the link!)
The two most popular Directories on the web today are Yahoo! and The Open Directory Project (dmoz).
A listing in Yahoo!'s directory has direct benefits: Google – and perhaps other search engines as well – give your website added importance if your website is listed in the Yahoo! directory. Yahoo! is also the portal of choice for millions of users, making your potential target market at least in the hundreds of thousands, even for obscure niches. The cost for a listing is 9/year, as of this writing.
dmoz, or the Open Directory Project, is a directory that rivals the reach of Yahoo!. But, luckily for you, it's free! However, unlike a lot of free web offers, it's still very valuable. Directories like the Google Directory and many others are powered by the results from dmoz, which can help create the traffic you are striving for.
However, because a listing in dmoz is free, there is very little you can do about the time factor. Many websites that are submitted are never indexed, mainly because demand outstrips the editors' available time. Some industry watchers feel the Open Directory is essentially dead, and will never catch up with its backlog of sites.
But, why look a gift horse in the mouth? List your site here and hope that it becomes visible in the near future.
Don't go crazy and try to get listed in every directory! In most cases, a directory listing is useful only for the link popularity. If you can find better deals purchasing links on authority sites in your niche, go for them.
Unfortunately, you might have to pay a monthly fee to a webmaster for a link. Therefore, you may find that paying the one-time fee for a directory listing is cheaper. And, with the big directories like Yahoo!, dmoz and GoGuides, it can also bring you reasonable traffic.
As always, remember that directory listings form a small part of your overall online marketing strategy. If you don't have the budget for a Yahoo! listing, don't sweat it. Focus on other forms of marketing, and come back to it when you can afford it.
About the Author: Anik Singal is an Internet Entrepreneur and expert in affiliate marketing, including the latest web traffic tactics. For a free course that explains how he earned ,466 in just 60 days using proven marketing principles, visit www.affiliateclassroom.com/free-course.html