Pretty much every local listing you create for your business lets you include a link to your website, so that it’s easy for visitors to learn more about you. But most of those are nofollow links – meaning Google’s not supposed to “count” them for or against your rankings.
Still, some sites don’t slap a “nofollow” attribute on their links.
I (with the help of my assistant, Danielle) have put together a list of the local-business and industry-specific directories where the links to your site technically count, to one degree or another. We scoured my Definitive Citations List, plus a few additional sites.
As you might guess, some of these sites are more notable than others. Some are prominent directories in a niche (e.g. WeddingWire), some represent a cause (e.g. GoGreenWebDirectory.com), and others might just be on your citation checklist anyway (e.g. Brownbook). But other sites are pretty mediocre and no-name.
Why should you know about – or bother with – a list that includes some mediocre sites with mediocre links?
- Mediocre “follow” links have their place in the world. In the early stages of a local SEO effort, they’re signs of life that Google might observe. They might help you rank for the one obscure search term that gets you the one customer who helps keeps you in business for long enough that you can do RCS.
- Again, some of the sites are pretty prominent, and you may want to get listed on them for non-SEO reasons.
- In case for whatever reason you don’t want listings on local directories that offer follow links, you’ll want to know what those sites are.
- Maybe you’re just a curious cat, like me.
This post hits on a sticky topic, so I’m going to make you read even more preamble before I get to the actual list:
- Don’t rely on any one type of link or one strategy to get links.
- Don’t expect these “follow” links to make a huge difference by themselves.
- Do realize that most of the links you’ll want to earn over time will take hard work.
- Do use your best judgment.
Anyway, here are the general local-business directory sites that include a follow link when you create a listing:
Cylex (on request – see Imi’s comment)
(Note that TicketBud.com and EventCrazy.com are sites you can publicize events on. Now that can be a good way to earn links.)
Now for some industry-specific sites that offer a follow link. Even if you ignore the first list (above), there’s a strong case to be made for these because many of them are (1) review sites and (2) have some visibility in Google. (FYI, some of these may be paid listings.)
Other sites that offer follow links are “powered by Yext” – meaning probably the only way you can get a listing there and a link is to use Yext. These sites include eLocal, Switchboard, Topix, WhitePages, Yellowise, and others. As Dan Leibson has noted, there may be some value in those listings / links as well. I didn’t include those.
Local Chambers of Commerce tend to offer follow links, too.
Great discussion here, by the way.
Do you know of any sites I missed? Any that I should definitely remove? (I’d love to keep this list up-to-date.)
To what extent do you agree with me that “mediocre links have their place in the world,” in the sense that they can help you get the ball rolling?
Other local-citation-link-related words of wisdom?
Leave a comment!
P.S. Thanks to Tony Wang, Michael Doran, and Kathy Long for contributing to the list with their helpful comments, below.
Matt Maglodi says
Great article Phil. The part on (Note that TicketBud.com and EventCrazy.com are sites you can publicize events on. Now that can be a good way to earn links.) is pure gold. I would like to also share that one strategy that has worked for us is to change the descriptions of the citations that are being generated. So change the descriptions every 3 or 4 listings. In other words don’t use the same descriptions word for word for 50 citations. Thanks for taking the time to create this article, we are using it right now!
I haven’t found that changing the descriptions in that way matters. In any case, some variation in the descriptions is inevitable, because they all have different length requirements, and some let you include a “short” and “long” description.” But to each his own 🙂
How about Kudzu?
Good call, Tony. Thanks. Kudzu does offer follow links at least some of the time.
I also forgot to mention you can can get a follow from showmelocal, just not in the normal company info portion. Interestingly, they let you put html in the description field, and those links they don’t bother to nofollow. Just discovered that one recently.
Great to know. Thanks!
Michael S. Doran says
Great list Phil!
Lacartes gives a follow link, but you have to touch it every few months to keep it alive.
Thanks, Michael. I’ve seen Lacartes pop up on occasion, too. Added it to the list.
Jeffrey Enabe says
Saved this specific list in Google Docs, thanks Phil! While these links might not be powerful it is nice to add some diversity in the link profile.
Sure thing, Jeffrey!
Kathy Long says
Regarding CyberAtty.com, those are newslinks you see there. To get to the directory, click on the law firm directory link on the left to take you here: https://www.cyberatty.com/cgi-bin/lawfirm.pl There you see sponsored links that cost $50/yr. To see others, you have to search via the select list on the top right. That action requires a query into a database, something I don’t believe Google can do unless it’s advanced that far without me knowing it. I don’t think so. Other sites like Thumbtack always provide link pages to individual listings in addition to their search to get Google to crawl them all. In short, I don’t think a FREE directory listing here will be seen by Google unless there are crawlable pages here? Are there?
I think you’re right about Thumbtack.
Jason Khoo says
Great list! I’m just curious, do you keep an internal database of these directories?
Since the Penguin algorithm exists we at Cylex had a plenty of requests to set the external links to nofollow. Many websites impacted negatively by algorithm changes starts eliminating ALL their links from local listings because according an “SEO guru” all directory links are wrong and hurts their ranking. This is why we decided to set the links to nofollow by default but if a customer requests we change it to dofollow (excepting some cases where the links looks spammy)
Thanks, Imi. That’s good to know.
The trouble with those requests – as you know – is that the people making them were indiscriminate about getting links, got penalized by Google, didn’t know which links were hurting them, panicked, and wanted to disavow or get nofollows from domains that are fine (e.g. Cylex).
Hi Imi, I sent a request to support to have a link followed and was told it can’t be done.
Justin Mosebach says
eLocal.com is sneaky. If you don’t use Yext, you can still list your NAP/W (etc), but the URL is no-follow. Example: https://www.elocalplumbers.com/profile/joe-the-plumber-17386724/#!/tab=about
Good to know. Thanks, Justin.
Brent Nau says
MyZippyPlumbers.com does not resolve. It should be MyZipPlumbers.com
Fixed. Thanks, Brent!
Andy Kuiper says
Thanks all 🙂
Robert May says
great list of sites. Hope it doesn’t get flooded by fiverr sellers and spammers though. Every time I find a nice new place to get some good linkjuice it gets wrecked within the year.