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!