Directories used to be an SEO staple. Believed as the internet’s answer to the Yellow Pages, online directories played host to huge lists of links, often broken down into useful categories for the reader. As a perhaps too welcome side-effect, these directories would send link juice to the sites they listed, boosting the Google rankings of the pages they linked to.
SEO agencies quickly understood the effectiveness of such directories, and the practice of bulk submitting batches of links to directory sites became common practice in SEO. Recognising the potential for huge profits, enterprising webmasters set up online directories that seemed to exist solely for SEO purposes, no longer keeping the user in mind. This bothered Google.
Putting links on suspiciously spammy online directories is now considered black hat SEO. Updates to Google’s algorithm have since penalised websites with links coming from bad directories, so steer clear from them at all times!
Services like Moz Local allow you to keep track of all your local business listings across directories and make sure all of them have the requisite data. It may even be possible to claim reputable directory listings for your business that already exist. Try Googling your business and see if it shows up in any good directories already. If it does, get in touch with the website to claim and customise it.