A web directory is a list of websites with short descriptions and links to the original site. DMOZ is a web directory. The most popular one out there, one that Google uses for its Google Directory and that several thousand other web directory use as source. Google ranks the websites it displays in the search results (e.g. when you search for "directory submitter") in a order it calculates based on its own internal ranking algorithm. Two factors that count probably the most for Google's search results ranking algorithm are the linkbacks and the original content. Now, assuming that you're not the best copywriter out there and you don't have all the original ideas needed to create the best content that would make other people link to it, you have to focus on the other option for increasing your website's rank - link building.
There are literally thousands of web directories, some of them which let you submit your website for free, others require a linkback and some of them require payment for being included. Since the paid web directories ask, in general, between $10-$50 to submit and include a link, if you own a lot of websites and don't want to go broke you'll need to focus on the web directories that list your website for free or for a linkback. Then again, this is something either you could do it, or outsource it to someone else but pay around $50 per website to submit to 1000 free web directories. If you have ten websites and you don't afford $500 paid for those 1000 free listings, a solution would be using the directory submission software. What such a program would do is gather information about your website(s) and then let you submit your websites to those free/linkback directories in two ways:
- manually - meaning that the directory submission software would show a list of directories and you would click on each one, open the submit form, auto-fill the required fields (and manually enter the captcha where needed) and finally doing the actual submission flagging the respective directory as submitted
- semi-automatically - meaning that the directory submission software would "learn" what category your website gets to be submitted to, and only open a page for submitting if that submission form has a captcha - preferably only showing you the captcha itself instead of the entire page
There are some claims of directory submission programs that do all this automatically, but those either submit your websites to search engines (which don't really have any value), or they submit it in a wrong manner (wrong category, captcha), so that your website gets banned from that directory instead of gaining a backlink.
In my quest for finding the best directory submitter, I ended up trying these programs: digiXMAS Submitter 3.41, Fast Directory Submitter 1.51, Directory Submitter, Website Submitter 2.6 and Submiteaze 8 . Below you can read my reviews on each of these directory submission tools, along with a rating I chose based on my testing, on a scale from 1 to 10 (programs reviewed below are in the order of the rating).
NO 1 is, Submiteaze - this is what I consider the winner of this directory submission software review round-up. It has the same informercial/salesletter type of website that made me suspicious initially, but good thing they offer a free trial. There's a Download free trial page, truth is that they ask for your email address, but there are solutions if you want to bypass that. I added my email address and I can tell that they only submitted a follow-up email, so no worries on being spammed. Plus, I've sent a support request and they were very fast in responding. It costs $80 (almost), but the best thing about it is that it includes not only a directory submission program, but also an article submitter. That's right, beside having the possibility to submit to 3800+ directories, it also offers an article submission section where you can submit (manually) to 400 (more or less) article directories. Not to bad, is it? Especially if you have multiple websites. I'll definitely purchase Submiteaze, because it meets my requirements: has a semi-automated submission mode, it isn't expensive if you have to submit to multiple websites (one time payment, unlimited submissions) and offers upgrades free for life. On a scale of 1 to 10, I give Submiteaze an 8.
Pros for using Submiteaze:
- best deal - with $80 you get a directory submitter and an article submitter too
- offers a semi-automated submission mode too, but out of the 3800 something web directories, only about half are supported for the semi-automated mode (they call it Turbo Mode)
- offers an article submitter too (I know, I've put this twice, but it's just because is a good deal)
- lets you import custom directories (they will not be supported in the Turbo Submission mode)
- it does a check on the backlinks your website has (out of the submitted directories)
- displays Alexa pagerank, IBL, Google Pagerank for the directories listed (so you can sort which to submit first to)
- the directories are well categorized, in over 19 categories (by submission type, free or paid, and also by the niche of the directory)
- you can import/export project settings in between, well, different projects
Cons for Submiteaze:
- it gets a little until you understand the interface and all that it offers, it's just too much information for someone looking at it for the first time
- a bit on the slow side compared to Fast Directory Submitter for instance, but this is not a big problem since it still doesn't take long, given it offers a Turbo Submission mode
- it offers a free trial but you can only submit to 15 directories, you have to buy it to submit to more of them
It took a while to test them all and finally chose a directory submitter that fits my needs. For now (until Website Submitter gets to version 3), Submiteaze seems the best choice as it offers a bundle of directory/article submission, has a semi-automated submission mode, a consistent list of directories to submit to and nevertheless a good price for multiple-website owners.
2. Website Submitter - I really wish this was the product I was going to purchase in the end. I really do, and not because the developer is Romanian (like me), but because it has the lowest price (considering my case of needing to submit multiple websites) of $47 and one of the largest database of web directories (over 4000 of them). However, the final decision in my case was based on the fact that I need semi-automated submission, and also the ability to submit to several websites by easy switching between different profiles. However, not all is lost. I've emailed the developer which sent me a (quick) reply saying that he's working already on Website Submitter 3, a new version that will be released (hopefully early) next year. That's good news, because probably I'll switch to it then. Why? Well here's a glimpse of what it's going to be in Website Submitter 3:
- it's going to use the same engine as Article Submitter and Feed Submitter (two other products from this developer) which means it will be up to 300% faster in submitting than the current version
- it will have a fully automatic submission mode for up to 40% of the directories in its list (and there are MANY), which means it will record the categories to submit to before the actual submission
How does this sound? Excellent I would say, and this would push it to the top of my preferences and I'm sure many others will think the same. Anyway, as for the current version, I would recommend it for those that want to have an accurate directory submission process, because the submission mode is manual only.
Pros for Website Submitter:
- the lowest price (for a webmaster with 5 or more websites)
- one of the most comprehensive directories (with over 4000 of them)
- offers a 14 day trial with a maximum submission of up to 40 directories (paying removes these limitations)
- auto-fills in the information when the submission form fields are detected
Cons for Website Submitter:
- no semi-automatic submission mode (though the next version will have an automated directory submission mode)
- you cannot submit to several websites at once (meaning you should be able to switch easily between different website profiles so you could submit the first one, then the second to the same directory, and so on)
As mentioned above, of all the directory submitters tested I think Website Submitter 3 is the best - unfortunately it wasn't released yet :). If you can wait until next year to purchase a directory submission tool, do it, because the announced features surpass many of the ones offered by existing programs (though they might change too). Until then, Submiteaze will work for me. Even if it doesn't offer semi-automated submission, on a scale of 1 to 10, I give Website Submitter a 7.
3. Fast Directory Submitter - I don't know what relation is between the developers of Fast Directory Submitter and the digiXMAS Submitter developers, but the programs have some questioning similarities. There is one big difference though, Fast Directory Submitter has a better interface and has a few new features compared to digiXMAS. Actually Fast Directory Submitter has implemented the new ribbon interface Office-like, so everything is right there where you need it. Just like digiXMAS, it requires you to login to an online account, where it checks automatically for updates and lets you download those. It lets you submit for free to 150 directories. However, it has exactly the same payment system as digiXMAS, meaning for each website you want submitted to more than 150 directories, it will require you to pay $15. So this means that it gets quite expensive with 10 or more websites. Too bad, this would have been my choice if it wasn't for the pricing.
Pros for Fast Directory Submitter:
- it allows submitting for free to 150 directories
- well structured interface, ribbon-type like
- has an Express Submission mode, which is a semi-automatic mode that recognizes automatically categories and you only have to click the Submit button (everything is filled in automatically, and if there's a captcha you see it only)
- has an option to switch automatically between different website information (title/description/keywords) to avoid being ignored by Google
- lets you check for backlinks (directories that approved your website) automatically, and offers Report Tools
Cons for Fast Directory Submitter:
- Pricing structure, it's very disadvantageous if you have several websites, because each submitted website costs you $15
- obligates you to create an online account and login each time you want to submit a website (they do this though to verify how many websites you're using)
If it wasn't for the pricing structure, I would have definitely took it into account too for the final purchasing decision, because it has somehow the easiness and speed digiXMAS has, but compared to digiXMAS it has a very well-laid interface. However, the search went on and in the end I was able to find Submiteaze, my definite choice for a directory submission software. On a scale of 1 to 10, I give Fast Directory Submitter a 7.
4. digiXMAS Submitter - Why do the programs that you like always have a glitch or two that make you look elsewhere for a replacement. From all the directory submission tools I've tested, digiXMAS Submitter is the only one that has a truly semi-automated mode. They call it the Truck Mode. What this does, is it lets you put in description, link, title and everything project related, it also recognizes some categories based on keywords you've entered, but the truly best part is the fact that once you start the Truck Mode, it will automatically submit your site to directories. From time to time, if it gets to where it encounters a captcha, it will show a window where you need to put in the captcha but digiXMAS Submitter still works in the background submitting your website.
Pros for digiXMAS Submitter:
- it comes with a free trial that lets you submit your website(s) to 150 directories
- it has a semi-automatic submission (called Truck Mode) that lets you submit your website very very fast, probably in half an hour I submitted one website to 150 directories
- it's the fastest program from the tested ones
Cons for digiXMAS Submitter:
- first there's the interface, it looks so old that you're wondering if it's still being developed (and it seems it is, just they probably overlooked the GUI importance)
- it gets expensive if you have multiple websites, because for each website you want to submit you have to pay a fee ($15), so if you want to submit 30 websites you'll have to pay $450. This payment will allow you to submit to all the directories in their database (not only those 150). On the other hand, if you have only one website you'll need to pay $15 which is quite good.
- there's a downside to that auto-submission feature, because if by mistake you're adding the website to a wrong category it will be rejected and probably your ip banned. This is why they probably offer a normal submission method (manual).
- it doesn't offer an option to switch between different descriptions for your website
- in order to use it you need to create an account online with them and each time you have to log on to that to use it (probably to track the websites you submitted)
Again, with some work to its interface, and offering the option to make a one-time payment for all the websites you have, and digiXMAS Submitter will be a winner. Right now, I had to move on with my tests with the purpose of finding the best directory submitter. On a scale of 1 to 10, I give digiXMAS a 6.5.
5. Directory Submitter - Don't get scared because they have the website listed as an infomercial (salesletter-type of website), because they do offer a trial meaning you can download the program and test it. Plus, the trial version comes with a list of 350 web directories, on which you can test submitting with it to see how it works.
Pros for Directory Submitter:
- has a free trial and lets you submit your websites to 350 web directories.
- it lets you define different website profiles, so if you want to submit 10 websites at the same time you can select one profile, submit it to the web directory, switch to another profile and submit it, and so on.
- has a money-back guarantee of 30 days.
- it automatically fills in the data you want submitted to the directory (after you've selected the category)
- has an option to switch between multiple fill in information bits (so that Google won't ignore some of the links if it finds the same title/description everywhere there's a new link)
Cons for Directory Submitter:
- it doesn't have a semi-automatic submission mode (one that would automatically "learn" the categories your website gets placed in and select them, and loading the captcha in a larger picture for you to put in and click submit
- it doesn't offer a tool to check the directories you've submitted to if a link has been added
- the directories in the list aren't filtered in other categories, they just show as free/paid or both
Overall, Directory Submitter left me the impression of a pretty stable program, one that you could rely on, and it has a very simple interface as you can see from the screenshot above. The price for the version that doesn't limit the number of directories you can submit to is $76. If this sounds much for an webmaster that has only one website, it's really not that expensive if you own 10-15 or more websites. The drawback that would keep me from ordering this is the fact that it doesn't have a semi-automatic submission mode. On a scale of 1 to 10, I give Directory Submitter a 6.
If you had the time to read all through this, you'll realize it took me a while to test all these programs, just because I wanted to be sure I get the best value for my money. I hope Submiteaze won't disappoint me in the future, after I use the paid version for a while. If it does, I'll "re-review" this directory submission tools review. My recommendation for you, reader, is to test them too. I chosen for this test only programs that offer a free trial, because I do believe in try-before-you buy.
Disclaimer: This review uses some affiliate links, but this shouldn't be a problem since I don't use them only for one product, but for 3 of them. First I reviewed them, and after that I signed up as an affiliate. Any comments, good or bad, are highly appreciated.