Posted: July 6, 2012, 10:15 AM

Q: Will links from directories move me up in Google search results?

I am an e-retailer specializing in erotic stories, adult toys, and lingerie. I have heard Google no longer uses Page Rank, so I don't know which directories to consider quality. Will signing up with smaller adult-related directories help or hinder me with the new Google algorithm? Thank you, Cassandra SexStoriesandToys.com

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A: There are better ways to improve SEO results.

Google still uses PageRank, albeit in a much more advanced form than when it was introduced. For instance, trust is a component now.

If you are referring to the recent "Penguin" algorithm update, that targets web sites that are falling short of the Google guidelines.

 Acquiring links from directories is a low-value activity. It won't gain much for you. Your time is better spent building viral content, like infographics, personality tests, quizzes, top 10 lists, scavenger hunts, etc.

Still, I should answer your question about judging a directory's quality. A good measure for a directory's quality in the eyes of Google is: Does the directory primarily exist for users or for webmasters. If the latter, move on. Google doesn't like directories whose primary purpose to entice webmasters to submit their links.

Stephan Spencer

Vice President, SEO Strategies, Covario Inc.

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