So I went to a party last night, and a friend of mine was not on the list, but got there before me and said he was my guest. Fair enough, and good for him. Usually being on the list is a good deal, but with internet marketing using the default list is a bad deal. Let's say there is a place that does cheap article submissions that has 50 places they submit articles to. Even if they did a kick ass job of it, no way would I want to submit my site to all 50 places if that list of submission places was the default one used by the industry.
I might consider submitting to the top 10 or 20 article sites, but the deeper you go the more abstract and lower quality of a link you are getting, and the more likelihood there is that those sites would probably be in a bad web neighborhood (ie: have low quality inbound AND low quality outbound links). In most fields only the top few sites are typically going to have many high quality links.
Also, if there is a potential gem that is not on the list (just for a rough example, say Buzzle.com as a decent article submission site) then maybe getting a few links from those types of sites that are not on default lists are worth more than just pushing to do what is easy to replicate and widely done by those using a default list.
That is part of the reason I do not keep my directory list up to date so much anymore. IMHO, many of the search engines have evolved far beyond that. Sure a Yahoo! Directory link is great, a Business.com listing could be money well spent, and maybe there are a half dozen or so other general directories that are going to be longterm useful and valuable to be listed in. But if you submit to 400 directories from a commonly used (and abused) industry list do not be surprised if your site does not rank as well as you would like.
As long as your mindset is stuck on a list, if you keep going deeper you may be digging a deeper hole. The more your marketing strategies, data sources, link sources, niche market selection ideas, keyword ideas, and content creation ideas are hidden from the common lists that everyone use the easier it will be to quickly create value and extract profit from your work.
If you go to an affiliate convention and see a merchant advertising all their offers to top affiliates that is a sign that their market already is or may soon be saturated beyond profitability.
I have even heard some people who sell AdSense keywords lists scrub the words with the highest easily accessible profit potential from their keyword lists.
And, this really is what makes writing a book about SEO and trying to keep it up to date somewhat hard. People want easy, simple, and straightforward lists that guide them toward success, but the more your marketing strategies, data sources, link sources, niche market selection ideas, keyword ideas, and content creation ideas are hidden from the common lists that everyone use the easier it will be to quickly create value and extract profit from your work.
The easiest way to get quality citations is through social relationships and unique original marketing ideas, but you really can't put those on a list unless people can infer how to extrapolate how an idea relates to their core strengths, potential customers, and/or marketplace.
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