Yes, I would say directory submission still helps SEO, but only if it is done correctly. There are many people who leave directory listing to automated directory submission sites. These tricks are old now and are not efficient anymore. Full advantage of directory submission services are only possible through proper procedures to take the advantage of their benefit for SEO.
Think of following when plan for directory submission for SEO:
- Quality directories: You need to find quality directories first. Here quality means the reputation of the directory submission website. You have to check whether the website is indexed by major search engines like google, yahoo and Bing. You can check the page ranking and reviews about that website. Some of the websites also offer paid directory submission services. Some of the paid directories are structured as per Google’s instructions for sitemap; give priority to these directories. Make sure to check the status of the website in google search.
- Niche Directories: Registering into niche directories could improve your site’s ranking. If you wish to buy a toy, you will visit a toy-shop, right? You will never visit a shoe shop to buy a toy. Once you have found the correct niche directory submission site, make sure you make the directory submission in the correct sub-category also. See LocoBiz for an example for one.
- Use educated meta tags: Make sure that you pick your meta tags carefully before submitting your site to the directory listings. You could use Google Webmaster to tune your meta tags and narrow down your niche.
- Natural pace: Submitting your site to many directories in a short period of time seems a robot job from search engines point of view. Don’t make bulk submission in few days and then nothing. In such case, the submission links would look like a spam. Instead span your submissions over a period of few month. Always keep submitting to one or two directory every month in a regular basis.
We hope that the above helps. Please leave your questions below.