Business | Company Reviews
Business directories aren’t what they used to be a few years ago. Today, only the big ones are able to thrive and survive in an online environment where Google makes most of the rules. There was a time when businesses tried to get listed in as many directories as possible. They used those listings for both traffic and SEO purposes. Sadly, the latest Google algorithm updates put an end to the directory business, many of them being deprived of their authority. Business owners who were once eager to submit their websites to as many directories as possible lost their interest completely.
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Moreover, some of them started to ask directories to remove their old listings, as they believed the might have a negative impact on their rankings. The online landscape has known a major shift towards editorial links. Link exchanges, site-wide links and SEO directories with do-follow listing links have quickly become obsolete. All SEO experts advised people to stay away from such practices that could attract the disaster of a severe penalty from Google. Many marketers got confused and didn’t know what to do to recover. Some of them went out of business. Others tried to hang in there, waiting for the good times to come back.
Still, smart internet marketers have discovered how to keep their online properties alive and kicking. Business directories have been added a column for reviews, thus being able to profit from fresh content to help them maintain their good rankings in the SERPs. These directories have become reviews websites. Reviews are useful for consumers seeking for information about various products or services. When they are honest, they can be a trustworthy source.
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This made third party reviews websites gain a lot of authority, thus becoming very interesting for business owners. However, the most important shift in the mind of all online professionals is that their focus is on authority and high quality traffic rather than link building. Most link building practices have become obsolete. Links still work, but acquiring good ones has become very challenging. Under these circumstances, directories that feature user reviews may have a brilliant future, as they offer more than simple links. They offer businesses a way of enabling their clients to express themselves and give feedback which could serve other people seeking for information online.
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Business directories that use custom made software are easy to update in order to include a column for reviews. On the contrary, directories powered by open source or paid solutions need to use special plugins for adjusting their database and their internal structure to integrate user reviews. This is not an impossible task, but it would be very hard for a directory owner without too much programming experience to tweak the code in order to generate this additional field in the database and the form that would collect the information from users and send it to this field. However, those who can manage to do it are going to increase their chances to develop and grow their business.