You’ve seen the linkbuilding subscription here on the website, or (our) offerings on Fiverr, or our SEO options spreadsheet. You are curious about buying links on directory pages, in Dutch called “startpagina’s”. On this page, you will learn exactly how to use these for your Dutch SEO.
What are directories (startpagina’s)?
- Directory pages are subpages that contain links around a specific topic, divided into categories. Sometimes there are texts and pictures with the categories. Business directories are an ancient form of local marketing that started with the Yellow Pages (The Gouden Gids in the Netherlands). At the beginning of internet marketing, one of the checkboxes to mark was to get a link from DMOZ or the Word Wide Web Virtual Library. Today, the use of directories for SEO is mainly a Dutch phenomenon.
- Links from directories often have a good domain authority (DA, from MOZ), a good domain rating (DR, from Ahrefs), and a reasonable TF (Trust flow, from Majestic).
- The very first directory in the Netherlands was Startpagina.nl, meaning start page. This is now managed by Sanoma and a link from this is very valuable (you quickly pay € 25 to € 35 per year). All pages that came after that are called “startpaginaklonen”, startpagina clones. This is followed by Startkabel.nl, followed by Goedbegin.nl. Other good ones are Frisbegin and Jouwweb. There are hundreds of domains with directories. Many directories get low traffic.
How do directory links help with Dutch SEO?
- Diversification of your backlink profile. Directory links are relatively easy to get and give you relevant links from various Dutch domains. They increase the number of domains that link to your site.
- The time of filling out a form and getting free links has been over for some time now, people always ask for something in return. Or for a backlink, or financial. That’s why directory links are either bought or self-created. Both options are not according to Google’s rules.
- Directory links help. They are part of every link profile, including those of major brands. However, you should not bet 100% on directory links.
- The effect of directory links depends on the market. Anyone can easily score this link.
- Directory links don’t really increase referral traffic (people who click on the directory links to your site).
- You can also easily use the links for your desired keywords.
- Directory links quickly provide better SEO statistics (DA, DR mostly, TF not so much), but note: that has nothing to do with how your site performs in Google.
How do I use directory links in my Dutch linkbuilding strategy?
Directory links can be part of a varied link profile. When you start linkbuilding, begin with the low-hanging fruit first. Those are all possible links that you can easily score yourself. So: social media profiles and links of partners, colleagues and everyone you know with a website that you like a link. These links should mainly be with the company name as anchor. Do you want to proactively work on your link profile? For this, directory links is one of the strategies that you can use. Keep in mind:
- Gradual build-up is better than a few hundred links all at once. That is clearly not organic, and gives a signal to Google that there might be some artificial linkbuilding going on.
- In Google Search Console, you will find per page the keywords that you can use. Alternate the links with these SEO keywords with links on your company name and URL.
- Many marketing agencies set up general directory links, with words such as kitchen-living or financial. As a result, there is often no direct relevant link to your website and there are also hundreds of links per page. That means that the link value of a page becomes much smaller.
- Always ask for a few examples of start pages for a new party. For example, there are currently many Pakistanis on Fiverr who offer dirt-cheap directory links, but that puts you right in the middle of Viagra, Bitcoins, and loans on an otherwise empty page.
- Some parties not only create start pages, but also the domains on which you create a start page. In that case, be sure to check the spam score (from MOZ), because they often purchase expired domains with interesting SEO statistics that sometimes also have an extremely high spam score.
How fast are my directory links active?
The indexation depends on the spider behavior. Directories get their spider traffic (Google’s way of searching the web) mainly through the root domain and are depending on navigation. The links are found organically by Google in this way, which can sometimes take several weeks. Owners and managers of directories can therefore also actively build links for faster index action. You can also ‘register’ the new links with Google via a ping service. One that works nicely is Mass Ping and PingFarm.
What is the difference between purchasing links and a link-building subscription?
On Fiverr, you can buy a load of directory links for next to nothing. Why would you engage someone via a much more expensive linkbuilding subscription? Because of the following reasons:
- Keep control. When you arrange your links yourself, you must ensure that you find the right links and avoid duplication. If you buy directory links, you often don’t know exactly which directory pages your links will appear on. Especially when you regularly buy from the same person, you will run into links from the same directory page.
- All kinds of links. While directory links are a useful part of an SEO strategy, they should not be the only focus. It’s crucial to diversify your link profile and use a variety of link-building techniques, such as guest blogging, sponsored content, and affiliate links. Follow best practices when it comes to building directory links, such as gradually building up your link profile and avoiding buying or self-creating links that violate Google’s rules. With a link-building subscription, you get varied links every month. So not only directory links, but also partner links and homepage links.
- Growth updates. Every month you receive a report with a link-building subscription with the links placed and the effects on your positions in Google.
- Submit issues. What about toxic links? How can I improve my meta descriptions? How do I get my website faster? These are all questions that you can also ask your SEO specialist.