Is adding the domain name of your website in directory listing sites a bad practice? Is it a black hat or white hat or something in between? They always say that the proof of the pudding is on the eating and it is applicable in the practice of directory listing for SEO.
Directory listing can be both beneficial when it comes to the relevance of your website but it can also downrank your website when not used properly. So the answer to the question will be Yes, it is good for your website and also Yes, it can be a bad practice. Directory listing has been practiced by SEO specialist and internet marketers to gain exposure and increase the traffic of the website. The domain names are added to directory listing based on their relevancy and categories and will be bookmarked and shows up in the SERPs. Since backlinks are the main bases of Google’s algorithm, directory listing may improve the “trust” rating of your website and may affect the boosting of the website’s page rank.
It is also wise to put in mind that directory listing with lesser page rank or with low “trust” value can pull down your website instead of ranking them in the SERPs or adding points for the improvement of your page rank. This is because your website is being backlinked by a so called “bad neighborhood” website. Some SEO specialists randomly submit their website to different directory listing without even checking the relevancy of the site and the end result is your website being involved in a “bad neighborhood” or sites which purpose is for link farming or black SEO which can affect the health of your website.
Directory listing is an effective method for the visibility of your website. If done properly, it can create a one way backlinks which will improve the health of your website and boost its page rank. Even if it is a “no follow” directory listing, the traffic that it generates is also helpful. Directory listing is not a blackhat nor even a greyhat when done properly such as submitting it based on category and its relevance. If directory listing is done through link farming or for the sole purpose of creating more backlinks then it became a blackhat and can potentially damage your site.
Your website may be visible in the directory listing sites which you submitted but not visible in SERP or Search Engine Result Page due to penalties you got from link spamming.