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How Important are Directories?
We recently stopped actively maintaining our listings on any directory other than BluBrry. The primary reason for doing this was because we reached the conclusion that directories are pretty much a waste of time.

There's a school of thougt that podcasters should list their show in every directory on the planet. It's free and it can't hurt, so why not? I agree with this idea in principal, but after living with that decision for so long, I've come to believe that the idea has to be tempered down a bit.

When you create a directory entry, you're actually committing to an undetermined amount of future work. You're committing to maintaining that listing and revisiting it every time you change formats, URLS, hosts, or broad topics. On some directories that allow comments and ratings, you may also be committing to responding to those comments and such. If you're like me, you ended up with 20 different directory listings and it just became too much to manage.

I'd be right into the maintenance work like a dirty shirt if I saw rewards from it, but I don't. In order, the referrer logs for my show reveal the following:
  • Blo.gs
  • Libyn (forwarded from when I hosted the show there)
  • Distrowatch
  • Feedburner
  • Singing Fish
And then individual sites that link to us. Other than a handful of hits from Podcast Pickle, there isn't a single directory listed in our referrers. I'm aware that some of them are probably hidden in the Feedburner numbers, but that's speculation and they're not showing up anywhere else.

Now our show is failry topical in that we speak about Linux a lot which is why we get a lot of traffic from Distrowatch, but our referrer list has a lesson or two in it.

First off, links on like-minded sites (such as our Distrowatch link) will net you more traffic than any directory listing. To this day I don't know who submitted our podcast to Distrowatch, but I thank them every time I see the massive amount of traffic that comes from there. There's a project for you - find some way to get a permanent link from a busy and like-minded thought to your show. That's time much better spent than on updating directory listings.

Second - far and away our best referrer is blo.gs. A ton of people are apparently using blo.gs to keep track of when our podcast site is updated. Since we only post podcasts and show information on the site, that's as good as a podcatcher for them. Strange how an old blog tool is coming up as a podcast tool.

A final word: I haven't spoken about iTunes. That's because I primarily operate in the Linux space in which there is no iTunes client. We are listed in iTunes, but we don't see much traffic from it. That's an issue that's specific to my genre, however, and I do recommend listing yourself in iTunes.

Take a look at your referrer logs? How much time are you wasting on maintaining directory listings that aren't doing anything for you?

2 Comments/Trackbacks

I sooooooooo agree with you. I was at Podcamp this weekend, leading a session on planning a killer podcast. I asked, "What are some ways you can promote your podcast?" One person said, "List them in as many podcast directories as possible." To which I said, "Um, yes, list them, but only focus on these 6."

I'm beginning to see that podcast directories are great for getting a decent listing in search engines, but not for much else. I'm not sure what the value of podcast directories are anymore, so I'm glad you commenting on this.

It's nice to be validated :)

Yeah - spending hours each week updating 50 directory entries isn't a good use of time in my opinion.

How was Podcamp?

Comments/Trackbacks are closed for maintenance.

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