Business directories are lists of businesses within a particular profession or field. Some of these directories extend across hundreds of companies and are created for the purpose of publicly affirming the credibility and veracity of businesses. This idea fits in perfectly with the basic concept of SEO, which is to increase online popularity of sites that are simply too young to float to the top of search results pages. These directories are just as important today as they have been in the past because search engines are smart enough to believe honest directories more than random linkage found in a dark corner of the web.
Basically, if a veritable site with a long history of popularity links to you, you are very likely to be ranked higher by a search engine than if you were to be linked to by thousands of infamous sites such as gateway sites and black-hat abusers. Furthermore, having your name and link appear on a popular business directory ensures a steady increase in the amount of visitors on your site and seeing as how they weren’t tricked into visiting, but rather did so because they were in need of the services you offer, all visitors that you procure this way are potential customers. All you have to do is ensure that you sell what they’re buying.
Business directories worked in the past because veritable companies could create a network of other veritable companies that they have cooperated with. This network could be accessed by anyone, including people who have not yet had officially cooperated with anyone within the network, thereby allowing for the network to grow naturally, through communication and word of mouth. This approach functions wonderfully on the internet today, because new companies appear every day and they want to get their voices heard. They also want to offer their product to as many potential customers as possible and by getting linked on a business directory, they can.