Directory Submission is a basic offsite SEO activity that helps to optimize your presence within a locale (whether it be reaffirming the business’s existence nationally, or for local SEO purposes).
Traditionally, there are three types of Directory Submissions – two of which are worthwhile, and the other breaks Google’s guidelines.
The worthwhile ones are where you upload your site to a directory either for free or by paying a fee. Paying a fee for a link is technically against Google’s guidelines, but if you’re paying for prominence within the directory (assuming users will then see your business more prominently when viewing the directory) is, in my opinion, no different to paying more for a better advert is a directory phonebook (if you’re in 1997).
Some directories, however, ask for a reciprocal link. In this, a reciprocal link must be submitted to your site when you activate Directory Link, only then the Directory administrator will approve your link. This is against Google’s guidelines and should be done at your own risk.
When embarking on international expansion to Japan, reaffirming the business status (and your website) within the Japanese market is more than just adding Hreflang to your site and translating text. You also need to perform an element of link building – and directories can help form a basic foundation of this, as local websites and businesses will also be on these directories – so you blend in and can be seen as native, by both users and search engines.
Below are 37 directories that can help your Japanese search efforts: