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Manufacturing Sites and Directories for Barnacle SEO

12 Manufacturing and Industrial Directories for SEO

Avatar for John Locke

John Locke is a SEO consultant from Sacramento, CA. He helps manufacturing businesses rank higher through his web agency, Lockedown SEO.

Manufacturing directories help your SEO in two ways: by driving qualified traffic to your website, and by providing back links to your site.

In this article, we’ll tell you about the top industrial directories we recommend for SEO.

But first, it helps to understand why industry-related directories help your SEO in the first place.

Appearing in directories that already receive targeted web traffic and rankings is a strategy commonly known as “barnacle SEO”.

Before The List, A Few Words on Barnacle SEO

The idea behind barnacle SEO is to leverage other sites that may already rank for a search phrase, and be visible on those sites.

By putting your company in all the places your target customers are looking, your brand becomes stronger, and you are more likely to send qualified online traffic to your manufacturing website.

Essentially, barnacle SEO lets you leverage the SEO efforts of other marketplaces and specialized directories to send leads to your site. Getting back links from websites closely related to your own site will also help you rank higher.

Here are some of the websites where I recommend your manufacturing company should build a profile.


The ThomasNet® website has its roots that go back to 1898, when the “big green book”, The Thomas Register of American Manufacturers, was first published. In 1976, the Thomas Regional Directory was first published. Finally, in 2006, Thomas Register moved their informational database online, launching as ThomasNet®.

Today, the ThomasNet® site includes manufacturing company information, online product catalogs, CAD drawings, industry news, white papers, and press releases. With an estimated monthly web traffic total of over 1 million visits per month, this is one of the largest industrial online directories.

For manufacturing companies, ThomasNet® offers many ways to leverage their audience:

  • Free company profiles
  • Enhanced and premium company profiles (paid)
  • Product and supplier sourcing
  • Email newsletter advertising (paid)
  • Other advertising opportunities (paid)
  • Targeted regional exposure (premium)
  • Request for Information functionality (RFI) (paid)
  • Audience retargeting (premium)

Based in Marietta, Georgia, was originally founded in 1999 by entrepreneur Mitch Free. Today, bills itself as “the world’s largest contract manufacturing marketplace and manufacturers directory.”

What does well is to connect buyers and engineers who need custom manufacturing with manufacturing plants and job shops. Sourcing buyers are able to post Requests For Quotes (RFQ), and receive quotes from qualified contract manufacturers. The business model of is that manufacturing companies, job shops, and other suppliers pay an annual membership fee to bid on RFQs. Buyers, industrial designers, and engineers submitting the RFQs can join for free.

Manufacturers can create a company profile for free, but won’t be able to bid on RFQs. Here’s a rundown of some of the other features offers:

  • Free initial company profile
  • Free sourcing for buyers
  • Bid on RFQs (premium membership)
  • Banner ads (paid)
  • RFQ management (paid)


Zycon introduces it’s website as the “Search engine for manufacturers”. Headquartered in Warren, Michigan, Zycon has been around since 1999.

While you can get a free profile for your company, it’s important to keep in mind that the link back to your website will be nofollow. This means that your Zycon profile does not pass “link equity” back to your company site. That said, you should still get your company listed here, as the overall goal is to drive traffic to your site, which in turn, helps you increase revenue. Anecdotally, I’ve also seen a correlation between being listed here (and on other industrial directories) and a slight bump in rankings.

Zycon also has a separate directory for used machinery and products, but it is not easy to link to from your profile page. Manufacturing companies should have a profile on Zycon, with the intent of building brand recognition, and driving traffic back to their main site.

  • Free company listings
  • Premium listing, includes home page link from categories, logo, RFQ link, etc. (one-time $100 fee)
  • Choice of product categories (up to 3 for free listing, up to 5 for premium)
  • Product directory
  • Online marketing services (paid)

GlobalSpec / Engineering 360

GlobalSpec started as a search engine for industrial and engineering products in the late 1990s. In 2016, they were sold to IHS in 2012, and later acquired in 2016 by IEEE.

Here’s a breakdown of some the marketing opportunities GlobalSpec provides:

  • Free online listing for your manufacturing company
  • Industrial news and analysis
  • Standards and reference libraries
  • Online products catalogs
  • Online discussion forums
  • Free industry webinars
  • Email advertisements (paid)
  • Banner ads (paid)
  • Sponsored content (paid)
  • Custom webinars (paid)

MacRAE’s Blue Book

First published in 1893, MacRAE’s Blue Book was a pioneer in industrial directories. Currenlty, MacRAE’s partners with the Canadian Trade Index to focus squarely on industrial companies in North America.

MacRAE’s states that they receive over 300k web visitors per month. If you are trying to build search visibility and traffic to your site, this is a site you should be listed on.

Company profiles are free to list, and there are several upgrades available, starting at $24.99 per month, and going up from there.

Here are a few ways MacRAE’s can help your industrial company:

  • Free basic listings for manufacturers
  • Preferred placement (paid)
  • Custom Product listings (paid)
  • RFQ capabilities (paid)
  • Premium company profiles (paid)
  • Advertising listing in MacRAE’s and CTI (paid)

NDT is a site dedicated to industrial inspection, welding, and Non-Destructive Testing. Over 50,000 visitors per month hit the NDT site. In particular, there is a focus on welding, oil & gas, aerospace, and inspection jobs.

There are many ways NDT can help promote your company to their audience:

  • Free company listings
  • Premium company listings (paid)
  • Product listings (one-time $99 fee per product)
  • Advertising in the weekly email newsletter (paid)
  • Job vacancy ads (paid)

IQS® Directory

The IQS® Directory exists to connect industrial buyers with original equipment manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors. Though you can get a free listing for your company, only premium profiles appear on page one of the main category pages. Free profiles show up on page two of each manufacturing category.

Here’s a few things that the IQS® Directory offers:

  • Enhanced company profile (paid)
  • Banner ads for premium listings (paid)
  • Video/article/press release housing ability on profile ($)


Claiming 7.5 million monthly visitors for 69 different countries, Kompass is a global B2B marketplace. If your goal is to expand into international sales, this is a good place to have a company profile.

Kompass offers many options for industrial marketing teams:

  • Free company listings
  • Optimized profiles and preferred directory placement (paid)
  • B2B databases and prospect lists (paid)
  • Tailor-made marketing campaigns (paid)


The California Manufacturing Technology Consulting, or CMTC, is an organization that exists to help manufacturing firms in California. Their Made in California™ program includes many benefits, including a California manufacturers directory.

To be in the program, they need to verify your NAISC code and make sure that it starts with 31, 32, or 33. CMTC will verify this information through Dun & Bradstreet before accepting a manufacturing company into their program. If your company is based in California, this is one program I recommend getting into, as the benefits are far more than a directory link back to your website.


Billed as “the online industrial buyer’s guide”, ProcessRegister has been around since 1998. According to the site, they list only process, energy and manufacturing industry specific companies. This site offers free listings as well as some premium upgrades. On the plus side, you get dofollow back links. On the bad side, the web traffic appears to be significantly less than the 20k monthly that the site claims.

Some of ProcessRegister’s offerings include:

  • Free company profiles
  • Enhanced company listings (paid)
  • Banner ads (paid)
  • Product images with deep links (premium)

TriState Manufacturuers

TriState Manufacturers is a regional manufacturing directory for manufacturing companies in the Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia, Ohio area. Company listings are priced at $100, $240, and $999 per year, depending on the features you select for your profile. The Basic listing ($100) lets you list your company information, logo, and be placed in one category.

The Premium ($240) listing allows you to:

  • Get listed in three manufacturing categories, plus six tags
  • Add a photo gallery and promotional video
  • Post job listings
  • Publish one guest blog post per year with a link to your website

With the Premium Plus Advertising listing ($999), you get everything in the Premium listing, plus:

  • Twelve listing tags
  • Three yearly blog posts with a link back to your website
  • Featured placement at the top of your category page


EngNet Global is a older directory that is aimed at the global market. Consider this one a “nice to have” instead of a “must have”. Though they have an office in North Carolina, their headquarters is in South Africa.

Here are some of the things you can get on EngNet.

  • Free company listing (South Africa only)
  • Enhanced company listings (paid listings, available worldwide)

Manufacturing Directories As Part of Your Marketing Strategy

Manufatucturing companies need a lot of help and guidance with marketing, especially in their initial growth phase. With smaller companies, much of the leadership team’s time is spent on sales and oversight, and digital marketing is usually a tool they are unfamiliar with when compared with traditional marketing.

What’s important to realize about natural SEO (not AdWords or pay-per-click) is that search engines look at both on-page and off-page factors. (When we say off-page factors, that means how well-known your brand is and your link profile back to your website.)

Are industry directories a magic bullet for ranking higher in search? We believe they are one piece of the overall puzzle. Should your company be present everywhere your buyers are? Absolutely. Should you be listed in the places Google expects a growing industrial company to be? You’re darn right.

By putting effort into expanding your online reach, and measuring the effectiveness of those efforts, you can pick up more sales, and find out the marketing channels that give you the most ROI.

Avatar for John Locke

John Locke is a SEO consultant from Sacramento, CA. He helps manufacturing businesses rank higher through his web agency, Lockedown SEO.

6 comments on “12 Manufacturing and Industrial Directories for SEO

  1. SEO is really a tricky and yet an essential part to promote your business digitally and in recent times you can’t stay away from digital marketing to promote your business globally in order to reach global customers.

    Often people get confused to find out way to rank their businesses higher in search result
    and when it comes to construction industry, it becomes more tricky to find out good directories for SEO.

    From that point of view, it is really an useful post. I must say thanks for sharing this useful post and educate us on this complicated part of business promotion.

    1. I agree, Xavier. SEO is a bit of an unseeable black box, and the best we can do is look for clues that seem to correlate with better rankings. Best of luck with your company!

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