Why do web directories thrive in an age when so many people trust search engines? Internet directories present organized and curated lists of related websites, where search engines can find websites based on a known category rather than the keywords that make up the content of those websites. Search engines depend on a website containing the given keyword to find it, while an online directory will direct visitors to the correct page even if the site does not contain any keywords.
Web or link directories are websites that specialize in linking to websites and classifying those links by category. Unlike a search engine, web directories can completely ignore the keywords that make up the body text of a website. Usually there are no robots providing links to web directories, instead human workers find and sort the entries into categories and subcategories. Generally, directories allow website owners to request that their websites be listed, and then they use editors to ensure proper suggested links and correct categorization.
Internet directories have a long history, probably predating search engines as a means of finding content on the Web. While the Web was developing, the inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, hosted and edited a list of websites on his web space at CERN.
Modern directories are often very general in scope, listing websites in a wide set of regions, categories, and languages. Still, there are some very successful niche directories that focus on niche areas of the internet that search engines may not adequately cover. Shopping directories, which list retail e-commerce websites, are perhaps the most popular type of specialized web directory. A good example of a specialized directory is the Healthcare Directory, a website that contains links to health-related sites.
Among the general directories, Yahoo! Directory and Open Directory Project are good examples of popular generalist web directory sites. The Open Directory Project, or ODP, stands out for the breadth of its categorization and the large number of website listings, as well as being freely available for other directories or search engines to base their listings on.
Many of the human-edited directories use volunteer editors to select links in different categories, and the editors can be experts in the relevant subject areas. This means that links and categorization can be quite authoritative, but they also lead to long delays in website approval. To solve this problem, some web directories have started using “wiki” type pages to allow the community to help where needed.
Directory-based sites are not subject to manipulation by search engine optimization techniques, which has made them a desirable place for many webmasters to list their sites, and a target for search engine optimization specialists. who seek to improve the ranking of customer pages. As a result, some web directories will allow webmasters to pay more to gain weight from their link (by virtue of not having a nofollow tag attached), to rank higher, or in some cases to be included. Regardless of the model, directory submission is not subject to automation, as is often the case with search engine submission and optimization. This limits the degree to which the system is widely played.
Bottom line, expert advice for internet marketers and website owners: Submit your site to as many directories as possible. prefer human-edited sites and consider allocating some budget to submit your website to well-paid directories.