A web directory in it’s simplest form can be thought of
as a human indexed search engine. Humans can visit a
directory website and make resource suggestions through an
online form. A human editor will review the suggestion and add
it to the directory provided it meets the submission guidelines
for the directory.
General vs Niche Directories
There are two major types of web directories on the internet,
general and niche. A general web directory
will have it’s resources sorted into a large number of
categories covering a wide range of topics. Niche web
directories tend to focus on one subject with resources
sorted into a smaller number of highly related categories.
Purpose of Web Directories
The major purpose of a web directory is to provide directory
users with a categorized list of high quality websites
from a chosen field or industry. With the advent of search
engines as the preferred method for finding internet
resources the importance of directories as information
provider’s has diminished. But, as search engine technology and
the field of search engine optimization have evolved, a new use
for web directories has materialized.
Directories and Link Popularity
Current search engine ranking algorithms place a huge
importance on back links to a website as an indicator of
it’s importance on the internet (known as link popularity).
Search engine’s value links to websites from web directories
because these directories have human editors. Having your
website listed in a respected web directory is an indicator to
the search engines that your website has met a certain standard
for quality and is a site worth linking to.
Search engine’s also tend to serve up category pages from
trusted web directories near the top of their search
results so having your website listed in as many high
quality web directories as you can should be part of any website
marketing plan, especially when your website is new.
Getting your website listed in a web directory is also an
excellent way to build high quality, search engine
friendly back links to your website and gain targeted web
traffic from both directory users and the boost to your
search engine rankings from the increased link popularity of
Please note, it is worth taking the time to carefully review a
directory prior to making a submission. Not all directories are
search engine friendly or provide traffic to their listings so
it is up to the submitter to gather as much information about
the web directory submission guidelines, linking structure and
reputation prior to submitting a resource for inclusion.