World Wide Web searches are of two kinds: web directories and
search engines. Web directories are extensive catalogues of web
addresses that are indexed by subject and relevance. Experts
review the sites, categorize them, and organize the information.
Searches can be made by category or keywords. And, vast numbers
of websites can be sorted through to locate what is required.
Sites are included either by submission by the owner or by the
directory’s editors when they come across sites.
Web directories are mainly of two kinds:
* General directories that are automated indexes of pages not
vetted by any reviewer or editor. They are a compilation of web
sites and internet documents classified under different
categories or subject indexes. Each listing carries a brief
summary of the content contained within. Examples of popular
general directories are: Google, and Excite.
* Selected directories contain web sites and pages that have
been vetted. These are of a certain quality and standard. These
directories also provide links to other sites and documents
pertaining to a particular subject or theme. They lead you to
links that provide authoritative material written by experts in
each field. Examples are: Librarians Index to the Internet,
About.com, Virtual Library, and more.
Internet browsers can type queries into the directory and the
directory will look for matches. Alternately, a searcher can
view the indexed categories of the directory. Major categories
would include: education, computers, business, sports, family,
entertainment, arts, and so on. Within each category are
subcategories that pertain to different aspects of the main
Links in directories are free, paid, or free but need a
reciprocal link. Links are provided on pages with similar or
relevant content. Most beneficial are high traffic directories
that have numerous web sites listed under each category and sub
Characteristics of a quality directory are: numerous quality web
sites are present in each category; there are editors who vet
sites submitted; large number of pages in MSN, Google, as well
as Yahoo; has a low Alexa rating; has a page ranker on pages;
and pages are present in DMOZ and Yahoo directories.
The Alexa rating is calculated by the number of visitors to the
site. While PageRank is a rating system of 1-10 for web pages
devised by Google.
Submitting a web site to a directory will: increase click
through traffic; have the site indexed by search engines; get
higher rankings for targeted keywords; and get the site indexed
Advantages of directories are:
* Substantial staying power. * Marketing avenues. * Exponential
growth and popularity.
To be accepted by a directory one must ensure that your site:
* Content is comprehensive, unique, and plenty. Be sure to add
new content regularly. * Is stable at all times and quick to
load. There should be no broken links. * Works with multiple
browsers as also with the most recent versions. Test your site
accessibility with different browsers. * Is placed in the most
appropriate or applicable category. Be sure it is distinct from
other competitors. It should add value to the directory. *
Submission details comply with directory guidelines.
Choose a search engine friendly directory rather than one with
Directories must be selected with care. Due consideration must
be given to one-time as well as recurring costs. The pros and
cons of being a part of a directory should be studied before any
steps are taken. Understand completely the world of web
directories and their uses.