As the 21st century continues to unfold, more and more businesses are making use of the internet in order to experience continual growth and expansion. Similarly, individuals who want to exchange their ideas with the world or promote non-profit projects make use of websites to make their message available to the public. In recognizing the fact that many business owners and thought leaders are using websites to expand their online presence, many companies have responded by creating web directories where business sites can be listed for the public. Although these web directories can become the vehicle through which a business or organization gains an enviable listing in the search engine rankings, it is important that you learn as much as possible about web directories before you attempt to be listed with one.
Web Directories-A Brief Overview
As many internet marketing experts know, a web directory is a type of directory that lists websites via internet. (Web directories are often called link directories.) These directories categorize the websites they list based on the general themes or subject matter that the websites cover.
The Importance Of Website Directories
Website directories are important for many reasons. First of all, they can increase the credibility of your website by informing the public that your content merits listing with an official directory. Additionally, being listed with a directory can increase traffic to your website and subsequently boost your listing on the results pages of major search engines such as Google. Once this happens, business owners can increase their online sales and experience the continual growth and expansion they desire.
Google’s Role In Web Directory Analysis
If you are thinking about trying to attain a listing with a web directory, you should know that Google plays an important role. This is the case for several reasons, including the fact that Google has the power to decrease a web directory’s page ranking based on its quality. In discussing this issue, Google representative Matt Cutts informed the public that the search engine is capable of distinguishing between high and low quality directories. (View the full explanation here.) To explain how, Cutts briefly noted some of the activity that a low quality directory might engage in. By simply buying a domain space and informing prospective clients that it has a formidable page ranking, a low quality directory can attract web site owners and charge them money to gain listing on the directory. These types of directories often fail to put editorial guidelines in place, meaning that the quality of the websites they list is often substandard or mediocre. Once Google recognizes that a directory is low quality, it can take action by having the tool bar page rank of the directory lowered. Once this is done, the public will know that the forward links listed on the site are questionable at best.
Selecting A High Quality Web Directory
Despite the fact that low quality directories are prevalent on the internet, it is also true that a wide variety of excellent, efficient directories exist. With that thought in mind, it is important that you develop the skills necessary to identify a high quality web directory. Doing so is important because gaining listing with a great web directory can be the key to earning you the top search engine ranking you want in the results pages. To determine whether a web directory is of high caliber, here are some of the things you should be analyzing:
1. Regular Maintenance
One of the primary things you should look for when analyzing a web directory is whether or not it engages in regular maintenance activity. Some maintenance activity a good web directory will engage in includes constantly weeding out broken or outdated links. Additionally, a good web directory will keep all of its existing links categorized such that page visitors can quickly find the types of websites they are looking for.
2. The Quality of the Directory’s Existing Links
In addition to analyzing whether a web directory engages in regular maintenance, you should examine the quality of its existing links. This is a simple, sure-fire technique that you can employ to determine whether the web directory is of high caliber or not. By clicking on a few of the links listed in the directory, you can visit the pages of the websites and analyze them for important factors such as spam content, aesthetic appeal of the web site design, functionality, and quality level of the website content. If you find that the majority of the websites are good or even great, this is generally an indication that you’re looking at a pretty savvy web directory. However, if you find a plethora of links to drab or poorly put together websites on a directory, it is often the case that the directory itself is not high caliber.
3. Recognition of Google’s TOS (Terms of Service)
Yet another factor that you should consider when attempting to determine the quality of a web directory is whether it conforms to Google’s Terms of Service. Analyzing this aspect of a web directory is very important since your primary purpose in gaining listing on a directory is to increase your own ranking with Google. If the directory itself is not in compliance with Google’s TOS, they themselves will likely have a meager ranking. This means that you will not likely achieve a significant boost in the results pages of the search engines by being listed with a web directory that doesn’t conform to Google’s rules and regulations.
Directories For Great Web Directories
In addition to following the strategies outlined above to find great web directories, you can also view websites that contain lists of high quality directories. Here are three that can be of great use to you:
1. Info Vilesilencer
Info Vilesilencer is a top notch site that specializes in search engine optimization. This site has an edited and sortable listing of the best directories available on the internet.
2. Web Directory Reviews
Web Directory Reviews is a great directory that regularly publishes reports of the top ten web directories. Periodically, Web Directory Reviews will also publish personal reviews of specific directories.
3. Strongest Directories by Aviva Directory
Strongest Directories is a directory which links directories through the Open Site Explorer tool. The Open Site Explorer tools makes use of the same factors that Google uses when analyzing web directories.
After much consultation and doing lots of research, I settled on the following web directories. The list has been arrived at after considering different perspectives that are likely to come into force in 2014. It has been divided into two: first-tier and second tier.
First Tier Directories
The first tier web directories are the cream of the crop. It is very, very good if you can manage to get to them.
1. Yahoo’s Web Directory
They do charge $299 per year in terms of review fee.
This is a well organized and excellent resource directory. It has some categories that haven’t been touched for years.
Second tier Directories
These few directories have very strict editorial policies. One thing that common to almost all of these websites is that they use the official name of the website. They do not allow the use of promotional language.
In recognizing the fact that web directories can be a viable medium through which you improve the page listing of your web site in the Google search engine, you may be ready to start getting listed today. By implementing the techniques and strategies listed above, you will be able to distinguish between high and low quality web directories so that you can expand your online presence and accomplish the business goals of your organization. Good luck!