Like search engines, there are hundreds of different directories online. Some are general directories,
whereas others are very specific and associated with only one industry or organization.
When you’re selecting the directories to which you’d like to submit your site, be choosy. Don’t
try to list your site in a directory that’s inappropriate. You’ll just be wasting time and collecting
Some of the most well-known directories on the Web are as follows:
■ Yahoo! Directory (dir.yahoo.com): The Yahoo! Directory is one of the oldest online
directories, but when you go to www.yahoo.com you actually won’t be taken to it.
Instead, you’ll be taken to a search engine, because Yahoo! changed its format not too
long ago. However, you can still access the directory by going to the web site just listed.
Yahoo! Directory is a general directory.
■ GoGuides.Org (www.goguides.org): This directory’s purpose is to be completely spam
free. It’s a comprehensive search directory that even has image-searching capabilities.
■ Open Directory Project (www.dmoz.org): The Open Directory Project is one of the most
widely accessed directories on the Web. Users submit sites, and volunteer editors review
them. ODP is also an open-source technology, so many other directories use this technology
as a basis for their own offerings.
■ Google Directory (directory.google.com): Google Directory is one of those directories
built on the ODP platform. Google is most well known for its search capabilities, but
adding a directory takes advantage of the desire of Internet users to dig deeper into very
specific search results.
■ SearchSight (www.searchsight.com): Another general directory, SearchSight is one of
the lesser-known directories, but it’s quickly gaining traction in the search market.
One reason why search directories are still hanging on in an age of search engines is the social
nature of those directories. Internet users like to participate in organizing the Web. Socially monitored sites also seem to have more validity with Internet users. People trust other users who have the same needs and desires they do much more than they trust robots, crawlers, and spiders.
Paid vs. free directories
The free versus paid debate is one that has hit every aspect of the Internet and Internet technologies
at one time or another. There was worry about free web site hosting versus paid web
hosting, and fret over free e-mail versus paid. In both cases, whether free or paid is better for
you turns out to depend on your specific needs.
The same is true of the debate over free versus paid directory listings. Many experts will argue
that free directory listings have nothing of value listed in them. This is simply not true. Some
free directories are actually very strict about the listings that are included in their results. Similarly,
most users believe that paid directories automatically equate to better-quality sites. Again,
not true. Paid directories can be just as lax about the review process as any other directory.
In short, whether you use paid or free directory listings shouldn’t depend on cost alone. What
matters when you’re selecting a directory in which to list your site is how relevant the directory
is to your site. After relevance, the next consideration is the quality of the sites that are listed in
the directory. If a directory you’ve selected is full of outdated sites, spam sites, or miscategorized
sites, it’s clearly not the best place to list your web site.
One more element to consider when choosing directories is the audience that’s most likely to
use the directory. The company should be able to provide a typical audience profile for you if
you can’t tell by looking at the types of sites listed in the directory. Going back to a principle
you’ve heard often in this book, your site should be created with the user in mind. The same is
true for listing your site. It will be pointless to list your site in a directory of law-based web sites
if your site is about home and family topics and products. Audience first. After that, everything
will fall into place.