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Are directories still relevant ?

Discussion in 'I Hate Directories Because' started by mr_bucks, Jan 16, 2015.

  1. mr_bucks New Member


    I dislike the traditonal directory because they seem to be little more then search engine spider food. When the web was a lot smaller traditional directories had their place, because search engines like google where not around.

    If you want to get user participation, I think you are better off to create facebook groups or blogs which cover your niche target. With a facebook groups or a blog you will get users which have similar interests as yours. Indirectly a blog is a type of directory since you have a blog roll and you often will be making posts which refer to other sites or blogs which are related to you.

    Possibly a blog linked to quality sites with good descriptions might be a better way to go. Anyway just my thoughts.

  2. Converse Active Member


    Several directories are based on WordPress themes so anything that can be done with a blog can be done with a directory. Actually, the standard directory scripts usually allow you enough options to do a lot of things that most people don't bother to do, such as informational articles, interactivity, etc.

    mr_bucks and Ray like this.
  3. mr_bucks New Member


    It seems like most web directories are impersonal. Maybe the problem is lack of customization and proper reviews of the sights. Also they seem to go for quantity as opposed to quality.

    A site like tripadvisor is actually a web directory which is well targeted with a social aspect added in. I know there a similar sites which are targeted at people for certain interests like surfing. So the site has surfing spots from around the world, it then has places where you can stay close by. The site then has users with live cams which show how the surf is in that area. It provides relevant useful information.

    Alibaba is also to some degree a web directory but it has the social aspect. While many other B2B sites just seem to be a bunch of links randomly scraped.

    I am not sure if there is an easy way for web directories to integrate with social media like facebook or twitter. This might be helpful also.

  4. Grumpy New Member


    I'm not a major fan of web directories really, purely because I don't know what value they have to me as a website owner. I own a few small websites, but for the time it would take adding myself to a web directory and jumping through all of the hoops that most want you to jump through, I could post four or five advertisements for my site at various forums and get plenty of continuous traffic.

    Do people even visit web directories anymore? I can't remember the last time I thought "damn, I really should use a web directory today instead of google"... does anyone think that way? What does a web directory offer in terms of exposure to my website, and what makes it worth my effort to list myself on a directory rather than post advertisements, freely, on other websites, forums & blogs?

  5. Converse Active Member


    That's a bit like saying, "I'm not a major fan of Volkswagens really, mainly because I've never driven one." As for the hoops that you speak of, unless you mean finding a category, filling out a title and description form for your site, and clicking the submit button, I'm not sure what you mean. Oh, there are a few that will ask you to confirm your email address.

    No one who knows anything about site marketing will suggest that you put all of your marbles in one or two baskets. I certainly optimize my sites for the search engines, but I also use web directories, forums, social media, and pretty much anything else that might send some traffic my way. Most people receive at least eighty percent of their web traffic from search engines, mostly Google, but no one at Google has suggested that links are unhelpful when it comes to your positioning in the SERPs. If you put the junk directories aside, as you should, web directories offer that.

    When you're talking about hoops, pretty much any other method of obtaining back-links requires far more in the way of hoops to go through than web directories do. If your site is worth listing, all you have to do is submit it and pay a fee, and some don't even require a fee. There is no need to do that dance that people do when they are trying to get a link from another website. It remains the cleanest, most convenient way for someone to obtain some back-links for their site, and if they submit to appropriate categories in reputable directories, the links will do them every bit as much good as those they may obtain elsewhere, plus directory links are rarely "nofollow" links, as most forum links are these days.

    That's funny. I had a similar discussion with someone on Digital Point not long ago. He offered the argument that, because he receives no traffic from web directories, web directories are useless. As it turned out, his site isn't listed in any web directories that anyone would ever bother to visit, since the only ones he had ever submitted his site to were junk free directories.

    A web directory is not a search engine, so the sort of comparison you're trying to make is not a very logical one. I can't remember the last time that I thought, "Damn, I really should take the train instead of driving." Does that mean that no one uses trains and they really ought to shut them all down? Or subways, or bicycles, or even horses, for that matter. There are still people building horse-drawn buggies, and you'd pay several thousand dollars if you wanted to buy one.

    Other than the fact that both include links to sites on the Internet, a web directory is not a search engine. Most of the sites that are listed in a web directory were added there for free by a directory editor who found it in a search engine.

    Most people turn first to a search engine when they are looking for something because most searches are done on the spur of the moment. People do use web directories for research, and those of us who know which directories are likely to have useful information will use them after getting page after page of irrelevant results from Google.

    On any given subject, Google might give you 50,000 results whereas even the best web directory might give you only from ten to fifty, but most of the results returned by Google will be irrelevant to what you are looking for, and most people won't look beyond the first page of results anyhow. A well organized web directory might give you only twenty results but they will all be relevant to the topical category they are listed in.

    Not counting my web directory sites, which receive a larger percentage of traffic through web directories, roughly 10% of my web traffic comes from web directories. That doesn't sound like much, but the traffic that I receive from web directories is targeted traffic. Someone who comes to my site from a well organized web directory will be someone who is looking for what I have, and so will be more likely to look beyond the first page, whereas my bounce rate from Google is far higher.

    Plus, without the web directory links, my sites wouldn't place nearly as well in the search engines, so I attribute much of my search engine traffic to web directories as well.

    Submitting a niche site to BOTW, with its $300 submission fee, is not something that I can afford to do, nor is it necessary considering that I can generally rank a niche topic without that expense, but it is worth if for one of my more competitive sites. BOTW is on the high end of the scale, but it's worth it if you want to beat out your competition. There are plenty of other good directories all the way down the scale, including some free ones.

    I've published several articles on these topics in my Web Directory Digest site, by the way.

    Last edited: Jan 17, 2015
    Ray likes this.
  6. xTinx New Member


    Directories will always be relevant. They make for a good source of backlinks. If you're handling a start-up or small-scale business that lacks reputation, you can't just do away with web directories. They're necessary for every firm that's making its first foray into the world of SEO and social media marketing. Once you attain a certain degree of reputation, that's when you need to be choosy with your directories and set perhaps a minimum threshold of PR 4. The higher you go up the rankings, the higher the PR of the directory sites you list with.

  7. blur92 New Member


    I am fairly new to web directories, but I have already found them useful. I am a very avid web user and spend the majority of the day online. I particularly like researching certain subjects so having an organized list that is categorized is great. I own no websites so this is coming from the perspective of a potential user for your site.

    Converse likes this.
  8. Jill Original Member



    I think you'll find more of the personal in niche directories. The big general directories cover far too much ground for a lot of that, and paid editors are usually kept busy reviewing sites, adding sites, and doing quality control. I agree though, that there is a big plus for those that include more... well, stuff -- because there are a variety of things that could be added, whether they be longer, more instructive descriptions, textual content within a category, a regularly updated blog, etc.

  9. jblogger New Member


    Do directories really help you with rank higher on a SERP? I had the understanding that backlinks are less important every for SEO purposes but that having "bad" backlinks could really hurt your site.

    Today I was reading about the relevancy of Web Directories at the Warrior Forum (Are directory listings still relevant for SEO?) and everyone there are talking with the same voice: backlinks from directories don't help.

  10. Converse Active Member


    Yes, so don't submit to bad directories.

    That's the problem with most SEO forums. People do indeed speak with the "same voice," in that no one is actually looking into anything. They just pick up a mantra and repeat it as if they know something.

  11. toradrake Member


    Those people at Warrior Forum obviously do not know the SEO field. As an SEOer..... YES IT DOES! It is vital to the marketing and SEO of your site. A sites failure and/or success can actually be determined by its backlinks. The better your backlinks the better your success and directories are one of the biggest keys for this.

    Thank you MR. Obvious. LOL. You should do a article or listing for bad directories like you do for the good ones.

  12. KenBrace New Member


    I agree with the OP. There is hardly any more use for directories because people can get all they need from a Google search. Directories were only useful when good search engines weren't around and you needed to find a site on a certain topic.

    They only use I can see them having now is a way to get your link out there so spiders will crawl it and you have a better chance of getting indexed. This would be good for a business website.

  13. toradrake Member


    There are still uses for Directories and people that frequent them. I used to use directories and then I went to search engines and I'm back on directories. The only search engines I use now are Bing and AVG for random "I've got time" searches, but I use niche specific Directories when I am searching for a specific type of site and pressed for time to find it. I have seen that there are a lot of people that still work in the "Web Design" industry that tend to use Directories more so the SE's, however, yes you are right @KenBrace, SE's are the most used now a days.

  14. Jill Original Member



    Please accept that I mean this in a nice way, but that is not a very informed opinion. Known as the World Wide Web Virtual Library, the first web directory was created in 1991. The first search engine (Archie) was created in 1990, while the more widely known search engine, Gopher, was created in 1991.

    On the other hand, oranges were first cultivated in China around 2500 BC. Apples are thought to have been the oldest cultivated fruit tree in the world, eaten by Stone Age people, and cultivated as early as the 13th Century BC, or earlier. Did oranges replace apples? Of course not. Some people prefer one to the other. Others may hate apples, but love oranges, and I suppose there are people who wouldn't touch either of them, but a trip to the grocery store will demonstrate that they both have a purpose.

    Don't compare apples to oranges. Search engines and web directories were developed at the roughly the same time, and have always served as parallel, rather than as competing resources.

    For any particular search word or phrase, a search engine might yield thousands of results, while even the largest web directory might have no more than fifty to a hundred sites relating to that topic, and most will have fewer than that. However, Google displays ten results per page, and very few people will look beyond the first page or two. Many of the results returned by Google will be irrelevant to your search while, in a well organized web directory, every site will be relevant to the category it is placed in.

    Both have their purposes. While these purposes are similar, they are not the same. I think it's fair to say that everyone who uses a web directory also uses search engines. In fact, most of the sites that are contained in a reputable web directory was placed there by a directory editor who probably found it through a search engine. Directory editors are usually power users when it comes to search engines and are, thus, able to get better results from them than the average Internet user.

    While you may choose to limit yourself, web directory users have more resources at their disposal.

    Converse likes this.
  15. Converse Active Member


    @Jill , I love the apples-oranges comparison. Would you be interested in writing an article for Web Directory Digest?

    Jill likes this.
  16. KenBrace New Member


    What sort of resources do you mean?

    Personally I just don't find web directories all that useful. The interface is usually unattractive and looks ancient. You can go through categories and find websites in the niche you are looking for but you don't have a very good way of knowing exactly what they are about. Search engines provide a much better preview so you know what to click on.

    There are a few directories that I've seen which look more modern but I still find it more difficult to navigate the categories than simply doing a google search.

  17. Converse Active Member


    Useful has little or nothing to do with attractiveness, although there is value in aesthetics. As for a preview, search engines grab either a snippet from the site or the meta description that someone has provided, and that's about all you get for a preview of the site. Some do it better than others, of course (true of search engines too), but web directory editors have actually visited the site and provided a description of it. Really crappy directories do not and, to some extent, this is true of the older pioneer directories, such as DMOZ, which established a policy of very skimpy descriptions due to the fact that most people were connecting to it via a dial-up connection.

  18. toradrake Member


    Personally I find directories more useful then search engines. Although search engines have their uses, directories are more accurate and "clean" then search engines. For example, I used Google once to find something (can't remember what it was). I went through 10 pages (yes I actually SEARCHED through the listings) before I finally found a site that was relevant to my search query. Two days later (I think it was two days) I went into a niche directory and went directly to what I was trying to find. It gave me a list of over 100 sites that were relevant to what I was looking for.

  19. KenBrace New Member


    Ah, those were the good 'ol days. Making sure that every click was exactly where you wanted to go for fear of clicking the wrong thing and having to wait so long for it to load, then being disappointed to find that it was not what you were looking for. Then you'd have to back up and re-wait for your old page to load. Good riddance dialup! :)

  20. Converse Active Member


    I am always surprised to learn that there are still ISPs offering dial-up services, so there are still people using them, apparently.


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