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Do directories even help?

Discussion in 'I Hate Directories Because' started by KenBrace, Feb 24, 2015.

  1. KenBrace New Member


    How important are directories still?

    Many of them are so large I doubt anyone will ever find your site there.

    Is it seriously worth even bothering?

    rabst likes this.
  2. Rainman New Member


    Directories wouldn't still be around if they weren't helpful. Here are a few reasons why directories still are relevant:

    1. You can get some quality backlinks from web directories.
    2. Since not everyone uses search engines to find websites, you can get traffic from web directories.
    3. People seeking more relevant information use directories all the time instead of search engines so having your site listed on directories means that . . .

    Since the primary goal of all webmasters is to get traffic, it doesn't matter where you get that traffic from. And web directories just can be a good source of traffic. So yeah, they are still very helpful.

  3. Niall95g New Member


    Yes! Directories are still important. The more links into your website you can get, the higher your SEO will be! As posted above. As a webmaster, traffic is all good, wherever it comes from. Personally, I believe that it is somewhat beneficial to get your website on as many as you can!

  4. Converse Active Member


    If they are well organized, I don't see how you'd miss. Directories are categorized by topic and subtopic, down to the most specific, so that part should be pretty easy. Plus, it's rare to find a directory that doesn't include an in-site search, although the default search that comes with most scripts isn't very efficient.

    KenBrace likes this.
  5. KenBrace New Member


    I wonder why that is? Most search engines on websites period aren't very good. They bring up crappy results, require word for word, etc.

    XenForo's search engine is pretty decent which is unusual.

    I know the one built into IPBoard isn't that great. It's easier to put your search into Google followed by the name of the site, then to try and use the search function on the site itself.

  6. Converse Active Member


    I'm not sure, but that's the way it usually works. A few of the directories that I have reviewed have replaced their default search with search features that are more efficient, so I know that it's possible.

    Actually, I do have an idea. The search that comes with most directory scripts is one that searches the site title and description. Thus, it will return a result only when the search word or phrase is included in the site title or description. This is compounded by the fact that many web directories refuse to provide descriptions that are truly descriptive.

    Yet, there is a plugin to replace the default Xenforo search with one that is more efficient. I haven't tried it because, frankly, I haven't seen a reason for it yet. Perhaps on larger forums, the differences are revealed.

    KenBrace likes this.
  7. toradrake Member


    Lets see if I can explain this.

    Search Engines like google, bing, etc ... have sophisticated "sniffers" that filter through their database of sites for the parameters you set. They also have the ability to "think" based on your parameters and know how to string together words in phrase form. Like drug K9 cops, they are "trained" to search for specific elements and to identify the difference between those elements.

    Search Engines for sites are the average household pet. They can get the basic idea of "go get my shoe" but they are unable to distinguish between sneakers and pumps, outside shoes and inside shoes. So though they will understand the essence of what you are looking for, its a crap shoot as to whether they get it right or not.

    Search Engines have specialized algorithms designed to "think" about what you are looking for. Website search engines being smaller and having simpler coding are not capable of "thinking".

    I hope that made sense to you guys. I'm sure I missed something in there, but that is the basics.

    DirectorsMill and KenBrace like this.
  8. KenBrace New Member


    Very informative @toradrake. Thanks!

    I can't imagine trying to develop a search engine algorithm. Makes my hurt thinking about it.

    Would be really cool though to be allowed into Google's main cooperate office for a day with a tour guide to show you how it all works and what they do every day at Google!

  9. xTinx New Member


    There are psychological factors involved in directory submission. When your website link can be found in various places online, this gives the impression of "reputation" to your potential clients even though you're still a start-up business. For your part, placing links at as many directories as possible increases your online visibility (though not necessarily your PR).

  10. KenBrace New Member


    Well not only does it give your site somewhat of a reputation but it is also a good way to get bots to crawl your site and index it. I'm not a SEO expert but as far as I know much search engines rank you higher if they encounter backlinks to your site in lots of different places because the algorithm also interprets it as "reputation".

  11. toradrake Member


    One way you can tell that backlinks is important is that in most web master tools you come across, especially Google, it gives you a list of how many backlinks you have and where they are coming from. If they were not important, they would not be included in your results.

  12. xTinx New Member


    Then put up a robots.txt if you want to control the types of bot that get to crawl your websites. Isn't that the reason why robots.txt was invented in the first place? I don't think bots can override you robot.txt once you've already set the parameters.

  13. Converse Active Member


    I would recommend against this. Most directories are crap, so I wouldn't link my site in as many directories as possible. I would not submit my site to crap directories. Don't concern yourself with PR because Google isn't updating its public PageRank any longer but submit your site only to directories that are at least reasonably well organized and maintained.

  14. Ray Active Member


    How can someone take this thread seriously?
    Your opening post reads:
    And your post signature reads:
    "Advertise your forum for free by listing it in our new, one of a kind forum directory!
    Forum Chest - free forum directory

    Is this how you promote and advance the web directory industry?
    Or you're just posting this ??? to generate back-links to your own DIRECTORY with every post you make?

    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
    Alunny likes this.
  15. KenBrace New Member


    I don't think this is correct. The robots.txt file is simply a "guide" for robots. They don't have to follow it. Most search engine bots will obey the file. If it's a spam bot or something like that though it will likely ignore the robots.txt file. That file is simply a suggestion guide for bots not a hard coded instruction wall.

  16. KenBrace New Member


    What exactly do you mean by a "crap" directory?

    A small directory with hardly any traffic?

    A directory with bad software? Bad categorization?

  17. KenBrace New Member


    All a part of my evil scheme. LOL

    The back story here is that when I first joined the site I basically didn't know anything about directories. I started doing some research and had a few questions/complaint/etc. This thread was one of my first posts. So it was me trying to get some input as to how directories even help because I wasn't too impressed at first. Once I learned a little I started having an interest and decided to start my own directory with a unique twist.

  18. Converse Active Member


    Although most good directories will have traffic, a directory can be a good directory without having traffic, as is sometimes the case with a new directory that hasn't yet been marketed.

    Crap directories usually fall into that category for one of two reasons: a lack of quality or a lack of content. There are also some outright scams that are using a web directory script.

    Sometimes people will put up a general web directory, thinking that they are going to create the next Best of the Web, but lacking an appreciation for the amount of work that it takes to create a worthwhile web directory of that scope. They will create a thousand categories, believing that they will then be able to sit back and collect the fees from site owners who will be submitting to these categories.

    Learning that very few people are willing to pay to have their site listed in an otherwise empty directory, they will offer free submissions, thinking that they will be able to start charging a fee once they have accumulated enough sites to be taken seriously.

    Unfortunately, free submissions mostly attract spammers, since most people don't even want their site listed in a directory that doesn't have any content. When they find that they are having to wade through hundreds of spam submissions every day, they will either accept them or they will ignore them; although they may initially spend the time that it takes to review and delete spam submissions, they will soon find that nearly every submission is bad.

    If they accept these spam submissions, their directory will be a low quality directory, and no one will ever want to submit a quality site to it. If they ignore them, their directory will continue to be empty, and most people won't submit a quality site to an empty directory.

    A better choice might be to ask a nominal fee of from one to five dollars, as that will cut back on 95% of the spam. But still, largely due to idiots repeating the mantra that web directories are bad for SEO, they won't receive enough submissions to ever build a worthwhile directory by submissions alone.

    In order to build a worthwhile directory, it is necessary to actually add useful sites to every category. That's what I've done for a living for the past fifteen years. Some directories require only one useful site in order to create a category, while others ask for five, eight, or even twenty.

    Most people cannot afford to hire editors to do this, and a general directory is far too wide of a scope for one person to do alone. This is why, unless someone has a huge budget, I never recommend that they start a general web directory.

    Trying to do it on the cheap, some people will use programs to import meta titles and meta descriptions into the database. Some directory scripts come with this feature, and that's fine if an editor is available to actually review these sites and modify the titles and descriptions. Again, since many people don't have the editorial staff, they simply leave them as in, the result being a low quality directory that is unlikely to receive high quality submissions.

    Then there are those who will buy expired domains that had enjoyed good PageRank in the past, install a directory script, and market their empty directory as a PR-6 web directory, or whatever.

    A more sophisticated scam involves directories whose owners have paid for hackers to place links to their sites on authority sites, such as government or school sites. Since Google isn't nearly as efficient as people like to pretend it is, these directories will often come up very high on web searches, and people will pay hundreds of dollars to submit their sites. The obvious danger here is that Google will, at some point, notice that they are scams, penalizing the directory and possibly the sites that are listed on them. Although they are more likely to penalize just the directory itself, it will look like a penalty because the authority that came from being listed in that directory will suddenly be removed.

    A good directory will have few if any empty categories. There will be links to useful sites, with titles and descriptions that are not spam, and the directory will be well organized. In most cases, a good directory will have a unique design. Although there are many older directories that may never be able to switch over to a responsive design, given the complications involved, new directories should also use a responsive design.

    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
  19. toradrake Member


    Hence the reason I have been stalling on mine. I am trying to get all my sites in order and then I can give the directory my full attention. @Converse is right, it is a lot of work and dedication and the directory may not make money at first because you have to get established before you get anyone wanting to pay to be in your directory. Depending on your knowledge and background, that could take some time. It is easier for a person to start off as a single niche directory then a general one because it is ... what is a good way to say this ... smaller, more centralized, easier to maintain... whereas a general directory is very broad and that field is very much taken over with serious heavies all ready.

    My directory was mainly meant as a place for me to put all my affiliate links in that I have on my site. That is how it would be populated at first. This gives me the ability to make money off of it if anyone visits my directory and purchases from the company. Other companies will come in and see the population and reputation of the directory (hopefully I will be able to get a really good one) and pay to be there. So I will have two types of income. However, my plan was not to get it up there with DMOZ or BOTW. Or to even promote it out to get sites to submit to the directory. It was primarily for my site and the affiliate links, having other sites beyond that would be great too.

  20. Ray Active Member


    I've been doing this for about 15 years or so, and I've never known any directory that has been able to build authority, or as you call it "reputation", from listing a bunch of affiliate links. Affiliate links are very obvious in the way their URL's are structured, It would be easily noticeable to visitors, not to mention search engines.

    You may want to rethink your directory-building strategy. LOL

    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015

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