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The importance of content in a web directory

Discussion in 'Directory Operation' started by Jill, Dec 28, 2014.

  1. Jill Original Member



    From Web Directory Digest

    Agreed. Web directories need to offer something more than collections of links. However, there is room for variance in the nature and type of content they provide. Some directory owners may opt to provide content for their users through long category descriptions, long site descriptions, articles, blogs, or other such textual content.

    Other directories may be relevant through a careful selection of good quality links organized in such a manner that users will be able to find what they are looking for. They might accomplish this through reviews of listed sites or by offering a variety of other types of information about the sites.

  2. Converse Active Member


    @Jill , I would like to agree but I'm not sure how that would work. While certain authority directories, like DMOZ and BOTW, might be able to coast on their glory for many years to come, and perhaps forever, I don't believe that this will be true for any new web directory that is launched, and I fear that mid-range directories may fall if they don't start offering something that search engines can actually spider and index.

    Don't forget that we're talking search engine algorithms, which are coded by people who believe that they are already providing the most relevant lists of links. Maybe I'm misunderstanding you, but if you're suggesting that, at some point, Google is going to concede that some web directory is doing a better job of displaying links than Google is, I'm afraid you'll be disappointed.

    Frequently, I can find what I'm looking for through a search engine, but even more often I find that the results that are presented through searches that I make are total crap, but it would be madness for me to think that Google is going to suggest that maybe I should use a web directory instead.

    Yes, organization counts. Yes, relevant links count. However, we should already expect that of any reputable web directory. The industry needs to evolve. By that, I agree that they need to provide relevant links in an organized fashion, but they need to do more than that. Whatever links you might find in a web directory, Google already has these links. Whoever placed them in the web directory probably found them through Google or another search engine. Even if Google were to concede that its own results are crap, they will work at improving their own algorithms rather than boosting the importance of a web directory that does nothing more than present outgoing links.

    In order for a website to rank well in the search engines, it needs to include unique content. A link to another website is not unique. A well written site description might be considered unique but, far too often, site descriptions that are found in web directories are pretty much the same from one directory to another, since webmasters tend to submit the same description every time they submit their site to a directory, and directory editors are too often non-descriptive when it comes to writing site descriptions. Yes, site descriptions could work in favor of ranking a web directory but very few directories are currently doing that. Instead, most will limit the space for site descriptions to 200 characters or less.

    Although category descriptions are a standard feature of nearly every directory script on the market, most web directories don't use category descriptions at all. When they do, they use them to instruct webmasters as to what might be appropriate in that category, rather than to inform users of the directory about the topic that we are expecting the search engines to index.

    Google doesn't hate web directories. Google hates sites that don't offer anything in the way of unique content. Unfortunately, most web directories fall into that classification. That is what has to change.

    Ray likes this.
  3. CallieJo New Member


    Content is extremely important for any website. That includes directories. Your website should be useful for your visitors. Adding content creates value.

    It's much easier to create content for a niche directory and have it noticed than it is for a general directory.

    Here are some content ideas for niche directories:

    Maps: If your directory consists of websites that have an actual physical address, you could use maps to show the actual location.

    Reviews: Reviews for places that have an actual physical address. You could seek out people who have been to these places and ask them if they would submit a review. You could also ask businesses to recommend adding reviews from their customers.

    Articles: You could have a section on your website to post articles related to your niche. Write down questions that you think someone would be asking when searching for your niche. If you are not sure, do some research of your own and see what people are talking about and asking. This will help you come up with some good article topics. You could write your own articles or hire a content writer to do them for you.

    Blog: You could add a blog to your directory website and post content related to your niche. Some ideas could include substantial news on the topic, opinions, reviews, and any other helpful information to share with your readership.

    Photos: You could showcase a gallery of photos related to your niche. You could use a gallery script or post them to your blog or article area.

    Videos: Share videos related to your niche. You can find videos from youtube.com and share them in your blog or article area.

    Converse likes this.
  4. Converse Active Member


    Very good, Calliejo. Welcome to the forum!

    CallieJo likes this.
  5. CallieJo New Member


    Thank you Converse. I appreciate the warm welcome.

    I admire your passion for adding valuable content and helping others understand it's importance as well. And I've enjoyed reading your posts.

    It's not hard to start a directory. But I'd really like to see more of them succeed. Content is key.

    Directories can be the go to resource for niche topics. I still use several of the really old ones but wish they'd get rid of all of the dead links. There's definitely room for currently updated niche directories.

    Have a splendid weekend*

  6. Jason76 Member


    If your looking to be a trusted directory, and hence, attract paid submitters, then you might need quality content. However, doing so isn't difficult, just install a wordpress blog on a seperate directory. I'm not sure how much content you'd need to help with your trust. Probably I'd put at least 100 blogposts, but it might not need more than that.

  7. Sunflower_Michele54 New Member


    Content for web directories is very important because it gives out a lot of helpful information about various things. One thing I find extremely important is reviews. Reviews give information on people's opinions about places. One well-known category that receives reviews in restaurants. For example, if you want to try a certain type of restaurant, but do not know what kind of reputation it has, you can look up reviews from people who have been there. You can find these types of reviews on either the restaurant's website, Yelp, or restaurant.com. These are sources I tend to use when I do research on this particular topic.

  8. Converse Active Member


    Both Yelp and restaurant.com are types of web directories.

  9. Alunny Member


    What if you posted snippits from the latest posts from the websites in the directory, as like a bit of a hook to get you to go deeper. Anything interesting. You can have a few random ones on the front page, and then as you go into the section perhaps a little more oriented with the section. For example if your section was on cars you might have articles about how Jeeps catch fire. You could either write these yourself on the side in like a blog area or have them go to the links from the directory.

  10. Converse Active Member


    Snippets from the sites wouldn't pass the unique content test. There would be no harm in it, and it might serve users or visitors to the directory, but it wouldn't present an SEO advantage. Don't get me wrong -- not everything has to present an SEO advantage.

    Still, in order for a directory to have useful content that would provide information for its users as well as serving as spider food, the content would have to be unique to the directory. Actual reviews of listed sites might accomplish that.

    The R-TT Directory accomplishes some of that by offering lengthy, uniquely written category descriptions, and by requiring submitted sites to include lengthy, unique descriptions of the site being submitted, whereas other directories shoot themselves in the foot, as far as their own SEO goes, by limiting site descriptions to 200 or 250 characters, and some as low as 50-100.

    Jasmine Directory includes article-length descriptions for each of its categories, as well as some blog content. Aviva Directory is incorporating longer category descriptions, as well as topical articles that are included in some of its categories, and some other textual content.

    Established directory owners are recognizing the importance of content, and looking for ways to incorporate it into their products. Of course, directories the size of DMOZ or BOTW would face an insurmountable challenge if they were going to try to do the same for each of their categories. I don't see how a new directory will be able to make any headway without incorporating content with it outgoing links, and I don't think everyone should try to do it in the same way.


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