A web directory is just a website where users can search and navigate to different webpages through the web listings provided in the directory. To improve the accuracy of searches made by the users, these listings are grouped into categories which are then further divided into smaller categories.
Web directories have lost their popularity over the years due to how easy they are manipulated and how easily they can be used to publish poor quality content. There are so many web directories on the internet which has led to unhealthy competition between them as they try to outwit each other.
Many have employed the use of automated editors which are easy to manipulate, hence, allowing multiple websites to get listed unfairly. This has raised a lot of concerns which are now being dealt with ruthlessly.
Search Engine Guidelines
It seems that search engines still rely on web directories to get the information needed to satisfy the different queries users have. This ensures that web directories always remain in operation if they abide by the set guidelines.
Yellow Pages is the oldest directory and is continuing to provide quality information to their users. Although many web directories have been penalized, many more directories have been started which means that these manipulative tactics will still be used.
However, there are a few online web directories that are compliant with Google’s guidelines and would really help you improve your online presence. These include: BOTW, Jasmine Directory and Curlie.org (former DMOZ). Here are a few facts all these Google-compliant directories have in common (these features were established by analyzing independently each of them for this review):
A very strict editorial standard which make it hard for just any website to get listed
These directories are best known for employing human editors who take their time to check the contents of your websites to make sure it is of a high quality. These editors are either paid or do it voluntarily.
For most of these directories, reviewing such content is done with the utmost scrutiny to make sure they only pick the best websites. It takes at most six months for your submission to be reviewed then they decide whether it is worthy to be listed. If not, any subscription fee you had paid is refunded immediately.
If approved, they categorize your website and then edit its description to suit that category. This may limit the number of web listings in the directories but increases the awareness of those that are listed.
They all update their listings as often as possible to make sure they do not have dead links and parked links which may reduce traffic
Dead links are these links that are always under construction or maintenance or those that redirect to annoying advertisements. Parked links are those links to websites which never update their content meaning they have nothing more to offer their customers.
These directories scan their listings to make sure they do not have such links and if they do, remove them as soon as possible. Google search algorithms check whether directories have directories and if they do they will be flagged. If no action is taken by the directory, they will be penalized.
These online directories have a high-quality user experience
Users should have an easy time navigating through a web directory so that they can read enjoy the content they find.
If this is not possible, many users will avoid these directories which leads to loss of traffic. These directories have blogs which contain articles about the contents of the different websites listed. This makes the users aware of online businesses available in the directory.
They also have forums where users interact and discuss the different websites listed and even give advice on how best to improve the services offered.
They also have customer reviews which are accounts of how the users were impacted by the services offered by the websites listed. Potential customers can check these reviews so as to gauge whether visiting a particular site will be worth it.
They serve a niche category or are divided into different niche categories
Niche directories are those directories which serve a category such as a food directory will only have web listings concerning food.
Getting your website listed on a niche directory boosts your online presence because a user having a query in that category may look for the information in that directory.
Some directories divide themselves into niche categories making it easy for a user to pick a website in a category of their choice. Having multiple categories will boost traffic because users will know that if they want answers pertaining to any question they can find it in that directory.
Also, if you are looking to make a breakthrough in the local market, having your website listed in a niche directory will help you achieve this. Most consumers want to access businesses which are in their own vicinity.
These directories do not only focus on boosting your SEO as there are so many more ways to do so
Search Engine Optimization is important, but it should not be the only focus of web directories. Web directories should market themselves to attract more customers to view their web listings.
As much as better search rankings are important to boost your online presence, there are many other methods web directories can use to help you grow your online business. Online business directories should have social media pages where they advertise the different websites they have listed. And all of these three directories have.
Make sure you get your website listed on one of the Google-compliant web directories we mentioned above for a decent startup. Some of them charge a nominal fee for you them to avail their services but we assure you they are worth every penny.