Site Promotion – Web Directories

Web directories vary in size and scope according to their modus operandi and aim of their existence. Some will be very general and list websites across a broad range of categories, countries, languages etc. other directories will be far more specific – house selling and property for example.

Probably the most famous web directory is Yahoo – certainly, it is the company with the most commercially recognized name since Microsoft has expressed an interest in buying it. Another important directory is the Open Directory Project (OPD) that has extensive listings and offers its services for free to search engines and directories.

There have been numerous efforts over the history of the Internet to make directory access and development easier; recently, social software techniques have led to new areas of classification, with adding tagging to their product pages.

The listings offered by directories generally fall into a small group of types:

Free Submission – Listing by the website owner is free as is review.

Reciprocal Link – The website owner is obliged to offer a return link to the directory in order for their sites submission to be accepted

Paid Submissions – Pretty obviously, the website will either pay a one-off or recurring fee to guarantee submission

Featured Listing – Costing more – the website is given prominence over other sites in the directory. Obviously the more you pay the higher the prominence. This is a particularly effective marketing strategy in a very competitive market where listings may run into the hundreds and thousands.

Bid for Position – As above but where the prominence is decided by auction; highest bidder getting the best listing. Better than the above because it can mean you get a prime listing for a low price, worse than the above because the price can be artificially inflated and cost more than the standard commercial rate.

Affiliate links – If a sale is completed by the website following access via a link from a directory the directory is paid an affiliate fee.

The above are used primarily by the larger commercial directories to make their day-to-day maintenance more manageable. The more esoteric the directory the more likely it is to be manually edited. These directories are created and maintained by editors who admit websites and links based on the policies and direction of the directory.

Most edited directories, including the Open Directory Project, are edited by volunteers who often specialize in a particular area. Though popular, they are notable for having a couple of drawbacks: submission acceptance can be a very tardy process and there is a tendency for editors to argue amongst themselves. To rid the directories of the clique-ness that has developed many directories now use wiki software to allow for higher participatory rates and broader access. The main drawback of this though is that the standard and quality of the editorship tends to decline.

Both the professional and amateur webmaster should be using the web directories to maximise the possible exposure of their site to attract visitors and/or custom. Submission to web directories is a basic and popular SEO technique used to promote a website. It is also different to search engine processing because it is not fully automated -there is a human element to the listing process.

As a basic guide, the interested webmaster should look primarily to Yahoo and the OPD for listing unless, of course, they are in the specialized marketing area that may well preclude the larger directories. Web directory listing should be the first action carried out by the web site owner who is keen to popularise their product.

» Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.