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What is a "Good Editorial Policy" for a directory?
Is a directory only as good as its editorial policy?
Webwork




msg:3097468
 1:47 pm on Sep 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

Take all comers = bad, right?

So, what makes for a good editorial policy?

Control of the wording of the listing resides with the directory?

Listings must only appear in the relevant section, determined by the directory?

What else?

 

Quadrille




msg:3097494
 2:04 pm on Sep 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

A Quality Directory serves its users, not the sites that fill its pages.

So you have to resist the demands for keyword-stuffed entries. they're understandable - but they are not appropriate.

A quality directory looks good - So you don't have adsesnse filling the visible screen, with scrolling required to find a single entry.

And so on. Put yourself in the mind of a directory user; what would they want?

buckworks




msg:3097537
 2:22 pm on Sep 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

Good editorial policy has the gumption to say "No".

Good editorial policy will reject submissions that do not meet its criteria for quality or relevance.

flicker




msg:3097833
 4:52 pm on Sep 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think that generally speaking, the more choosy a directory is--the more insistent they are that the sites they link to be relevant and content-rich--then the more it benefits any given webmaster to be listed in it, because A) there are fewer links on the page along with yours, B) all the links are on the same topic, C) the other links go to high-quality sources so yours could also be assumed to be high-quality, and D) you can feel pretty sure the directory isn't going to get pegged as a "bad neighborhood" by Google or other search engines.

If the directory lists junk sites and your site isn't a junk site, then you probably don't want to be associated with it--certainly not to PAY them to be associated with it, anyway.

AlgorithmGuy




msg:3098128
 8:19 pm on Sep 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

Good editorial policy has the gumption to say "No".
Good editorial policy will reject submissions that do not meet its criteria for quality or relevance.

buckworks,

What is "Good editorial policy"?

Is having the gumption to say "No" a good editorial policy and the makings of a quality directory and assists in criteria and relevance?

This sort of directory idea sounds like it has no foundations nor any credibility to base itself on. Much like DMOZ and how they go about things in a haphazard formula that promotes comradeship amongst themselves and is the only redeeming basis that DMOZ has. The comradeship and collective ambitions. There is more of a doomsday scenario with such an ill structured directory than a "directory" per say.

Is that a directory?

.

[edited by: AlgorithmGuy at 8:26 pm (utc) on Sep. 26, 2006]

Webwork




msg:3098160
 8:41 pm on Sep 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

AlgorithmGuy, that's pretty good "sniping" but please answer the question: What's the language of what you deem to be a "good editorial policy" for a directory?

1. We only allow . . .
2. Don't . . .
3. The content of your submission must . . .

Sniping is easy Algo. Let's see you take on some risk of others sniping your detailed suggestions for the best version of an editorial policy. ;-P

flicker




msg:3098275
 9:59 pm on Sep 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yeah, no matter what your taste in directories is, pretty much any directory that doesn't suck is going to have to say "no" a lot.

Otherwise they'd be overloaded with millions of crappy sites and no one would ever be able to find yours; plus Google would banish it within minutes for linking to every bad neighborhood in town, so it wouldn't be any help in search engine placement either.

Whichever directories you happen to like a lot, they probably refuse to link to a lot of webpages. "Niche" directories, which are probably the best ones of all to get listed in from a traffic perspective, are usually among the most exclusive.

martinibuster




msg:3098284
 10:07 pm on Sep 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

Is this too much?

  • Sites must contain a detailed contact and about page

  • Sites must not feature massive pop-ups

  • Sites must contain original content

  • Must have a low AdSense to Content Ratio, i.e. the most prominent thing above the fold should not be a pair of AdSense Boxes.

AlgorithmGuy




msg:3098289
 10:14 pm on Sep 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

AlgorithmGuy, that's pretty good "sniping" but please answer the question: What's the language of what you deem to be a "good editorial policy" for a directory?

webwork,

I'm not an expert in creating directories since no real working example by definition exists for me to base my thoughts on.

Sure, quasi directories exist such as DMOZ etc. But I would not wish to create a directory based on the haphazard processes adopted by DMOZ.

Plenty of inadequate directories do exist and can easily be emulated.

[edited by: AlgorithmGuy at 10:15 pm (utc) on Sep. 26, 2006]

Quadrille




msg:3098387
 12:12 am on Sep 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

So you 'don't believe in directories'? :)

You cannot name one decent directory?

Other than your twice-stated objections to ODP, could you pinpoint any other negative aspects of directories for people to look out for (visitors AND webmasters)?

vite_rts




msg:3098399
 12:27 am on Sep 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Be nice if you had a way of telling people why they where rejected, I'm not a fan of the "keep em in the dark" school of web policy

AlgorithmGuy




msg:3098408
 12:41 am on Sep 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

So you 'don't believe in directories'?
You cannot name one decent directory?

Other than your twice-stated objections to ODP, could you pinpoint any other negative aspects of directories for people to look out for (visitors AND webmasters)?

Quadrille,

I was hoping to be pointed in the right direction in this thread.

Seems there is a dearth of suggestions to a proper directory other than imaginary ones that you guys claim should have the gumption to isolate webmasters efforts into a "yes" or a "no" vote based on whimsical ideas.

The more distant you keep your ideas from basing it on ODP the better served your thoughts may be on the creation of a unique directory that bears little semblance to a pipe dream.

Let me give you a tip. Donít allow a seasoned DMOZ editor into your secret. They are trained to infiltrate. You just donít know who they are and from where they are coming from. They are like agents in The Matrix. Before you know it, your directory will become a offshoot of DMOZ. And all your efforts will have been fruitless.

Quadrille




msg:3098437
 1:23 am on Sep 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Don't obsess about ODP; that way madness lies - it has already stopped you reading the (ODP independent) advice in this thread, and it has caused you to write some wierd stuff that makes no sense.

Submit to ODP, then walk away. They accept or not - Life Goes On, believe me :)

And there's plenty to learn about directories, without even thinking about ODP.

C'mon! Rise above your fears and obsessions!

We're here for you! ;)

AlgorithmGuy




msg:3098487
 2:29 am on Sep 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Don't obsess about ODP; that way madness lies - it has already stopped you reading the (ODP independent) advice in this thread, and it has caused you to write some wierd stuff that makes no sense.

Quadrille,

Thanks for the advice.

Good to see you are not one of them. One can't be too sure. Yeah, I'm obsessed. I must admit. I fell victim to their brainwashing propaganda.

Good luck with your directory. Please let me know when it is up and running and to submit my website.

martinibuster




msg:3098535
 3:39 am on Sep 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm not an expert in creating directories since no real working example by definition exists for me to base my thoughts on.

You mean you can't come up with an original idea about directories unless it's already been done before? Surely, if you know crap when see it, you must at least have an idea of what is not crap? If you're smart enough to discern that dmoz is a "quasi" directory run in a "haphazard" manner, then you must be bright enough to have at least three good ideas for a directory editorial policy.

lmocr




msg:3099401
 6:30 pm on Sep 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Sites must contain a detailed contact and about page

Sites must not feature massive pop-ups

Sites must contain original content

Must have a low AdSense to Content Ratio, i.e. the most prominent thing above the fold should not be a pair of AdSense Boxes.

This is a good start - now you should expand on these to explain what is "detailed", "massive", "original" as far as your directory is concerned.

For example massive popups to me is two (more than one irritates the #*$! out of me - one just irritates me) - for someone else the number could be ten (or more). What is your "magic" number? Don't tell anyone your magic number though - otherwise the sites may be designed with "magic number of popups minus one", to squeek by your requirements. :-)

hutcheson




msg:3099504
 7:44 pm on Sep 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Popups? Someone doesn't have them all blocked at the browser?

AlgorithmGuy




msg:3099971
 3:35 am on Sep 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Popups? Someone doesn't have them all blocked at the browser?

I much prefer pop-unders. ;)

caseya




msg:3100059
 5:56 am on Sep 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think the key to a good directory lies in providing something of value to the webmasters that want to be listed in it.

Either the directory needs to provide:
- targeted traffic to a listed site
or
- needs to provide a valuable link that SEs will value

In the case of the latter, you would ideally want a directory page to have all the components of any other high value inbound link:
- high PR
- good category for your site
- page up for a long time
- links to page for a long time
- no links to bad neighborhoods
- etc.

So...I think that a directory is not as good as its editorial policy but is instead as good as the value it is able to provide to someone that wants to be listed in it.

flicker




msg:3100405
 1:14 pm on Sep 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

They're sort of the same thing, aren't they?

The only way for a directory to provide targeted traffic is for them to restrict links only to sites that have a narrowly focused topic, and reject anything else that begs them for a link. That's an editorial policy.

The only way for a directory's rankings to be valued by Google is if it doesn't link to so much junk that Google discounts them, doesn't have too many links on the same page with yours, and presents itself as a valuable enough resource that other sites will link to it. Those are editorial decisions.

An editorial policy that is useful to surfers who want to use the directory is also good for the people who are listed in it, because then more people will use the directory; this may or may not result in increased traffic, but it will definitely end up increasing the directory's inbound links, PR, and so on.

debvh




msg:3100482
 2:42 pm on Sep 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think the key to a good directory lies in providing something of value to the webmasters that want to be listed in it.

Well, you must think I have a pretty bad directory. Most of the webmasters of the sites I link to probably don't know they are even listed! But I get emails from clients all the time telling me how useful it is. My editorial policy:

1. Be as comprehensive as possible within a very narrowly defined niche.
2. Remember that my name is on every page of my website, and that a directory listing represents my personal endorsement.

I know, it's very "early-WWW," but as a surfer, I go to a directory for quality control and depth. Otherwise, why bother?

Staffa




msg:3100559
 3:36 pm on Sep 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

a good directory lies in providing something of value to the webmasters that want to be listed in it.

I must disagree, to me a good directory is made for its visitors, giving them the information that they are looking for via a direct link to a listed web site which publishes that information as original content (and then some....).

caseya




msg:3100740
 5:33 pm on Sep 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

The problem is that I can find tons of directories that have excellent editorial policies and are very easy to navigate if you're a visitor but that have absolutely no value to a site that gets listed in it.

I believe that directories are allowed to exist because the SEs are not always the best way to help people find the information they're looking for. SEs index directories so people can find sites related to the widgets they're looking for in the first place.

So...it is my belief that a good directory is one that:
1. has pages that place well in major SEs for "widgets"
2. each widgets category contains only sites related to that widgets category

To achieve 1., the directory has to offer something of value to webmasters wanting to be listed. It has to have high PR, many links, old links, not link to bad neighborhoods, etc.

To achieve 2., the directory has to have a good editorial policy.

But, and here's the fun part...a directory that achieves only 2. is worthless to a webmaster. Where a directory that achieves only 1. can definitely still have value to a webmaster.

The best product in the world is worthless if no one ever sees it. Where the worst product in the world can still get bought by some people if everyone sees it.

Webwork




msg:3100962
 8:32 pm on Sep 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'd like to attempt to bring this back into focus.

This thread is a "thin slice". It's not "What makes a good directory"? The question is "What makes a good editorial policy good"?

You build a good directory from constituent components. Let's pick one component and stay with it.

What makes your directory's editorial policy - or anyone's editorial policy - better than the next?

flicker




msg:3100964
 8:33 pm on Sep 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Eh, you could have a great business, informational, or hobby site that no one sees, too. If a directory with really great content is performing really badly in the search engines, it's time to consider some marketing strategies.

But just getting a lot of traffic and ranking high on search engines wouldn't necessarily mean it was any use to the people being linked to anyway. As the most basic of examples, the links could use nofollow or Javascript or a redirect code or something else that made them search-engine-unfriendly. And there could be 860 sites on the page your site was listed on 18 levels deep, so that you wouldn't get any direct traffic from it. But if the directory bought a link from the homepage of microsoft.com it could still show up #1 in a Google search, and if they bought ads during the Superbowl they could still get millions of hits. It just wouldn't benefit you any.

flicker




msg:3100975
 8:42 pm on Sep 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Webwork, as a frequent directory user, my favorite directories are those that really seem like they hand-pick sites to present--especially those that offer brief reviews of the sites that are being linked to. Of course, that's really only feasible for a small niche directory maintained by a consistent reviewer. Even in large directories, though, I appreciate directories that try not to link to low-content sites. I'd rather see a directory with fewer high-content sites in it than more lower-content sites.

The best directories from my POV are those that only put one step between me and quality content--click the directory page, know by glancing at it which website contains the stuff I want, then click on that. If I have to go back and forth a bunch of times because some of the listed sites are low-content, then using that directory hasn't been a good use of my time.

OddDog




msg:3102016
 3:28 pm on Sep 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

1. You should publish your editorial guidelines. Whatever they are.
2. You reject a site, refer them to your editorial guidelines.
3. Keep to them.
4. Always.

Apart from that, a directory must serve its visitors, and not the sites it has admitted. Otherwise whats the point in the directory? To give a good backlink?

sounds like a like farm to me.

I just posted in a blog of mine that almost all directories are just link farms and should be banned from the search engines.

shame I cannot link to it.

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