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Directory Wars
who will survive in the end?

 9:28 pm on Nov 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

Out of every directory available today - which ones do you think will remain in 5 years time?

(please include any reasoning why they should be considered worthy).



 7:31 pm on Nov 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

In my opinion many will not survive, just like any business. This of course is highly dependent on the relevancy of link importance by Google. So many are being operated for a pay for link source and totally dependent on this link relevancy that when link relevancy changes they could very well fade from existence.

The Directories that survive are being developed for a good and quality resource for the internet. Several new directories are being developed by persons who have put a lot of time, money and thought into the project. These will I hope survive and develop into quality resources surpassing what directories have offered webmasters in many years.

This is not a new trend. It is similar to the early 90ís trend when directory banner advertising was booming. When the banner advertising dried up so did many of the directories like Go.Com during what was called the .com crash.

Iím not sure if my own directory will survive but it seems to be developing well and is going to be considered a development project for the first three years of operation. When itís out of the development stage I will see what direction I want to go with it.


 8:22 pm on Nov 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yep, mirrors some of my thoughts. The whole link popularity thing is so dependant on Google's strategy, that I think it's 'controlling' people's thoughts and especially their actions.

What will happen to most when/if Google gets fed up of PageRank, and decides to drop it? I know it's popular now, but...

What does everybody do then. I've never been a fan of such controlling methods like Pagerank, it's like their forcing something from the customer. I've always judged portals and directories by ROI and websites by more than just a number of link exchanges they have.

I'm the customer and I won't have some company (no matter who they are) telling me what I can do or say.

Is Google, ODP etc really saying that a good quality site is only good, if it has 100'000 links pointing to it - surely this can't be right, nor an accurate judgement on each site's abilities.

This is what really makes me angry about the web, and why <snip> - I'm just so glad that I can offer something even Google can't. Yet people pay thousands to Google, Yahoo etc, and for what? A little green bar that forces others to accept a rating that is very inaccurate. What has the web turned into!

[edited by: engine at 10:53 pm (utc) on Nov. 16, 2004]
[edit reason] TOS [/edit]


 11:19 pm on Nov 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

Is Google, ODP etc really saying that a good quality site is only good, if it has 100'000 links pointing to it
Just to point out that ODP neither counts nor cares about links :) .

ODP meta editor


 12:03 am on Nov 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

I thought all engines liked sites that link to other related sites? Or is it content that matters now.

Anyway, if Google controls the site rankings (so to speak) then it manipulates those rankings, and could theoretically gain a poor site more links because of the higher page rank, although shouldn't deserve it over a site that has superior designing, better service etc.

We don't have such a system because we feel it's unfair to manipulate search results.


 12:58 am on Nov 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

This may be a particularly left-field reply, but I consider that those directories which have the best chance of survival are those which, more than anything else, are considered a valuable resource in themselves by a significant number of users.

I find that the best directories out there are the local search ones and highly-specialised niche directories. Their value does not depend on potentially ephemeral factors such as page rank, and it is possible to monetize such a directory over the longer term. It goes without saying that these directories contain hand-picked, relevant sites and are not just back-filled from DMOZ.


 2:36 am on Nov 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

The top 2 UK local directories Yell.com and Webfinder (Thompson Local), should survive but I'm unsure about the 2nd and 3rd tiers, as there are probably a good 10 directories that will remain.

Directories that give accurate results will always be sought after, but it seems that these days good design work is not enough to make someone change their homepage to accommodate a new portal/engine. Portals are also too expensive in terms of ad space, so I think advertising will transfer to cheaper 'related' websites with good traffic flow.

The third tiers will probably not survive, also the PPC ones (3rd & 2nd levels) will go under too. I also forsee the many metas start to diminish rapidly from 2005/6, but to be replaced by others, so maybe not such a change with them. Also expect to see a lot more directory clones in the new year.

I also see the end for paper directories as web search has taken over.


 11:51 am on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

I thought all engines liked sites that link to other related sites? Or is it content that matters now.

Well, actually that was the thing google invented. Before google, engines used content only.

Regarding "all engines": The ODP is _not_ a search engine but a directory. It does no ranking of sites. Sites are handpicked by content, not by the amount of incomming links.

Insurrection Guy

 6:52 pm on Nov 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

I knew that lol. Think I'd like to see Google be nice to it's users and give them something great for free.

If they did that, I'd go back and use em again next time.

Insurrection Guy

 6:55 pm on Nov 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Sorry - I meant advertisers, DOH! Homer time lol


 1:24 am on Dec 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

To survive in the competition, you will have to redefine your strategy ,now is the time to offer more than a link.

will niche directory will lead over the general directory as this is the era of specialization.



 10:46 pm on Dec 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

>> who will survive in the end? <<

There is no "end", just the here and now.


 5:28 pm on Dec 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'd be with Encyclo on this, a couple of well monetized (high PR) SEO ones seem to have been pinged recently...


 4:33 pm on Dec 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

I run a regional niche directory that is growing more and more successful. It is able to pay the bills now with a little bit left over, after just over 2 years of operation. I get very positive feedback about the value of my content from visitors.

I am keenly aware of the fact that I am in business because of the top rankings for my niche that I get on the major search engines. I hope that if the time comes that search engines no longer give me as much traffic as they now do, that I'll still be able to survive. I'm just not sure how many people will find my directory without their help. I'm doing everything that I can think of to reach more people, but the results of my efforts are small when compared to the volume of traffic that the search engines send my way.


 7:29 pm on Dec 21, 2004 (gmt 0)


I think that a directory with good content will survive.
I've recently found a new directory that has an interesting model. They have services for the brands which want to position in a dedicated portal.
This kind of professional directory is a good alternative to Mega search engine.

My boss was happy when I showed him this site and will certainly buy their services.


[edited by: rogerd at 2:23 am (utc) on Dec. 29, 2004]
[edit reason] No URLs please... [/edit]


 9:06 pm on Dec 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hey Forb,

Every one of your messages so far has been plugging your website and listing its URL. This is against the TOS for webmasterworld. I hope you will stop the SPAMmy posts before they all get removed....

Shawn Steele

 4:20 am on Dec 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

>My boss was happy when I showed him this site and will certainly buy their services.

LOL :)

Shawn Steele

 4:21 am on Dec 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Back on topic..

The only directories that will survive are the ones who have a good business model that includes paid editors, quality guidelines, extensive site promotion and long term goals.


 4:41 am on Dec 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

The only directories that will survive are the ones who have a good business model that includes paid editors, quality guidelines, extensive site promotion and long term goals.

That's a good list.

Actually what is happening as the net grows larger, more and more niche directories and localized directories will begin to appear. Those will be the ones to survive as they are powered by local advertising and industry specific revenues.

Niche directories are definitely an up and coming prospect. The global directories are too big, too deep. There needs to be something a little more shallow and topic specific. Those types of directories will be the ones that survive.

Also, I think Portals and Vortals will replace the directory concept.


 4:19 pm on Dec 22, 2004 (gmt 0)


Sorry for having posted on this website so much.
But my purpose was to know the community opinion.
I believe that providing quality content and services is a good biz model, and companies will pay for.

My boss is a marketing guy who wants to know more on consumers. This is not possible through site like Google,....

[edited by: rogerd at 2:23 am (utc) on Dec. 29, 2004]
[edit reason] No URLs please... [/edit]

Shawn Steele

 1:16 am on Dec 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

lol @ Forb. You like that viso website eh? :)


 4:37 pm on Jan 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

I agree with Shawn Steele - the quality directories which have been set up to as a useful resource will survive.

So many of these fourth-tier directories are set up by an ambitious programmer seeing the lucrative submission fees that other directories are charging and thinking 'I wouldn't mind earning some $$$s from paid submissions... hmmm... 50 submissions a day at $40 = $2000'. Concerns about where the directory will be in five years time or how they will continue to draw traffic to it to make paid submissions cost-effective for webmasters are not at the forefront of their mind.

The directories that will survive in the long run will be those that also have an option for free submission for non-commercial sites. Otherwise they are no more than unglorified shopping malls.

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