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Which approach do you take? Why? Has your approach changed over time?
I'm taking a "tell 'em, show 'em, tell 'em again" approach to minimizing editing . . . but some people just don't get it. They don't want to. They can't be bothered reading. Whatever. Bye-bye.
Bots never get it but that's a different issue. ;0)
[edited by: Webwork at 4:22 pm (utc) on Oct. 24, 2006]
We generally start with 4-7,000 listings in our database when we launch a new directory and we send out up to 10,000 postcards announcing the directories to people in that business
It takes more work but in the end we feel it makes a better directory for each niche we launch.
If you want to do well, you need to decide from the word 'go', to be a Quality Directory.
I think you'll find that answers the question ;)
For myself personally, I notice the sites that are submitted to us and meet all the necessary criteria for a listing tend to pump out the same description on all directories that they submit too or they pull the description that we ask for straight from there site.
With the way Google has been about duplication, we make sure that we write custom descriptions for each listing that we list. Doing this takes time so it causes a major backlog and queue, but oh well.. if they ain't paying me.. they can wait to be listed. :D
1. All submissions require email verification, (bounceback message with with random generated key in link to stop bots and spammers). All form data is logged. All form submit IPs are logged.
2. Manual review / edit of every submission.
3. Spammy, blatant repeat posts, stuff that's completely off-topic, people who submit to multiple categories, etc.. get their work deleted with no explanation. (Genuine mistakes get a quick note that their submission has been published as is, edited or deleted).
Accurate, complete, correctly submitted listings get a simple personal "Thank you" email, (which may include a little promotional blurb about paid advertising, other web site services, etc.. whatever applies to the site/listing).
Also adding some automated corrections to submission fields helps to keep the sanity. For example, for some reason submitters (including myself ;)) tend to include a superfluous "and more." at the end of the description. Let the php take care of fixing the tedious stuff like removing "and more" and adding a missing "http://" from the URL, that saves time during the human review for more useful editing.
"...best to rewrite every submission that gets approved.... without rewriting you'll end up with a lot of not-so-unique content."
I agree. While reviewing I rewrite and visit the site they are listing. I may add text like; "site contains usefull information about...", or "impressive graphics and lots of fresh content"...
Part of the rewrite is to keep all listing semi-uniform. It is difficult to browse through a directory when each listing looks different.
Some things to do; make phone numbers all use common format, edit titles to all use common case, (e.g. - all are upper, or all mixed --- not some of each). The eye can scan large amounts of info better when there is a pattern, (e.g.- you may be scanning by price, town, telephone area code, etc.. if every listing had those elements in different order or format within the listing, users would have a hard time finding what they want).
No "one liners". No direct sales pitches, (e.g.- "Call us for best price on widgets"), etc.
If the person submitting cuts and pastes a mini-novel, I boil it down to a consistent amounts of text.
I also only keep complete listings, (if I can't find enough info to contact someone at the site or business the site is about, it goes in the scrap heap).
No deep links into "free web page" type sites.
Periodically check if links have died and remove or repair listing.
BTW - Happy Turkey Day 2006!
I get around 200-300 submissions per day to my link directory..
out of those 200-300 I delete 90-95% of sites submitted to my directory...
I am the only person that goes over the sites submitted to my directory and that is because I only want quality sites in my directory..
I feel if I keep this up over time my directory will be a directory
of quality links and thus pay off in the long run.
I get many submissions from sites that are not English, Or directed siteds... or multi spammed sites etc...
For me I am not really worried as it only takes 1sec to check the delete box and I can delete 20-50 submissions in one go..
The only thing that Sh*ts me is when the same person submits their site over and over week after week...
Well that is how I do it..
i would love to tell you all about my directory.... but not sure if I can...
Im new here but Im going to share loads with everyone...
[edited by: skibum at 10:18 am (utc) on Nov. 25, 2006]