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Big: Yahoo and DMOZ
Small: Gimpsy, GoGuides and JoeAnt.
and than nothing.
My question is why Gimpsy, GoGuides and JoeAnt are much more popular than for example: Linkopedia, Sightquest, Allestra ... and many more similar directories?
Why? The flippant answer is that users and web masters LIKE them much more :)
I guess that each of the 'second tier' directories have developed a relatively large number of followers, that promote the site and maintain a high profile on all the 'important' places - like this one :)
IMHO, Joeant and Goguides have become very popular since they have encouraged every web master to become an Editor and add his/her site to the directory free of charge. That allowed people to have a look at the 'internal world' of the directory - and they must have liked what they saw.
Gimpsy's success is probably due to its unique site classification method and its willingness to engage in dialogue with every user. Such high level of commitment to user's satisfaction is rare.
But, at the end of the day, it's not possible know exactly why - it's all speculation.
Your widely accepted classification totally misses the fact that 99,99% of all internet users have never heard of anything but Yahoo and perhaps ODP.That is probably right. How much in numbers .01% of all internet users would be? I would say around 100,000. For some smaller directory that is not bad at all.
There is no room nor need for any more.A lot of people including many famous ones made a big mistake using those words.
The last time I asked JoeAnt.com had about 1,000,000 uniques and 4 million search queries that month. And we are no commercial directory, we are glad if the paid submissions are enough to pay our hosting costs;-)
I'm confused. It looks like you are just volunteer editor at JoeAnt. How come you know how many paid submissions they have? And if you know what is the number?
I would think that 1,000,000 uniques would supply enough submissions to make good profit. Or maybe I'm wrong?
Your widely accepted classification totally misses the fact that 99,99% of all internet users have never heard of anything but Yahoo and perhaps ODP.
I' often amazed at how many people have no idea what the ODP is as very few people search it's site. They may use it a lot due to it's syndication, but never visit it.
Some of the smaller directories are likely to have a larger name recogonition than ODP. Although, no one is going to touch Yahoo anytime soon.