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[edited by: rogerd at 8:54 pm (utc) on July 16, 2005]
[edit reason] TOS [/edit]
If the directory can get mapped to an SEO neighborhood then it's going to be worth zip, imo. I've tested this by submitting and looking at who comes crawling.
What neighborhood I'm mapped to by IBL's is important to me, and I'm turning down otherwise decent links because I don't want my sites connected with over the radar SEO websites.
I'm not going to name names because the owners of said directories are friends of friends and I don't want to start any feuds. ;)
Altogether I don't like this thread because it's an invitation to spam WebmasterWorld with self-promotional directory lists.
A better discussion would be, "What are the qualities of a good directory and a bad directory?"
IMO, if a directory can supply a steady stream of bots, that's a good thing. Some directories actually send traffic as well as bots, and those are the good ones.
You gotta provide info, but keep the ads to a minimum.
Have an original idea or bags of money. I'll sit back and watch the fun. 2 went bust a while back, and they both had a pretty good business model to build on. My guess is the portals in question had money troubles.
3 more don't come up at all. hmmmm. Several links don't work anyway and haven't for a long time, and that (says to me) usually means they've had it.
So I thought I'd add a little ranking list of my own with explanations of what each of them are, and why people use them.
1. Microsoft small business [sbd.bcentral.com...]
2. Gympsy [gimpsy.com...]
3. Google (if you can get in)
4. Yell.com (Pricey, but well known)
5. JoeAnt [joeant.com...] (An up and coming new boy)
6. KellySearch [kellysearch.com...] (Established, but serves industrial needs only)
7. AnyWho [anywho.com...]
8. Thomson [thomweb.co.uk...] (Local UK reach)
9. Abrexa [abrexa.co.uk...] (Dependable & Likely to stay around for a long time)
10. CountyWeb [countyweb.co.uk...] (Nice PR image, but lacks originality – could be okay for reach)
My theory is SE's will always be used more than directories - mainly because of size and reputation and will probably be the main way to find stuff on the web for years to come. But that's not to say directories are not useful, just that maybe people haven't 'accepted' them all or considered their effectiveness as advertising tools.
Directories are used for building incoming links, I think one-way links appeal more, which is why surfers rush to submit. This may change as more directories now charge for entry, meaning each one now has to provide much more for advertisers than ever before.
Directories will have to 'prove' worth and value to advertisers and searchers, those that can't do this, will simply fail, and never reach the dizzy heights of web stardom. I suppose the best general directory has to be Yell.com. It was the first and provides the best coverage, thanks primarily to it's distribution to homes and businesses. Thomson Local could be in 2nd spot, as it has backing from a major company - but is really the same sort of thing as Yell, another regional directory network. Choice is yours which one to use.
There are currently 228 recorded UK General directories and search engines that are 'watched' and monitored by a well know guide on the web, but I've never seen a press release for most of them, and am guessing they are just not properly advertised yet.
This is worrying as a lot of these have been going for a number of years and also says a number of other things to me as to why they aren't being seriously bought up by investors. My concern mainly is quality of them, and most look okay, it's just they offer little else for the searcher. My point is Yell.com can get away with what they do because they were:
A) The first to do it
B) Established, before the world knew any better
C) Was cheaper than other advertising sources
Many have copied Yells format of basic and enhanced listings, therefore we must have 100's of directories all offering the same thing:
1) Basic entry
2) Enhanced entry
3) Little else
It strikes me that if we have all these 'copies' what is going to make the user suddenly use another directory. They are all similar in most respects.
Being similar is not being unique. Where is the quaity then. I've seen most of the directories out there now and much money has been wasted on something so general, so much the same as everything else, and must leave visitors saying "Oh God, not another UK directory" or "Why don't these directories leave me alone" I don't think user's needs are considered by directory owners and that's just problem No1.
Dmoz is another one that's highly copied. This is crazy and can't work. The clones surely don't believe they can steal dmoz's, Yell.com and Thomsons traffic can they. They are dealing with companies that have millions of disposable cash and they could crush the rest in one swoop if they chose to. My guess is the Google's and Yell's are waiting for most to run out of start-up funds, and then make their move.
I expect a major Directory battle over the next 2 years.
Any comments on a directory battle?
Also, if directories are to be truly successful, then they need to be advertised quite majorly, and that really does cost. Most of these directories haven't even put out a press release (I've never seen one - even on their websites) and this just says to me they aren't that serious about advertising. Press releases aren't that expensive an option, and I've got to judge seriousness based on that. Yes, you can keep a site on the web very cheaply, but it will never become anything if nobody knows about it, and without an ad campaign it's going to take forever to be noticed or used as a resource before one can make a profit from it.
Are these owners going to leave their directories sitting on the web? Why waste time and effort submitting, validating companies to it, if they aren't going to promote properly?
Most will just get fed up with the continuous work involved with running a directory, and with no advertising, they can't be making that much profit for it to be worthwhile keeping it on the web.... I know adwords can be cheap, but from personal experience they won't make hardly anything from it. Are these directory owners going to spend the next 20 years maintaining them or are they going to get serious?
Some of these directories are pretty good, so it would be a shame to do nothing with them and not advertise.
What's the point in that. The five or so dead directories that I know of failed because they either spent too much on advertising or annoyed their customer base. Kanoodle or Looksmart anyone!
Kanoodle etc is a perfect example of shafting the client. That's my biggest reason of why a lot of these will fail in the next couple of years. Shaft the customer and it's bye bye business.
I bet any money that everyone thought Looksmart would be around forever - look what happened to them. That and the number of complaints on WebmasterWorld about certain directories/SE's also provide a massive clue to why they end up in directory heaven or hell. So if we lost Looksmart and people are ignoring Kanoodle, what makes you think this can't happen to the lesser known directories? It can happen to anyone, and I just see a very strong pattern forming here, which will ultimately lead to losing directories.
I bet any money that everyone thought Looksmart would be around forever
It was rather apparent early on after LookSmart started pissing off their customers that they were doomed. And over the years, Yahoo had definitely riled some feathers but they didn't let quality suffer to the extent of LookSmart. Not only did LS piss off advertisers but the results were pretty bad too. Since LS had such an early start, they could probably still be around today if they had simply grown organically and created a quality directory and built out from there.
Then they started selling out, 1 listing, then 5 listings, then as many as you could pump in there. That was no directory after a while, just a big fat pile of Spam. The sad thing is it was "human reviewed" but you could still do a search and find the top-5 listings for a given search all leading to the same site.
IMHO, there is still room for a quality directory in lots of areas. It's probably not going to be a business with a lot of room for high priced execs and sales people, but as a small business, it is still an opportunity.
IMHO, there is still room for a quality directory in lots of areas. It's probably not going to be a business with a lot of room for high priced execs and sales people.
I'll agree wholeheartedly! There are so many opportunities available in the niche directory marketplace that are still untapped. Small highly targeted niche directories that get local and national advertising (if applicable), are an excellent business model. Particularly in today's market place where the global directory business model is failing or has failed.
I work with many local clients and the quality of visitors we receive from local resources far outweighs anything the major directories are bringing in most instances.
So, what are the top ten directories? Those that are bringing the quality visitors to your site. Everyone's list will be different and probably won't apply to your needs. The global directories are good for one thing these days, distribution amongst their feed partners, that's it. Oh, and maybe a little bit of PageRank. ;)
Oh, and maybe a little bit of PageRank.
You have a good point about the locals, and to expand on that a little more, there are some directories that focus not on delivering links, but on delivering leads. I know of one that is a great example of a directory that is focused on delivering leads. They don't pass any PR, but that's besides the point. Their focus is Lead Generation.
PS (howlong does it take for Google PR to show up on a site?) I have no pagerank yet, unless Google hates me lol
I went to them all you mentioned and took some brief notes. I hope you find them useful.
The UK specific ones don't interest me much since I have nothing geared towards them so I didn't look to hard at them either.
-- £3.95 or £9.95
-- UK Specific
-- Free or £400
-- Uk Specific
-- Tough to get into with for profit sites
-- Free or $40 one time fee
-- Long Wait at least four monthes for the free submission
-- $70 one time fee or Free
-- $39.99 or Free
-- No Datafeed sites
-- Can get a free listing if your an editor
-- Must provide registered address and your business relates to topic
Microsoft small business
-- $50 a year
-- Business to Business
-- Volunteer Run
-- specializes in music related topics
-- $40 or $100
-- 40 for basic listing 100 for featured
-- Free ¦ £12.50¦ £19.50 ¦ £50 / year
-- Dance directory but Looks a bit anemic
-- Free is only open 2 times a week and listings are deleted after 3 monthes,
-- Second offer link deletes afer a year,
-- 3rd offer link permanent ( so why bother with the one year offer?),
-- 4th offer you become a catergory sponsor
-- Free ¦ $25 ¦ $45
-- Free for non commercials ¦
-- $25 for regular listing with express sercvice
-- $45 to be a sponser
-- $299 recurring annual fee
-- Its Yahoo, Need I say more?
-- Not sure if free or not
-- UK Specific
-- Doesn't look to be crawlable
-- Didn't investigate much
I find the term 'webmaster' most misleading, as it conjours up thoughts of Jackie Chan movies except replacing martial arts experts with site owners being web experts.
There is nothing 'masterful' or special about running a site."
well there is something masterfull about running a site well and promoting it well