Internet Directories


Definition

An internet directory (website directory) lists websites basically in the same manner that a phone directory lists phone numbers or a business directory lists businesses.

An internet directory is not the same as a search engine. Lists of web pages are not based on keywords. An internet directory lists web sites by category as well as subcategory.

The categorization on an ethical and relevant internet directory is based on the whole web site, not just one page, a keyword, a set of keywords, or keyword phrases. The directories are very often limited to inclusion in only a few categories to help keep a high standard of relevancy. The Web directories that are valuable and not harmful to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) have human editors review submissions for fitness. If a directory will take any submission blindly, run away.

Convergent1 is all about quality, relevancy and longevity; not quantity, blind inclusion and a cheap band-aid that lets infection in.

Purpose

An internet directory concentrates in linking to other web sites and categorizing those links.

History

2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the invention of the World Wide Web which went live on Christmas Day 1990 while still in its early developmental stages. Its creator, Tim Berners-Lee, had edited a list of webservers and this list is considered to have been the beginning of internet directories. There is still an historical snapshot of this first internet directory from 1992 available for viewing.

Scope

Internet directories can be general in scope listing websites across a wide range of categories, regions or languages. Comparable to the Yellow Pages phone book for a city which lists all businesses in that city, Yahoo! Directory is an example of a general internet directory and happens to have been the first established large scale directory of the Internet. Just as the traditional Yellow Pages list businesses in categories, the Yahoo! Directory lists websites categorized by topic and location. The new yellowpages.com brings the traditional concept of the Yellow pages into the internet via the Yahoo! Directory concept by connecting visitors on the website to about 20 million local businesses.

Internet directories can also be specific in scope as niche directories focus in more specific ways regarding products, services or specialized sectors. Niche directories that focus on shopping, and even more specifically on retail e-commerce sites, are large in numbers. Comparable to a real-estate directory booklet (as is often seen on a rack at the entrance to a grocery store) which lists real-estate agents in a certain region, MedlinePlus is an example of a specific internet directory as it links to health care libraries and providers. MedlinePlus links to even more specific directories to help you find local medical libraries as well as local health clinics, hospitals, professionals and services.

Types

Affiliate links are those for which the directory earns commission whenever visitors of the site click the link.

Bid for position listingsare listed by priority according to bids.

Featured listings compile links that are placed in some type of superior position. It may be in a category, or even multiple categories, of the directory – often the homepage. These links are also known as sponsored listings and most often have a price attached.

Free submission directories do not charge for listings or even the reviews that may be associated with the listings.

  • Reciprocal link directories are free but involve a requirement: A hyperlink that leads to the directory must be positioned somewhere on the website being submitted
  • No Reciprocal link directories No Reciprocal link directories are also free but do not require you to add a hyperlink leading to the directory on your website

Human-edited directories are monitored and modified by people  who place as well as remove listings according to the policies of the directory.

No follow directories assign what is known as a “nofollow” attribute to hyperlinks in their directories. This means that the links will not directly contribute to search engine ranking position. Indirectly, if the links drastically increase relevant traffic to the website, rankings may be affected. Paid submission links are fee-based listings

SEO

One of the main purposes of SEO is to make your site visible to search engines in relevant ways in order to facilitate higher rankings in search results pages and lead to increasing the traffic to your site.

SEO is one tool of Internet Presence Management; and has its own set of techniques and tools. Submitting your site to internet directories is one SEO techniques.  Human-edited directories are the ones most sought by ethical SEO professionals.

The rationale is actually quite a simple one. Links from free, relevant and reputable sources definitely help improve rankings in the major search engines as well as help increase qualified visitor traffic. And when they meet this criteria, they are embraced by Google.

There is one general directory that has traditionally been considered as an ethical SEO practice to list any website on is a human-edited directory (edited by volunteers). It is the Open Directory Project also known as ODP as well as dmoz.

These types of directories are worth jumping through their particular regulatory hoops as well as waiting through the long delays in approving submissions. They allow broader community participation in the actual directory editing, minimize lower-quality entries, and maximize the accuracy of each client’s information.

Submission of websites to internet directories is considered a basic SEO technique to get back-links for the submitted web site. However, submissions can be potentially harmful, as well, if not relevant or if paid. Paid links, often under the guise of directories, cannot truthfully help SEO, rankings or website traffic (at least not an ongoing and valuable basis). In fact, Google has been and continues to be very clear that paid links are damaging – sometimes quickly and sometimes with a delayed vengeance – but they are damaging.

Human-edited directories are generally Google friendly. Dmoz reference directories is of significant value due to its extensive categorization, large number of listings, free availability for use by other directories and search engines; and though it is only one component of a large and complex puzzle as well not being as important as it was when it powered the Google Directory prior to 2011, the dmoz directory is being recommended by both Google and Convergent1.

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