Whats The Deal With Web Directories

Whats The Deal With Web Directories

They were the​ next great thing. People were spending thousands of​ dollars a​ month on promoting the​ business, general, and​ niche web directories. Then suddenly Google, and​ probably other search engines, wielded their might and​ changed the​ entire scenario.

For the​ directory owner who was primarily interested in​ selling link subscriptions, this would come as​ a​ death knell. But, in​ the​ long run, this is​ a​ good thing and​ the​ best directories will actually emerge stronger, some day. Let us try to​ understand this.

On the​ one hand is​ the​ directory owner who thinks of​ his site as​ a​ web resource. This person will develop unique content, arrange for​ intuitive navigation, create customized and​ relevant category structure, offer multiple and​ well thought out payment options and​ plans. On the​ other hand is​ the​ fly by night owner who will take a​ basic script and​ make a​ little noise and​ get paid entries and​ then just let the​ site languish.

In the​ heydays of​ web directories, one of​ the​ interesting by-products was that the​ biggest customers of​ free / featured / reciprocal / permanent / etc entries were actually your competitors. So, what you had to​ do was make a​ directory, make some noise on some popular webmaster forums, and​ then have all your competitors rush and​ buy listings. and​ once that gravy train reached its station, you start all over again.

As in​ the​ case of​ any gold rush, many participants actually innocently start getting fooled by fool's gold. They somehow start thinking that there is​ serious merit in​ buying a​ listing for​ four figures in​ a​ bid based directory site.

If one acknowledges that the​ sole purpose of​ a​ directory entry is​ to​ get link juice out of​ it, then the​ party is​ clearly over. With major search engines targeting paid links, it​ is​ tough to​ gain much link benefit. Certainly not four figures worth. But I am unwilling to​ acknowledge that there is​ nothing other than link juice to​ be gained from a​ listing.

I know for​ a​ fact that many of​ my websites gain as​ much as​ 2-5% of​ their traffic from listings in​ directories. for​ tiny sites this might not amount to​ much. But when you are a​ serious webmaster, this makes all the​ difference. Then come to​ think of​ it, these sites that are sending me traffic account for​ less than 1% of​ the​ total number of​ similar sites that have listed me, one way or​ another.

Voila! We just found El Dorado. the​ secret is​ that only the​ best of​ directories will survive. But that one will certainly survive. and​ is​ that not what we want?

I think that the​ fact that such web resources are now forced to​ look at​ monetizing opportunities other than the​ sale of​ listings is​ also a​ positive sign. That means that some of​ them might actually see submissions as​ a​ way to​ enhance the​ editorial and​ content quality of​ their sites. Clearly once again a​ very positive sign for​ the​ industry as​ a​ whole, if​ I can call it​ an​ industry.

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