Many people erroneously think a search engine and a web directory are the same thing. They use different means to give different search results.
A search engine uses a computer program called a robot (or just “bot”) to look for any or all of the words you type into the search box. They operate algorithmically or are a mixture of algorithmic and human input. The answers aren’t organized by category, and you sometimes have to look through a bunch of them to find what you’re looking for.
A web directory has all of its sites evaluated and categorized by actual people. Thus, you can look for information by either browsing the categories, or searching with a keyword. The categorization is usually based on the whole website rather than one page or a set of keywords, and sites are often limited to inclusion in only a few categories. Because the directories use people to edit their sites, there is usually a charge for them to review your website.
Inbound links add value to your website because you are increasing the places people can actually find you. Plus, search engines use link popularity as one criterion for ranking. A quality site link tells search engines that there is something useful and reliable about your site. Submitting your site is a time consuming process, but well worth the effort. Build them steadily. If you make them too rapidly, you’re at risk of being seen as spam.
Move on if you see a “No follow” feature on a directory. The rel=“nofollow” attribute means search engines will give no weight to the link.
What Makes a Quality Link?
Your link will be treated as a high quality link if your website is mentioned as a source (link) from an article about a topic related to your industry. This is why blogging and sharing on social media are so popular.
Another quality indicator is a link on a page with a high hit rank, like a directory for example.
Where do I Find Directories?
Yahoo! Directory and DMOZ (Open Directory Project) are the two biggest directories on the web, but other important directories include local directories for your state, town, chamber of commerce, etc. The following list is a sample of directories suitable for nonprofit and for profit businesses.
1. DMOZ.ORG has extensive categorization and a large number of listings.
2. YAHOO! DIRECTORY
5. BROWNBOOK.NET lets users search by keyword, city and country. Businesses “claim” their free listing and may add text, photos and videos and sign up to be alerted when someone reviews your business.
6. CITYSLICK.NET narrows the search by city, zip code and radius. Cost ranges from free to a one-time fee of $149.
7. BUSINESS.COM targets B2B. Products include pay-per-click, banner ads, audience retargeting, and directory advertising. Advertising costs vary per service.
8. MERCHANTCIRCLE.COM allows owners to upload pictures, write blogs, publicize events, and create coupons and newsletters. Submission is free.
9. BESTOFTHEWEB.COM proclaims itself as the “The Internet’s Oldest Directory.” This comprehensive directory can help you choose a college, refinance a mortgage or plan a party. Cost is $149.95 annually.
10. GOGUIDES.ORG lists range from arts and humanities to lifestyles and relationships to money and finance for a one-time fee of $69.95; nonprofits may receive a free listing.
11. JOEANT.COM and RUBBERSTAMP.ORG are comparable to GoGuides. Both charge a one-time fee of $39.95. SITESNOOP.COM has comparable topics and charges $15 per submission.
12. SKAFFE.COM, lists the “best family safe websites on the World Wide Web” It costs $15 to submit a site.
13. GIMPSY.COM starts a search with “I want to…” topics range from adopt to convert to quit to write. Subscribe to their newsletter or jokes. Free submission takes up to six months to be listed, standard submission is $29 and premium is $49 (one-time fees).
14. IPL.ORG is a merger of the Internet Public Library (IPL) and the Librarians’ Internet Index (LII). Find information here: Italian dictionaries and hurricane preparedness for example. You may also email questions. Site submission is free.
15. MASSIVELINKS.COM features services for businesses and individuals. Nonprofits may list for free; standard listings are $39.99 (one-time listing) and premium listings are $79.99 annually.
For more go to MASHABLE.COM and scroll down to find the Human Edited Search Engines and Directories listing. Scroll further to find Business Search Engines and Directories.
If you’d like to hire someone to systematically enter your business into online directories, contact us at 219.769.2299 or firstname.lastname@example.org