A Web directory, also called a link directory, is an online directory that links to various Web sites andcategorizes those links. Search engines display Web pages in lists based on keywords, while Webdirectories list sites by categories and subcategories.Humans, not Web crawlers, find and submit most of the entries on these. Categorization methods are based on an entire site, not a single page or certainkeywords. Site owners may be permitted to submit asite to be listed, with submissions subject to editorial review.
These aspects of a Web directory make it preferable over a searchengine because it is much more focused Typically, directories aregeneral in terms of scope, but some can be found that deal withcertain niches, such as shopping The Open Directory Project,Google Web Directory, and Yahoo! Directory are several populargeneral directories Interested parties can do a directory searchonline to find others that are general or specialized
In recent years, the Web directory technology has improved toinclude importance ranking, which assures that pages of the highestquality appear at the top of the list Within categories, smartersearches can be conducted, making it easy for users to search deepwithin any area Classification techniques used by some directoriesallow users to access these directly from the standard search engineresults Certain listing features can commonly be found in each ofthese directories and price sometimes determines what features areincluded
Submission may be either free or paid, with the paid version eitherrequiring a one-time fee or recurring payments Featured listingsprovide the link with a premium spot in a certain category or specificsections like the home page Sites can also be subject to a bid forposition, resulting in them being ordered based on these bids
Submitted sites may be required to include a reciprocal link back tothe directories in order to be listed In some cases, when thesedirectories refer customers to the listed sites, they earn an affiliatecommission This is a way for directories to be compensated for thefact that they help increase traffic to the listed sites
A Web directory is ideal for situations when the user is unsure ofhow to narrow a search from a broad category It helps usersunderstand how different topics in a specific area relate to each other Users can also get a feel for the scope of any category, which couldprove helpful when doing a business search
Users can then enter specific search terms in order to narrow downthe list of companies The focus aspect of a Web directory is whatmakes it more appealing than a regular search engine for many siteowners Business owners can increase traffic to their sites through aWeb page listing in one of these directories
Millions of people will find the business through the directory search,whether they are searching for that category specifically or find thepage through the related categories search These directories makeWeb advertising simpler and very effective for any company with anonline presence