Website directories are websites that have listings of other websites (kind of a yellow pages for the web).
A website directory only holds website listings that have been submitted – so if you have not registered on the directory, then you are not listed on it.
There are tens of thousands of directories all over the internet.
These range in importance and age, so some are more authoritative than others (comes down to page rank).
Website directories stem from the very early days of the internet (before the main search engines started).
They acted as a mini search engine for helping users find resources within their directory network.
The problem was that they were all small in comparison to the sites on the internet and only showed listings from their own directory.
Search engines then grew to provide results from all directories.
Web directories have a landing page with a basic listing of categories (Arts, Business, Computers, Games, Health, Home, Kids, News, Reference, Science, Shopping, Sports World).
The main categories are then split into sub categories – the idea being that each website drills down to the niche that applies to them and they fit into.
In the days gone by, website directories were essential if anyone wanted to find anything on the internet. Now we have search engines, we do not need them.
In the early days of the search engines, they used them to pull together all the information into 1 single search.
So if a user used yahoo for example, yahoo would have brought their searchresults from all the directories they were scanning – saving time and giving a more accurate result.
Now that the internet is established search engines do not really need to use directories to pull up their search results because they scan websites directly themselves.
As soon as a new website comes onto the web, search engines will pick up on it (eventually). Sites can be submitted directly to search engines (to fast track).
Yes, it does help, but as there are tens of thousands of directories, listing on directories only makes a small effect to a websites visibility and brings marginal effects in terms of backlinks.
Directories exist to provide a reference of websites for visitors:
Most on the internet are free, but some (the more important ones that carry more authority) can charge for a ‘premium’ listing.
Getting listed is simple, just go on and navigate to the category that is relevant to your business, and input your details.
There are two approaches to getting listed in the plethora of directories on the web:
As search engines now exist, the importance of website directories is much less now than it once was.
There are a few core directories that search engines do give weight to, even though they do read all directories, most of them they do ignore or give little credence too.
The main directories that search engines give attention to are:
There are other website directories that search engines do give weight too – but these are the main ones.
The reason that websites get listed in directories is for search engine optimisation and creating backlinks to their website.
The concept of visibility is a big one with SEO and the more links you have to your website – the more visible you are to search engines.