Web directories, also known as link directories or subject directories, are invaluable resources for finding specific websites on the World Wide Web. They provide users with organized categories and subcategories to help them navigate through the vast online landscape. But have you ever wondered who or what creates the index for these directories? Let’s explore this question and unravel the inner workings of web directories.
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The Role of Web Directory Editors
Web directories are not search engines. Instead of displaying web pages based on keywords, they list websites by category and subcategory. The creation of these categories falls into the hands of dedicated editors who curate and maintain the directory’s index. These editors carefully review and evaluate each submission to ensure its relevance and fitness for inclusion.
The primary responsibility of web directory editors is to assist users in finding the websites they need by navigating through layers of categories and subcategories. As some websites may be relevant to multiple subjects, they are usually listed in all relevant categories within the directory. This comprehensive approach ensures that users can easily discover the websites that align with their specific interests and requirements.
Diversity in Web Directories
Web directories come in various sizes, coverages, and purposes. Some directories, such as Yahoo! Directory and the Open Directory Project (ODP), offer comprehensive coverage of all types of websites on the Internet. These large directories cater to a wide range of categories, regions, and languages. On the other hand, niche directories focus on specific regions, languages, or specialized sectors.
For example, shopping directories specialize in listing retail e-commerce sites, providing users with a convenient way to find the products they desire. Additionally, phone book directories focus on providing phone numbers and addresses, making it easy to locate contact information. You may even come across small directories on personal websites, which list information curated by individual webmasters based on their interests.
Listing Options and Features
Web directories offer various features for listing websites, often depending on the submission type and any associated fees. Some common listing options include:
- Free submission: Websites can be submitted for review and inclusion at no charge.
- Reciprocal link: To get listed, a link back to the directory must be added somewhere on the submitted site.
- Paid submission: A one-time or recurring fee is charged for reviewing and listing the submitted link.
- No follow: Links with a rel=”nofollow” attribute receive no weight from search engines.
- Featured listing: Links are given a premium position in a category or on the homepage, increasing visibility.
- Bid for position: Websites are ordered based on bids, with higher bids resulting in higher listing positions.
- Affiliate links: Directories earn commissions for referring customers to the listed websites.
These listing options provide flexibility and additional visibility for websites within the directory.
Human-Edited Directories and SEO
Some web directories, such as the Open Directory Project and the World Wide Web Virtual Library, are edited by volunteers who possess expertise in specific categories. While these human-edited directories have their advantages, such as reputation-based backlinks that improve rankings in search engines, they may face challenges such as delays in approving submissions and disputes among editors.
To address these concerns, some volunteer-edited directories have adopted wiki technology, allowing broader community participation in editing the directory. However, this approach may introduce lower-quality or less objective entries.
Another approach taken by web directories is the paid inclusion model. This model enables directories to offer timely inclusion for submissions and generate revenue. Additional listing options, such as featured listings and links to inner pages of websites, are often available for an extra fee, enhancing visibility and providing further assistance to site owners.
Bid for Position Directories
One intriguing type of web directory is the bid for position directories, also known as bidding web directories. In these directories, websites are ordered based on bid amounts. The more a website owner pays, the higher their listing appears in the directory. Higher visibility increases the likelihood of visitors clicking on the listing and visiting the website. Various scripts and tools exist for managing bid for position directories, offering both free and paid versions.
Sample Web Directories
The web is brimming with subject directories, each serving a unique purpose. Here are a few notable examples:
The Yahoo! Directory is a web directory that rivals the Open Directory Project in size. Although its significance decreased when Yahoo! transitioned to crawler-based listings, the human-edited directory is still regularly updated. Website owners can suggest their sites for possible listing through either a standard (free) submission or a paid submission process that expedites the review. Commercial sites require payment for submission. Yahoo! provides both a search engine and a separate directory service, allowing users to search within the directory independently.
Open Directory Project (ODP)
The Open Directory Project (ODP), also known as dmoz, is a multilingual directory of World Wide Web links. It is owned by Netscape and constructed and maintained by a community of volunteer editors. Organized using a hierarchical ontology scheme, the directory groups listings into categories and subcategories, facilitating easy navigation and discovery.
Librarians’ Internet Index (LII)
Maintained and indexed by public librarians, the Librarians’ Internet Index (LII) is a comprehensive web directory featuring over twenty thousand entries across thirteen main categories. Public librarians carefully evaluate and provide a short description for each listed site. LII aims to serve general interests, making it a popular resource for users seeking a wide range of information.
These are just a few examples of the many web directories available online.
Web directories play a vital role in helping users find relevant websites by organizing them into categories and subcategories. The index for a web directory is created by dedicated editors who review submissions and assign them to appropriate categories. By understanding the functions of web directories and the various listing options they offer, users can effectively navigate the digital landscape and discover the information, products, or services they need.
To learn more about the world of web directories and explore other fascinating topics, visit 5 WS, a valuable source of information across multiple domains. Happy browsing!