The Industry of Web Directories

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

While general web directories had their moment of glory, the last few months have shown a more increased interest for local and field-specialized directories. This mirrors the nowadays society’s tendency towards more precision, more ease and more accuracy. Today’s internet users want to go straight to their goal when they search for a wine, real estate or confectioner in their area. They don’t want to have to browse through thousands of entries just to find some contact information.

The reduction of hosting services and domain registering costs has led to a booming number of low quality directories. As only human editing can enhance the quality of such websites, this imposes high costs and efforts. Therefore entries remain unsorted and unapproved for long times and even when they are, objectivity is not always the main feature. Many complaints have been expressed about editors favoring their own links. This issue cannot be addressed as long as most web directories rely on volunteers for the submissions’ editing task.

Therefore, more and more free of charge web directories start to require fees in order to allow websites to be submitted. This seems to be a simple, profitable and highly effective method to fight spam. However, this reduces the chances of small businesses to penetrate this world.

Since Google has abandoned the Open Directory Project and clearly stated that their algorithm will no longer rely on web directories, the popularity of this type of link collections has decreased drastically as they no longer provide the traffic they used to. In response, web directories have turned to social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to compensate on this aspect. It seems that the trend is in favor of article directories as they provide fresh and search engine optimized content.

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