The first question which comes when we talk about web directories is that ‘What is a Web Directory?’. Now lets discuss about the answer with a quick and easy example which can help you out in understanding this in a better way. You would have heard about local yellow pages in which your local offline business would be listed with your business name, business profile & contact details under the most relevant category and location area, this way if someone is searching for a businessman he would open the yellow pages and go to the specific category under their choice of location and find all the contact details, this is the similar way web directories work. The web directories are directories of websites which are run and developed in order to help out their visitors in finding the best websites under the most relevant category. We can also say that these web directories are useful in organizing the world wide web(www).
There are several benefits of web directories. One of these would be finding the most important and valuable websites which are human edited, reviewed and then listed in the web directories most relevant category. There are several web directories like Dmoz.org, dir.yahoo.com which are human edited and are really useful for finding the best websites. Most of these web directories now charge a submissions/review fees and you need to make some payment in order to get reviewed and if the web directory editor likes your website/blog they would list it on their directory based on their submission guidelines.
From the past 3-4 years the number of new web directories had increased a lot and this was because most webmasters started monetizing this sector seriously and tried to gain the most money out of selling listings in web directories because the listings not only help out the website owners in gaining backlinks but also help them out in gaining backlinks, page rank & search engine rankings. Which Google didn’t like recently and has started a campaign of removing toolbar page rank of all the websites & web directories who are selling listings/links. Since these backlinks from web directories are search engine friendly and are helpful as off page search engine optimization factor, all the listed websites gain better SERPS and this is what Google didn’t like because they recommend using Adwords[paid ppc advertising] and not buying links from other websites/directories.
I would personally say there is nothing wrong in getting listed in web directories but the main factor would be getting listed in directories which are really useful by pushing in some real visitors to the website owners. There are thousands of web directories but make sure you submit to the directories which are real and are regularly updated with listings, content, news or any relevant stuff, rather than getting listed into link farms or link exchange web directories. Never get listed into link exchange directories or websites which are completely made just for link exchange and don’t offer any use to any real visitors. A Web directory is known to be perfect if a category in their directory lets say > webdirectory.com/health/acne has information on acne and has listed the best acne websites and does not approve any MFA[made for adsense] or redirecting website, this is when human editing work comes in picture.
There is a lot of future in developing a web directory but you need to have a serious plan to develop it and manage the whole editorial, setup team. When paid web directories like BOTW.org, dir.yahoo.com can exist and keep expanding why not your own directory? Just try to reach the level of BOTW within a 3 years time frame and every thing is possible. My personal recommendations would be to create the maximum amount of web directory categories, no problem how much deep they are and then interlink the most relevant ones. Adding a introduction of each of these categories and then listing a minimum of 3-5 websites in each category which would solve the purpose to the real visitors when they come to your directory in search. Once the setup is completed you need to promote the webdirectory using pay per click advertising like adwords, msn adcenter, yahoo sponsored ads , classified ads, local newspaper advertising etc all at once to create a buzz and a brand.
If you are developing a web directory which is really useful for the visitors and not for the bots then you don’t need to worry about google or its ban, because you are offering the information which visitors need and this solves the purpose. The listing fees is not just the option to monetize from your web directory, the other forms would be pay per click ads like adsense, ypn, bidvertiser, clicksor, adbrite etc, banner sales based on the click thoughs, local business advertising, leads sales etc These different monetizing ideas would help you to make the most revenue in order to invest back in advertising and creating a brand. Never try to quickly make money from serious projects and go on a projected plan with the expenditure and income plans and the time required to fulfill them.
We will discuss about the next business idea tomorrow which can help you make a serious business which would help you make a stable income for life and a work out of just 3-5 years with the minimum investment. Already getting curious? Check out this blog’s next post tomorrow and find out.