Web directories are websites which list links to other websites and organizes the links in particular categories to make finding the site you need easier and are based on what the website is about as a whole rather than by each page or the keywords used. Website creators can also submit their websites for inclusion in the web directory as a way to advertise their business or service and attract customers.
Web directories are usually maintained by actual human beings who update the links periodically to ensure the sites are still live, relevant and useful instead of being an automated process, the likes of which are used by search engines. Web directories can be really useful for doing quick research or gathering information and the way they are organized means that they list websites based on a topic so the return of possible sites to visit will be relevant and complement the search term used.Origins
When the World Wide Web started to expand in the early 1990s it was quite difficult to find information as the popular search engines we know today didn't exist. An early way for information to be organized was through web directories, the first of which was created in 1992 by Tim Berners-Lee.
Other popular web directories began to appear in the mid 90s and until 2000 web directories were really the only way to find the right information on the web, however with the explosion of websites being created between 1995 and 2000 web directories struggled to cope as they were maintained by people and so when the demand became too high they started looking for ways to automate the process which is when the emergence of search engines began.
Web directories still have a role to play today to help people find the information they need quickly and you know the content there has been verified by the eyes of a human which makes them a first port of call when seeking trustworthy and suitable information online.Specifics
Most web directories have a wide range of categories and are available in a variety of regions and languages. They have various ways for websites to be listed and in most cases need to be verified and accepted by a moderator before they are included. There are numerous options:
Revised January 2nd, 2016
Submit a Website
- Free Submission – no charge for the website to be reviewed and included
- Paid Submission – one time or a recurring fee charged to review and list the site
- No Follow – search engines will not use the link to determine the site's value for their own listing criteria
- Reciprocal Link – the directory must be linked on the website submitted in order to qualify to be listed
- No Reciprocal Link – websites may be submitted for free with no requirement for a link back
- Featured Listing – website is given a prime position in the category it is assigned. This is usually a paid for listing.
- Bid For Position – the websites are ordered based on how much they were prepared to bid
- Affiliate Links – money is earned for referring customers from websites listed.