What is a Website Directory?

Broadly speaking Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is divided into 2 parts, namely Onpage SEO and Off page SEO. The first part already has a more detailed explanation in the previous article where the simple meaning is to do optimization through the internal factors of a web page, whether it’s the theme, choosing keywords, description, web address, setting templates to quality article components.

While Offpage SEO is the process of optimizing a website or blog that is carried out from external factors, namely through searching for several backlinks to promote while increasing the popularity value of a website. Therefore, this activity cannot be said to be easy considering the two are interrelated and systematic, so you have to go through the Onpage SEO technique first before proceeding to the Offpage SEO technique. Thus, the role of offpage SEO is no less important, so it is worth studying more deeply.

Learning the ins and outs of the world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) actually introduces many new terms, one of which is what is a website directory. Maybe some Internet users, aka netizens, have accidentally visited it, as well as you when you haven’t yet developed a website and blog.

Even though at first glance the appearance of a website directory is not attractive, it turns out to play an important role that affects the SERP. What is a website directory? Let’s learn more starting from explanations, types, benefits and examples.
What is a Website Directory

A website directory or web directory, some experts call it a link directory, is a book of addresses in the virtual world of the World Wide Web. A collection of data organized into various categories. The main goal is to load site names neatly arranged into certain categories according to the description, then given backlinks (backlinks).

Don’t think that web directories are like search engine sites. Both are very different, moreover they do not display search results based on keywords or keywords. The web directory actually only displays the arrangement of site names in various categories and sub-categories. Most of the web directories cannot be found by web crawlers, but netizens themselves.

The arrangement of categories on website directories is more inclined to the contents of the entire content of a site, not the assessment of one page or main keywords. A site is usually only placed in one particular category, not two or more. Site owners are free to register at any time, but need approval from the editor or website directory admin who does the review first.

If registration is approved, the site name and link will appear in the website directory placed in a certain category. Don’t be fooled by the existence of RSS, which at first glance looks like a website directory, but only contains a collection of RSS feeds rather than links back to the site’s main page.

The website directory does not only list sites by category, but also considers region and language. In fact, a number of directories deliberately compile regulations that are “restrictive”, that is, only certain sites may register based on the scope of the region, language or specific sector. One type of limited directory that contains a list of shopping sites or known as a “shopping directory”.

Directory websites function like an address book that contains all the information about thousands of websites and most importantly the website directory can provide a link to our website.

Popular web directories with good domain metrix will affect the increase in domain authority and web page authority which has an impact on improving the quality of backlinks and Google SERP positions. Most of the available web directories can be accessed free of charge and some web directories require payment.

There are many examples of well-known website directories such as Yahoo! Directory (officially closed late 2014) and DMOZ. The last name is known by SEO experts as the most complete directory that contains various sites along with backlinks. What’s more, the owner of a free site, fellow directory or search engine, may register at any time without being charged a penny. Thus the discussion about what is a website directory.

Types of Directory Websites

Talking about the types of website directories, we are more inclined to the features of registration and site preparation. There are at least nine things you need to know, namely:

1. Free submissions.

Directories allow site owners to register without payment terms or free. Even though you don’t need to pay, registration is quite strict and is reviewed manually by the admin or editor.

2. Reciprocal links.

New sites may appear in the directory after the site owner provides a link back to the main page of the website directory. This concept can be said as a backlink exchange.

3. No Reciprocal links.

The site immediately appears in the directory without the need for the site owner to provide a backlink. Of course, it’s more like a free submission without any payment requirements.

4. Paid submissions.

The site owner must pay to be displayed on the website directory. The nature of the payment is usually only once, but there are also many times on an annual basis.

5. No follow.

Site links that appear on website directories are marked with the “nofollow” code so that search engines consider them as non-special backlinks. It has a neutral impact on SEO and SERP.
6. Featured listings.

Sites and links displayed in directories are given a special position in one or more categories, even important sections such as the main page (homepage). The other name is sponsored listing, so this concept is more like an advertisement.

7. Bid for positions.

Site owners are allowed to bargain with the admin or editor of the website directory to get the top position in a category. The highest bid is entitled to top position.

8. Affiliate links.

The owner of the website directory has the right to get a commission for suggesting netizens to visit sites that appear in the category.


Benefits of Directory Websites

After understanding the explanation and types of website directories, the next step is to find out the main benefits if the site is displayed in one of the categories. There are at least four things that site owners need to study carefully.

Many website directories provide more relevant local information. For example, someone who lives in Surabaya is looking for a catering site that matches their domicile. Visiting the directory is much more accurate than using a global search engine service. Local directories are far more profitable in finding potential customers according to their domicile.

Search engines generally accept all sites and article pages regardless of quality, this has an impact on presenting information that is sometimes inaccurate. Meanwhile, website directories don’t just accept websites, let alone all of them are reviewed manually.

Don’t expect low quality and poor content sites to be well received, this action is deliberately done in order to maintain comfort and build directory visitor loyalty. So there’s no need to hesitate to include website directories as part of site promotion.

Website directories are more suitable as a place to get quality backlinks. Not all free sites are accepted without manual review, even some directories receive high ratings from Google. The more quality directories register and receive, the bigger the impact on SEO and SERP improvement.

It must be admitted that traffic sources from search engines are sometimes of less quality than directories, but the search volume is much higher. Therefore, try to balance the roles of both.

Traffic coming from directories is far more qualified than search engines, this clearly provides unexpected benefits. Sales ratios tend to be better than search engines. Why is that? Visitors choose to come to the site according to the category and description posted on the website directory, unlike visitors who come from search engines to check what is being offered.

Example of a Directory Website

After discussing what a website directory is, its types and benefits, next is an example of a website directory. Talking about website directories, several big names are no longer active and some are still running today. As quoted from the Wikipedia page, there are at least seven popular directories that still survive, namely: DMOZ, JoeAnt, World Wide Web Virtual Library (VLIB), Hotfrog, Business.com and Starting Point Directory.

Meanwhile, there are several big names that were forced to be inactive for certain reasons, such as AboutUs.org, Biographicon, LookSmart, Internet Public Library, Yahoo! Directory and Google Directory. The last name, Google Directory, is often considered a copy of DMOZ but also displays the PageRank of all sites listed in the category.

Even though some legendary big names choose to be inactive for an indefinite period of time (maybe forever) it doesn’t mean that website directories have lost their strength in boosting SERPs and traffic. We recommend that you consider planting backlinks on all directories without forgetting about quality.
List of Directory Websites

In an effort to stay relevant, many website directories have switched from basic listings to detailed review sites. We could include many more on this list, such as Jasmine Directory, Aviva Directory, and Bloggapedia, but based on their current traffic numbers, we’re not sure they’re worth another try.

Below is a list of website directories that still have value in 2022. Unless otherwise stated, all traffic forecasts were taken from SimilarWeb.com as of December 2018. Also, with the exception of BOTW, Yahoo, and BBB, all of these web directories provide free registration.

1. Best of the Web

Since 1994, Best of the Web (or BOTW for short) is still the most trusted online directory used by more than 16 million websites.

Best of the web receives 70,000 – 90,000 visits per month, with 43 percent of traffic based in the United States.

A lifetime listing (with a followed link) costs $299.
Web URL address : https://botw.org

2. AboutUs

Originally set up as a business domain directory, AboutUs now allows all types of websites to be submitted and discussed.

The site receives an average of 150,000 monthly visitors.
Web URL address : https://aboutus.com

3. Spoke.com

Spoke is an online community for finding and discussing businesses, companies, news, and more.

In Spoke, you can add a web listing for a business or a person. It receives more than 80,000 monthly visitors.
Web URL address : https://www.spoke.com

4. Blogarama

Blogarama features over 143,000 blog listings which are actively updated by site admins.