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What is a Web Directory?

A web directory, also called link directory, is a directory on the World Wide Web that serves only one purpose: to link web sites that are placed in categories.  It is a tool to raise the ranking of your website, and in turn can yield more revenue for you if your site is used for that purpose. The quality varies among web directories.  Some have poor quality content, and/or categories.  Others may have improper category placement, even accepting below standard websites.   Below standard directories will be explained, so that you know which ones to avoid.
A web directory differs from a search engine, in that it lists web sites by category and subcategory.  A search engine, however, lists web pages via keywords. Most web directory websites are discovered by we humans, and not a web crawler. 
 RSS directories are like web directories, but have many RSS feeds, rather than links to web sites.

Dropped Domain

You should be wary of a dropped domain when you are building a website for directory placement. A dropped domain was registered, but was not renewed by the domain owner.  This leaves the domain available to anyone for buying, and using for a website.  It keeps its page rank, even with the new owner.  It may have a fine page rank (PR), yielding more revenue for the new website (if setup for income), of It may have a poor page rank. Before you buy that domain, check to see if it’s a dropped domain at:   There may be a reason it was dropped.

The Range of Directories

To be aware of beneficial directories, and the ones to avoid, one needs to know more about the types of directories available. There is a wide range of quality among them.
Many directories list websites within a wide range of categories and languages. There are some specialized (niche) directories, such as e-commerce, and the shopping directory sites.
Three are some fine, well-established web directories. Open Directory Project (ODP) and Yahoo! Directory are two examples. ODP is an important one because it has a highly extensive correct categorization, with a large number of listings. ODP also offers free availability for search engines and other directories to use.
There is much controversy, however, over the quality of directories and databases, as some search engines automatically use ODP content without proper application, and mere experimenting by clustering.
Directory building is an arduous task that until now must be done manually. There have been efforts to make it more streamlined to develop directories. They have attempted using automation to submit related links to categorize by script, or PHP portals and programs.
Directories vary on quality by features, depending somewhat on price. Some of them are mentioned here…

  • Submission Free – review and listing of your site is free
  • Submission Paid – this can be a one time or recurring fee for listing and reviewing the link
  • No Follow – there is a rel=”no follow” written associated with the link. Search engines give no merit to the link 
  • Reciprocal link – on the submitted site, there is a link added somewhere, so that it will be listed in the directory
  • Bid for position – sites are ordered based upon bids
  • Featured listing (sponsored link) – the link has a premium position in a category, or even a section.
  • Affiliated link – the directory earns a commission for customers referred from the listed websites.

Human Edited Directory

The human-edited directory is made and maintained by editors, who add links.  They are the focus of search engine optimization (SEOs), based on the links from how reputable sources are, which determines ratings in search engines.
The human-edited directories are edited by experts in various categories. They do this voluntarily, however, which may be one reason there are long delays in approving submissions. Such human-edited directories are Open Directory Project and Salehoo.
To prevent this now, some directories allow more professionals to edit their directory. This sometimes lowers the quality of the directory, however, due to subjectivity by the many editors. This is remedied by some web directories by using a paid inclusion model. This gives the directory fewer listings that are done in a timely manner.



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