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  #1  
Old 12-28-2010, 03:15 PM
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Attributes Of A High Quality Directory

Okay folks, I need your help with a project I will be doing concerning what is and isn't considered a quality directory. Yes, I realize you may have answered this question a thousand times in this community, but I am asking you to do so again so that I have all the responses together in one thread.

I am respectfully requesting that you do not debate the answers of others within this thread as I am specifically looking for each of your thoughts on this topic.

Special Note: If you are not willing to have your comments quoted on the V7N Blog (with proper attribution) please do NOT respond to this thread.
 
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Old 12-28-2010, 06:10 PM
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In my opinion, the best attribute for any Directory to have is an owner or management that is willing to reject any submission, paid or unpaid, on the grounds that it is not a worthy site to be listed.

Too many directory owners will include almost any site, in an effort to grow.......The really good directories will reject poor submissions and forego the immediate economic benefits, in an effort to product a directory filled with high quality sites. These are the directories that i want my sites listed in
 
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Old 12-28-2010, 06:42 PM
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Although I have committed the cardinal sin of submitting to thousands of directories in the past for little or no result I now only submit to directories that satisfy the following:

I have made the assumption that you are referring to general directories.

First Appearances

Design doesn't matter that much as long as I am not assaulted by ads. Subtle advertising is OK but multiple Google adsense blocks or 20 flashing ad blocks make me leave.

Number Two


The categories - having thousands of categories that are empty signals a category dump and a category dump means the directory's starting point is the same as tens of thousands of other directories. A quick check of a category will also reveal whether submissions have been correctly categorised. If the category I am targeting has undesirable websites, I leave. Good directories will also have seeded categories with quality websites.

Number Three

A Latest Links page - a quick glance at the latest links page will identify quickly whether a directory accepts spam submissions, how it deals with keywords in titles and keyword stuffing in descriptions. If latest links page has only listings with good descriptions and good titles you will nearly always be on safe ground. Some good directories accept keywords in titles others don't

Number Four

Number of links - If a directory has 80,000 links it has either been around a very long time or accepts everything - see 3 above. If there are 2000 links pending it could mean anything from a deserted directory to being hit hard by spam to not approving free links. If something does not appear quite right I will either leave permanently or if I really want to list there I will take notes and come back at a later date.

Number Five

PR - a high PR could mean a lot of work has gone into promoting a directory indicating that a person who cares is running the show. A low PR could mean a new directory so a quick glance at number of links might confirm this. High PR could also mean that it is a dropped domain so the wayback machine becomes important. Consider everything else before PR.

Number Six

Cost - this is mostly driven by PR, but as PR is so out of date it is hard to quantify.

Summary - Reasonable design, well categorised, well edited and spam free is a good starting point.
 
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Old 12-28-2010, 07:30 PM
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Many directories sitting on the same IP address.

Huge directory networks would have a difficult time in reviewing submissions and are more likely to be filled with spam, broken links and web sites with viruses. Several identical links coming from the same IP address can appear spammy and hold little weight with search engines. It can be easy for the a directory submitter to unknowingly submit to these directories, I recommend using a list site that provides this and other metrics for easily evaluating a directory's value.
 
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Old 12-28-2010, 08:41 PM
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[comments removed]
 
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Old 12-28-2010, 10:20 PM
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Oh my, you dun gone and did it. That is a question which cannot be answered in a quick post. I wrote what was intended to be series of comments which I never posted and now can't find it.

Here is hoping we can add to... Starting off.

First and foremost is editorial integrity. Owners/editors must do more than see if the site loads but examine the whole to determine whether the submission adds anything to the directory. Once this has been done comes the time to examine title and descriptions. Is the submission of high enough quality to justify time spent on editing. I honestly can't remember the last time I accepted a submission without editing titles and descriptions. IMO this holds true for both free and paid listings.

The directory must provide links with relevant anchor text which makes the Search Engines happy. In other words SEO friendly.

The directory should build good meta descriptions especially for details pages.

My keyboard is crapping out more later... spilled Amber Ale problem.

Last edited by Harkster; 12-28-2010 at 10:24 PM.
 
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Old 12-28-2010, 10:57 PM
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A high quality directory would be one that has trust in the search engines; probably the result of being created for the benefit of an end user rather than one designed to manipulate the search results. These directories will likely have inbound links which are based on merit (editorial additions because of content/usefulness) rather than a profile which features self service links obtained by the directory owner.
 
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Old 12-28-2010, 11:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastreplies View Post
[comments removed]
Gentle reminder: I respectfully requested that you do not debate the answers of others within this thread as I am specifically looking for each of your thoughts on this topic, not what you think of what others have said. This is also not a good time to promote a directory you are involved with. I simply want to hear you thoughts on what makes a quality directory (and visa versa).
 
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Old 12-29-2010, 05:08 AM
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Quite simply I want a directory to give me what I want, information, an answer to my question, a guiding hand to lead me to the answer to my question. I don't care for design, I don't care for "PR", I don't care for advertisements. Your directory is "SEO Friendly", I couldn't care less. I want you to spoon feed me a list of top quality sites that will fulfill my needs.
 
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  #10  
Old 12-29-2010, 01:18 PM
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Another metric for determining the quality of a web directory is to check and see if it is being properly indexed in Google.

by doing a 'site:somedirectory.info' search in Google you can see the directory's index size. For new directories you should make sure the index size is greater than the number of categories. An older active directory you can expect to see thousands or even millions of pages indexed. Check out Best of the Web's index here.
 
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  #11  
Old 12-29-2010, 03:22 PM
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New keyboard but can't edit my post so here goes.

Quality directory owners will add high quality websites to the mix. It is not all difficult to identify those who do this.

A large number of empty categories is a negative quality indicator.

I know the world revolves around Google but other search engines should not be ignored. Quality directories will build keyword meta tags.

Advertising is not necessarily a bad thing but should be tastefully done and not 'in your face'.

Design is important as a custom design can say a lot about the dedication of the directory operator but is not always an indicator of overall quality.

I have mixed emotions about merging article and link. If submission of articles is encouraged the editors should be at least as strict as with website submissions. Articles should also be related to the categories where they are shown. Copyscape can be your best friend here.

Quality directories should be well represented in the SERPS; especially details pages. SERPS is often difficult to get a handle on as the site: and link: at G both seem unstable.

Personally, I think the best directories should pay special attention to the details pages. I see very few directories who use the these pages as a promotional vehicle for the listed entity. IMO the very best place to add value for clients (those who have websites listed).

Quality directories should provide a value added service to their clients while offering visitors a pleasant, useful and informative experience.

PR is the absolute last item which should be important. PR is such a fleeting thing and subject to manipulation.

Oh yes, quality directories should include directory listings only if they pass a quality 'smell test'.

Ok, so that is quite a list but true quality directories should exhibit a mix of most, if not all of these elements.

Last edited by Harkster; 12-29-2010 at 03:26 PM.
 
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  #12  
Old 12-29-2010, 10:05 PM
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I think the most important factor is that it provides value to its users.

A good search, filter, category system so people can find what they want. Many directories are crap at this.

I hate having to hunt through long lists of categories to guess where the answer is, then getting 1'000s of pages with supposedly relevant listings.

As a submitter:

I hate not being told about restrictions (reciprocal, payment) till after filling in forms.

Broken submission systems!!!

Long combo boxes of categories to hunt through.
 
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  #13  
Old 12-30-2010, 01:25 AM
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IMO, having inner PR is a key factor for a high quality directory.
 
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Old 01-01-2011, 07:59 PM
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Number 1 is content, without that a directory has no quality. Everything about that content is what makes it important - and this includes editorial integrity. It should be showcased well (have a nice design around it and be easy to navigate), it should have depth (a good selection of listings should appear in categories) and above all each website listed should be a quality website itself, and the information that appears in the directory alongside that website should also be high quality (as this is the directory's own content).

Next we have editorial integrity which is directly related to the content listed. Integrity implies that an editor cannot be bribed. This means that no matter how much people are willing to pay for a listing, if their website isn't up to scratch they won't get a listing. It also means that the editor will not list the "information" that the site owner wants just because they paid. The editor will treat each and every submission with the same merit. By having this strict editorial standpoint, the directory creates its own integrity. It also means that if you are able to gain a listing in a directory like that, then your site has met a quality standard.

The last big one for me is Established Age. How long has the directory been around for? 5 years or 5 minutes? Directory owners overuse this word "quality" when their directory is in its infantcy. If you have to tell people that you have a quality directory, then you don't. To quote Maggie Thatcher... Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't., so too with quality.

So how does established age create quality? Well, if you have been creating great content using editorial integrity over a long period of time, then you will get noticed and people will consider your resource to have quality, without you needing to tell them.

I could say more. I could write an essay. I won't, I think those 3 set the foundation.
 
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:30 PM
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I would say that the quality of a directory begins and ends with the quality of its database/content. Editing goes hand in hand with having a quality database.
 
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:59 AM
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Cricket and I were discussing this topic the other day, specifically we'd both been toying with doing blog posts on it. Apparently I misunderstood what she was gonna do with it cause she had the foresight to get expert input before rolling, whereas I just hauled off and started typing.

Looked over here after I got done. Pleased to see a lotta the same stuff I said. Either I'm smart to agree with y'all, or vice versa, feel free to read that whichever way suits you.

FRESHNESS
My post focused on Directorial Integrity and quality content... and the only thing I think I havent seen mentioned here is "freshness" of content. Directories DO start to age if not constantly tended. It's important to have fresh information added frequently so your directory isn't like reading old magazines at the dentists office. Nobody is gonna find use in a tech section devoid of input on the latest programs and full of data about obsolete software, or a current issues section that looks more like a history lesson.

Last edited by robjones; 01-05-2011 at 09:13 AM.
 
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  #17  
Old 01-05-2011, 08:36 PM
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@robjones: I was actually going to bring that up, as it kind've goes hand-in-hand with the established age - I just chose not to because it would've lead me to an essay.

So I agree that it's all well and good having great listings that have been with the directory for a long time, but the directory also has to keep up with the changing nature of the web, predominantly with content. If you're lucky and you're listing something like e.g. Matt Cutt's SEO blog, then it will be its own caretaker. He will keep his content fresh, so in turn that will ensure his listing remains relevant in your directory. It's the sites that don't do this, which you need to keep an eye on.

What I will add, and maybe your DI and QC post would've covered this us, is that we talk about those two terms a lot, but because we don't go into great depth, they are glossed over and this sort of surface level understanding results, where people just end up using the 2 words to "describe" their directory without really understanding what either means.

I'd like to see it defined clearly what encompasses these values. I believe like minds should collabarate and build a strong definition that people can refer to when discussing these values..
 
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boblord666 View Post
Although I have committed the cardinal sin of submitting to thousands of directories in the past for little or no result I now only submit to directories that satisfy the following:

I have made the assumption that you are referring to general directories.

First Appearances

Design doesn't matter that much as long as I am not assaulted by ads. Subtle advertising is OK but multiple Google adsense blocks or 20 flashing ad blocks make me leave.

Number Two


The categories - having thousands of categories that are empty signals a category dump and a category dump means the directory's starting point is the same as tens of thousands of other directories. A quick check of a category will also reveal whether submissions have been correctly categorised. If the category I am targeting has undesirable websites, I leave. Good directories will also have seeded categories with quality websites.

Number Three

A Latest Links page - a quick glance at the latest links page will identify quickly whether a directory accepts spam submissions, how it deals with keywords in titles and keyword stuffing in descriptions. If latest links page has only listings with good descriptions and good titles you will nearly always be on safe ground. Some good directories accept keywords in titles others don't

Number Four

Number of links - If a directory has 80,000 links it has either been around a very long time or accepts everything - see 3 above. If there are 2000 links pending it could mean anything from a deserted directory to being hit hard by spam to not approving free links. If something does not appear quite right I will either leave permanently or if I really want to list there I will take notes and come back at a later date.

Number Five

PR - a high PR could mean a lot of work has gone into promoting a directory indicating that a person who cares is running the show. A low PR could mean a new directory so a quick glance at number of links might confirm this. High PR could also mean that it is a dropped domain so the wayback machine becomes important. Consider everything else before PR.

Number Six

Cost - this is mostly driven by PR, but as PR is so out of date it is hard to quantify.

Summary - Reasonable design, well categorised, well edited and spam free is a good starting point.
Very well said, I agree with this poster, all of the things listed above should be guidelines in order to become a good or better directory search/listing..
 
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Old 01-06-2011, 06:23 PM
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some of my ideas....uh... rather spontaneously written and haphazardly arranged:

Unique and attractive design, there are just too many thousands of directories now out there with many of the same categories.

I do look at the latest/new links page to see when recent sites were added, how fresh the content is and who is there, what is the quality of recently submitted sites etc. Along the same line a quick eyeball check of whether the editor is actually editing, meaning is the editor allowing keyword stuffing in the title and description. And of course checking who is there already on the Category page I am considering...

People here have already covered the Editorial quality factor in selecting among many submissions and rejecting spam and lower quality sites...

I do go to several sources to check on how many Google and yahoo backlines a directory has.
I also go to majestic seo which gives me a very good idea of the backlink discovery, whether the directory is still adding backlinks and how many unique domains the directory has and its ACRank, which I do believe relates to what one might call Citation rank or authority rank by Google and other engines. dmvictoria above already mentioned botw and when I checked, they have a very high raking, a huge number of backlines, and one of the largest number of unique domains I've seen for any directory. all that translates into Authority. So if you see a directory that keeps building backlinks over time that's a plus.

the Age of the directory/domain, as already mentioned, is of value too and I consider that important as well....and check google too to see how many pages come up with site: command (though that is perhaps not too reliable but it's an indicator)

Whether the directory is listed in Yahoo and/or Dmoz, I consider those to be a plus and so do the engines, I believe...

Seo - url naming of the categories so it's seo friendly, meaning having some good important keywords in the url and Category page title that will help in the serps

Unique IP address is helpful so having (too) many directories sharing the same IP would be a bit of a negative.

Presence of a Details page, with perhaps even a more extended description than is on the Category page. Some directories provide for 200 characters or even less in the description and I frankly don't think that's enough for a good Detail page, give 500 characters or more so google has something substantial to index and come back to, plus that allows for more long tail keywords to be picked up and ranked

Choice of deep links - I consider this to be very useful for seo and for the users. Deep links also helps the page rank and authority/trust rank whatever you want to call it, to circulate

Last edited by michaelj72; 01-06-2011 at 06:27 PM.
 
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