A web directory is an index of websites from around the world. It is also referred to as the subject directory. The index features numerous sites that are organized in such a manner that it is easy to retrieve them. It is similar to an internet website directory but different from a search engine.
Why Web Directories Were Developed
In the past, when the internet was still new, a handful of individuals owned websites. There were very few internet connections, and there wasn’t enough money to be earned out of it. However, different sites sprouted in various niches.
For you to find a website, you had to remember its domain name to access it because there was not Google and Bing. With time, however, more sites started were developed that people were not able to remember domain names. So, some individuals were smart enough to store these web domains in a database called web directory. And that is how web directories came about.
Why Web Directories, and not Just Search Engines
You may wonder why you should waste time listing your business on an online directory when people don’t care about them and will opt for Google, Bing or Yahoo.
Well, search depend on the information that you include in your site- from the SEO procedures on the backend to the content seen on the pages, the businesses that connect to your website, online reviews, and what is said about your company in online directories.
The search engines pull this information from online directories to determine which data to display on the SERP. So, the more your web pages appear on online lists with relevant content, the high your rank on search engine results pages. This, in a way, is a form of an online marketing strategy rather than trying to figure out why people use HotFrog than Google to look for companies online.
How a Web Directory Works
The majority of web directories index sites by subject, the reason they are known as subject directories. Typically, a human being determines sites that can be added to the list on a per-website basis. This means that people choose the entire directory.
For your content to be added to a web directory, you must manually add the title, link, and other relevant information that you want to be added to the listing. Depending on the directory functions, you may also allow other site owners to add their websites in the directory. Submissions to the directory may be free, although some directories may require payment.
There are two methods of finding content in a website directory: through search or browser. The directory features categories for separating various websites and organize them accordingly. However, there is also an inbuilt searching feature that allows you to search the entire directory.
Conversely, a search engine is a search tool that navigates through a specific site. Some online directories come with a search engine, but it could only work it one website. In short, while search engines such as Google and Bing search numerous sites, a search engine in a web directory searches information on a single website.
Are Web Directories Still Vital for SEO in 2019?
While web directories might be in existence, they probably do not have much impact on website rankings, the same way as any other website that connects to you and qualifies for the page rank. But because web directories have been missed used over time as SEO tactics, search engines such as Google fines individuals who use web directories. With the introduction of Penguin 4.0, many people do not want anything to do with web directories.