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Directories vs. Search Engines

Before we can talk about the differences between Directories and Search Engines we need to understand what they are. Please take a look our search engine and directories articles. Don't assume that you know exactly what they are. These terms, like many computer related terms, are over used and abused.

Most webmasters find that by far the most effective way to drive traffic to your site is by getting your site listed in Categorical Directories that specialize in your field or occupation. These sites are like a special interest directory. They cover the general area with great breadth and depth which is how they get to the top of the search engines. They receive many visitors interested in the special topic. If you get listed in these directories you are just one step away from the top position of a major search engine, and these visitors have already expressed interest in the general subject matter of the site.

Visitors that come to your site from a directory are far more likely to truly be interested in your service or product. Your visitors have already been prescreened as interested parties.

How do you find the Directories?

A good place to start is with the general directories like Yahoo. Check your category and see if they have an additional list of Directories. Another place to find directories is using search engines. If the directory is close to the top of the list then you'll benefit by getting your site listed in these directories. Go the search engines and enter your product or service. See who's on top and see if it's a directory or not.

Getting Listed

Getting listed is usually a pretty straightforward process. Usually they have an "add" button either on the home page or within each category. If possible find the category of your product or service and add your site from there.

Remember that most good directories require a real person to review your site and add your listing to the directory. This can take anywhere from a few hours to several months. Getting listed in the Yahoo Directory can take several years. Some parts of the Yahoo directory are rarely updated. If you pay a fee to be listed under the commercial area of the site you can substantially reduce the time it takes to get listed.

Some sites charge a small fee to be listed. You should be able to tell if the site is just a scam or a legitimate directory. If you can't tell if the site is a good one or not keep looking before you pay to be listed. Once you review four or five of these sites you should be able to separate the good ones from the bad ones. If you find you‘re getting involved yourself in the site and find good resources and information, then that's probably a good one.

Increasing Your
Response from Directories

Some of these sites allow you to pay for a top spot in the directory. This can be a very worth while thing to do. You might want to wait to see if you get response from the site before you pay to get yourself to the top, but remember to come back to the sites that are already generating traffic to try to increase it. Another great way to increase your response from these directories is to buy advertising space on them. If the directory is specific to your category then you can purchase a 'run of site' ad which can sometimes be really a great deal. A ‘run of site‘ ad may be displayed on any page of the site. If you need to reach just a subset of visitors to the site then you may be able to purchase ads space under just the category that you‘re interested in or you can sometimes purchase space on the results page of a search containing a specific search word.


Search Engines | Directories

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