A web directory organizes specific websites by categories based on subject matter, and it is typically manned by humans as opposed to automated software. A person conducting a search via a web directory can view websites organized in a series of groups and menus. As web directories are put together by humans as opposed to programs like spiders, they tend to have databases which are much smaller than those of search engines.
To be included in the listings of a web directory, a website owner can submit his or her site to the directory, or the editors of the directory will in time come upon that site themselves. In order to find one of these many listings, a searcher types a query into the web directory or can search from among the indexed groups of the web directory. Unlike search engines that list results as a series of web pages, a listing of web directory search results is composed of websites.
Web directories have been in existence before search engines, and they are one of the most trusted sources available of finding quality information. They are very powerful promotional tools for companies as well since they aid in link building, and they are also commonly accepted in the algorithms of search engines. This is critical, as it helps to decide what rank a website places in search results. With a higher rank, a website has more visibility and consequently more traffic.
Given how valuable web directories are as search aids and as promotional tools, it is useful for companies to know more about them and how they can best be utilized. Both paid and free web directories exist. While it may on the surface appear that free web directories are best as they are cost effective, in the long run paid web directories tend to be better for many different reasons. These reasons include that paid directories are quicker, last longer, and are of better quality than free directories, and they do not require reciprocal links of top of these aspects.
To begin, paid directories are much quicker to approve and post links on than free directories are. Time is money, and some free directories can take weeks just to post one link. A person may not even know right away if the link was accepted or rejected by the directory's administrator. These aspects delay the amount of time that it takes to increase a websites' rankings, which is a negative point given how higher rankings increase websites' presences. Paid directories, on the other hand, tend to post links just as quickly as payment was received.
Paid directories also tend to last much longer than free directories do. Free directories tend to pop up and then fade away after they fail to gain any traction by users. It is thus fruitless for a person or business to post hundreds of links on a web directory just because it is free to do so, as it is possible that the free directory will be gone long before anyone can even find or view the links. Paid directories, on the other hand, will house links for as long as someone paid for them to be posted and in some cases even beyond that point.
Paid directories are also of a much higher standard of quality than free directories are. After a while, free directories just become houses of links, many of which can include spam. Paid directories, unlike the free ones overall, maintain higher standards of quality. This is since they can only afford to include links that will aid in increasing websites' ranks. Thus, an individual or company looking to post links on a directory needs to consider the advantages that paid directories have in terms of quality, and they need to be concerned about how their links can potentially be mixed in with spam-oriented material on the free directories.
On a final note, paid directories do not tend to require someone posting links to post reciprocal links on their websites. While reciprocal linking is acceptable in some instances, it can possibly hurt a website's rankings if the site engaging in a lot of reciprocal linking has too many links on it. Overall, any reciprocal link does not have near any times the value of a one-way link. The one-way links of paid directories are much more valuable on a long-term basis.
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