Most directories suck and could do a whole lot better
Most directories are useless rubbish
Bog standard web directories are not worth a cold cup of ****. A directory that sells on the basis of PR is asking for its link-pop-pass on ability to be stripped away.
See, for me, the whole get links from lots of directories on different IP’s thing is so frickin 2003 its not even funny any more! Most can be knocked up in two seconds flat and then populated with a dmoz script or Y! scrape. Most if not 99.9% of them offer very little value at all othe than the ability for joe bloggs to be able to drill down and find or add a site in an area they want to. Usually they are plastered with
adsense adverts in the head of the document, designed to attract the users eye and take them away from the people who have paid to list. Funny.
Some try and capitalise on the little green PR bar, that’s pagerank to those who haven’t been awake for the past 7 years. They run around forums and blogs talking their sites up or getting some non informed person somewhere or over to extol the virtues of this ‘great new’ resource. People look and for those still hooked into that whole green PR tool bar thing, some think ooh lovely I think I’ll buy me one of those too.
People forget that search engine sharks patrol the seo seas . Sites or individuals that brag about PR usually end up worse off as a result. Don’t take my word for it though, go have a read yourself. Who is the demon here though? The search engine for killing their ability to pass juice, or the site owner for their cynical exploitation of their naive users?
Keeping ones mouth shut can keep you out of bother
See, the moment, the very moment, a directory starts to brag about its pagerank or its pages indexed, or its anticipated PR, then that’s the moment when they effectively say to all their directory participants, sorry but your link is now worthless for ranking purposes. We got greedy, we saw a PR6 + and decided to try and capitalise on it, this is capitalism after all.
Surely they aren’t all bad?
Noooo absolutely not, some directories offer great value for money.Those who actively promote themselves and add real value to the space and do things differently and so called niche directories for example, really are worth the participation. I know of some great niche directories ( I wont list them here) that are absolutely brilliant. They are full of laser targetted relevant stuff, they take the time to contact their submitters and offer new services, they prune old listings, they take feedback from site users and ask them to come back and write reports on sites they’ve used. They give people options to talk and discuss their experience using the companies that advertise, they allow for a conversation to take place. In short, they add value. Most directories out there today do not do any of this.
But a link is a link is a link, its all about links right?
No it isn’t, some links really are better than others. Ok, so initially you’ll gain a link with some anchor text and overtime even, you may well get some genuine visitors in buy mode, you may well even get a small ROI. Yet its only a may at best, and hardly the best way of spending your money. Most of the time it will be a complete waste of your time effort and money. You may as well, just spend it on some PPC scheme somewhere, guarantted traffic, or better still pay yourself and go write 2 or 3 kick arse responses to blog posts in your theme using technorati to classify authority for your niche – seriously, I kid you not.
But directories are permanent never go away links
Sure they are, but the value they convey is always subject to the traffic they receive and the importantance placed upon them. Directories are like all manner of other web properties, if they are just offering same ol same ol without adding anything new to the mix, then really, from both a user POV AND a search engine looking to output quality sites POV where oh where is the value?
I don’t blame people for trying to sell an idea or promote and collate a business. Some like Bruce really are passionate about what they do and agonise over giving a good service and adding value to the options provided for their visitors. BOTW and one or 2 others that escape me also try to do it all a little differently, yet few if any these days at least rank in Google for anything half worth ranking for. Like it or not I have to say they just aren’t doing enough and could do a whole lot better. Sure too, they may well have traction in other spaces and verticals and rank elsewhere which is great for now, but I wouldn’t trust it long term for something that’s gonna keep its place or juice. The engines move on, algos change, they are consistently looking out for new signals and indicators. A site that ranks well today can just as quickly plummet tomorrow, especially if it isn’t getting that SMO buzz.
There are a zillion and one directories out there offering that same broad topic and region structure. Dmoz and Y! were the 1st and quite frankly have been copied to death to the point of why even. Who really needs another directory that does the same as one that exists already. One person – the owner who spots what he thinks is a gravy train and a chance for an easy pound note, and for those that would protest and spit, just wake up and smell the coffee, please. No one denies your right to build it, but you should’nt expect it to do well in search, not in a bog-standard-seen-it-all-before-what-the-heck-is-so-good -about-this-one form.
Good directories are good directories you should use them.
Just in case I gave the wrong impression, there really is nothing wrong with a directory.
Blogcatalog.com – Bumpzee.com – mybloglog.com are 3 that spring to mind. Spicypage.com is another. What I hear you say, these aren’t directories! These are different, these offer something else, whatever are you talking about Rob you big fat idiot!
Well, no just go take a look. Everyone of them is a directory of sorts, a variation on a theme, that theme being the directory theme with a little SMO, you know that SMO stuff that creates buzz and interest.Whilst they are indeed very different types of directory, they are directories nonetheless in that they offer categorised sections of links to themed content and sites. They are different though and hold one simple similarity between them that their predecessors are severley lacking.
They are an alive community of real people talking about real things. They are not some static dead bunch of links that antiquate with age, ran by some little hierarchical fiedom who talk to you like you are some piece of errant scum. They are ran by people who truly want to provide something useful and different. They stay fresh and on topic. They utilise new tools and technologies to help the people who use them. RSS to give user visitors sample content, they get real traffic for their users illustrated in server logs and SERPs up and down the lists of those who participate. They provide voting systems, messaging systems, widgets and stats, they lead the way in enabling people to use the web as the amazing communication tool it is.
If you are a directory owner today, and aren’t trying to engage ALL of your users in ALL manner of ways that take account of web 2.0 and all the various other interaction options that people want, then you really could be doing a whole lot better.
If you are a site owner of any description, then you really need to wake up to the fact that the days of just build it and they will come are fast fast diminishing. You really need to get out there and enage, just like you would in the real bricks and mortar world. You can catch up, its not too late, get on it today.Posted on: 5th May 2007, by : Rob Watts