Accueil Non classé Why You Should Launch Your Own Web Directory

Why You Should Launch Your Own Web Directory


One of the easiest types of web sites to launch is a link directory. Just download one of the free or inexpensive PHP software packages, install, configure, add some categories, add some links and you’re off! Having your own directory isn’t a bad idea, despite what some pundits might think, for a number of reasons which I’ll outline.

Directories attract motivated users, who are eager to promote their own web sites. Just today, there were almost 82,000 new domains registered in just six of the top level domains (.com,.net,etc.) Of these, a large number will surely wind-up being used for web sites. Add to that the thousands of new hosted blogs and web pages, and you have many thousands of new web sites being born each day, and therefore thousands of webmasters looking to generate backlinks to get their sites on the Internet map. All of them will surely submit their links to the big league search engines and directories, but a fair percentage will also seek to add them to as many not so popular directories as possible. A portion of this traffic could be directed at your new directory without much effort on your part. I don’t know of any other type of web site that doesn’t contain nudity and that can attract traffic so quickly! usa business directories

Now that you know that your directory can be a traffic magnet, you can use it to increase backlinks and visits to your other sites. One of the ways you can do this is by requiring or suggesting a « three way » reciprocal link to another of your web sites. Requiring it will lose you some people, but on the other hand some will comply, whereas if you make it optional, the vast majority will decline. If you prefer, you can require a backlink to the directory itself, but one way links are usually preferable not just for you, but also for the one submitting. You can also give your other sites a boost by adding links to them in the directory. Since you’re the boss, you can give them a more prominent placement by making them featured links. You can also add « deep links » to them, that is URLs other than to the main page. Deep links are said to be rated higher as backlinks by major search engines.

Set your directory to accept only opt-in submissions. That is, submitters must include a valid email address and then receive a message with a confirmation link they must follow. By requiring an email, you build a mailing list which you can legitimately send messages to, being careful not to abuse this privilege. Such messages can have links to your other sites, or the directory itself, effectively recycling the submitters rather than letting them disappear forever. One way to keep in touch is to have an e-newsletter which provides directory or seo updates. If it includes interesting and useful content, adding advertising shouldn’t result in protests.

Building email lists comes with a warning label: a fair number of emails you’ll get will be throwaway addresses that the submitter uses only for this sort of thing. In other words, the user won’t be reading your newsletters. You can safely presume any address containing the word « spam » is bogus, but beyond that it’s virtually impossible to filter bogus emails just by using your eyes. Although it would be possible to compile a list of such domains and reject any address whose hostname part matches, your directory software won’t have support for such filtering.

Of course, you have to be careful to not turn your directory into a link spam generator. Start by making it a niche or language-specific directory, specializing in certain kinds of sites. The temptation is to accept all links submitted by making it a general directory in an effort to maximize the number of visits, quickly turning it into a site of dubious merit. Nonetheless, you can have it both ways: create a separate category tree for unrelated sites. Whatever you do, don’t make a clone of Dmoz, or even a portion of it. Create your own original directory structure and populate the categories with your own carefully picked links. Human edited directories are genuine, whereas clones will tend to be sneered at.

You’ll need extreme patience managing your own directory, since you’re guaranteed to receive buckets of « spammy » links. You recognize spam when you see a bunch of submissions with the same IP address, or that deal with the same or similar topic, or with the same description. The proper course of action is to mark these links as spam, a function which your directory software should support. You’ll also waste a lot of time changing the category selected by the submitter, which almost always is wrong. It’s unlikely the big name sites will submit their link to your lowly directory, thus in the interest of maintaining a high quality database, you should first populate it yourself with as many relevant, quality links as you can.

I don’t want to mislead you: any web site needs to be promoted to succeed, and directories aren’t any different. You’ll have to go through the motions and submit your directory’s link to a big bunch of other directories to get things started, and use every other means available to get exposure. Listing your site in « directories of directories » such as Directorycritic, is particularly important, as that’s where a lot of new site owners will be looking for places to submit their link. You could also suggest your directory to a multitude of site submission services and programs, but only do this if you have some use for the email addresses this will generate, since the people who submit to your directory via such services actually won’t visit your site at all (a robot will submit their data for them.) Most submission services stick to the big name search engines and directories, but there are some who submit to several hundred lesser known directories using a specific software, particularly Phplinkdirectory.

Which directory software package should you get? Well, the choices are quite limited if you’re looking for something that’s relatively easy to install and configure, as well as having a lot of features. Almost everybody uses either Phplinkdirectory, eSyndicat, or Indexu, all of which are php-mysql based. eSyndicat sells for 75 USD for a one site license, Phplinkdirectory will set you back 80 dollars per site, while Indexu charges the most at 99 USD per site. However, Phplinkdirectory offers a cheaper version, at 30 dollars per site, but that means you’ll have to display a link back to their site. They also offer a much older version completely free.

Indexu is the only one that’s lets you download and test their full version for free, although the other two do have online demos you can preview. All three products have a variety of free plugins to extend your directory’s functionality, as well as templates. It’s very difficult to say which of these packages you should pick, though I would put Phplinkdirectory in the third spot owing to my personal experience with the product and the company, which I’ll be writing about in an upcoming article. For more webmaster tips,

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