When Internet as we know it was in the beginnings, back in 1995-1996, finding information was not as easy as today. Search engines did not have smart algorithms and often information you got was not what you were looking for. Web directories became popular out of pure need. It was easier to find information by going to specific category and then going to an interesting site, then searching for it.
Today, we have search engines that provide us with relevant information instantaneously. But there are still a lot of web directories, thousands and thousands of them. What is their purpose?
Purpose of Web Directories today
In theory, web and blog directories should give you three things.
- Visitors will visit the directory to find information, then find your site and visit it.
- Visitors will search for a term on a search engine, and a page from directory containing your site will appear in the search results and the visitor will come to your site again.
- Getting a backlink from directory to your site should help you rank better.
To find out if these claims are true, three weeks ago I have set up an experiment to test blog directories.
Here is the complete list of popular blog directories that participated in the experiment:
After three weeks online, only three of them sent more then 1 visitor:
*note: blogcatalog.com is a directory/social media site, and data is from the blog entry only, no discussions were initiated. The site holds potential for more traffic thanks to a social media effect. Bumpzee.com is another example of similar directory/social site worth checking out.
Do we really need web directories anymore
As you see, in terms of traffic directories did not do very well. Specially compared to number of visitors I got from social media sites in the same period of time, which is measured in thousands (I recommend reading how to effectively use social media). In terms of backlinks it is similar story, the effect of social media sites is much greater thanks to bookmarking and tagging.
What about web directories? Well the situation is very similar. A very old site of mine dating back to 1997, has been included in DMOZ ever since. As you know DMOZ is the most authoritative web directory on the Internet. Few months ago out of curiosity I installed Google Analytics on the site, as I wanted to check the traffic stats. And although the site receives couple of hundreds of visitors daily, I still have to wait to see a first visitor from DMOZ. Not good for number one web directory.
There are two more things. Adding sites to directories is still pretty hard and time consuming process. Sharing articles on social media sites is much quicker. Adding a link for your new site to top social media sites will result in the site being indexed by search engine in a matter of hours. No web directory will ever give you that power with that ease.
So basically web and blog directories are becoming or already have become thing of the past. They gave ground to Social media sites. In fact, social media sites have become effectively what web directories once were. Today you will visit a social media for the same purpose you visited a web directory ten years ago - to quickly find interesting information.
- What are best blog directories to submit a blog to?
- How to effectively use social media sites from a Webmaster perspective
- Improve Search Engine Placement with Tags
Posted in: WordPress
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