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Web directories are an important component
to search engine positioning. Directories come in all
shapes and sizes, some are generic, while others are
highly specialized. Directories, are defined as categorized
topics or collections of information organized into
a tree like structure where categories are used to define
each groups association.
Large directories like Yahoo tend to have
general themes and may charge for listings. While smaller
niche directories like http://www.finance-investing.com
offer free listings and profit from advertising revenue
or pay per click models like Google AdSense.
Being listed in a directory not only brings
in targeted traffic, it provides a one-way link from
a website with similar content. Directories are generally
highly ranked in search engines, and are considered
well respected resources, two traits that are desirable
in link partners.
While smaller directories that focus on
a specific niche might generate less traffic, the quality
of the traffic from a niche site is usually highly targeted
and will be superior to that generated from general
If you are selling fire alarms, traffic
from yahoo will be less qualified than traffic from
Alarm Tools, http://www.alarm-tools.net
. Most visitors to Alarm Tools will have a genuine interest
in alarms and alerting systems. The nature of highly
specialized directories result in visitors who have
a serious interest in the directories theme, or a at
the very least an interest in a theme related to the
As a result, web publishers need to make a conscience
effort not to ignore the value of directory listings.
Regardless of their size, a related niche directory
listing can be extremely valuable.
Many directories offer sponsorship opportunities.
Vendors can optionally purchase sponsorship to increased
their exposure with a bold listing or top category listings.
Determining a Directories Value
It is difficult to assess the value of directory
listing, as there is an obvious advantage to a listing
of a closely related theme directory that is difficult
to measure and quantify. In general, webmasters can
use common web guidelines to determine the popularity
of a directory and assess the directory link's value.
To assess the value of a web directory, consider the
PageRank of the webpage where the link placement of
your site will occur. The PageRank is indicative of
how important Google may find a specific page. Another
reliable third party measuring tool is Alexa. The Alexa
ranking provides insight into how popular a website
is. In general, a link from a web page containing a
PageRank of 5 or higher is considered very good. A link
from a site in Alexa's top 100,000 is also generally
Compare the following two directories'
Monitoring Tools http://www.monitoring-tools.net
and RSS Specifications http://www.rss-specifications.com
. Monitoring Tools' main page has a PageRank of 5 but
most internal pages that contain links have low page
ranks and the overall Alexa ranking of the site is over
650,000. While RSS Specification's claims a main Google
PageRank of 6 and subpages all contain a minimum of
a 5 for PageRank, the overall site is ranked 32,000.
Clearly if you are in the syndication business, RSS
Specification's would be a very desirable link partner,
while you would have to weigh the cost benefit and position
of a link from Monitoring Tools.
To determine a sites PageRank without
downloading the Google Toolbar, use the following online
tool from RustyBrick http://www.rustybrick.com/pagerank-prediction.php
. A website's Alexa ranking can be found by entering
the URL into Alexa http://www.alexa.com
It is recommended that PageRank and Alexa ranking be
only used as a guide when determining a directories
reputation. It is important not to get too caught up
in either Google PageRank or Alexa Ranking as webmasters
can use "tricks" to artificially inflate their
The bottom line, links from directories that are small
but niche, can provide quality web traffic.
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com
software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds
and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for
an RSS component for developers.
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