Web directories were a precursor of search engines. It was first developed by Yahoo, and with time, Google joined. They primarily operated as a database where all websites were stored. This was possible at that time because few people had websites. As the number grew, there was a need to create a more robust way of identifying websites.

How Web Directories Works

  • The website owner applies for listing on the web directory and pays a fee for the service.
  • The websites are identified alphabetically. However, as the number grew, they were classified in categories, based on their field of expertise.
  • A customer will go to the web directory and search for businesses in a given category. They will settle on a website that matches what they are looking for.

The Web Directories Niche

They are still being used to date, but their use is customised to serve a specific course.
Orderly Listing – websites are listed from specific fields only. This increases organic traffic to other websites which eventually can be converted to customers.
Cheaper – the number of websites were fewer. This makes it cheaper to list your website. Compared to the current dispensation, the more the number of websites, the higher the amount one pays to promote their website.
Good in Marketing – web directories have transitioned to reviewing. They review websites, thanks to the traffic they attract. This tact is useful in marketing and most businesses use such ratings to advertise their business.

Examples of Web Directories

  1. Best of the Web (BOTW) – the directory was launched in 1994, and has transited to become an authority in listings. It brings together over 16 million business. It customisation has SEO blogs and a list of businesses.
  2. Google My Business – it is the largest in the market, thanks to its coverage. Its relationship with Google as a search engine makes its fortune increase each day. Majority of SEO professional use this directory for online marketing.
  3. Bing Places – it is a popular web directory, thanks to its relationship with Bing. It gets its prominence from its relationship with Microsoft allied browsers Edge and Explorer.
  4. Yahoo Local – they are credited as one of the foremost web directories. Their listings still get traction and is a formidable ally to business owners.

Other web directories include

  • Yelp
  • Foursquare
  • About Us
  • Skope.com Blogarama
  • Yellow Pages
  • Chamber of Commerce,
  • HotFrogs among others.