Web directories are collections of website listings, broken down into categories, based on the topic of the website. Typically a website owner would submit their website for inclusion in a web directory. If accepted the new website would be placed in the most appropriate category and sub-category. Some web directories charge for inclusion, some are free. The inclusion fee generally reflects the PageRank of the web directory. The higher the PageRank of the web directory, the higher the inclusion fee.
Website owners use web directories to promote their websites. This is done in two ways. Firstly, visitors to the web directory who are looking for a website regarding a particular topic will often browse the relevant category. Upon finding a website with information that interests them the visitor may visit the website, and thus increasing the websites success directly.
The second benefit is gained via the hyperlink from the web directory to the listed web site. Many search engines, including Google, count the number of hyperlinks to a website or web page, and consider each of these links as a vote. The more votes a web page has, the more important it is considered. The more important a web page is considered, the higher it appears in search engine results. Therefore, the hyperlink benefits the website by driving more visitors to the website via search engine searches.
If you are a website owner you can increase your websites presence and visitor numbers by submitting your website to various web directories. You will need to decide whether to pay for inclusion, and to which web directories to submit your website.
Web directories have worked in much the same way for many years. Recently a growing number of bid for placement web directories have appeared. These web directories function in a different manner by allowing the web site owners to pay an amount they decide. The website with the highest bid appears at the top of the list, and the other bids follow accordingly. This list appears on the homepage of the web directory, passing maximum PageRank to the listed websites.
Whilst the new bid placement web directories are causing some discussion on the internet, traditional web directories will continue to provide a useful resource for visitors and web masters alike.