Web directory : A brief introduction

web directory series

Part 1 – What’s a web directory

So starting the web directory discussion series with the Introduction post. A general question stated by many newbies always is “What is a web directory?” and i am going to limit this post just to explain a web directory and not anything else.

Web directory is just similar to a telephone directory, which lists business websites in its index for people to search and find the business they are looking for.
A person might search for phone number of a specific person or company in a telephone directory, similarly an online worker or surfer will search for his website/business listing through a web directory.

People sometimes might get confused with the terms web directory and search engines, as both of them have the search option and list websites. But the main difference lies in 2 points –

  • Search engines do not have categories in them to index a website, but a web directory lists a website in a specific category to which it belongs.
  • Search engine use a different algorithm to list websites for a particular keyword, but in a web directory, websites are category wise and are in perfect lists to search around. There is commonly no special algorithm involved in listing websites in a web directory.

A specific business listing varies differently in various web directories, some having little info and some having complete information such as business information, contact information, location of the business etc.

Now coming to the types of web directories, there are a few different type of directories –
Depending on payment for inclusion –

  • Free directory – This type of directory does not charge to accept or review a website listing in its index.
  • Paid directory – This type of directory charges a submitter to review his website, and accept it into its index.
  • Bid for position Directory – A paid type of directory, in which websites have to bid higher to get to the top position and better exposure of their business.

Depending on the subject –

  • General web directory – Lists websites of all kinds in various categories.
  • Niche web directory – Directory built specifically to list websites of a specific category such as business, health etc.

Hope that makes you understand the basic point, what a web directory is and what are its types.


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