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View Poll Results: Do specialized vertical directories and search engines send you worthwhile traffic?
Yes, I get good traffic from them and they're worth pursuing. 5 50.00%
I've used them, but no, I don't get visitors from them. 2 20.00%
I've never used them. 2 20.00%
What are they? 1 10.00%
Voters: 10. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-05-2004   #1
Marcia
 
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Do specialty and vertical search engines and directories actually deliver traffic?

I remember the late and highly esteemed Jim Wilson sharing that he had developed a very significant traffic flow utilitizing vertical directories and specialized search engines, more so than even regular search. And if I remember correctly, massa also had made comments at that time related to their value.

That was back around late 2000, and the search engine landscape has changed considerably in the past few years. Is it still true that vertical venues deliver traffic that makes them worthy of consideration? And if so, what are the criteria to use in evaluating which ones are worth pursuing?

I'm not asking for specifics, and actually would prefer to avoid them, but rather seeking to find out if this is a potentially lucrative area some of us have been overlooking and are as a result losing out on targeted traffic.

Last edited by Marcia : 11-05-2004 at 05:00 AM.
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Old 11-05-2004   #2
Brad
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Since I run several vertical directories I know they deliver traffic. I also get traffic from other verticals.

Verticle directories are how a large part of the content sites and hobby sites get their traffic.

But I think you are asking about commercial levels of traffic and that can depend a lot on your market, business size and the directory. Individually each vertical only sends a tiny bit of traffic compared to Google. But 20 verticals might send a nice steady stream of traffic in the long term. For a small commerce site just starting out that might pay the light bill. For a content site, there simply is no downside to getting listed as many places as possible.

If you are after a verticle market here are some other effects:

Branding - we do branding on Overture, why not do it to your target market with a listing?

Niche Authority - when I see that a merchant has listed their site on all the verticles in their field, it tells me, the customer, that they know something about that niche. Adds credibility.

Prequalified traffic - selling widgets to widget-eaters is easier on a widget directory - nothin new there. Target market.

Free listings - not all, but a lot of verticles do not charge for listings.

Inbound Links - not all but some verticles offer direct links ...
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Old 11-05-2004   #3
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>vertical venues deliver traffic that makes them worthy of consideration?

I run a vertical local directory (or two, or three, or ...). Click-through stats show that they can regularly deliver 5000 or more visitors per year for my paying clients (rank is based on a pay-scale, along with the usual logo graphic and increased text).

>what are the criteria to use in evaluating which ones are worth pursuing?

Beyond price, which is the obvious place to start:

-1- Where do they get their traffic? Serps, type-in, paid placement, ad campaigns, forums, sponsorship to name a few off the top.

-1a- Is their traffic sustainable long-term?

-2- How you will be placed within the directory? The third page of a directory suffers from the same traffic drop-off problem as the third page in the serps.

-3- Is the directory/search host site BUILT to retain or pass on traffic? Beware of walled gardens.

<added>
What Brad said.

<added2>
Do they require a long-term contract? Sites that are sure enough of their traffic levels to offer you monthly billing or no-questions-asked refunds should go to the top of your list of prospects.

Last edited by rcjordan : 11-05-2004 at 07:58 AM.
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