Search Engine Watch
SEO News

Go Back   Search Engine Watch Forums > Search Engines & Directories > Other Search Engines & Directories
FAQ Members List Calendar Forum Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

View Poll Results: Do you ever use a directory to find information on the internet?
No, I always use a search engine. 15 30.00%
Yes, I (at least sometimes) browse or search a directory. 35 70.00%
Voters: 50. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 05-01-2005   #1
Aerik
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 19
Aerik will become famous soon enoughAerik will become famous soon enough
Directories: Are they just for SEO?

I'd like to try to measure something (I hope this is an okay place to do this): How often are directories actually used to find information? Or are they only good for adding PR and providing results in search engines?

So, how many people ever browse through a directory to find information on the internet, vs. always using a search engine? Using a directory's own built in search counts as using the directory.

Last edited by Aerik : 05-01-2005 at 05:07 AM.
Aerik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2005   #2
mcanerin
 
mcanerin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,564
mcanerin has a reputation beyond reputemcanerin has a reputation beyond reputemcanerin has a reputation beyond reputemcanerin has a reputation beyond reputemcanerin has a reputation beyond reputemcanerin has a reputation beyond reputemcanerin has a reputation beyond reputemcanerin has a reputation beyond reputemcanerin has a reputation beyond reputemcanerin has a reputation beyond reputemcanerin has a reputation beyond repute
I use vertical directories and portals (vortals) all the time - for example, a city or industry specific directory can often contain a wealth of information you could not get easily (or at all) from a search engine.

However, I do question the usefulness of directories that attempt to cover a lot of different areas (ie DMOZ clones). I get the distinct impression that a large number of them are for SEO purposes only.

Same with directories that are, in essence, directories of affiliate links. Although they technically have a minor amount of usefulness, in practice they are simply "noise".

There are some great general directories out there, but probably no more than a dozen.

There are hundreds (maybe thousands) of great vertical directories, however.

I voted yes to the poll because of my use of vortals, if you had asked about "general directories" instead of "directories", the answer would have been NO.

Ian
__________________
International SEO
mcanerin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2005   #3
smindsrt
Site-Sift Web Directory
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 45
smindsrt is on a distinguished road
I use Google and Yahoo the most. I would probably use Google more but the last 4-5 months I can't always find the sites I'm looking for.

It's not too often that I use a directory to search for something but I have.
smindsrt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2005   #4
sarumu1
Eamus Catuli!
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: chicago
Posts: 77
sarumu1 has a spectacular aura aboutsarumu1 has a spectacular aura about
i occasionally use dmoz to start a search off on a topic i know little to nothing about - that being said, i'd use dmoz much more often if they had a decent search function.

there' a new directory that i think has the right idea that is trying to do just that - they're just a bit young, and i tend to use it for several searches - but i'm not getting the number of hits i'd like to see - that will certainly be remedied as time passes and they collect more listings.

i can't deny that i often use google search as the majority of internet users do.

s.
sarumu1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2005   #5
David Wallace
 
David Wallace's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 887
David Wallace is a splendid one to beholdDavid Wallace is a splendid one to beholdDavid Wallace is a splendid one to beholdDavid Wallace is a splendid one to beholdDavid Wallace is a splendid one to beholdDavid Wallace is a splendid one to beholdDavid Wallace is a splendid one to behold
Like Ian, I use vertical directories occasionally that deal with niche topics such as a particular industry or specific trade. I have also used DMOZ when I am looking for a list of sites or companies in a particular category.
David Wallace is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2005   #6
St0n3y
The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know.
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Here. Right HERE.
Posts: 621
St0n3y is a name known to allSt0n3y is a name known to allSt0n3y is a name known to allSt0n3y is a name known to allSt0n3y is a name known to allSt0n3y is a name known to all
I use directories primarily when looking for a a local area.
St0n3y is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2005   #7
Aerik
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 19
Aerik will become famous soon enoughAerik will become famous soon enough
Thanks for the feedback

Thank you all for the feedback - this has been a very useful exercise (I know, I know - a non-representative, non-random sample, but still useful).

I'm building and promoting a directory, and one of the things I think will make it useful to users is the ability to categorize vertically as well as the traditional (dmoz-type) hierarchical categories. With your feedback in mind, I feel confident going forward with this strategy in mind - that there is still value to users and a market for directories.

Best Regards,
Aerik
Aerik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2005   #8
USRecoveryInfo
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 5
USRecoveryInfo is on a distinguished road
Open Directory (DMOZ) then Thunderstone or Teoma

Personally use Open Directory Project DMOZ quite frequently as the first search option. Google Directory is an outdated version of the DMOZ directory. The other non directory results Google returns are outdated or spam. Google ( The Emperor) has no clothes! Yahoo search returns more up to date information. Thunderstone Search is great for finding new sites that Google is completely ignorant of. Teoma Search is great if you have something specific you are looking for (That is something you can describe with 3, 4 or 5 search terms such as a businesses full name.
USRecoveryInfo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2005   #9
Marcia
 
Marcia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 5,476
Marcia has a reputation beyond reputeMarcia has a reputation beyond reputeMarcia has a reputation beyond reputeMarcia has a reputation beyond reputeMarcia has a reputation beyond reputeMarcia has a reputation beyond reputeMarcia has a reputation beyond reputeMarcia has a reputation beyond reputeMarcia has a reputation beyond reputeMarcia has a reputation beyond reputeMarcia has a reputation beyond repute
Quote:
I get the distinct impression that a large number of them are for SEO purposes only.
And for selling text link ads.
Marcia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2005   #10
nesalc
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 8
nesalc is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerik
So, how many people ever browse through a directory to find information on the internet, vs. always using a search engine? Using a directory's own built in search counts as using the directory.
From watching friends and family my experience is that new or inexperienced internet users uses the directories a lot. They seems overwhelmed by the organic results and find the directories much more userfriendly.

/Claus
nesalc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2005   #11
Artyom
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Ukraine, Odessa city
Posts: 26
Artyom is on a distinguished road
It depends...

As we all know people go online for:

1. Information
2. Shopping
3. Intertainment

and directories reflect these trends. Plus different directories target to different audiences, nitches. So it depends what kind of trends/audience/nitche we are talking about.

As for me when it's about non-commercial stuff I go to Zeal.com, shopping (tangible stuff) - Yahoo Shopping, search for information about my nitche/competitors - dmoz.org to get a list of them and then dipper research by Google (sometimes it's beta 'webquotas')

This is gonna be too long reply to cover each issue:-), just think hard about each of factors I've mentioned to take a picture. I hope my reply will help you.
Artyom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2005   #12
randfish
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 436
randfish is a name known to allrandfish is a name known to allrandfish is a name known to allrandfish is a name known to allrandfish is a name known to allrandfish is a name known to all
Tiny little topic specific directories (even those created by SEOs) are used by the general public sometimes. One of our clients is in a specific financial services niche, and several of the directories are prime sources for referrals, so they must get lots of traffic.

The key is to have a directory that's focused, useful and relevant.
randfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2005   #13
krisval
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: The US of A
Posts: 190
krisval has a spectacular aura aboutkrisval has a spectacular aura aboutkrisval has a spectacular aura about
I use topic specific ones mostly and a couple of the really good ones that actually have content besides just selling links. A lot of the new directories that are run by SEO/Link Brokers are useless to the user, but there are a few 2nd tier directories that are pretty good and in some cases better than the big guys.

Not really a traditional directory, but I do actually find value in some of the "Affiliate Link" directories. If I am looking for something very specific like a new web host or a home equity loan, I actually like some of the sites with affiliate only links. All of the main competitors on one page...and no I don't run those type of site
krisval is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2005   #14
Relevancy
Relevancy Brings Results
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: CA
Posts: 225
Relevancy is on a distinguished road
Directories are a good place for people who dont know about SEO to go and bring in a little bit of extra traffic. Get your site on 20 directories and you offset the poor rankings you have in the search engines somewhat.

Use of directories is a poor questions for a SEO/SEM forum. I don't use them but I do respect them. They are like the little mom and pop shops of the internet. Down with Walmart!
Relevancy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2005   #15
Aerik
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 19
Aerik will become famous soon enoughAerik will become famous soon enough
Quote:
nesalc said:
From watching friends and family my experience is that new or inexperienced internet users uses the directories a lot. They seems overwhelmed by the organic results and find the directories much more userfriendly.
That's the market I'm hoping to get (once I've got some content built up). Some (many) searches yield lots of fairly relevant results in many search engines, but sometimes you have to wade through a lot of stuff (if your search is poorly formed, or if you're looking for something pretty specific - like local information). Slightly off topic - it's amazing to me that so many directories do sell links, and that people pay for them. I wonder if anyone has estimated and published a list of what links from a given PR page are worth... would be interesting. Of course, some places (a listing at Yahoo or Dmoz say) give you more than just PR, but still an interesting thought...

Quote:
Relevancy said:
Use of directories is a poor questions for a SEO/SEM forum.
Hmm... I don't think this is a SEO/SEM forum - I think it's about "Other Search Engines & Directories"...

Best Regards,
Aerik
Aerik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2005   #16
Relevancy
Relevancy Brings Results
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: CA
Posts: 225
Relevancy is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Hmm... I don't think this is a SEO/SEM forum - I think it's about "Other Search Engines & Directories"...
We can talk about them all we want, but we as Search people are a little more informed about the evils or good of directories. Other people are not as skeptical and will use them if they are helpful. We look at them and try to see what there purpose is sometimes without giving them a chance to be useful.

So that is why this SEW is not the best source to determine if directories are good or not.
Relevancy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2005   #17
bobmutch
seocomapny.ca|Project Support Open Source|Top 40 Dirs rated by Inbound Link Quality
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: london.on.ca
Posts: 575
bobmutch has a spectacular aura aboutbobmutch has a spectacular aura about
I use DMOZ quite abit, Yahoo some times. You know that the sites in there are going to be good sites for the most part were the SERP can be garbage.
bobmutch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2005   #18
clasione
Searchen Networks
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Long Island NY
Posts: 74
clasione is on a distinguished road
I instinctively use Google(dmoz) and Yahoo directories when searching for something hard to find, but no others.....
clasione is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off