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Internet search isn’t limited to Google, and I’m not talking about Bing or Yahoo here. I am talking about web directories.
Web directories are lists of websites, organized according to content types, like yellow pages, but for online purposes. There are hundreds of directories, local and international, general and specialized; with listings of thousands of websites for you to search and find what you’re looking for.
Why not just use a search engine? Well, because the best sites listed in a search engine are not necessarily the best, but only those that have won over its ranking system.
For people who want to dig through the usual jumble of marketed stuff, directories like Directory Journal come in.
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Directory Journal is an online database of websites organized by categories, but with the added benefit of useful articles. They also offer free tools for webmasters and have also launched a local directory on local.dirjournal.com.
Here, a large number of websites have been organized into categories such as “computers”, “games”, “healthcare”, “tourism” and many more; then further into sub-categories such as “graphics” or “operating systems” for the category of computers, and “accommodation” or “travel agents” for the category “travel and tourism”, and so on.
In their own words, their directory is a “trusted source for the best expert-verified websites on the Internet.”
Well, everyone says that on their own. But looking at some of its online counterparts and various directory reviews, this directory comes across as a pretty solid, well-known and well-known name in the game.
It has been around since 2007 and has grown steadily since. Thousands of websites are now part of its database, organized into larger categories followed by smaller subcategories. For example:
The site may not be a viewer, but web directories almost never are. The good thing is that navigation is easy for the most part and the categories are organized intuitively. Inside each category and subcategory, there are featured listings at the top, with a list of alphabetically sorted websites below.
One thing creators insist on their claims is that these are quality links. Whether you are looking for a ‘camp and caravan’ deal in the UK, or just a good source of quantum mechanics information, the sites you find here will offer value in one way or another. Of course, this does not replace a Google search, but directories are not meant to replace it; they just top it off with some quality links that might not have made it to the top.
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That said, Directory Journal is lacking in some areas.
Many subcategories are empty. I had a particularly hard time looking for links to hotels and accommodations in the “Travel and Tourism” category for most countries. Often there would only be one generic link and not really travel related.
During my test drive, I came across a listing from the Poynter Institute in “Arts and Humanities” (category) and “Illustration” (subcategory). This placement is a bit incongruous, as Poynter.org is a journalism resource (and a very good one, too), not a graphic design or art website. It should be there in “News and Media” (category) and “Journalism” (subcategory), where I didn’t find it.
However, this may be because it was added in 2007 and subsequent changes missed it.
On the flip side, what I really liked about Dirjournal.com were the additional blog posts and guides found on the site. They have a bunch of different articles in six different journals – business, internet marketing, health, entertainment, internet, shopping – as well as how-to articles and webmaster tools. An Smarty, Kristi Hines, Michael Gray, and Lisa Barone are big names in research and social media, and all have written for this Directory Journal.
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I have taken a look at some of these articles and can tell you they are insightful. Granted, articles in the entertainment and health sections are pretty much general stuff on the web. But in business and marketing, and especially in online businesses, these guys are strong.
Try “How to Write a White Paper,” “150+ Best Android Apps of 2014,” or “Best Directories to Post Panda and Penguin” – short posts with a good depth of information. The “Best Quotes of All Time” article has 1.9 million shares!
Don’t expect these to be exhaustive treatments of the subject, rather they are meant to share personal information from within the industry which is really important for most users and webmasters when ‘it’s about judging what and who’s who of the online world.
One thing that baffled me was that clicking on “Articles” in the site header led me to their “Search and Social Blog”. Other blogs are only listed below on the home page:
But the ‘Search and Social Blog’ got a link through the ‘Articles’ tab, and if you go there and hover over ‘Internet Marketing’ you will also find a ‘blogs’ link in the drop-down menu.
Overall, however, I found Directory Journal to be a more than decent repository of information. If they can further streamline their blog content and correct some things in the list taxonomy, they will start to look much better.
Either way, if you are a new Pakistani startup or business owner, getting some deep links listed on this reputable forum will be good for traffic. For regular links, the fee is $ 59.95 per year or a one-time payment of $ 159.95. A Featured Link costs $ 99.95 per year or a one-time payment of $ 249.95.
But the good news is that they are offering coupons with 50% off to Pakistani businesses, until November 30, 2014.
Simply enter the promo code Pakistan50 when you place the order. The payment options are PayPal and credit cards, but if you prefer to pay manually, send an email to email@example.com with “Manual payment” as the subject line.