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Search Directories - Your Heirarchical Database          Print the current page
by Brian D. Chmielewski

In last week's discussion of search tools, we focused on the characteristics of the search engine. This week, we will highlight the most pervasive search tool on the Internet, the directory. Understanding the differences between search engines and directories is essential to your online marketing strategy.

The most obvious way that directories distinguish themselves is through the amount of information that they accept during the submission process. In fact, submission forms are considerably longer for directories, allowing your personalized descriptions, company name, keywords, contact information and more to be entered, along with your URL and email address, into a category of your choosing. In essence, directories are full of these categorical submissions(listings), which they turn into a hierarchy. To be located properly, you should list your site in the most appropriate category at the directory. For those who feel that their site's topic is not recognized by existing categories, most directories also provide a space to add a new one. To see what a directoy's submission page looks like, visit the registration page at http://www.stpt.com/general/submit.html.

Another major difference between search engines and directories is that directories do not utilize scouts - i.e. robots, spiders, etc. - to gather web site information for their database. All directories rely on humans for their listings. For this reason, your URL will not appear at any directory unless it has been manually submitted. Likewise, humans review sites that are submitted to directories, causing a longer delay for your site to be indexed in their datebase.

Some things to consider when listing your site with a directory:
  • Since each directory has a unique categorization scheme and particular rules, you must treat each directory individually.
  • Relevancy in directories is based upon your keywords and the words that are found in the description that is initially submitted. Don't try to fool directories with repeated keywords or words that are inappropriate for your service or product. Chances are that you will be caught, rendering your submission useless.
  • Spend the extra time to submit to the appropriate category - the one that will ensure that your targeted customer will respond to. Find out where your competitors are located and compare this with where you think you should be categorized. Choose specific categories, rather than general ones. It will pay off in the long run.
  • Categories do not represent the same meanings in every directory. View a few of the listings to get a feel for who your categorical neighbors might be.
  • Don't choose a category just because it has fewer listings, expecting to provide yourself with greater visibility. Similarly, don't choose a category simply because it is popular. Remember to think like your customer would think if they wanted to find your business or service.
  • Take advantage of the directory by suggesting a new category for your site. It cannot hurt to ask for a new category, but realistically, new categories are added sparingly.
Finally, you will find a few directories, which edit submissions for appropriateness and categorization before they are added to the database. If you follow their guidelines when submitting your web site information, you will probably be listed without a problem.

Visit uPromote's Directory Listing Services to get listed or refresh your site in the most popular search engines, directories, yellow pages and more.