A web directory is found on the World Wide Web and it aims to connect other web sites as well as separate those particular links and hyperlinks, categorizing them basing on certain criteria. A web directory is not a search engine, but it has the ability to show web sites by categories and subcategories. So, when sites will be sorted out, this process is usually based on the whole website rather than one page or keywords, so the categorization options are fewer.
The web directories allow webmasters to add their sites that will be afterwords sorted into certain categories where they belong, as mentioned above. Most web directories consist in some categories, language but also regions. There is a similarity between RSS directories and web directories, the only difference being that the web directories contain a collection of links to web sites, instead of feeds.
According to the type and way of indexing a site, web directories may be seen as one of the following:
1. Free web directory – There is no tax for a site to be added, therefore options are limited;
2. Mutual links/ Link exchange – The site that is about to be added must have a link to the directory that will index it; This is the way to ensure both the web directory editor and a site owner mutual traffic;
3. Paid web directories – There is a fee for adding a site, they ask you to pay for their services and they guarantee you a better quality of what they are offering you, plus other features.
Some people are still debating whether certain web directories or databases are better than others. This is why many people tried to find a way to make the directory development easier and more accessible for everybody.
Sites can be included in the list of a web directory in two ways: the owner of the site will be the one submitting the site to the web directory or one of the people that take care of the directory will come across one particular site. People who take care of a web directory are the editors, they are the ones that create and maintain it throughout time and also add links based on some clear policies that are previously stated. So, some of the web directories can be edited by volunteers that often know what they`re doing when it comes to particular categories.
As stated before, some web directories need to be paid in order to include models, this is why more features are offered to those who pay for having their websites listed, such as additional listing options or extra links to pages of the listed website. Usually the client needs to pay another fee for these options to be available, but their site will be significantly helped and visible to other sites. When a website it submitted to a web directory, this procedure is known as SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
There are lots of free web directories that can turn out to be very useful when you decide to advertise your site and make it known on search engines but you are unwilling to pay. There free web directories do so through sponsored links and banners. For instance, some of them only ask you to make a free account on that site, giving you the opportunity to have the same results like you would have had with a paid web directory. More than that, most of the free ones don`t even require mutual link.