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Paid Directories

Discussion in 'I Hate Directories Because' started by xTinx, Dec 16, 2014.

  1. xTinx New Member


    I don't really hate them to the marrow, but some paid directories are obvious in their profiteering schemes (I won't mention names for decency's sake). Although you can understand that payment is necessary, still the price does not seem commensurate to the services being offered. How hard is it to list a company's website and corresponding contact information?

  2. Converse Active Member


    It's not hard. However, when you consider a web directory that does not display third-party advertising on its site, yet has a paid staff of a half dozen people, perhaps more, plus a couple of dozen part-time editors, that money has to come from somewhere. The work of most of the directory's editing staff involves adding useful sites to the directory for free so that there is something there to be of use to its users, and because otherwise there would be gaping holes in the directory.

    When you buy a hamburger, you are not just paying for the cost of the ingredients that went into making the burger. You're helping to pay the mortgage on the building, the salaries of the person who took your order, the cook, and whoever cleans the place up at night, as well as the utility costs for the building, taxes, etc. It's the same thing with a web directory. The money has to come from somewhere.

    ChromaX, SimplySidy and Ray like this.
  3. Ray Active Member



    I can only speak for my own directory, and my own "profiteering scheme".

    It takes me 40 minutes to an hour to complete the process that includes; preparing a proper description, gathering additional details from their site, creating an image for their listing that includes their brand or logo (that actually fit the page layout), Social links, and other details. After all this is done, we make sure that the listing is searchable on the site, as well as the search engines. Then, we announce the new listing on Twitter and other Social Media.

    That does not include our own cost of maintaining and updating the directory, cost of advertising, and server fees.
    I may have left other stuff out but I hope you can see my point.

    SimplySidy and Converse like this.
  4. xTinx New Member


    All right, points well taken. I did qualify that not all directories fall under this category. I understand your concerns. Maintaining a directory isn't really a walk in the park. Some of the directories I was referring to didn't have the same setup as your respective directories. We only paid for the submission and listing but description and other details were provided by our company. I just wish you can easily detect paid directories that operate like common scammers (not to mention the hidden charges).

  5. Converse Active Member


    Unless the submitted title and description is appropriate, reputable directory staff will change it. I currently work thirty hours a week for one directory and part-time for another, but I have worked as long as fifty hours a week for just one directory, and I'm paid reasonably well for it.

    When I am reviewing a submitted site, I will seldom include the site without having to make some changes to the title, description, or category that it was submitted to. Frequently, however, I add greatly to the submitted description because description should be descriptive and many of them are not. When I submit a site to a directory, as I do at least once a week, I am always impressed when the directory staff changes the description that I submitted. Although I do believe that the description I supplied was appropriate, it shows that the directory is not on autopilot, as too many of them are, and it also results in a more unique description than mine tend to be. When you submit the same site a hundred times, it's hard to come up with different ways to describe it.

    I have been reviewing directories for two years now, and a lot of this stuff is discussed in our new Web Directory Digest.

    Last edited: Dec 18, 2014
    xTinx and Ray like this.
  6. ducklord Member


    Since I'm new to the whole "web directories" thing (I didn't even know you had to pay to get on some of them - as I mentioned just before 5 mins in another comment), I'm just wondering - and you're the perfect people to ask: does "you get what you pay for" apply to web directories as well? I mean, are there any web directories you pay more, from which you get better results, than if you paid less to get on some others - or just use free ones?

  7. Converse Active Member


    There are a few directories that are supplementary to another business model. For example, the R-TT Directory is run by a data recovery company that makes its profit from its data recovery and other services, with the directory perhaps helping to bring some traffic in.

    DMOZ and, historically, some others, are funded by larger companies, but always under threat of being closed down by them, as Zeal closed its directory and Disney closed its Go.com directory.

    Other directories are monetized through advertising, taking ads from other web directories, Google AdSense of other advertising venues. Although some of these are reasonably okay, off the top of my head, I can't think of any that are really good, as this kind of advertising simply doesn't bring in enough of an income to pay for an editing staff to keep up the quality of the directory. Most, if not all, of the directories that accept free submissions, and hope to monetize their site entirely through advertising, are not top of the line directories.

    Other directories, like GoGuides, use a combination of advertising and submission fees. In the opinion of many people within the industry, although I'm not sure about outside of the industry, third-party advertising looks tacky, particularly if a comfortable balance of ads is not maintained. GoGuides keeps its third-party advertising off of its index page, which is good, but you'll find ads on its internal pages.

    Most, but not all, of the better directories do not include third-party advertising, depending on submission fees for their operating costs, which often includes full- and part-time staff, although some of them also perform other services for pay, such as SEO. Directory Journal has no third-party advertising, except for a few ads for other directories, and I'm not clear whether these are paid ads or whether these directories are mutually supporting one another, since I do know that they are independently owned. Directory Journal does have ads for some of its own services, but they are well integrated within the site. Best of the Web and Aviva Directory are other similar examples.

    There has to be a way of monetizing a directory if it is going to succeed, as it takes a lot of people, over a long period of time, to develop a good general directory. Some of the directories that I have worked for have had a half dozen full-time employees and a couple of dozen part-time employees, and that takes money.

    When I see people arguing that they shouldn't have to pay to have their site listed in a web directory, I wonder how they think these sites are supported. Generally, the same people who will insist that it's wrong to charge for a directory submission will the same ones who are bragging that they never click on advertising links. Well gee, perhaps I shouldn't have to pay for a hotel room either? When they go to a restaurant, do they assume that the meal will be free?

    As far as your question about getting what you pay for, there are free directories that are worth the price, and very few people would turn down a listing in DMOZ. There are some very good directories that charge only $30, but not enough of them.

    For my niche sites, I don't have to pay $300 to get the results I want. For low-competition sites, I can get along with the directories that are $40 or less. However, when I am trying to place a site that isn't in a tight niche, like my directory sites (a niche, but a fairly competitive one), I will put out the money for a listing in some of the more expensive directories, and I think it's worth it.

    ChromaX and Ray like this.
  8. ducklord Member


    Hmm... I've learned a heck of a lot of things up to now from Web Directory Forum, and for this I'm really grateful. As I'm to you and all the info you've just provided. Thank you. Really. I never understood there was a whole "world of directories", er... "hidden" within the Internet, although I have used them many times in the past without realizing it - as a user. Now that I'm "on the other side", trying to create my own sites, I never even thought about web dirs and how they could help out.

    From that comes another question: do they really help out? I mean, I'm a dude with a bunch of unsuccessful sites, that never saw a single dime from them. You, on the other hand, say that you'd occasionally pay to have some site of yours included in a - let's say "prime" - web directory, 'cause "you think it's worth it". By the "worth it" you mean your investment seemed to pay back? 'cause up to now, on my case, whatever money I've spent to promote my sites had the same result as if I'd thrown it down a drain. That was, of course, for my up-to-now Greek language sites. I'm now starting some English ones, and am wondering if I should really think about listing them in some web directory.

    And THAT brings us to another question - although that one is simpler and more direct, but maybe will have a more complicated answer: when's the best time to list a site in a web directory? Right away, or after you've filled it with content? Or doesn't it matter at all?

    And, really, thanks again for spending so much time to answer my questions. If you ever come to Greece, I owe you a pint of Ouzo! :-D

  9. Converse Active Member


    Yes, they are. I don't know, anymore than anyone else does, exactly what Google is looking for, or just how much any specific thing will count. However, I have created and marketed quite a number of sites, both for myself and for clients that I've had through the years.

    Niche sites, like the ones that I have for small cities in North Dakota, will rank where I need them to rank almost as soon as Google indexes them. In order to keep them there, in the event that any competition might come along, I submit them to inexpensive directories from time to time, when I come across them, and to some that I'm aware of, but I don't submit them to crap directories. But I keep my submissions down to $30 or below.

    My directory sites are a bit more competitive but since I haven't really monetized them yet, I can't afford to pay a lot of money to add them to some of the more expensive directories. Fortunately, since they support the web directory industry, several directories have added them without my having to submit them, but I have paid some $100-150 submission fees. Because they are directory sites, I will submit them to pretty much any free or cheap directory that isn't total crap, including a few that were close.

    Optimally, however, a site should be included in a range of directories that should include a couple of the more expensive ones, such as BOTW and Business.com, which charge somewhere in the neighborhood of $300, plus several of the mid-range directories like Directory Journal, Aviva Directory, and Jasmine Directory. Then there are several good directories that charge from $20-$50.

    In order to lend authority to the sites that are listed in it, a directory has to have authority itself, and that is usually not the case with the ones that charge less than $20. There are exceptions, of course, and AMRAY is one of them, although I believe its premium option is the better deal.

    Owners of new directories know that people are unlikely to pay $300 to submit their site to a directory that has no authority itself, so they often charge very little at first. As long as the directory is of good quality, that can be a good deal because once they gain that authority, they will be raising their rates, and your link will already be there. On the downside, they sometimes turn to crap or close after a year.

    It's not simply that you get what you pay for, though. Some people charge a large fee from the beginning, hoping that they'll be able to collect it. Plus, I don't think that you could only submit to the two most expensive directories and do well with it, since you need a mixture.

    Once I have enough content that my site would appear to be complete, then I will begin submitting it to web directories. I might submit some of my own sites earlier than that, but only when I know that the directory is going to accept it. A reputable directory will not accept a site that is obviously "under construction" so I'd hate to pay a submission fee only to have my submission declined.

    For a client's site, since they have more money than I do, I would wait until the site is complete, then submit it to BOTW. Since my clients are usually on a one-year contract or less, I choose the annual payment plan for clients but for my own site, I will nearly always choose the one-time payment option.

    In the same week that I submitted to BOTW, I would submit it to Aviva and Jasmine. Then I would space them out at one or two directories every couple of weeks. After a month, I would submit to Business.com if that were applicable to the topic of the site that I was marketing.

    Although I cannot always afford it myself, I think it helps to have one top-tier directory from the start since that helps to build authority.

    ChromaX likes this.
  10. ducklord Member


    Hmmm... Quite interesting. I'd like to ask, though: if I can't afford to list the english-language site I'm creating now in any paid directories, until I find some way to monetize it (I don't want to pay again for something that won't bring me a single dime), where do you suggest I'd list it first from any free options available? Or won't free help me at all and it would be better to forget it until I'm able to pay for the really good ones?

  11. Converse Active Member


    When I review a site for my directory of directories, I set the standard fairly low but I don't list anything that I consider to be crap. In other words, the ones that I have listed there are all directories that I would submit my own sites to if I could afford it, and I have listed my sites to most of them. You might look through the list of free directories that I have there. Many of these directories also have paid options but if they require a reciprocal link, I don't consider them to be be free, but tag them as reciprocal link directories. I don't usually submit my site to directories that require a reciprocal link unless there is something else about it that I like or, in the case of my directory of directories, I would be adding a link to their directory anyhow.

    I don't know if you've looked through the directory of directories yet but I do something that I don't recommend that editors do in site descriptions, which is to list prices and other details that are subject to change. I go through the directories from time to time, making sure that this information is current, but I won't necessarily catch it right away.

  12. ducklord Member


    Hmmm... I just checked the directory of directories - lot's of good suggestions there. Would I sound like a total moron if I asked "what are reciprocal links / link directories"? I mean, er... The word was new for me, and by looking it up I understand that you're talking about directories that... exchange links?! I mean, what, you submit your site / forum there but they require you add a link to them somewhere on your site (advertising them instead of paying them to list you)?

  13. Converse Active Member


    Yes, some directories require that you link back to the directory in order to avoid payment of a submission fee or, in some cases, to avoid a "nofollow" link. Oddly, many of them require that the link be from the main page of the site that you are submitting, whereas the link that they will be providing to your site will be from an internal category page, which is not a good deal at all. Two-way links are unlikely to result in any penalties since they occur frequently in natural linking, but they are not as valuable as one-way links. I consider a reciprocal link requirement to be tacky and don't regularly submit my sites to them.

  14. ducklord Member


    Yeah, I've heard before how Google regards one-way links to your site as important for your placement in its listings, but I don't know how much they "count" nowadays. They're supposed to have changed the way they rank pages to give more priority to their content than anything else. And the amount of visitors. Links as a whole were "downgraded" more than once, since many people found out about them and exploited them - for example by creating 10 blogs on blogger and linking them to "their main blog".

  15. Converse Active Member


    They said that this is what they are working toward, but that links will continue to be important for quite some time, and will probably always play some part in positioning. You're right, links have played a small role for quite some time now, yet content doesn't seem to do it along, except that content will eventually get you links.

  16. ducklord Member


    I guess you're 100% correct, in that Google wants to get away from the whole "links thing" but can't yet, because Internet :)
    I mean, the whole base of the "Web" as we know it was HTML from the get go, and the main reason of its creation was the "interlinking of documents" (it is "Hyper-Text Markup Language" after all :-D ).

    What I don't know, and always wondered, was how good their algorithms (and "systems" in general) are at finding obscure stuff that isn't linked, doesn't exist in multiple sites, can be found on only one little obscure site, someplace, somewhere. I firmly believe there's an answer to every possible question posted somewhere, but we don't have the means to find it. Yet.

    I guess that one of the main reasons Google pays more attention to "content" itself than links nowadays is the fact that text is giving way to a more "multimedia experience", with videos, audio and images replacing walls of text. And those can't yet be "understood" by computers as well as text, or indexed as easily.

    That line of thought just brought another (possibly stupid) question in my mind: how the heck can someone "do SEO" for a strictly "media" blog/site? I mean, let's say an artist, a director, has a portfolio blog with only videos of his work with titles and tags. Are there techniques for making videos and images "more findable", apart from setting up titles and some meta-explanation of their content? I've heard / read many times that Google somehow "reads" the contents of images and videos and tries to recognize what's in them to properly list them. Are there ways to "game" that system like what sucky SEO'ers did with text links years ago?

  17. Converse Active Member


    Not long ago, after someone in my other forum had said something about directories not being indexed, I had a new site ready to go. It was a 200-300 page site about a small North Dakota city. After publishing it, I purposely did not add it to my Google Webmaster Tools or to anywhere other than the deep-linked regional category for that city in the Aviva Directory; although I would have gotten the same result from any reasonably well trafficked directory, I chose that one.

    Within hours, the site was indexed by Google, appearing on the second page of results on a search for "City, State," which is not in itself remarkable, given that there was only two other sites that I could find that carried an address in that town, and the town itself didn't have a site. Within a couple of days, it was #2 on the first page of Google, right behind the Wikipedia page for that town. Since then, it has been linked to from a few other directories and some other sites owned by people who found it interesting, as well as the Wikipedia page itself, and it fluctuates between being on top of the Wikipedia page or just behind it. Bing took almost a week to index it, but it now appears in about the same position in Bing.

    My Web Directory Digest site has not been linked to from very many places, yet individual pages rank well on their focus keywords, although the main page often does not rank first even when I search on the site's name, although it is near the top of the results.

    I'm thinking that once a site is indexed, content counts more than anything else unless there are other sites in competition, which also have content relating to the same subjects. That is where the back-links come into play. Because there are other "web directory" sites and and there are other sites that refer to themselves as a "digest," I can't depend on a number one place until my site has some solid back-links.

    ducklord likes this.
  18. ducklord Member


    @Converse That's fascinating info on how quick Google Search is in what it's supposed to do - and an awesome example of why Bing feels "lacking" compared to it. I wonder, though, what would happen with a site that has absolutely no links at all to "anywhere outside its own little kingdom" - not even code for Google Analytics, not a "foreign" commenting system, not even based on a CMS. If a bunch of 10 static pages appeared, with the final answer to Life, the Universe and Everything ( :-D ), how would Google find and index it?

    I guess it's a bit of a... er... techno-philosophical question, in the vein of "if a laptop fell into the woods, and there was no-one around to hear it falling, would it have made any sound?" :)

  19. Converse Active Member


    That is the truly odd thing, and I don't have a clue as to how Google does it, but I have had to build sites behind a password because Google has repeatedly found and indexed sites that were linked to from nowhere. When I am working on one of my own sites, I find it advantageous to have the pages indexed as I am building them but I build client's sites as sub-pages of one of my own sites -- for example, I haven't used this domain for that, but it might be webdirectoryforum.org/client/, the idea being that once I finished it, the client could review it and, if approved, I would then publish it to the client's domain. However, I have found on a few occasions that Google managed to index it despite the fact that it was linked to from nowhere, even before I had given the client a link to it. I don't get it, but they do it.

  20. Jason76 Member


    Well, I know one thing, I'd sure like to be in the directory business. Imagine you got some directory, and people are paying you 10 to 20 dollars to list thier site. You talk about easy money. :D

    Yes, I do think the price for directory submission is worth it. I mean, come on, who doesn't have 10 or 20 dollars to spare? We need as many good backlinks as possible to make it in SEO (along with quality content, and social sharing).

    Finally, isn't it funny that paid directory links are one of the few "paid links" Google isn't penalizing.


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