Ever submitted your website to a web directory ? If so, then you know that in most cases it doesn’t come for free. There is a growing demand for quality directories like the Yahoo directory, because they provide not only a backlink to your website, but most importantly they signal to search engines that a website that is listed has passed some sort of discretion.
Some of the most popular web directories are: Yahoo directory, botw.org and dmoz.org. The first two, Yahoo and Best Of The Web do offer a free submission but there is no way to guarantee acceptance. It can take a lot of time, maybe even years, before they list free submissions. So a webmaster that is a little eager to submit, will most probably pay. Having said that, it is easy to understand that making money with a web directory is possible, you just need to do things right.
What makes a good directory ?
- Design – a good graphic design is recommended. An appealing look and feel might convince a user to believe in your directory.
- Categories – make sure you offer as many categories as possible so when people come to examine your directory they will get the feeling you have made your homework.
- URL formation – try keeping the URL formation SEO friendly as possible, embedding keywords in it, and not just as a dynamic page URL.
- Search box – a little search box for finding information on your directory as well as for looking for relevant categories.
- New submissions page – create a page displaying new submissions so that web crawlers can see them fast.
Ready to use platforms
You can either go and develop a directory from scratch by yourself, or use off the shelf solutions. Most directories available are developed in PHP and are integrated to MySQL so that their entire structure and data is saved to a databased. The most popular directory available today is PHP Link Directory (which used to be a free directory but now available for a reasonable price), a PHP script that you upload and install very easily. It offers all the goodies that you can expect from a directory. Another solution is PHP My Directory which offers a full turn key directory, search engine optimized URLs with all meta tags already in place.
You need to create a set of rules for websites that wish to get listed on your directory. The least recommended scenario is a directory that accepts every submission. Creating a flood of listings wont make your directory special in the eyes of search engines, but rather send a very weak signal of a directory that has no editorial discretion. Recommended rules for submission can include:
- Minimum site age of 6 months or so.
- Accept only submissions to the appropriate category.
- Reject promotional description.
- Reject all capital letters.
It’s basically up to you to decide who is allowed to get into your directory. It is recommended that you examine other directories and learn more about submission guidelines.
How to monetize ?
We have come to the most important question for this post – how do you make money out of your directory ? Very simple, once your directory is well established, you begin charging for submissions, and not just that, you can also offer premium listings that show above all regular listings and that show first when searching your directory. Some directories offer two plans for their paid submissions, a one year submission that needs to be renewed annually, and a permanent listing, so you can do that too. Another way for monetizing your directory is embedding text ads at the top of each category and even in the search results. As for the search function of your directory, you might want to consider Google AdSense for search.
Read TidyGuide Article about, Free Blog Submission Directories