Web directories are essentially lists of links to websites. Unlike a search engine, which creates lists of sites on the basis of a keyword terms or keyword phrase entered in by users, directories feature lists divided accorded to category and, usually, subcategories.
Most web directories feature a very broad range of categories or topics and users manually select their topic of interest. Some directories confine themselves to specific niches, such as vintage automobiles, recreation and real estate, but even niche directories can contain extensive lists of links.
Inclusion in a web directory can occur through several methods. Some directories assemble lists using automated computer processes that employ relevancy criteria and algorithms to select sites to include. In human-edited directories, every link undergoes review by a person to assess whether the website meet appropriate standards of quality for inclusion. A criticized approach is pay for placement, in which submitted websites pay for higher placement in the list.
Reputable, human-edited directories can prove a valuable resource in researching a topic. Inclusion in web directories, which creates a back-link, can improve where a website ranks in search engine results, making it a key search engine optimization tactic.
The existence of broad and niche directories, as well as commercial- and retail-friendly directories, makes them an excellent jumping off point for both businesses and information-centered websites.
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