The Anatomy of an SEO 2.0 Web Directory of the Highest Quality
I'm preparing a SEO 2.0 web directory right here on my blog as you might have noticed already. What? A web directory? In SEO 2.0? It sounds like a contradiction indeed. Aren't directories either dead, spammy or low quality?
Well, not all directories are wacky. Some of them thrive and are indeed expanding.
Some of the most renowned web directories aren't even considered as such probably because they are part of larger projects.
So today I will outline the anatomy of an SEO 2.0 web directory of the highest quality, one that I hope to be able to provide here in the future as part of this blog or rather the upcoming SEO 2.0 empire. The SEO 2.0 directory will focus on SEO services and companies.
So this is the actual anatomy of such a directory I deem high quality:
Not standalone but part of a larger website
A web directory without context is often useless. A directory embedded into a larger concept provides additional information your users seek in contrast. Users rarely seek a directory out of the blue. They need a directory to find and compare sites once they know what they are after or interested in.
Covering a very narrow niche
A high quality directory is not about technology, news or health but in a way a long tail directory targeting just one category of a topic. Nobody wants to enter a directory homepage like in 1999 and click several times until they find the sub-directory they actually need. People want to arrive already knowing that they are in the right niche and industry.
A very high quality directory is the opposite of "free for all links" as Matt Cutts has put it in the past repeatedly. When everybody can get a link in a directory or the directory is just part of a linking scheme it's low quality or downright spam. A directory must be trustworthy thus only really trusted sites should be able to enter it.
User friendly deep links
Old school web directories only list homepages so basically you have to do the same work twice, once you find what you seek on Gogle you just get sent to the main page of the directory and have to search for the actual resource you are after again. Thus a modern directory has to deep link to be useful. It must provide the information you need directly. It even has to link out to third party sites like Twitter or LinkedIn if that's where the most current information is at. Also links to contact forms make more sense to users than just a generic homepage link.
User friendly anchor texts
A directory that links with the words homepage, click here or the actual address are useless. It's a decade old usability lesson that you need to use an anchor text reflecting the actual content on the page you link to. Thus the deep links have to use some meaningful anchor texts to be user friendly.
Some people do not want to click a link, they need the actual contact information, most notable the phone number or email address immediately. Thus a directory entry has to include contact data.
An honest third party review
Most directories to this day just let the people who submit their websites to determine the description of their own site. So you actually get what the webmaster or website owner thinks about the website not necessarily what the site is really about as the description. A high quality SEO 2.0 directory provides an honest third party review of a website and its purpose instead of self promotional fluff.
An accountable editor
Directories rarely disclose who actually is responsible for writing the entries. Some anonymous, low paid poor soul or a volunteer who hasn't really a clue what the sites are about. The editor of a high quality directory has to be known personally and be held accountable for his choices and opinions.
All of these requirements demand of course some level of work to be done. I will do it myself of course, not an underpaid drone in India so it will be an exclusive paid directory. I'm quite optimistic though that most SEO companies will be able to afford it. You pay for Yahoo directory entry as well, don't you?
Now let me show you some very good directories in the SEO niche and beyond I respect and consider "high quality". I will aim to become like them or even surpass them. I don't want to be bigger than them, I want to be better!
- CrunchBase, The Free Tech Company Database
- Supplier Directory | Econsultancy
- SEOmoz | SEO Marketplace - Internet Marketing & SEO Company Directory
- Directory of SEO, Internet Marketing and Web Design Services
Want to be one of the first companies and other SEO service providers to be featured on SEO 2.0? Write a comment here below (it won't get displayed if you don't want it just say so in the comment itself) and I will consider your SEO services for inclusion. In case your company is already on my list to get included firms your entry might get fast tracked.
Everybody whom I follow on social media like Twitter, Google+ or Facebook, has been linked to from SEO 2.0 already or saved in my other Delicious tags or Blekko slashtags can apply as well. All the others: Say hello first and let me notice you.
* Image by Patrick J. Lynch