Web Directories are sometimes confused with ‘search engines’ – and vice versa, but they are not the same thing. The biggest difference is probably that a Web directory is maintained by humans (in most cases) instead of software and the Web sites are organized by subject.
The searcher looks at sites organized in a series of categories and menus. ‘Web directories’ are usually much smaller than search engines’ databases, since the sites are looked at by human eyes instead of by ‘spiders’.
Web directories are usually dedicated to specific niches/subjects, however there are many which are quite general – they list pretty much anything.
There are also paid directories and free directories. In paid directories, it costs a fee to have a web site included in that directory. In free web directories it doesn’t cost anything to have a web site included.
Below are some examples of web directories:
- Yahoo: Yahoo has one of the best Web directories on the Web, along with its own search engine listings and many other search services.
- PhotographersDB is a dedicated directory listing photographers’ websites, portfolios and social pages. It is organized by locations and is free to submit links.
- The Open Directory also known as DMOZ has been around since 1999, and is a human-edited directory. The Open Directory Project purports to be the “largest on the Web”, constructed and maintained by a “vast, global community of volunteer editors.”