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Interesting Facts

Monday, August 30, 2004

Website Planning - Directories

Directories are websites that contain lists of links to other websites, organized in a hierarchy. Anyone can create a directory. A list of favorites organized into folders is like a personal directory.

Directories are usually organized into a hierarchy of categories.

The easiest way to understand a directory is to visit one or two.
Two of the biggest directories are
Here is the story of the Yahoo directory.

David Filo and Jerry Yang were students at Stanford University. They started to keep track of their favorite sites on the Internet until they were spending more and more time keeping track of all the good sites they found. Eventually they had to break the sites up into categories, then subcategories. They named their directory of websites Yahoo!, which is an acronym for "Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle".

Their list of interesting and useful websites began to draw visitors and word spread throughout the internet. After the number of visitors topped one hundred thousand, they took their idea to the venture capitalists and created the company Yahoo!.

There are now thousands of Internet Directories. There are general purpose directories and special purpose directories. There are directories for business, real estate, art, sports, and photography. There are directories of directories.

Webmasters usually like to be listed in directories. It potentially brings more visitors to the website. How does a webmaster get listed in a directory? For most directories, it requires submitting a website for consideration.

Some directories charge to be listed. Some directories require that they get a link back to be listed. Some directories require other considerations, like becoming an editor for a time. Many directories welcome submissions from sites that fit their charter.

Each directory has rules and procedures for submissions. Webmasters wanting to be listed should follow the guidelines carefully. Most directories will only list a website once. Many websites are listed in multiple directories.

Directories have fallen out of favor as Search becomes more pervasive, but directories can still offer an excellent way for the web surfer to find relevant sites.

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