Discover Whether There Are Still Benefits in Directory Listings

In the infancy of the internet web directories began to appear as a place where internet users were able search for web pages on a particular topic. In the last ten to fifteen years however directories have been massively eclipsed in both popularity and usability by search engines provided by companies like Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google. Despite the fact that users now greatly favour search engines over directories there are still an enormous amount of directories on the internet. This article aims to look at why so many directories still exist and question whether there is still any value to be found in submitting websites to them.Ever since search engines usurped web directories as the places for internet users to look for specific information it has been debated whether or not submitting websites to them was still worthwhile. There are two main ways in which directories can bring traffic to a website: directly and through the increase in strength that the extra links give to a page.The vast majority or webmasters now agree that web directories create very, very little direct traffic. Some sites report seeing a very small percentage of traffic coming from the major directories (DMOZ, Yahoo) and none from less dominant directories.Since search engines have gained in popularity so has the practice of search engine optimisation (SEO). The aim of SEO is to get a web page to rank as highly as possible in search engines for particular key phrases and it is in this area that directories can still prove useful. Search engines traditionally placed a lot of weight on the number of backlinks pointing to a website (it viewed these links as votes vouching for a sites authority). Webmasters quickly realised that their position in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) could be boosted by submitting to directories that provided them with backlinks. In the last couple of years search engine algorithms have become considerably more complex and have negated a lot of the effectiveness of having a large number of links coming from directories. So is it still worth submitting a website to these directories?With virtually no direct traffic coming from directories and search engines now claiming that they don’t take the links into account it would initially seem to be a waste of time. However in reality there are still a couple of benefits to listing a site in a directory.First it has been widely reported that despite the claims of the major search engines being listed in directories has given a slight boost to the sites performance. Although this is nowhere near as great as it used to be it is something that is not worth ignoring completely. Directory listings are most beneficial to niche websites that sit in directory categories that have little to no competition.The other reason directory listings are valuable is that, while search engines have devalued the importance of the links from directories, they still use them when providing localized results. As such being listed in local or regionalised directories can help yield high results to users searching in the immediate geographical area.