A web directory is very different from a search engine. Directories are categorized, typically organized by subject or topic, where a search engine is just a tool for accessing one page in a database of many. In the 1990’s, Yahoo! exploded onto the directory scene, and maintains a large market share to this day. Still, Google remains the tool of choice for people to locate information on the web. So why are directories important?
Google is certainly an excellent tool for finding specific pages. Searching by website name will typically find the site immediately, but what if you want to browse through a list of shoe retailers? You could search for “shoes,” or “buy shoes,” but your results will only reflect pages that have been visited by thousands of people. This is great for a large manufacturer, but if you’re looking for a smaller shop, you may be hard pressed to find it. A directory would let you browse shoe retailers, perhaps by selecting retail, then apparel, then footwear, depending on the organization of the directory. (more…)