(computing) a database of selected websites, ordered in such a way as to facilitate browsing
Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
The term ‘directory’ is associated with many verticals but in terms of Directory GoPro the two main terms are:
- Business directory, a listing of information about suppliers and manufacturers
- Web directory, an organized collection of links to websites
A business directory is a website which lists all businesses within a category.
Businesses can be categorized by business, location, activity, or size. Business may be compiled either manually or through an automated online search software. Online yellow pages are a type of business directory, as is the traditional phone book.
The details provided in a business directory varies from business to business. They may include the business name, addresses, telephone numbers, location, type of service or products the business provides, number of employees, the service region and any professional associations. Some directories include a section for user reviews, comments, and feedback. Business directories in the past would take a printed format but have recently been upgraded to websites due to the advent of the internet.
Many business directories offer complimentary listings in addition to the premium options. There are many business directories and some of these have moved over to the internet and away from printed format. Whilst not being search engines, business directories often have a search facility.
Business directories can be in either hard copy or in digital format. Ease of use and distribution means that many trade directories have digital version.
Online Business Directories vary in quality and content. There is a balance between professional advertising, value for money and quality of service. Business owners are looking for ROI, web traffic, exposure for their business, plus SEO benefits of backlinks.
A web directory or link directory is an online list or catalog of websites. That is, it is a directory on the World Wide Web of (all or part of) the World Wide Web. Historically, directories typically listed entries on people or businesses, and their contact information; such directories are still in use today. A web directory includes entries about websites, including links to those websites, organized into categories and subcategories. Besides a link, each entry may include the title of the website, and a description of its contents. In most web directories, the entries are about whole websites, rather than individual pages within them (called “deep links”). Websites are often limited to inclusion in only a few categories.
There are two ways to find information on the Web: by searching or browsing. Web directories provide links in a structured list to make browsing easier. Many web directories combine searching and browsing by providing a search engine to search the directory. Unlike search engines, which base results on a database of entries gathered automatically by web crawler, most web directories are built manually by human editors. Many web directories allow site owners to submit their site for inclusion, and have editors review submissions for fitness.
Web directories may be general in scope, or limited to particular subjects or fields. Entries may be listed for free, or by paid submission (meaning the site owner must pay to have his or her website listed).
RSS directories are similar to web directories, but contain collections of RSS feeds, instead of links to web sites.
How A Web Directory Works
A Web directory organizes Web sites by subject, and is usually maintained by humans instead of software. The searcher looks at sites organized in a series of categories and menus. These collections of links are usually much smaller than search engines’ databases, since the sites are looked at by human eyes instead of by spiders.
There are two ways for sites to be included in a Web directory’s listings; either the site owner can submit the site by hand, or the directory’s editor(s) will eventually come across that site.
List of web directories
- Best of the Web Directory – lists websites categorized both by topic and by region. This is a paid for service.
- JoeAnt – community of editors from the now-defunct Go.com volunteer-edited directory. Charges a fee.
- Sources – general subject web portal for journalists, freelance writers, editors, authors and researchers; in addition to a search engine it includes a subject-based directory.
- World Wide Web Virtual Library (VLIB) – oldest directory of the Web.
- Hotfrog – one of the largest collections of business directories in the World
- Business.com – Integrated directory of knowledge resources and companies, that charges a fee for listing review and operates as a pay per click search engine.
- Dexigner – leading online portal for designers, that includes a directory section.
- Library and Archival Exhibitions on the Web – international database of online exhibitions which is a service of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries.
- ProgrammableWeb – resource on APIs that provides a directory of APIs.
- Starting Point Directory – Founded in 1995, relaunched in 2006, charges a fee.
- Virtual Library museums pages – directory of museum websites around the world.
- 2345.com – Chinese web directory founded in 2005. The website is the second most used web directory in China.
- Alleba – Filipino search engine website, with directory.
- Timway – web portal and directory primarily serving Hong Kong.
- AboutUs.org – directory from 2005 to 2013.
- Anime Web Turnpike – was a web directory founded in August 1995 by Jay Fubler Harvey. It served as a large database of links to various anime and manga websites.
- Biographicon – directory of biographical entries
- DMOZ (also known as Open Directory Project) – largest directory of the Web. Its open content is mirrored at many sites. Offline since March 2017.
- Google Directory – copy of DMOZ directory, with sites listed in PageRank order within each category. Closed in July 2011.
- Humbul – former online service that reviewed and catalogued websites of interest to academics and students in the humanities. It was founded as a humanities communications service in 1985. In July 2006 Humbul was merged into the Intute service, as one half of the Intute Arts and Humanities Group.
- Internet Public Library – librarian-edited directory, product of a merger with the Librarians’ Internet Index (LII) in 2010. Closed in June 2015.
- Intute – directory of websites for study and research. Maintenance stopped in July 2011, archives remain available.
- LookSmart – operated several vertical directories from 1995 to 2006.
- Lycos’ TOP 5% – from 1995 until 2000 it aimed to list the Web’s top 5% of Websites.
- RPG Gateway – part of the RPG Nexxus site network, it was a human-edited global niche directory, specializing in pen-and-paper role playing games and related content.
- Yahoo! Directory – first service that Yahoo! offered. Closed in December 2014.
- Yahoo! Kids – oldest online search directory for children, until its discontinuation as of April 30, 2013.
- Zeal – volunteer-built Web directory; it was introduced in 1999, acquired by LookSmart in 2000, and shut down in 2006.