A web directory is a listing of [data] organized in a hierarchy or interconnected list of categories.
A “web” directory once referred to a listing of “websites” but in recent times, this has expanded to a listing of [data] where the directory is accessed online.
Data can refer to” websites, web links, business, company, reference, locations, events.
The terms “Web directory” and “search engine” are often used interchangeably. Web directories are organized listings managed by human reviewers, whereas search engine listings are sourced by automated systems and do not have a navigable structure.
The World Wide Web Virtual Library was the first index of content on the World Wide Web and still operates as a directory of e-texts and information sources. It was started by Tim Berners-Lee in 1991. It is run by volunteers who manage categories for particular areas in which they are expert.
Best Known General
- Best of the Web – lists websites categorized both by topic and by region.
- Hotfrog (US) | Hotfrog (AU) | Hotfrog (UK) | Hotfrog (India) – one of the largest collections of business directories in the world.
- Jasmine – web listing organised by topic and region.
- JoeAnt – community of editors managed directory.
- Sources – general subject web directory.
- World Wide Web Virtual Library – oldest directory of the web (1991).
Gone But Not Forgotten
- DMOZ – directory from 1999 to 2017.
- AboutUs.org – directory from 2005 to 2013.