Categorized index of websites, web directories´ function resembles a lot that of a search engine with the difference that they do not have the ability to “crawl” the latter ones do. Mega tags are their main tools and this method has declines with searching engines which have developed more sophisticated algorithms over the years.
The largest free general web directory currently available on the Internet is Open Directory Project (ODP) also known as Dmoz because its original domain name was directory.mozzila.org. It has a unique model and includes sixteen categories which then split into a multitude of sub-categories. It powers the core of directory services for many search engines and has also contributed to the functioning of the Mountain View´s giant until July 2011 when they decided to abandon Google Labs and focus on further developing existing products.
But the main feature of ODP does not lie in the number of links it contains, although it is impressive. It is characterized by quality and precision they provide due to human-editing. Thus, the links are constantly checked and eliminated if the website is no longer running live so that the directory is not filled with dead links. Their placement under the numerous categories is more exact than with software-run directories as editors analyze the website before approving the submission. Of course, this also generates a drawback, especially since the team of editors is made up of volunteers. Many complaints have been expressed over the internet on the subject of late approval due to the important accumulating backlog.
Another important web directory is owned by Yahoo and comes with two options – a standard one, free of charge, but which might take a lot of time and a paying one, much more efficient. Although Yahoo directory is not as powerful as it used to be, especially since the closed in European branch in December 2009, it is still an online marketing tool used in the United States.