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Methods for Improving the Directory Sector

Discussion in 'Directories' started by swedal, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. #1
    Every business needs to make improvements or they become stagnant so I thought it might be nice for us to discuss some methods that the directory sector might make improvements going forward.

    Suggestions could be actions on an individual or collective basis and can cover topics from all corners of the directory sector. It would be nice to hear both the issues and an idea for a solution to make this actually productive. Kind of a brainstorming session for improvements that could benefit everyone from directory submitters to owners.

    To start it out I will toss out a suggestion.

    Personally I feel that one of the single most harmful things being done in the directory sector right now involves the script companies. Specifically those script companies that offer free versions of the directory script.

    They allow for thousands of worthless, spam filled directories to be made with no investment on the part of the owners. An extension of this could also be the free templates offered which only magnify the problem.

    The directory script companies offering these free scripts are really hurting themselves by damaging their own industry. imo.
    SEMrush
    The only solution I can really think of to resolve this problem is for those directory owners who actually purchase their scripts to begin using scripts that do not offer free versions going forward. The lack of income from paid licenses may bring pressure against those script companies offering free versions to change their policy.

    That should get it going. Does anyone have any thoughts or ideas to add?
     
    swedal, Jul 27, 2009 IP
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    SEMrush
  2. syted

    syted Notable Member

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    #2
    I've sent this message to David Duval of PhpLD
     
    syted, Jul 27, 2009 IP
  3. swedal

    swedal Notable Member

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    #3
    That is definitely taking some action Syted - I want to point out one thing so there was no misunderstanding in my post. Though phpld does offer a free version I was not trying to single them out. There are also other directory script companies out there offering free script versions, free templates etc.

    Any other suggestions or thoughts on moving the directory sector forward?
     
    swedal, Jul 27, 2009 IP
  4. pipes

    pipes Prominent Member

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    #4
    I prefer to stay out of the matter of making suggestions regarding the script owners and what they do/have done.

    But some thought i have elsewhere is our own lack of knowledge (apart from a few) of php, mysql, javascript libraries, htaccess, css, html, because probably 80% maybe 90% of directory owners may be utterly clueless about this and so we automatically look towards a quick to get running script and when we are pissed off we say oh its google again.

    But maybe we are the problem? we need to become more educated, learn some of the above, understand what half of it does, understanding may tell us that half of us have got our directories setup wrong maybe?

    We think we know seo but do we really? no wonder most of us cant get any inner pr to save our lives.

    I think if we want to help each other, we could, realistically setup a place where it focuses on teaching each other and ourselves what we hardly know anything about.

    Theres tons of blogs and other informational sites out there with masses of information on php, mysql, html, css but maybe we could focus in on the directory area.

    After all we cant move ahead like we would like to if a lot of us dont have basic skills, its no good waiting for thescript developers to fix, include or alter something when we dont understand if they have used the correct and most ideal approach.

    Im already learning about the languages mentioned above, for projects that i have in mind for the future.

    A lack of skills is holding us back, a script, domain, and bit of seo and cheap hosting isn't enough.

    Currently we cant go up against the masses of spammy junk appeaing literally daily because we have nothing to separate ourselves from them at the moment.
     
    pipes, Jul 27, 2009 IP
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  5. syted

    syted Notable Member

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    #5
    I wasn't either, it's just as a member of the PhpLD forums it was easy for me to contact him. Maybe people who use, or know the owner of other free scripts could do the same thing.

    I'm not having a go at David or any free script owners, just wondering if it's the best model for all concerned.
     
    syted, Jul 27, 2009 IP
  6. DownUnder

    DownUnder Well-Known Member

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    #6
    Do the people who use the free scripts care about the directory master plan, ? or just pumping out as much crap as they can, in a way a spider spins a larger web to catch more flies.

    Do you think the script writers care if they are pumping more blank canvases out there in the slight hope they will make an upgrade sale or add on sale.

    i don't think so
     
    DownUnder, Jul 27, 2009 IP
  7. swedal

    swedal Notable Member

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    #7
    A special little place for directory owners and submitters to exchange ideas and knowledge sounds like a good idea to me. I think it has been tried before though at least once TalkDirectories.

    It does not get many participants though. :(
     
    swedal, Jul 27, 2009 IP
  8. choice

    choice Prominent Member

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    #8
    Althoug not offering free scripts is a good idea, it will not stop the spammy directories popping up. Just search google for `phpld rapidshare` and look how many results you get
     
    choice, Jul 27, 2009 IP
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  9. swedal

    swedal Notable Member

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    #9
    Just one point - all those people coming up in that search are breaking the law. So people using those nulled scripts could be prosecuted. That would bring additional legal issues into those spammy directories with nulled scripts.

    If a directory were to use a stolen nulled script a simple contact to the host takes the site offline.
     
    swedal, Jul 27, 2009 IP
  10. choice

    choice Prominent Member

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    #10
    Yes, im aware of that, but it still will not stop them.

    Unfortunatly this is something we are going to have to live with. The main thing is to keep your own house in order.

    Worrying about all the spammy directories is`nt good. Let them have their moment as many soon give up and the people that really care about the directory sector will continue throughtout and grow their directories.
     
    choice, Jul 27, 2009 IP
  11. freelistfool

    freelistfool Peon

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    #11
    I agree that the free directory scripts are part of the problem. Anytime there is a low cost to entry in any business you get a lot of crap in that sector. Look at all the made for adsense sites that popped up over the last several years as an example. It took Google deciding that they wouldn't allow adsense on sites that existed solely for the ad revenue (without any valuable content) to slow the growth of those sites.

    Google's attack on visible PR and deindexing spammy directories has helped the directory industry somewhat. But it isn't enough because the cost to entry still makes it possible for a directory owner to put up a crap site, make a few bucks, get penalized, rinse, and repeat...a hundred times.

    If we really wanted to clean up the industry we'd do everything we can to educate webmasters about what makes a quality directory. In addition, we'd try to get webmasters to do some research before submitting to directories. But once again, it's just too easy to submit to a directory so we'd rather pound through the various lists instead of doing research. So I believe that we as directory owners need to somehow convince webmasters that they should be looking for quality rather than quantity.
     
    freelistfool, Jul 27, 2009 IP
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  12. DownUnder

    DownUnder Well-Known Member

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    #12
    and for tat to happen there would need to be a clear set of guidelines

    so where do we start on the guidelines for the ethical directory. and who monitors these guidelines and gives out the official accreditation logo as a verified directory.

    ??
     
    DownUnder, Jul 27, 2009 IP
  13. discover

    discover Notable Member

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    #13
    I don't think trying to target free directory scripts is gonna be useful.

    As freelistfool says we need to educate other webmasters and submitters as to what a good directory is and the benefits of submitting to one.
    Once there is a clearly defined notion of what constitutes a good and bad directory then submitters will be able to make the decision for themselves.

    Once the webmasters of these poor directories see they don't have the interest of submitters anymore they will soon move onto something else.

    It won't happen overnight but remember the quicker everyone helps to change this the better.
    Also remember money going to these webmasters is potential revenue lost for any of us trying to run a quality directory.
     
    discover, Jul 27, 2009 IP
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  14. YMC

    YMC Well-Known Member

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    #14
    I think going after the script developers is a wrong approach. If all of the "directory scripts" were gone tomorrow, there's plenty of other ways to create a directory; WordPress comes immediately to mind.

    I think Dan's list is the closest thing to a certificate of quality. Unless the script owners somehow created a brand that was not steal-able, any sort of badge or graphic would eventually become meaningless. Maybe some sort of master list where the badge included a serial number? i.e. if the number on the site doesn't match the list, it's a fraud. But again, I can't see it mattering to the un-educated and the SEO pros.

    If people would stop submitting to these directories, the problem would take care of itself. The real issue is education. Educate the submitters to not submit/support these garbage sites and they would not be worth making.

    It would also take the professional SEO'ers and directory submission companies to clean up their act. Unfortunately, I just can't see that happening any time soon. For them it's purely a numbers game. In their world they need these here today, gone tomorrow directories to sell quantity to their clients.

    My approach has been to continue creating a resource where the sites are actually reviewed, sites are not listed just because they submitted and categorization is strictly maintained. Build a Rolls Royce and while some will still buy glorified go-carts, others will seek out the best.
     
    YMC, Jul 27, 2009 IP
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  15. swedal

    swedal Notable Member

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    #15
    I completely agree that this would also be useful. I would be interested in ideas on how to educate them.

    I did not necessarily mean to target free directory scripts. I do feel they are a problem and I have discussed it with many directory owners who all seemed to be in agreement that free directory scripts are a problem. I have not really seen anyone here deny that they are a problem. Most just seem to think that nothing can be done about it. I don't have the "give-up" mentality and feel I can at least do what I can do.

    Targeting directory script companies offering free versions is not my goal. I would just like to see them operate in ways that are more beneficial to the overall directory sector than trying to undermine it by making it possible for all these low quality sites to be put up with no investment. No investment makes it easy to not care about the quality of what you build.

    I just do not feel that I should support companies who are contributing to the decline of the sector I am involved in. Why should I support them when there are directory script companies out there who operate in ways that do not undermine the directory sector?

    What is the purpose in giving the script for free anyway? Is it to get the footer backlinks back to the scripts site? Is it in hopes that the user upgrades to a paid version?

    If the latter I can think of better ways to do that. Offer it for free for a short period of time in order to give it a test drive. Say two weeks then put code in the script to deactivate it if they don't pay for it. They still get to try before buying and then have to make an investment.

    I don't think anyone would be popping up a thousand directories at a time if they were paying $75 per license.

    I agree this would be helpful - do you have any suggestions as to what steps we can take going forward to do just that?

    I don't think I agree with this though. When webmasters see quality directories being successful it will give them that much more incentive to utilize the free scripts - templates and toss up a couple thousand more. After all they can do it for free and free means no risk.

    Yes educating submitters seems to be popular and I agree it would help - but any ideas on how to do that?

    I am glad to see a nice conversation going. I was also hoping to get different opinions of even other issues that need to be addressed for us to offer better products for visitors to our sites and submitters. Addressing both the issue and a possible solution.

    My solution may or may not be the best one for the issue I raised but i don't necessarily think doing nothing and ignoring the problem is a solution either.
     
    swedal, Jul 27, 2009 IP
  16. pipes

    pipes Prominent Member

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    #16
    I think a blog could work better in this case, commenting features are advanced enough now on wordpress to get good discussion going, also the ability to allow more than just the admin to post articles etc.

    Just talking about directories is not enough though, learning skills is more important.

    Guys you are trying to change what you cant change, why cant you see that?

    Im going to have to keep on saying this iim afraid, its us, not them.

    We cant change other peoples actions, what we can do is increase our own knowledge to the point that future actions would bury those unwanted spammy directories.

    Trust me on this one, its easier to improve ourselves than it is to try and stop complete strangers from submitting to the crap.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2009
    pipes, Jul 28, 2009 IP
  17. humm

    humm बहादुर बच्चा

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    #17
    I have a project coming up which will have the above mentioned points and will try and curb 'free script' nonsense.

    As far as Free scripts by leading directory script companies is concerned, I am 100% sure that they are not going to destroy their freebies. Reason? Obviously they want 'name', 'publicity', 'free backlinks' and users who convert from free (demo) version to paid version.
     
    humm, Jul 28, 2009 IP
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  18. lindamood1

    lindamood1 Active Member

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    #18
    this is really nice information for dir. improvement.
     
    lindamood1, Jul 28, 2009 IP
  19. YMC

    YMC Well-Known Member

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    #19
    Swedal, most interesting that you opted not to comment about the professional SEO submission folks. While they perhaps help promote the idea of submitting to directories, in the long run they do far more harm than good. I still shake my head every time I think about the origins of the Google smackdown and who appears to have led the charge. Ironically, it seems that things have only gotten tremendously worse since then.

    Perhaps a well-run blog by a number of directory owners would be a start to educating submitters. Invited directory owners could post reviews (only the quality directories), how-tos and SEO-related articles. The trouble is that when anyone has done anything similar in the past it was profit-oriented and the reviews become a money-maker and virtually meaningless other than for gaining links. It would need to be a positive resource and not a "we they" kinda thing with the "professionals" against the get rich quick folks.
     
    YMC, Jul 28, 2009 IP
  20. discover

    discover Notable Member

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    #20
    I agree with YMC
    If you are going to setup a site/blog make it an org and run on donations with no types of advertising or revenue whatsoever


    I mean when the webmasters who are throwing these poor quality directories up realise there isn't the same amount of money to be made in them they will move onto something else..
    To think you can somehow get the script makers to cease offering free versions of their script is unrealistic.
    Even if they stopped offering them tomorrow what about all the free versions already out there?
     
    discover, Jul 28, 2009 IP