The search for online information has grown to be an increasingly dynamic and competitive marketplace in the past 3 years. Global heavyweights including http://www.google.com, http://www.yahoo.com, and http://www.msn.com are backed by massive resources, making it extremely difficult for new companies to even try to compete. It would seem for new start directories it is nearly impossible to aim for the “catch all” approach, since there are simply bigger companies out there with larger budgets – who are likely to dominate the marketplace for a long time. However, you may still find a number of revolutionary directories evolving which are designed for surviving in this ultra-competitive landscape. The key to this survival is undoubtedly focusing upon a niche and ensuring your site stands out from others.
When performing a web search, users possess the choice between search engine listings and directories. Directories are usually categorised by webmasters or a group of subject experts – including the directory http://dmoz.com. When you use this kind of directory, an individual provides the option to either key in a word to facilitate searching with the Yellow Pages Alternatives, or they can choose a subject heading, for example “travel”. After clicking on this category, users are confronted with lists of countless subtopics including “hotels” which would then be further split into geographic regions, then this individual hotel names.
In contrast, a search engine uses automated programs called robots or spiders to browse through its database of websites. An individual types a query into a provided dialog box in the form of a keyword, or string of keywords. The search engine then uses the robots to adhere to links and indexes of numerous websites so that you can form an organised list of brings about the user’s browser. The world’s most favored search engine, Google, currently has a database of 8,058,044,651 web pages.
With this particular colossal searching power, it is amazing that any directories are designed for surviving against the heavyweight search engines like google. The solution is perhaps to avoid attempting to compete to begin with. For example, when a local directory run by people acquainted with a location is marketed properly, it can offer a real service for users, as one from the main problems individuals have with search engines will be the difficulty to find local services relevant to them.
Usually this problem comes from too little understanding of using search engine listings correctly. Nearly all surfers searching the net for products/services will expect to discover a local supplier by simply typing a generalised term, then cannot discover why they may be up against 300,000 results – a few of which are located in an overseas country. This is where a regional directory can provide more relevant results, without the searching knowledge required to make best use of the larger directories, and hopefully supply the information the person wanted. Instead of conducting a basic search, users are guided step-by-step from the categories.
One new directory that is getting a very innovative strategy to the current market place will be the-best-of.com ( http://www.thebestof.co.uk/ ) which promotes itself as being a “UK directory run by local people for local people”. The concept is the fact that individual individuals will take control of a geographical area which they know well and supply users making use of their “local knowledge” on local business owners and services. Although still in their initial phases, it is really an example of a directory which has found a niche market with regards to the service it provides and isn’t seeking to tackle the major global players – a technique which has destroyed many directories before they have even started.
It is actually perhaps due to this market gap that Google has launched the beta version of “Google Local”. Google Local’s effects are a mixture of using business-directory information from third-party providers and integrating it with details about individual businesses from Google’s existing database of website information.
When utilizing this new service, users type the product they are looking for as well as their geographic location. Results are then displayed in three columns, including company name, address, and URL (if relevant). Simply clicking djtppc link to an organization name displays a business reference page with details about the company, a roadmap, a button to get driving directions, and Web pages related to the business found in Google’s main index. The brand new service also provides a diploma of personalisation, allowing users to specify a house location, that is stored over a cookie set by Google.
Overall, it would appear that the ways and means we look for information on the internet is set to continuously evolve on the future years. This landscape is practically certainly likely to be dominated by the big players like Google and Yahoo. However, it is actually clear that as long as you use a quality, comprehensive directory that doesn’t cast its net too wide then its easy to survive and even compete in this dynamic marketplace.