The Anatomy of an SEO 2 Web Directory of the Highest Quality


I have a SEO 2 Web directory right here on my blog.

What? A “Web directory”? In 2023?

Are you kidding?! No. I’m not.

Are you selling paid links here?

Not at all either! Hear me out!

What Makes a Web Directory Worth Using?

What makes an actual Web directory worth using in the social media age?

I even considered removing it over the years as I did not have time to add new entries.

The ones I have added a decade ago are still valid though. I knew what I was doing back then.

How is this even SEO 2? It sounds like a contradiction indeed.

Aren’t directories either a remnant of the dark past of SEO 1.0? Not necessarily.

Well, not all directories are wacky. Some of them thrive and are indeed expanding:

  • high quality
  • specialized
  • editorial

Such directories are indeed a backbone of the modern Web.

Low level User Generated Content abounds.

Content curation by experts is the opposite of UGC. It established authority and credibility.

Some of the most renowned Web directories aren’t even considered as such. Why?

Directories are part of larger projects. Thus nobody needs to call them Web directories.

What are the Actual Quality Factors of Directories?

I will outline the anatomy of an SEO 2 Web directory of the highest quality.

The SEO 2 directory here e.g. focuses on SEO services and companies.

This post covers the actual anatomy of such a directory I deem high quality.

It even allows you to create one as well. Here are the quality factors:

Not being standalone but part of a larger website

A web directory without context is often useless.

A directory embedded into a larger concept provides additional information your users seek in contrast.

Users rarely seek a directory out of the blue.

They need a directory to find and compare sites once they know what they are after or interested in.

Covering a very narrow niche

A high quality directory is not about technology, news or health.

In a way it’s a “long tail” or niche directory targeting just one very specific topic.

Nobody wants to enter a directory homepage like in 1999!

Why even click several times until they find the sub-directory they actually need?

People want to arrive already knowing that they are in the right niche and industry.

The more specific the directory the better.

Being very exclusive

A very high quality directory is the opposite of “free for all links” as Google has put it in the past repeatedly.

When everybody can get a link in a directory or the directory is just part of a linking scheme it’s low quality or downright spam.

A directory must be trustworthy thus only really trusted sites should be able to enter it.

Offering user friendly deep links

Old school web directories only list homepages so basically you have to do the same work twice.

Once you find what you seek on Google you just get sent to the main page of the directory and have to search for the actual resource you are after again.

A modern directory has to deep link to be useful.

It must provide the information you need directly without the additional obstacle of visiting the homepage.

It even has to link out to third party sites like X-Twitter or LinkedIn if that’s where the most current information is at.

Also links to contact forms make more sense to users than just a generic homepage link.

The fewer steps a user has to take the better the experience.

Showing user friendly anchor texts

A directory that links with the words homepage!

“Click here” or the actual address are useless.

It’s a decade old usability lesson.

You need to use an anchor text reflecting the actual content on the page you link to. Thus the deep links have to use some meaningful anchor texts to be user friendly.

  • click here
  • read more
  • visit homepage

and other common anchor texts are not helpful in most cases.

Why? They lack context outside of the current sentence at best.

Showing contact information

Some people do not want to click a link!

They need the actual contact information.

most notably the phone number or email address immediately.

Thus a directory entry has to include contact data right away.

It means without requiring a click through to a third party site.

Providing an honest third party review

Most directories to this day just let the people who submit their websites to determine the description of their own site.

You actually get what the webmaster or website owner thinks about the website not necessarily what the site is really about as the description.

A high quality SEO 2 directory provides an honest third party review of a website and its purpose instead of self promotional fluff.

Having an accountable editor

Directories rarely disclose who actually is responsible for writing the entries.

Some anonymous, low paid poor soul or a volunteer who hasn’t really a clue what the sites are about.

The editor of a high quality directory has to be known personally and be held accountable for his choices and opinions. This is of course a task for a skilled person.

All of these requirements demand of course some level of work to be done.

I will do it myself of course, not an underpaid drone in India so it will be an exclusive paid directory.

I’m quite optimistic though that most SEO companies will be able to afford it.

You paid for the Yahoo directory entry as well, didn’t you?

Quality Directory E​xamples

Check out paid directory entry examples for Redfly and Datadial.

Also take a look at a free entry for Search Engine People.

Now let me show you some very good directory in the beyond search industry niche!

I respect and consider it “high quality”: CrunchBase, The Free Tech Company Database

I will aim to become like them or even surpass them.

I don’t want to be bigger than them – I want to be better!

W​ant to be among the companies and other SEO service providers to be featured on SEO 2? Contact me.

In case your company is already on my radar from past interactions your entry might get fast tracked.

Who is already eligible to be included sooner or later?

  • Any company or consultant I have saved in my public bookmarks (check them on Diigo)
  • Everybody whom I follow on social media like X-Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook
  • Everyone who already has been linked to from SEO 2 in the past

All other people: Say hello first and let me notice you.

You can even just comment below the post.

I’ll get back to you.

* Image by Patrick J. Lynch