The search for online information has grown to be an extremely dynamic and competitive marketplace during the past 36 months. Global heavyweights including http://www.google.com, http://www.yahoo.com, and http://www.msn.com are backed by massive resources, which makes it nearly impossible for new companies to even attempt to compete. It would seem for new start directories it is just about impossible to aim for the “catch all” approach, as there are simply bigger companies available with larger budgets – who will dominate the current market for many years. However, there are still numerous revolutionary directories evolving which are capable of 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 conducting a web search, users possess the choice between search engines and directories. Directories are generally categorised by webmasters or a group of subject experts – such as the directory http://dmoz.com. When utilizing such a directory, the consumer has got the solution to either type in a word to facilitate searching with the Yellow Pages Alternatives, or they could pick a subject heading, for example “travel”. After simply clicking on this category, users are confronted with lists of several subtopics such as “hotels” which would then be further split into geographic regions, then this individual hotel names.
On the other hand, a search engine uses automated programs called robots or spiders to look through its database of websites. The consumer types a query in to 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 to be able to form an organised listing of leads to the user’s browser. The world’s most widely used search engine, Google, currently includes a database of 8,058,044,651 web pages.
Using this colossal searching power, it is actually amazing that any directories are capable of surviving up against the heavyweight search engine listings. The answer could very well be to prevent seeking to compete to start with. As an example, in case a local directory run by people knowledgeable about a location is marketed properly, this can provide an actual service for users, as one in the main problems people have with search engines like google will be the difficulty in finding local services related to them.
Usually this challenge is caused by too little knowledge of how to use search engines correctly. The majority of surfers searching the net for products/services will expect to locate a local supplier by simply typing a generalised term, then cannot understand why these are confronted with 300,000 results – many of which are based in a foreign country. This is where a regional directory will offer more relevant results, minus the searching knowledge needed to make best utilisation of the larger directories, and hopefully supply the information anyone wanted. Rather than performing a basic search, users are guided in depth through the categories.
One new directory that is having a very innovative approach to the market place is the-best-of.com ( http://www.thebestof.co.uk/ ) which promotes itself being a “UK directory run by local people for local people”. The idea is the fact that individual individuals will take control of a geographical area which they know well and supply users with their “local knowledge” on local business owners and services. Although still in its early stages, it becomes an example of a directory which includes found a niche market in terms of the service it provides and isn’t attempting to tackle the large global players – a strategy which has destroyed many directories before they have even started.
It really is perhaps due to this market gap that Google has launched the beta version of “Google Local”. Google Local’s outcomes 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 searching for and their geographic location. Results are then displayed in three columns, including company name, address, and URL (if relevant). Simply clicking djtppc link to a business name displays a business reference page with details about the company, a map, some control to obtain driving directions, and Web pages associated with the company found in Google’s main index. The brand new service also offers a diploma of personalisation, allowing users to specify a property location, which is stored over a cookie set by Google.
Overall, it seems that the ways and means we look for information on the web is set to continuously evolve over the coming years. This landscape is practically certainly going to be covered with the major players like Google and Yahoo. However, it is actually clear that so long as you use a quality, comprehensive directory that doesn’t cast its net too wide then its easy to survive and also compete within this dynamic marketplace.