Friday, January 08, 2010

 

Monetizing a Directory - Part 3

Affiliate banners, towers, skyscrapers and or links. While not easily targeted or content based, placing high paying affiliate based ads from places like CJ (Commission Junction) for example is a great way to expand on your income generation.

The key to making this successful is to focus on one or two key high paying, and popular services or products that may grab the attention of your visitors. There are several high paying programs to choose from in the hosting, telephone and software areas. Products like internet phones, web hosting, and backup or PC based software are always quite popular with visitors and offer some of the highest payouts.

Placement of these banners / advertisements will also be key. Make sure you do not over inundate your site or visitors with more than 1 or 2 banners at a time. Place them in prominent locations wrapping around text/listings or categories so that they focus of attention is both on the ad and the content that the visitor is seeking.

Again, limit your concentration so that you do not overwhelm your visitor or create a spammy feel.

The following is an example of the placement of a 120 x 600 skyscraper placed along side the search results. As you can see in this example the visitors attention is directed down the length of the page of results following the ad in its entirety.



The visitors attention and focus is on both the listing results and the advertisement. The ad is inviting and fills the entire space insuring the user gets full view of it, while still being able to view their relevant search results.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

 

Directory Listings are WAY UP in the new year!

By my best estimate, I would say that directory listings for our directories are up over 600% in the new year. I am not sure what to attribute this rise in listings to. Perhaps a new budget for advertising? Better optimism about the year to come? I'm open to other opinions.

Not only have I seen a huge increase in the listings, but the listings that are being made are at the higher price levels and premium placement.

Stay tuned!

Monday, December 28, 2009

 

Googles PR Fallacy with Directories

As many of you know in directory land, Google has long waged a war against us. That said, their tactic of demoralizing us, or disabling our ability to compete has been to strip us of PR.

While it is completely understandable that directories that charged for links out and long publicly paid for links in, have suffered Google's wrath, there are a large number of legitimate directories that earned their PR organically and naturally.

That said, let's take a look at a comparison between a couple directories. KingBloom.Com vs. Directorytrends.com

KingBloom as a domain has been around over 10 years. Its long been an established directory for more than half that time and has maintained as low as a PR4 and has high as a PR6. The content is maintained and updated every day, and its nearly completely devoid of dead links, bad URL, or crap sites as a result of the constant maintenance that is done. It has no paid outgoing links and has never bought links or PR in. The PR it had was real, organic/natural and earned over a LONG LONG period of time.

Yet Google chose to strip KingBloom of its PR when it waged its blanket assault on all directories.

Let's now look at directorytrends.com. The site is PR7. http://www.directorytrends.com/detail-28.html
Like KingBloom it is a PAID directory. Yet it has PAID unrelated outgoing links on its home page and inner pages.

Let's just take a look at one of the inner subcategory pages here: http://www.webdirectory.com/News_and_Events/

Every link on this page is either a DEAD URL, a redirect, or a register this domain page and or 404.

Yet, this and countless other pages like it are indexed by Google, including the DEAD URLS.

The directory is of a very low quality. Most of the sites listed either do not exist, or are completely dead. Yet it has a PR7???

There are 686 links in. And a paltry 894 sites indexed.

Compare this to over 14,000 indexed pages in Kingbloom.

It's pretty obvious to me that this webdirectory.com place has either faked their PR, bought a boat load of high PR links, or Google in their infinite wisdom thinks that this directory deserves a higher PR than larger, higher quality, longer lived directories.

Either way, something really stinks here. Google, care to comment? Care to explain why this particular directory passes your litmus test for perfection while others do not?

I wonder if Googles decision to allow this directory to maintain high PR has anything to do with the fact that it is an "Environment" related directory and contains several high PR links in from several "environmental" type sites like universities?

I welcome any comments that might help explain why this site has a PR7 while most every other directory has a PR0.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

 

Monetizing a Directory - Part 2

So, now that you are "tuned" in, lets take a look at one of the most popular and easy ways to monetize a directory.

PPC - or Pay Per Click. You place a link on your site to another site, product, or offer and every time someone clicks on that link you make money.

There are several Pay Per Click programs out there. Google Adsense is the most popular, followed by Yahoo! Search Marketing, and Microsoft adCenter.

Let's keep in mind that with PPC advertisers will bid on keywords that they want to have their products or site show up under. Google and other PPC programs use a contextual based system of generating results for advertisers links based on the content within your site. Given the directory site will be filled with a lot of unique content and categories it makes it an ideally suited environment for PPC Ads.

Most directory owners choose to limit the scope of their PPC ads to banners, or skyscrapers. Using a skyscraper is generally the most effective way to ensure that you get the most coverage and exposure with your directory. Assuming you've chosen to show no more than 10 search results an average 120 x 600 Skyscraper will generally extend from top to bottom of those results. Placing that Skyscraper to the right of the results will generally direct the reader of those results attention through to the ads as they continue reading left to right DOWN the page!

Stay Tuned for Part 3!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

 

Monetizing a Directory - Part 1

One of the best ways to offset your directory costs - things like:

hosting costs
software license costs
domain registration costs
maintenance and update or design costs

is to monetize your directory.

Not all directories and afford to exist or maintain profitability without a little boost from other income outside of the listing fees. Some good examples of programs that can help you monetize your directory are:

Commission Junction - affiliate marketing type ads, context, banners, etc.
Google Adsense - PPC (pay per click) contextual ads
eBay Partners - Targeted Auctions, leads, sales and or banner ads

Sure, there are literally hundreds more out there - I'm not going to list them all. What I am going to do is explain how the three above which all cover different forms of marketing/advertising can be used to monetize your directory site. I'll also show you how you can do this without detracting from your directories original purpose, or that of those that list within your directory.

Stay Tuned...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

 

Directory Mirroring and the Directory Farmer

Just what is directory mirroring? Directory mirroring is a process by which directory farmers (as I call them) create a directory and then duplicate the listings by including them in another directory. And another, and another and so on.

For the most part, these directories are FREE. This allows the "directory farmer" to grow them from a small seed, which they then later clone and eventually sell.

The process of directory farming and cloning usually starts with a free php based directory script and more often than not a catchy .com name. The directory farmer spends a good deal of time promoting the directory and pumping it up. They may buy links in, list on various directory related forums and webmaster forums promoting their new directory.

After a short time the farmer becomes a cloner and duplicates the directories database and then creates a new directory site using the php based directory script of his or her choice. They change the template, and of course the domain name. The domain name typically tends to be a .info since they are extremely cheap.

At the end of the cloning process you now have a large populated and duplicated directory, which is generally already indexed quite well under the original .com directory name. The "FREE" listings are now changed to "PAID". Through in some bogus stats, nominal PR, and some light promotion, and the farmer turned cloner, now becomes the salesman.

These "mirrored" directories are then sold to the highest bidder at various crap hole webmaster forums. Total investment, mere pennies. The pay off? Huge, that is until the penalization starts and the duplicate content is recognized.

Then the directory salesmen become the directory farmer once more.

Monday, December 07, 2009

 

Watch for redirects

Something that you need to watch out for when editing your directory are "redirects". What are redirects exactly? A redirect is when someone "re directs" their site and or domain to another site and or domain. The result is one enters what they believe is one site only to be sent to another location which generally has nothing to do with the site that one intended to visit.

These redirects are quite common when a listed site in your directory either expires or is acquired by another entity. In order to garner the latent traffic from the old domain/site they will redirect or forward that traffic onto another site.

Obviously sites listed in your directory that are redirected for whatever reason are no longer acceptable as they lead your directory users to an unwanted destination and do not serve any useful purpose in relevant categorical organization for which most directories are created.

18603 sites indexed for 5010 categories
There are 2 pending submissions


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