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20 Web Directories You’ll Still Want To Use


Web directories, once tools for discovering websites in the early days of the Internet, have evolved over the past two decades.

While the rise of Google led many to assume that web directories would become obsolete, plenty of these online catalogs have adapted to remain relevant.

This article examines the current state of web directories and explores their value for websites and businesses across various industries.

You’ll find an overview of 20 web directories that continue to attract traffic and offer value to websites and businesses.

These directories range from general directories like Best of the Web (BOTW) and Yahoo Directory to niche-specific platforms like Blogarama for bloggers and local business directories like Google Business Profile, Yelp, and Foursquare.

Do Web Directories Still Exist?

While web directories may not hold the same prominence they once did, they exist and can offer value.

Web directories have evolved to cater to specific niches, industries, and local markets. They serve as a curated collection of websites, providing a targeted audience with a more focused and relevant browsing experience.

Local business directories such as Google Business Profile, Yelp, and Foursquare have gained importance. These platforms provide valuable information to potential customers and contribute to a business’s online presence and local SEO efforts.

Specialized directories, such as blogs, ecommerce, or specific industries, continue to thrive. These directories cater to a particular audience and can provide valuable exposure and referral traffic to websites within their niche.

Do Web Directories Still Have Any Value?

While the SEO value of web directories has diminished, they offer certain benefits to websites and businesses.

  • Referral traffic: High-quality, niche-specific directories can drive targeted referral traffic to your website.
  • Local visibility: Directories like Google Business Profile, Yelp, and Foursquare are essential for local businesses. These platforms help companies appear in local search results and on maps, making it easier for potential customers to find them.
  • Brand exposure: Being listed in reputable directories can help increase your brand’s exposure and visibility online. When users come across your listing in a trusted directory, it can lend credibility to your website and business.
  • Backlinks: Directory links have lost much of their SEO value, but a few high-quality, relevant links can still contribute to a well-rounded backlink profile. Focus on well-maintained directories that have strict submission guidelines and are relevant to your industry or niche.
  • Competitor analysis: Directories can be useful tools for competitor analysis. By examining which directories your competitors are listed in, you can identify new opportunities for your website and gain insights into their marketing strategies.

Where Do Web Directories Stand Today?

Google’s algorithm is complex.

While links are one of the top-ranking signals, Google no longer views all links equally.

Links from a web directory listing are much less influential than a super relevant contextual link from a high-authority site in your niche.

What’s a marketer to do?

Move beyond viewing web directories as a source for links.

Instead, view directories as a source of traffic and trust.

Any business with a local presence needs to maintain their local citations with a consistent NAP, but web directories won’t help your SEO beyond that.

The actual returns will be from the credibility and traffic they drive to your business site.

As you search for web directories, keep those two criteria in mind.

Consider these questions before you start filling out your listing:

  • Is this a reputable site? Put another way, if a customer saw me on this site, would they view my business as more – or less – legitimate?
  • Is my target audience likely to visit this site? If not, it’s probably not worth listing your business.

Now, let’s get into what you came here for: the web directories that are still relevant today.

Web Directories That Still Have Value Today

To remain relevant, many web directories of yore have transitioned beyond basic listings to detailed review sites.

Many of the sites listed below reflect this trend.

We could have included many more on this list – like Jasmine Directory, Brownbook, and Bloggapedia – but based on their current traffic numbers (or lack thereof), we’re not sure they’re worth the effort anymore.

Instead, this section focuses only on sites that are more than a mere citation opportunity for your business.

Useful Web Directories For Any Kind Of Website

1. BOTW

Best of the Web homepage

Best of the Web (BOTW) is a well-established web directory that has been around since 1994.

One of BOTW’s unique aspects is that it charges a fee for listings. While this may seem like a drawback, it helps maintain the directory’s quality by discouraging spam and low-quality submissions.

The directory’s human-edited listings and strict submission guidelines ensure that only high-quality websites are included, which can lend credibility to your site by association.

BOTW’s sub-directories for blogs and local businesses make it an attractive option for those niches.

The local business sub-directory, local.botw.org, is valuable for small businesses looking to improve their local SEO.

For bloggers, the blogs.botw.org sub-directory can help attract targeted traffic and increase their blog’s visibility.

2. AboutUs

AboutUs web directoryScreenshot from AboutUs, April 2024

AboutUs is a unique web directory that has evolved from its original purpose as a business domain directory. Today, AboutUs allows websites of all types to be submitted and discussed.

One of AboutUs’s standout features is its wiki-style format, which allows users to contribute information about the websites listed in the directory. This collaborative approach helps to keep the directory up-to-date.

Being listed on AboutUs can help improve brand exposure. Companies can provide detailed information about their history, mission, and products or services.

Bloggers and content creators can also benefit from being listed on AboutUs. The directory’s diverse categories make it easy for users to discover new blogs and websites related to their interests.

For Blogs Only: One Web Directory To Rule Them All

3. Blogarama

Blogarama home pageScreenshot from Blogarama, April 2024

Blogarama is dedicated solely to blog listings, making it a niche-specific platform for bloggers looking to attract readers.

One of the standout features of Blogarama is its active management by the site’s administrators. The directory is regularly updated, with new blog listings and inactive or deleted blogs removed.

Another helpful feature of Blogarama is its RSS feed integration. Bloggers can provide their RSS feed URL during submission, automatically allowing the directory to update their listing with the latest posts.

The directory’s niche focus and diverse categories make it an attractive option for bloggers in various industries and with different target audiences.

Relevant Web Directories For Local Businesses

4. Google Business Profile

Google Business Profile home page

Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business) is a free tool provided by Google that allows businesses to manage their online presence across Search and Maps.

One key benefit of Google Business Profile is its impact on local SEO. By creating and verifying a Business Profile, businesses can improve their chances of appearing in Google’s Local Pack, Local Finder, and Google Maps results.

Google Business Profile is particularly valuable for small and medium-sized businesses with a local focus, as it helps level the playing field and compete with larger, more established brands.

5. Bing Places

Bing Places for Business home pageScreenshot from Bing Places, April 2024

Bing Places, Microsoft’s equivalent to Google Business Profile, allows businesses to manage their online presence on the Bing search engine.

Bing Places provides detailed analytics and insights, allowing businesses to track the performance of their listings, view customer interactions, and understand how customers find them online.

While Bing’s market share is less than Google’s, it has a significant user base, particularly among desktop users and older demographics.

Bing Places can be valuable for businesses targeting these audiences or operating in regions where Bing has a higher market share, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada.

6. Facebook

Facebook Business Page

Facebook Pages offers a platform for companies to establish an online presence on the social network.

These Pages allow businesses to connect with their target audience, share content, and utilize Facebook’s advertising tools.

The platform’s options allow targeted ads based on user demographics, interests, and behaviors. The “Insights” feature also offers data on page performance and audience engagement.

Other features available on Facebook Business Pages include the “Shop” section for product sales, appointment booking, event creation, and customer support through Messenger.

7. Yelp

YelpScreenshot from Yelp, April 2024

Yelp connects consumers with local businesses. Its collection of user-generated reviews provides insights and social proof for potential customers, influencing their decision-making.

Paid advertising options like Yelp Ads allow businesses to enhance visibility and attract potential customers.

Yelp’s filter algorithm determines which reviews are displayed based on authenticity and reliability. While this can occasionally frustrate businesses, it aims to protect the platform’s integrity for users.

8. Foursquare

Foursquare for BusinessScreenshot from Foursquare, April 2024

Foursquare is a local search and discovery platform that offers personalized recommendations based on user-generated tips, ratings, and machine learning algorithms.

The platform’s audience consists of tech-savvy urban users, particularly millennials, who actively seek new experiences and trust peer recommendations.

Foursquare has a strong presence in the food and beverage, nightlife, and travel industries. It’s an essential platform for restaurants, bars, cafes, and hotels looking to reach an experience-driven audience.

Additionally, Foursquare offers a suite of location data products and services for businesses and developers, including tools for location-based advertising, audience targeting, and foot traffic analysis.

9. Yellow Pages

Yellow Pages web directoryScreenshot from The Real Yellow Pages, April 2024

Yellow Pages, now primarily known as YP.com, is an online directory connecting consumers with local businesses.

Yellow Pages are handy for businesses targeting a local audience, as users often have a high purchase intent. Paid advertising options are also available to enhance visibility.

Yellow Pages partners with other online platforms, such as Google, to expand the reach of its listings. The platform also provides digital marketing services to help businesses improve their online presence beyond the Yellow Pages platform.

10. Chamber Of Commerce

chamber of commerceScreenshot from Chamber of Commerce, April 2024

ChamberOfCommerce.com is the online version of your local Chamber of Commerce.

A Chamber of Commerce is an organization that advocates for businesses in a specific area.

By joining a Chamber, business owners and professionals can access networking opportunities and connect with potential partners.

The audience for Chambers of Commerce primarily consists of local business owners and professionals from various industries who are invested in their area’s economic success and growth.

While Chambers provide valuable resources and support, business owners must actively work to leverage these opportunities for success.

11. Hotfrog

Hotfrog home pageScreenshot from Hotfrog, April 2024

Hotfrog helps small and medium-sized businesses connect with potential customers and increase online visibility.

The platform offers free business listings and paid advertising options, such as featured listings and banner ads.

User-generated content, such as customer reviews and ratings, is encouraged on Hotfrog to build credibility and trust for businesses.

12. Superpages

Screenshot of the Superpages web directories Screenshot from Superpages, April 2024

Superpages helps connect consumers with local businesses across the United States.

Originally a print Yellow Pages directory, it has evolved into a comprehensive digital platform.

Superpages’ user base consists of consumers searching for local businesses and services across various industries, including home services, automotive, healthcare, dining, and professional services.

The platform prioritizes user-friendly experience through tools like detailed maps, directions, and the ability to save or share listings.

It also emphasizes customer reviews and ratings, which build credibility and trust for businesses while providing valuable feedback for improvement.

13. MerchantCircle

MerchantCircle web directoryScreenshot from MerchantCircle, April 2024

MerchantCircle helps small and medium-sized businesses connect with local customers and nearby businesses.

MerchantCircle’s diverse user base comprises SMBs across various industries seeking to connect with local customers and businesses.

The platform fosters these connections through discussion forums, content sharing, and collaborative marketing opportunities for members of local business communities.

Uniquely, MerchantCircle emphasizes content creation, encouraging businesses to share blog posts, articles, and other materials to establish expertise and build trust.

14. Better Business Bureau

BBB Screenshot from Better Business Bureau, April 2024

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a well-established, nonprofit organization that advances marketplace trust.

One of the BBB’s primary functions is to provide ratings that help consumers make informed decisions.

The BBB assigns businesses a letter grade (A+ through F) based on factors such as complaint history, time in business, and adherence to BBB standards. While a high rating can be a positive signal, the absence of a rating or a lower rating does not necessarily indicate a problem with the business.

Businesses can become accredited by the BBB by undergoing an evaluation process and agreeing to adhere to the BBB’s Code of Business Practices, signaling their commitment to ethical and transparent practices.

The BBB’s audience consists of consumers seeking information, guidance, and assistance in resolving business disputes. It also serves businesses seeking accreditation, dispute resolution services, and resources for best practices.

15. B2B Yellow Pages

B2B YellowpagesScreenshot from B2B Yellowpages, April 2024

B2B Yellow Pages connects businesses with suppliers, partners, and service providers across various industries.

It offers an extensive database of business listings and allows companies to create detailed profiles showcasing their offerings and expertise.

The platform caters to decision-makers, procurement professionals, and business owners. It enables businesses to research potential suppliers and identify suitable partners.

B2B Yellow Pages is particularly valuable for small and medium-sized businesses looking to expand their reach and connect with new clients.

The platform facilitates connections and business interactions through messaging systems, request-for-quote functionality, and lead-generation tools. Additionally, it provides resources, such as articles and guides, to help companies stay informed about industry trends and best practices.

16. Nextdoor

nextdoor's business services Screenshot from Nextdoor, April 2024

Nextdoor is a private social networking platform designed to connect residents within specific neighborhoods and communities.

It emphasizes location-based networking, where users must verify their address to join and interact with actual neighbors.

Highly localized and community-focused businesses can benefit from having a presence on Nextdoor by actively engaging with residents, sharing relevant content, and building relationships.

17. eLocal

elocal website homepageScreenshot from eLocal, April 2024

eLocal is an online platform that connects consumers with local businesses and service providers. It simplifies finding and hiring trusted professionals for various needs.

Consumers provide detailed information about their specific needs and location, which is used to match them with the most relevant and qualified service providers.

This approach helps businesses connect with consumers who are more likely to convert into actual customers.

18. Dexknows

DexKnows home page

Dexknows provides a platform for consumers to research and compare options based on user-generated reviews and ratings.

Businesses can respond to reviews, address concerns, and showcase their commitment to customer satisfaction.

The platform integrates with major search engines and directories, offering businesses additional features like photos, videos, and special offers to enhance their listings and attract more customers.

19. Alignable

Alignable homepageScreenshot from Alignable, April 2024

Alignable aims to create a supportive network where entrepreneurs can share advice, resources, and opportunities.

One key feature is its focus on local networking. Users create profiles and connect with other local small business owners.

The platform caters to businesses across industries, from local retailers and service providers to home-based businesses and solopreneurs.

In addition to networking, Alignable provides resources like discussion forums, articles, and guides.

20. Local.com

Local.com home pageScreenshot from Local.com, April 2024

Local.com is an online directory that helps users find local businesses, services, and events in their city.

In addition to its directory, Local.com offers a blog section with articles and guides on topics related to local living.

For businesses, Local.com allows them to claim and manage their listings on the platform, ensuring accurate and up-to-date information.

The platform partners with Yext, enabling businesses to manage their listings across multiple online directories.

What Else?

Beyond the directories listed above, additional niche directories with high traffic may be pertinent to your industry, like Avvo for attorneys, Thumbtack for local contractors, or Porch for home improvement professionals.

You can find an excellent list of these, helpfully organized by industry and domain authority, on BrightLocal.com.

There are also online services, notably Moz Local and Yext, that will create, update, and maintain your local citations across dozens of online directories.

A listing on many of these directories will be a citation for citation’s sake, but these services will include big names like Yahoo, Yelp, and others on our list.

Working with one of these services can significantly speed up adding your website (and take the work off your plate), which is why they aren’t free.

However, depending on how many websites you manage, they can be worth it.

Ways You Can Still Benefit From Web Directories

While web directories may have lost some of their former prominence, this exploration demonstrates they can still play a valuable role in a well-rounded online marketing strategy.

A few key takeaways include:

Don’t Overlook Specialized Niche Directories

As general web directories have waned, many niche-specific directories focused on blogs, e-commerce, local businesses, and more have emerged to serve targeted audiences.

Tapping into these specialized, relevant directories can help drive highly qualified traffic.

User Reviews Build Trust And Credibility

Many of today’s most valuable web directories have evolved into robust review platforms where user-generated feedback is paramount.

Actively managing your listings and responding to reviews on these sites is crucial for building reputation and credibility.

Leverage Directories For Local Marketing Visibility

The importance of local business directories like Google Business Profile and Yelp in enhancing local SEO and visibility to nearby customers has been reinforced.

An optimized, consistent listing presence is essential.

Quality Over Quantity For Backlinks

While overemphasizing web directories for link building is ill-advised, a few carefully selected, topically relevant directory backlinks can provide value as part of a natural link profile.

Marketers must approach web directories today with a more nuanced, focused strategy.

Final Thoughts On Web Directories

As you can see, there are still directories that provide value. If a directory receives traffic from your target audience, is relevant to your website, and maintains quality listings, it’s a good candidate for your backlink profile.

Local businesses may also find relevant directories in local newspapers, magazines, and on business websites. They can be good candidates if the directories are highly relevant to your website and receive traffic from your target audience.

Look at the page where your website would be listed and decide if you’re happy to be alongside the other websites on the page.

Follow these tips, and you’ll choose the most valuable directories for your business.

More resources:


Featured Image: Maxx-Studio/Shutterstock

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