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More for Less

In order to provide website owners with more internet exposure for their website without adding to their workload or costs, we are pleased to announce that for a limited time all express submissions accepted into World Site Index will be automatically passed to WebNetGuide where, subject to their terms, the site will be included as an express submission.

This is the first time in over four years of operation that World Site Index has ever teamed up with another directory in this way so don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to have your site listed in two well established general directories from a single submission.

World Site Index has been operating as a general web directory since July 2004 and is owned and operated by TOLRA Micro Systems Limited. WebNetGuide is owned and operated by Attitude-emedia and has been in operation since January 2006.

A guide to directory submissions

Webcredible a London based usability and accessibility consultancy has just published a guide to directory submissions in which World Site Index is listed as one of the recommended directories.

In our opinion this guide is worth a read by all those involved in submitting sites to directories. Of particular note is the section on choosing anchor text for your listing.

Anchor text selection might not seem a big deal, but as a directory we see a significant number of submitters, even professional submission companies, simply ignore our requirements and stuff the anchor text, title, with as many keywords as possible. These people often complain when their anchor text is changed and in some extreme cases the result is removal and banning of their site from the directory.

Following the advice given in the article will place submitters to World Site Index in a much stronger position to have their preferred anchor text used.

Still hiding from customers?

For a business site to be accepted into World Site Index we insist that the site clearly displays a phone number, trading address and offers an online contact method.

However despite stating this fact on the submissions form, many business sites are submitted with only an email address and if lucky a phone number.

Those companies with only an email address fail to cater to the situation where for whatever reason the customers emails fail to get delivered to their inbox, this just results in a frustrated customer who has little choice but to do a chargeback on their credit card. This of course looses a sale, but what about additional business that may have come from that customer recommending the company to his or her friends?

For sites that do show an address they often don’t bother with their country and without that vital piece of information potential shoppers don’t know when they buy from a company based in say Cornwall if that is a company based in Cornwall UK or Cornwall Canada.

While a shop trading online may be prepared to ship anywhere in the world, some customers may prefer to buy more locally and if they have to spend time trying to guess where a company is located they can easily return to their favourite search engine and pick the next store in the list which does clearly display all relevant information.

The advice we give to our web hosting and design clients is not to be scared of letting potential clients know where they are located, having a real address can only help to build customer confidence and of course do include the country in the address.

Starting to use Live News

Back in May 2007 we added the ability for listed sites to push news items in real-time for publication on World Site Index, however take up of the service has been disappointing, either people are not understanding it or they are so focused on getting a link at any cost they ignoring other advertising options.

This weekend sees the owner of travel and tourism directory making full use of the live news publishing system, he’s using the feed to advertise that they are offering free ads for a limited time. Since the news item was published a few thousand potentials have passed through the home page of World Site Index and been exposed to their offer.

You might be wondering how much this cost? The answer is nothing, once a site is listed within or database it is currently free for site owners to push news items.

If you are interested in pushing your news items to us for publication then have a read of the how-to guide and then you can start pushing news using the news submission form.

must get a link, must get a link!

We offer free submissions and because of this we get vast numbers per day, yet people don’t follow the simplest rule and then if we discard the listing because it is incorrect they complain bitterly, however if we rewrite their text so that it follows our guidelines then they complain bitterly that we changed it.

We ask that people use the company name as the title of their listing, we don’t mind a couple of keywords, but a quick look at the review queue shows about 50% of the pending free submissions are submitted with keyword stuffed titles.

Some of these sites are submitted by so called professional SEO or submission companies which have almost certainly been paid by their clients to submit the site to us. The client is probably blissfully unaware that they are paying and getting nothing in return.

We get submissions with a description with 3 or 4 words repeated over and over again to make it meet the minimum word requirement? This just defies belief, if it was my site I’d want people to see my listing with well written text as it shows I’m professional and not some 12yr old trying to run a business out of my dads basement.

Are people really so stupid that they think that we don’t check what is submitted to us and that we will list any keyword stuffed rubbish they care to submit?

We want the web directory to exist for many years to come, one way to do this is to list quality sites with good descriptive text. Categories full of keyword stuffed entries will not help in this endeavour, sure it might help the listed site with good back link text right up until the directory is dropped from search engines for being a spam filled waste of space.

If people used some common sense they’d realise that they should be helping to make the directory as good as possible, because if the directory is good it will attract not just spiders but real humans. After all it’s humans that actually buy goods not spiders.

To be able to offer free submissions and keep up with the flow we have just seconds to look at the submitted text and decide if it’s worth taking the time to review the site for inclusion or if to discard the submission and move to one where the site owner took the time to submit properly.

While paid submitters sometimes assume that rules don’t apply to them and will spam fields, we do have the time to rewrite the text to be suitable. Therefore should we simply say enough is enough and go paid only thus people will loose out on free promotion of their site all because they couldn’t be bothered.

When you talk to submitters that have done it incorrectly you often get replies such as “I don’t care about your categories I just want PR”, and it is this mindset that seems to dominate. In the case of the submitters ignoring category structure what they are forgetting is that search engines do like relevancy so if we did accept it as-is it really wouldn’t be doing them any favours.

I think the problem stems from people just looking at directories as a back link and they must get as many links as they can.

This seems to be backed up be the fact that we allow listed sites to push short news items to show on our home page and in the archive, however it’s not a permanent link so web masters dismiss it. What they have forgotten is that we have tens of thousands of visitors per month so displaying their news on the directory makes it visible to all these potential buyers. At the moment we don’t even charge for this!

Another directory owner once said to me we shouldn’t be complaining about our submitters but rather educating them? The problem is how do you educate submitters when they can’t or just won’t read the simplest rule?

Send your news to World Site Index using live updates

Today sees another update to the directory script that powers World Site Index, this update brings with it various enhancements such as a word cloud of the latest searches and top searches.

One of the more important developments is the ability for listed sites to push news to World Site Index for display in real-time. Currently any listed site can make use of this live update ability via a simple PHP script.

This news system allows site owners to deliver up to date information to the thousands of people that visit World Site Index as well a providing visitors with current information.

To find out how to start pushing news please see our HOWTO push news guide.

Developers can find out more in our directory script community forums.

Mobile web directory

Regular visitors to World Site Index will notice a new tab has appeared, Mobile Web Directory, this is signals our move into the mobile web.

The mobile web directory has been designed to be viewable on mobile devices and will only be accepting sites that are also designed for use on mobile devices, in this way it is hoped that the directory will grow into a useful resource for those on the move.

Categories will be added as requested so as to avoid the need for users to download empty category information.

For a limited time submissions to the mobile web directory are free of charge.

Automatic filtering of submissions

For some time now World Site Index has run an interactive filter on all new submissions, this filter checks the title and description for common problems such as keyword stuffing of the description, or duplicating the tile within the description.

For those that are interested the filter is written in PHP and is made freely available from our main site, just follow the link to the directory submission filter page.

As with any automated system it doesn’t get it right all the time, sometimes it is too strict other times too lenient.

Recently we disabled the filter for a couple of days to see what would happen to the quality of the submissions and if it was practical to remove the filter completely. The results were as we expected and very disappointing. The bulk of the submissions for the time the filter was disabled were deleted because almost no effort was made with them.


WDC Gets an Update

Our friends over at the Web Development Community have started updating their site and breathing new life into it.

Their new blog is now online with a nice article, fluid or fixed, on their take on the screen width that web sites should be designed for. It was similar reasoning that caused us to rebuild the skin on World Site Index to be fluid.

The directory of web resources has had a complete overhaul and is worth a look if you are after locating web design resources on the net.

I’m sure as they progress with this update, WDC will develop into an even more feature rich resource for everyone working with web technologies.

What were they thinking?

We’re often left scratching our heads when reviewing submissions or category suggestions wondering what people were thinking when they submitted.

It’s not uncommon to open the review queue of our art directory and be presented with a screen full of real estate sites, hotels, insurance services and other assorted sites unrelated to art.

Maybe it’s me but I would think that the title of the site, Art Web Links, is a good start as to the subject matter, not to mention the complete lack of categories for real estate etc.


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