SEOPearl SEOPearl  




Search Engine Basics   «Prev  Next»
Lesson 2Directories create catalogs
ObjectiveDirectories are created and organized.
Directories attempt to create relatively comprehensive catalogs of Web documents, organized by hierarchical categories. They start by listing several very broad categories and then divide these groupings into more specific categories. Directories tend to be most useful when you are uncertain of exactly the information you are looking for, but have an idea of a general category it may fall under.
Working down through hierarchical categories is more time consuming than typing keywords into a search form, but your results are likely to be more relevant the first time through (although smaller in number). This is because people actually examine the Web sites and determine how to categorize them for the directory. LookSmart, for example, uses over 200 editors, has in excess of 60,000 categories, and contains over 1 million links in its database.
The following SlideShow illustrates my attempt to find a map of Australia by selecting categories, first with Yahoo! and then with About.com.


Using Directory Categories
Before you consider using only directories for your searching, you should know that directories have two limitations, size and category naming.
Directories are an important part of a search strategy, but they are not the only part. You will probably find yourself using both directories and search engines, depending on how much you already know about the topic you are searching for.

Directory Categories - Exercise
Click the Exercise link below to practice finding information through two Directories
Directory Categories - Exercise