I have recently acquired Queensland.co.nz and will be creating a site of some kind on it, probably a travel portal. While I'm waiting for inspiration, I've invested some time in my long neglected directory portfolio.
I run a small number of directories, mostly monetized by Google Adsense, and currently have 4 private ones and 5 open submission ones operating. All the open ones are relevant to New Zealand and I run them as genuine directories. I choose to apply my own variation on the DMOZ rules for entries: real sentences, in English, normal capitalisation and not just a string of keywords; I also find and list sites I think worthwhile in a non-reciprocal manner so they are genuine directories. I'm determined to avoid duplicate content penalties & subtly vary the wording of entries, especially between the directories, but also when compared to other links.
I find legitimate SEO practitioners submit client sites for a while and then fade away. I realise that SEO practice wants to get the links and keywords repeated verbatim on many different websites while I on the other hand want traffic, so I get my ads clicked. The two desires differ, and surely with a little management could be converged, but this seems an idea that's difficult to convey. My way of looking at it is that I am running a genuine directory that is well indexed by Google, so there is still a benefit to listing on them. At the moment I'm getting spammed by so-called SEO experts in China who seem to think having an overwelming bot attack on my site's Capcha is a professional way to promote their customers. I just delete these turkeys on sight. I get a few very welcome submissions from web site owners, so growth continues.
The public directories are
- SearchNewZealand.co.nz which has been around for a while and gets of the first page of Google for some searches. This was my first directory and has taught me how to run a smallish directory. Unfortunately some of the mistakes I made in the early days show in it, so I decided to create 2 others to experiment with different ways of presenting the same information.
- SearchMe.co.nz is a site that sat around for a while with a small database doing very little. I've decided to repurpose it, initially as a near clone of Search New Zealand in terms of sites, but structured to have a flatter structure with more top level directories, and avoiding the deep directory structure I created for SearchNewZealand. I'm hoping this will make it more useful to visitors and better indexed. I'm copying the links across with light rewording. Longer term I'm going to aim more for paragraph length descriptions rather than the short DMOZ style sentences.
- Weblinks.co.nz In its current incarnation is new. It's a looser version of Search New Zealand / Search Me that was initially build by merging the two databases (about 50% from each) with the Search Me structure and adding a list I had of sites that were OK, but weren't up to the quality I required for the other two directories. It will be interesting to see how it develops, I fear it will eventually become the main site, but I'll let the market decide.
- SportsDirectory.co.nz was registered in late September 2008 and is for sports and sports related sites only (Although I do have reciprocal links to sites such as directories). I have no idea yet if the format will work, but I'm watching.
- AffiliateDirectory.co.nz is a previously abandoned project I've recently resurrected. It's purely for affiliate programs, so won't be of interest to many people, but suits my needs. It's really hard to make though as I'm listing information about the affiliate program & many of them don't have all the information I want easily accessible. The logs show that I'm getting a few visitors who click through to read about the programs, so it's serving a purpose.