Even after decades of advancement in computer technology, there are some tasks that humans are just superior at doing.  One of those things is evaluating the quality of a website.  The most dominant search engines are all computer based today because of the vast pace at which content is published online.  However, this was not always the case.  Back in the 1990's when the Internet was just a small set of interconnected tubes [smile] a number of websites tried using people to review and list websites in a directory and use that directory to power search results.  The idea was that humans could do a better job of deciding if a website was good or not and should be included in search results.

In fact, that is still true today.  A human can do a much better job than Google of looking at a website and deciding if the content is good and it is a quality website.  Computerized search engines have won the search engine battle, because to review all of the websites on the Internet using people would be cost prohibitive and time consuming given the explosion of content on the web.  We prefer search engines that are always including new content that was just published and that search nearly all of the web.  But human reviewed directories still do a good job of only including good websites, even if they only include a small percentage of the overall Internet.  And because of this, the computerized search engines look at the human reviewed directories as a list of websites that are more trustworthy than other websites.

Getting your company listed in a human reviewed drectory is sort of like getting into a good college.  It doesn't mean you are smart, but it means a human looked at your application and thought you are smart.  It is also somewhat expensive and time consuming.  But, just like a good college on your resume sends a positive message to potential employers, getting listed in a human reviewed directory sends a positive message to the search engines.

Here are four of the better human reviewed directories, along with a bit of info on how to use them.

Four Directories That Should Include Your Company

    1. DMOZ - The name for DMOZ.org comes from directory.mozilla.org, the original name/location of the directory.  Because it is all volunteer run, it can take a long time (months, sometimes never) for them to act upon your request to get listed.  Only sites that have some history to them and decent content get listed.  Here are the instructions for suggesting your website for listing in DMOZ.
    2. Yahoo Directory - Like DMOZ, the Yahoo Directory started as a way to use humans to screen websites for quality and use those as part of search results.  The good news about Yahoo is that they act pretty fast on your submission (a week).  The bad news is that it costs you $299/year.  Here is information about listing your website in the Yahoo Directory.
    3. Business.com Directory - The Business.com directory is another human reviewed directory.  Like Yahoo, they will review your website quickly, but they also charge $199 for the first year and $149 annually after that.  Here is information about listing your website in the Business.com directory.
    4. ZoomInfo - ZoomInfo is a newer website than the other three.  It is also not really a completely human reviewed directory, but it does have a verification method to edit your company listing and it uses trustworthy sources (other than your own website) to build your company profile.  Also unlike the other three that really just have a link to your company, ZoomInfo has a full profile on your company, so that page sometimes shows up in search results.  The other great news is that it is free.  Just got to ZoomInfo, search for your company name, click on the result, and on the page that shows your company name and website, click the edit link.  You'll have to create an account and verify through email you work at the company.  If your company is not listed, they don't have a great way to get it listed, but you can use this form to make a request.

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Originally published Dec 12, 2007 11:43:00 AM, updated March 21 2013

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