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    Prior to Google, Yahoo, and other major search engines taking over search on the Internet, web directories were the primary means that Internet users had to find quality websites online. Similar to today, these websites included links that included sites from various niches while classifying them in a way that allowed the end user to find the desired information without a significant amount of effort. Although the major search engines have taken over as the primary search option for consumers, web directory scripts provide a ready-made means for webmasters to run high quality directories that continue to provide value to the end user.

    What Role Do Web Directories Play for Businesses?

    Over the past two decades, the volume of websites and traffic on the Internet has grown exponentially. As a result, almost all businesses are constantly looking for a method to increase company exposure. Web directories complement traditional SEO techniques in a number of ways for a business to improve their brand and ultimately increase sales. Specifically, properly leveraging web directories can help an organization by: 1 – Providing a geographically-based generation of targeted market traffic, 2 – Gives a company more results-based Internet traffic, 3 – Link building that helps aid SEO efforts to a small degree, and 4 – Relevance within the business’s niche online.

    Why Should one Develop a Web Directory?

    At the time of this writing, there are literally thousands of web directories on the Internet; however, new ones are placed online every day. Most directory owners are motivated by one of two things: 1 – The desire to create a quality web directory in one’s niche of interest, or 2 – To create a money making venture filling a critical need in a targeted industry for premium directory listings. That being said, there are not a lot of webmasters who jump into the web directory business to solely make money who do well initially in today’s Internet environment without focusing on the quality of the directory. If one has the patience to spend time ensuring the quality of entries made to a new directory, it can be a worthwhile endeavor.

    What Does it Take for a Directory to Be Successful?

    In order to deploy a successful directory, the site owner must take a little time to plan the target audience for the directory as well as the category structure that will be published in the content of the site. Additionally, some thought must be put into what information should be included with each directory entry in order to provide unique content for search engines to index the respective entries.

    Once the directory is properly setup, the webmaster will have to devote time and effort into marketing the site to ensure it gets the appropriate visibility in the search engines and the target market. These efforts should include both on-site and offsite Search Engine Optimization (SEO) work as well as utilizing social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Instagram. On-site SEO was ignored for a while by web directory scripts; however, the majority of the updated or more modern scripts will include on-site SEO capabilities within the script without having to purchase or load a plugin.

    Some web directory owners will also run a blog on the same website that the directory is hosted. This provides an opportunity to promote quality content to help bring both site visitors and other website owners to the site. When choosing this option to help promote a new directory, it is critical for the site owner to publish high quality content and not spun or unreadable content that creates a negative end-user experience.

    Finally, becoming engaged within the community or niche that the directory is targeting is another key to success. By making valuable contributions to forums and Facebook pages that related to the niche of your new directory, it will naturally bring visitors to your site to check out the content and possibly pay you to list a site on the directory if implementing a premium model to make money!

    Common Mistakes Made by Directory Webmasters

    A negative side effect of effective marketing efforts; however, is the increase in spam that most web directory scripts will start to realize. Even with the latest captcha or other spam defense loaded into the directory script, there will be a fair bit of time required on the part of the webmaster to filter the quality submissions from the trash. Unfortunately, those who have not researched directories are not quite ready to deal with filtering the potentially large amounts of spam that can be submitted and quickly neglect processing legitimate entries. Once a large backlog occurs, the choice becomes spending a large amount of time filtering submissions or just blanket-approving all pending submissions. When this occurs, the end result is a large number of low-quality entries onto the website marking it as a potential “spam hub” for the search engines.

    The next most significant mistake made by web directory owners is thinking that you can make a new site into a premium directory (i.e. charging for entries) without building up the site’s reputation and Google Page Rank. As time has gone on, both Google and Bing only index and acknowledge web directories that post quality content that enhances the end-user’s experience online.

    Finally, managing expectations with regards to exactly how much money one can make from an online directory is another significant error that some entrepreneurs make. Long-gone is the day that one can post a fresh directory, spend several hundred dollars on off-site SEO, call it a day and make a large sum of money. Most directories will not see a significantly large CPC or RPM without a high-quality blog also posted on the website.

    How Do You Make Money with a Web Directory?

    There are several ways to make money with a Web Directory. The most popular methods include: paid listings, sponsored adds, PPC ads, banner ads, paid links (dangerous anymore), and direct marketing for other products the webmaster is selling or relevant affiliate offers. Most new directory owners will wait to monetize the site until a decent amount of traffic has been established to avoid turning off new site visitors. Once the site’s reputation and authority builds, selling advertisements and incorporating premium listings is one of the more popular methods for combining the money making possibilities for directory-based websites. If also running a blog on the website, CPC advertisements such as those provided by Google Adsense and Kontera context-link advertisements can also prove to be a successful combination.

    What are the Different Methods to Implement Web Directory Scripts?

    There are several different ways that a webmaster can implement a Web Directory script. As long as the script provides a flexible field management system, the directory fields can be tweaked to make the directory into a tailored resource relevant to a variety of niches or fields. Some of the common uses for a web directory script include creating one of the following: a links directory, script repository, employee directory, local business listing, lawyer directory, wedding directory, hosting services listings, doctor directory, a website listing (for specific niches)or a directory of dentists. Each of these topics or niches will have information that is specific to the topic that can be configured using the back-end of the script being implemented for the directory.

    What are the Key Features for Web Directory Scripts?

    As Web Directories have matured side-by-side with the Internet, there are a number of key features that have become expected with a quality script for a directory website. These include, but are not limited to: built-in invoicing for paid submissions, discount coupon capability for paid listings, unlimited nesting structures to include total number of listings and categories, an SEO friendly script, and easy-to-modify site templates to both change the look and feel of a site or to incorporate advertisements. Another capability that is becoming more common in the past few years, is the ability to import directory information from other databases or sites that one may have owned or purchased. This will alleviate the need to pay someone to manually enter the legacy data into the new website.

    How Do You Combat Spam in a Web Directory?

    The first bit to realize, it that there is not yet a fool-proof method that will prevent spam from being submitted to a web directory. There are some measures that one can take depending on the web directory script that is implemented on the website. First, one must have at least a basic Capcha capability service implemented on the site. Without one, all tools that are on the market that allow spammers to make wide-spread directory submissions will be able to make unfettered submissions to your site. Although many of the tools can defeat the Capcha plugins available on the market, you will at least weed out the “cheap” spammers who do not want to pay for an automatic Capcha solving service!

    Depending on how much time you have to devote to countering spam on the website, some directory scripts will also provide the means to either directly ban a website or the IP address of the person making the “spammy” submission to your website.

    Some webmasters; however, are fans of taking a more active approach to combatting spam. In this case, the webmaster will actively email or otherwise engage the contact address making the spammy submission. Although most savvy spammers will ignore direct emails, this method does provide the satisfaction to the webmaster of taking an active role in combatting spam and in some cases prevents the offender from making additional spammy submissions to directories.

    Does Google Hate Web Directories?

    Another common question that arises when researching what Web Directory script to use for a new site is if Google hates directories? Although the easy days of just putting up a new directory with some high-volume backlinks to get it ranking are over, Google does index and even rank those sites that provide meaningful value to the end-user. Many web directories fall into the trap of not providing much information behind a new listing other than a single sentence or phrase on top of a link to the website. As a result, the listing may fail to get indexed or provide any meaningful SEO benefit to the site owner. By requiring site submissions to have a substantial input (or at least one consisting of more than a single sentence) that is unique to the directory, individual submissions and the overall directory will have greater stature in the eyes of both Google and the other search engines.

    Free Web Directory Scripts


    Linker is a category search engine which has a fast and stable structure, convenient usage and a lot of functions.

    Linker allow you to easily create and manage a Yahoo or AltaVista style category site.

    You will not find a better category indexing program anywhere.

    • Cool site, Newsite make function
    • Pick site, pick site first priority order function
    • Review and comment function
    • Poll and graphic chart analysis poll score
    • Multiple keyword Search
    • Search keyword highlight, powerful extend search function
    • 3 step New mark (different mark 1day, 3day, 7day ago)
    • Duplicated URLcheck and dead URL check function
    • Modify template files in administration mode (easy editable)
    • HTML template support (editable in Front page, Dream weaver)
    • Decorate each category with Header and Footer field
    • Block duplicate vote, duplicate comment function
    • Auto Meta Tag insertion functions
    • Relate category functions (category link)
    • Width, background color, category column number setting function
    • Header file and footer file support (apply content to all page)
    • Selective sub category view functions
    • User optional filed support (Apply field to search, order)
    • Mailing List functions
    • Cool search keyword, key word list function
    • Database bakcup and restore in administration mode
    • File upload and image view function (include file filtering function)
    • Window Explorer type category tree view function
    • Download and count download number
    • Multiple language (English, Japan, Chinese, Korean, German, Norwegian, Spanish ..)
    • 4 template support (Default, Photo, Yahoo style, Altavista style)
    • Compatible with Nestcape, Opera & Internet Explorer
    • Category new mark
    • Cool site is classified by hits, visit, vote number, vote average
    • TOP10 Site view function
    • Vote code view function
    • New site first priority order function (2.0.4) new
    • Search keyword manage tool (2.0.4) new
    • Mailinglist management tool (2.0.4) new
    • Date type selectable (2.0.4) new
    • Database table selectable (2.0.4) new
    • Support easy install program
    • Easy and detailed admin mode
    • Support Forum and offer addition module

    Note: Linker is written by a South Korean programmer. You must perform some very easy clean up some of the data files to improve their English grammar.


    cpLinks is a free commercial grade script that allows you to create a powerful directory of links for your website. cpLinks creates static pages which are highly search engine friendly, load fast and can deliver huge numbers of links and page impressions with low server loads. There is also a simple to use and intuitive admin control panel to administer this powerful program.


    cpDynaLinks is a free commercial grade script that allows you to create a powerful directory of links for your website. cpDynaLinks creates highly search engine friendly pages using Apache mod_rewrite techniques supplied in the .htaccess file that is included in the code distribution. There is also a simple to use and intuitive admin control panel to administer this powerful program. cpDynaLinks has the same features as cpLinks but creates search engine friendly dynamic pages using Apache mod_rewrite techniques, rather than the static pages created by cpLinks.

    Duncan Carver’s Link Management Assistant

    Duncan Carver’s Link Management Assistant totally automtes your reciprocal link partner management, allowing you to focus entirely on securing more strategic link partners to increase your websites link popularity & search engine rankings…

    It’s also versatile enough to be used as a stand alone niche website directory management script. What’s more, with the unique integrated DMOZ import feature, you can setup a near instant niche website directory on your site, containing hundreds (or thousands) of keyword rich content pages in just a matter of hours, driving hundreds of additional targeted visitors to your site, every single day, at no-cost…

    Simple PHP Link Manager

    Simple PHP Link Manager is an easy-to-install and configure link management system that facilitates categorized links and flexible display. It also counts the number of times a link has been accessed. It runs on PHP/ MySQL and comes complete with the HTML form and script to insert new entries, and the script to display it. It comes documented with a very easy to understand “Read Me” file and well commented scripts.


    DUdirectory is a free Links Listing Web application. Backend by Access database, DUdirectory can store thousands of links in category. Each link is displayed with full detail and description, also with its related links. You can customize DUdirectory to list only the links that you want to offer your visitors such as about Internet, books, games, or music. DUdirectory is an excellent add-on for your Web site. Start building communities and attracting more visitors to your site by using this free application.

    Link Manager

    Link Manager can be used as link section of a website or a personal bookmark manager. You can publish your links/bookmarks or hide them behind a login.

    What you can do with Link Manager:

    • Manage an arbitrary number of groups
    • Define a name, description, background color and position for each group
    • Sort groups by name, create date or an individual order
    • Create an arbitrary number of links in each group
    • Define name, URL, description, text color for each link
    • Sort links by name, create date, views or an individual order
    • Export and import data
    • Track link views
    • A completely template driven layout
    • Different built-in layout templates
    • Lets you create your own layout templates
    • An installation routine

    PHP Link Directory

    PHP Link Directory is a web directory script which works under Linux and Windows.


    • Sending the emails
      • Create a message to be sent.
      • Then enter the site name, url and email of the webmaster
      • Click Send
      • The email will be personalized with the name of the site you are requesting the link from using the message you created.
    • Duplicate Checking
      • If you try to send a request to a site that is already in the link directory or has already been sent a message, you are warned and given the opportunity to either ignore or cancel.
    • Import/Export
      • There is a module that allows for importing or exporting the list of emails that have been sent. This is great if you have more than one site in the same industry.
    • Directory Features
      • Links divided into categories. Each category has a unique page title.
      • There is a submit form so people can submit a link
      • Includes mass duplicate checking
      • Reporting
      • Pick a date range and enter the email address of the customer, and an email will be dispatched to the customer showing all the emails that have been sent.

    Commercial Web Directory Scripts

    Biz Directory PHP Directory Script – Remove Copyright Links Version

    The Biz Directory Free PHP Directory Script also has a $50 version which gives you the ability to remove the “Powered by… Biz Directory” copyright at the bottom of each page. It also features private technical support and upgrade services.

    Biz Directory Full PHP Directory Script

    The Biz Directory Free PHP Directory Script also has a Full version for $700.

    Full PHP Directory Script Features:

    • New! Improved performance: better response and loading time.
    • New! Completely template-driven: change completely the directory appearance modifying just the template files.
    • Cross-references (subject – location)
    • Static urls
    • Category suggestion
    • Submission types (basic, express and sponsored listings)
    • Integrated Paypal payment
    • Directory backup
    • Last searches section
    • Stats (categories visited and searches made)
    • Multi-level category system, with unlimited number of categories.
    • Integrated search engine.
    • Powerful control panel: add/edit/delete/move pages and categories easily. Move full parts of the directory (subcategories and pages) with one click.
    • Semi-automated directory: users suggest urls and you accept/reject them.
    • IP banning.

    WSN Links

    WSN Links is an advanced PHP/MySQL indexing script. Most websites feature at least one area with a large number of items — be they links, files, articles, or something else — which need to be indexed into categories or made available by a search box. WSN Links can make these tasks much simpler. Designed as a links portal, this script is flexible enough to handle nearly any type of data.

    There are hundreds of Yahoo-style link portal scripts, from free options up through professional solutions such as In-Link and Gossamer Threads. What sets WSN Links apart from the competition is the level of customizability and extensibility. What appears in the visitor’s browser is entirely up to you, with the purpose of WSN Links being to facilitate the realization of site you desire. The stylesheets allow rapid design changes, and all HTML output is controlled through templates which can be edited either through the provided online interface or through the HTML editor of your choice. Translation to another language can be accomplished quickly and easily through the online language editor page. An unlimited number of custom templates can be added, with an extensive array of template variables available for use in each and a powerful conditionals syntax available in all templates to enable the easy addition of complex functionality. The administration panel also allows the quick and easy addition of an unlimited number of new fields for links, file attachments, ratings, categories, comments and members. WSN Links is not only extensible but integratable as well, with a member integration system that allows using members from any existing MySQL members table in a matter of seconds.

    FocalMedia TurboSeek

    TurboSeek has been created to enable you to build a Directory & Search Engine portal.

    Creating a search engine & directory would traditionally require large amounts of programming, finances, specialized technical skills and effort. With Turbo Seek you don’t need any programming skills or thousands of Dollars. Turbo Seek enables anyone to build a Search Engine & Directory Portal with the minimum expense and effort. No matter your level of technical expertise. If you can edit web pages, you can build your own fully functional search engine & directory with Turbo Seek.

    You create your own category hierarchy and add links to the categories via the extensive Admin Control Panel that comes with Turbo Seek. All links in all categories can then be searched with Turbo Seek’s intelligent search facility. Link displays can be controlled and content sensitive advertisements can be displayed in categories you specify.

    The Admin Control Panel gives you total control over new submissions, modified links and the management of your Search Engine & Directory.

    FocalMedia PowerSeek

    PowerSeek QL enables you to create your own Directory & Search Engine modeled after Yahoo. It has been created to be a mission critical search engine that delivers, no matter how demanding the task.

    Creating a Search Engine & Directory would traditionally require large amounts of programming, finances, specialized technical skills and effort. Just as with Turbo Seek (PowerSeek’s little brother) we follow the same philosopy with PowerSeek SQL. You don’t need any programming skills or thousands of Dollars! PowerSeek SQL enables anyone to build a Search Engine & Directory Portal with the minimum expense and effort. No matter your level of technical expertise. If you can edit web pages, you can build your own fully functional Search Engine & Directory Portal with PowerSeek SQL. The highly intuative interface enables you to literally start building your Search Engine & Directory within minutes after installation.

    With PowerSeek you create your own category hierarchy and add links to the categories via the extensive Admin Control Panel that comes with PowerSeek SQL. All links can then be searched with the intelligent search facility at lightning fast speeds.

    Link displays can be controlled with premium links and sorting options. Content sensitive advertisements can be displayed in categories you specify. You also have total control over new submissions, modified links and all the management aspects of your Search Engine & Directory. All HTML and text displayed in your Directory & Search Engine is also fully customizable. The high degree of customization available gives you the ability to have total control over the look and feel of your Search Engine & Directory. You can give it a total original look, exactly the way you want it to look like.

    Gossamer Threads Links SQL

    Gossamer Threads Links SQL is the perfect solution to manage any type of directory. While designed to manage links, Links SQL is ideal for a wide range of tasks such as Image Galleries, Press Releases, Yellowpages, Company Directories, or any other categorized database.

    With a powerful, very fast, and well tested engine, Links SQL provides all the tools you need to manage your database effectively.

    Key features of Links SQL include:

    • Static or Dynamic modes – Links SQL can create search engine friendly static html pages, or you can have your entire directory generated on the fly.
    • Powerful template system – display your content in any way you need. Links SQL comes with five extra template sets: default, av, mint, yahoo, snap, simple. You can display your content in multiple formats making Links SQL perfect for cobranding your content.
    • PHP Template Support – The front end of Links SQL can be designed and ran using PHP! Easily integrate Links SQL into an existing PHP site by using PHP templates. More details!
    • Integrated Review System – a built in review system feature validation, anonymous reviews, helpfulness guide, and much more.
    • Support for file uploads – with built in support for file uploads, you can use Links SQL as an image gallery, or document management system, or download repository.
    • Search Results in XML – Display your search results in XML, this allows you to share your content between sites in a standard format: Example.
    • All web based – no more editing config files, or ftp’ing files back and forth, everything, including installation, can be done from the browser.
    • Extensive help – included is a 100+ page user manual, context sensitive help and a support forum.

    iWeb Hyperseek/Jackhammer Search Engine System

    Built on proven, Enterprise Strength Technology, the iWeb Hyperseek/Jackhammer Search Engine System offers you unbeatable strength, speed, reliability, and the potential for unlimited growth. Tested to handle over 10 million keyword bids, over 1 million accounts, nd to serve upwards of 3 million unique searches per day, Hyperseek is built for pure durability and reliability.

    You wouldn’t trust K-Mart’s cheapest tires on your 16 year old’s first car, you wouldn’t trust a $5.00 an hour plumber to fix a burst water main, and you shouldn’t trust the cheapest program you can find to be the foundation of your e-Business.

    Hyperseek/Jackhammer is by no means inexpensive. It is, however, an enterprise strength solution that will not fail you when your needs are greatest. When your pay per click search engine starts performing the way you envision, serving millions of searches and clicks per day, and is the heart of your profit center and the lifeblood of your advertisers, what engine do you want under the hood …. a Ferrari or a Chevette?

    There’s a reason why some of the busiest and most respected search engines on the Internet (IQSeek.com, findit-quick.com, sex.com, etc.) use Hyperseek Technology… They can rely on it, and they know that it’ll handle the load and punishment that their millions of visitors can rely on.

    DUdirectory Pro

    DUdirectory Pro is a professional Web Links Directory and Rating system. Backed-end by Access database and organized in an unlimited number of nested categories and sub categories, DUdirectory Pro can store unlimited number of links. Each link is displayed with picture, full detail and description with Hits Counter, Ratings, Reviews, Send To A Friend, Printer Friendly View, and more. DUdirectory Pro is also packed with Paypal Cart that can be used to charge users for Featured Listing.

    DUdirectory Pro is an excellent add-on for your Web site. Start building your own community, attracting more visitors to your site and earning big money by using this application.

    DUdirectory Pro SQL

    DUdirectory Pro SQL is a professional Web Links Directory and Rating system. Backed-end by MS SQL Server database and organized in an unlimited number of nested categories and sub categories, DUdirectory Pro can store unlimited number of links. Each link is displayed with picture, full detail and description with Hits Counter, Ratings, Reviews, Send To A Friend, Printer Friendly View, and more. DUdirectory Pro is also packed with Paypal Cart that can be used to charge users for Featured Listing.

    DUdirectory Pro SQL is an excellent add-on for your Web site. Start building your own community, attracting more visitors to your site and earning big money by using this application.

    K-Links Directory

    K-Links Directory is the perfect solution for starting a profitable link directory website offering full-featured directory of resources/links similar to Yahoo-style search engine. The flexibility of K-Links Directory allows you to manage any type of link directory. K-Links contains a number of unique features not included in other link indexing scripts available on the market so please make sure to read the description carefully.

    K-Links Directory stores detailed information containing links, categories and users in the database, including date, hits, votes, reviews, overall rating for every link, category and user. K-Links Directory allows users to perform advanced search on all links and categories. K-Links Directory displays top ranked, new and most popular links for every category. It’s easy to use and navigate software is 100% search engine friendly.

    Keeping n mind that webmasters do want to make profit off their site, we have made revenue generating as easy as possible by providing an automated way of selling sponsored links – the software contains built-in integration with PayPal and 2CheckOut. Just modify software options by setting up prices and your PayPal and/or 2CheckOut ID’s and you’re ready to start earning! K-Links also provides a way to charge inclusion fee from all listings! The Platinum Edition of K-Links also allows to create several types of paid listings with customizable pricing plans and enables to customize the appearance of every listing type. Payment processing is fully automated and does not require any additional administrator work when the payment is received.

    K-Links can also show sponsored results from Pay Per Click feeds like SearchFeed or ESpotting – using these you’ll be able to start to display relevant sponsored results right after the site is launched.


    In-link is one of the most popular and widely recognized Directory Management solutions in the world. Every day, millions of people worldwide use the web sites that are run by In-link. In-link is a powerful portal solution that allows you to run a complex Yahoo.

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