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Why Do Directories Charge A Fee?

The biggest advantage that you can get from submitting your website to a good website directory is that it will often bring targeted traffic to your website. This type of traffic is the only kind of traffic that will convert views into customers. So, for instance, if you are selling something in your website, you will be able to attract potential customers to come to your website by placing your site on a trafficked web directory. Listed on such a directory, your website will be seen as an authority website, and it will create a good impression in the minds of your potential customers.

Most significantly, however, a well organized web directory will lead its users to sites that are relevant to whatever it is that they are looking for, in contrast with the large percentage of irrelevant results that are returned by search engines.

Now, you might already know that submitting your site to a directory may cost you a certain fee, which may be as high as $300 a year, especially if the directory is being managed by human editors. Some people avoid web directories because of this fee. But, if you think about it, the fee that is charged by a website directory is a reasonable price for to pay. Why do directories charge a fee? Below are some of the reasons.

Time and Effort Required to Review a Submitted Website

Let’s say that your website has only thirty active pages, although many may have hundreds of pages. When you submit your website to a website directory, the editors of a well managed directory will review the pages of your website pages one by one. They probably won’t look at every page but they will review enough of your site to consider whether your listing is suitable for listing, and relevant to the category that you have chosen to submit it to.

If yes, your website will be accepted. Most often, given the differences in standards from one directory to another, the submitted title and description may have to be modified, and sometimes a new category will have to be found, or even created for your website. In the event that a new category has to be created, the time involved could be more than an hour. Since most directories rBudgeting and Costsequire a minimum number of site listings within a category, the editor may have to search for additional sites to place within the category, and the category itself may require a description.

In the event that your website is not deemed suitable for listing in the directory, it will be rejected. Some directories will contact the site submitter to give reasons for the rejection, and sometimes all or part of the submission fee will be returned if a site is not accepted into the directory.

All of this will require time and effort. Other than a very few volunteer driven directories, such as DMOZ, the editor reviewing your submission is a paid employee or staff member.

Ongoing Costs of Maintaining a Directory

Except for some small niche directories, a web directory may require a dedicated server in order to ensure stability and good performance. Dedicated servers are far more expensive than the shared server space that host most websites. Often, there are also costs for additional bandwidth in a given month. These costs are necessary for the operation of a web directory.

Additionally, the software that powers the directory has to be paid for. If the directory is using a directory script, there are costs for that, including modifications and upgrades. If the directory is powered by proprietary or custom software, someone has to be paid to develop this, and to upgrade or maintain it.

Salaries for Editors and Staff

Web directories may employ full or part-time staff, not only as editors but also for ongoing tasks such as marketing, design, security, and other aspects of the directory that need to be maintained on a regular basis. Without this, a directory will experience problems sooner or later, such as technical problems, security problems, and so on.

More than ninety percent of the sites listed in the better directories are added by paid directory editors and staff. Directories that list only paid submissions will not have sufficient content to be useful as a directory. These costs are not negligible.

Marketing Costs

It is important for a website directory to be able to provide the best traffic for all the websites listed in it. The cost of marketing is not cheap, especially with the domination of Pay Per Click (or PPC) advertising. The directory needs to maintain its own strong position in the search engine, thus they need to pay ongoing marketing costs to ensure that people will keep coming to the website directory to browse their listings.

Like any other website, web directories deal with on-page and off-page search engine optimization, or marketing efforts. Whether this is done in-house or outsourced, there are costs involved.

Technical Issues And Maintenance Costs

When a website experiences technical issues, the regular visitors of that website will not be able to access the website for a period of time. If this occurs often, that website will lose a good portion of its traffic and never be able to retrieve it back. Its position in search engine results may also be adversely affected.

This is true also of website directories. They will not be able to offer their services if there are unresolved technical issues. Therefore, directory owners and administrators have to budget for maintenance costs and unforeseen problems that may occur.

These are the reasons why website directories will often charge a review fee. Such a fee is just a reasonable fee that needs to be paid in order to support the directory, which will ultimately benefit the users who use the directory find something as well as those who have submitted their website in the directory.

So, why do directories charge a fee? The costs discussed in this article cannot be avoided in a well maintained web directory, and it is only reasonable to expect that someone is going to have to pay it. Thus, most directories will charge a submission fee.


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Jim Veradyne is the author of several websites portraying small North Dakota cities and townships.


'Why Do Directories Charge A Fee?' has 1 comment

  1. February 28, 2015 @ 11:09 pm Are Directory Submission Fees Worth It?

    […] Why Do Directories Charge a Fee? […]

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