People have been talking about what you should not do with regard to directories for a long time. Bidding directories were short lived and were a bad idea at the time. They let the listers in the directory bid for the position of links on the page. Then there are auto approval directories. These directories have virtually no review process, and anyone who submits to the directory gets approved. Then selling homepage links is also a bad idea, as well as sitewide links, or links that are on every page.
A directory should always have an editorial process, and should not accept any link. The position of the link should not be affected by how much someone spends. Directories categorize links and should include proper descriptions and a title that reflects the actual title of the site, not special anchor text placed there just for rankings.
People have been talking about this stuff for years. For example here is a well known template maker for phpLD telling everyone about these directory bad practices or over on Digital Point we have Auto Approve Directories = link farms. Be careful how you acquire your links.
When a phpLD gets thousands or even millions of categories, it get tricky trying to create a simple yet easy to use category selector. What we have recently added to phpLD 5 is a ajax tree selector for the submit page. It makes it pretty clean and simple for someone selecting a category from a large list, and hopefully this will be a great addition to people’s directories! Here is more information on the Ajax Tree Menu. Enjoy!
Just over a month after release of phpLD version 5 there are over 400 sites running the new version. We are pleased with the results so far, and what we love about phpLD 5 is we can keep improving it now without having to release new templates, because the template design is separate from the programming at last!
Probably the most important change for version 5 so far in 2013 is the Category Selection on the Submit page where we have migrated to a Tree View. That was done and added to the upload a few days ago, as we felt it was immediately superior to drop down there previously. Today we added Ajax subcategory selection into the tree to that it can handle 10s of thousands or even millions of categories easily. The category selection looks very cool now and we are excited. :)
We got a question today about symbolic categories over on Yahoo Answers. First, you might want to know the definition:
A symbolic category is a pointer to another place in the category structure. Let’s suppose you have a category like this:
Sports > Golf > Golf Supplies
And then you have a category like this
Shopping > Golf
If you pointed the first category to the second one, that would be a symbolic category. It is not a true category, it is simply a link to another category that contains the content. phpLD version 2 does not have symbolic categories, but versions 3 and above have this feature. For more information, please see the phpLD features page.
I thought this to be an interesting strategy that could benefit some. Often people can find you when they are looking for their competitors. It has been our experience with phpLD that often people look for a directory script, and then end up finding some other script first, and then decide to go with phpLD. They may read reviews of other scripts and then see that we are the leader in the niche.
This inspired me to assume that this surely applies in other niches as well, and here is a thread where it was discussed. The idea is that you can get extra traffic from people looking for competing products. We don’t really need to do this for phpLD because there are so many comparison studies already available, but hopefully you will find this idea helpful for your niche.
Depending on your location or language, you often find that the preferred way of displaying dates can vary. For example, in Europe they often use day-month-year, but over in American that is kind of strange and they use month-day-year.
If you are using phpLD, we’ve made a little tutorial on editing smarty dates. It’s really easy once you know the variables to us. Then you just change around the order of substitute different variables. I hope this helps and good luck!
Our beta program of making links from your phpLD editable in Google Spreadsheets has been a great success story so far. With the click of a button you can either:
- Export all your links to a google spreadsheet
- Import them back to phpLD with changes, including any new links you added
This is fantastic because you can:
- Quickly improve your quality by improving titles and descriptions
- Quickly add new links are even hire a data entry person to add the links for you.
- Add additional information to links such as address, city and state quickly.
This is going make it much easier to run your directory. Also very cool is you can take a group of spreadsheets and import them all into one directory (basically combining all of your links). So lot of great possibilities.