Friday, November 26, 2004

The decline of web directories

Tara Calishain bemoans how Yahoo has deemphasized its web directory. Yahoo's latest redesign relegates their web directory to a corner at the bottom of the Yahoo home page.

It's an interesting point, particularly since Yahoo started as a web directory.

Google also deemphasized its directory a few months ago. Google Directory is based on DMOZ, the "largest, most comprehensive human-edited directory of the Web." At the time Google deemphasized Google Directory, I thought Google would be releasing a new, automated version of a web directory soon. That hasn't happened.

Keyword web search is great, but there's times when a browseable web directory is really useful, such as when you want a list of related sites, a comprehensive list of sites, or you're having a hard time specifying a search query that gets you what you need.

Update: Andrew Goodman says, "The lack of a definitive directory or two is the single biggest glaring hole in online search."

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