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Directory Websites – Does anyone use them?

I wrote before how I’m currently compiling a listing of Irish consumer websites given the large number that are popping up all over the place at the moment. The current listing is here for the moment.

One thing I’m noticing though is that there’s a large number of directory websites – just providing listings of businesses.

Here’s an example of how I think that it’s getting out of control – a new venture called ShopIn.ie who have registered over 140 domain names to create directories to “promote every business in Ireland”.

I’m sorry – but in these straightened times, businesses will do well if they provide a service or product that people want – not if they have their names in a myriad of interelated website directories.

Does anyone actually use a directory website these days? If you’re searching for a business or a service, do you refer to a directory result in Google, or the website of the business themselves. Or am I just being biased against businesses that don’t have websites?

Do these web directories provide any useful service these days over and above what Google can do for us?

6 comments On Directory Websites – Does anyone use them?

  • The problem with these websites is critical mass. No one is going to use them if they don’t have a complete listing of businesses. On the other hand you won’t find very many businesses willing to fork out €250 these days to get in a directory.

  • I am a frequent online shopper for a number of reasons – one large consideration is price! I never use directories – I research a product that I need (want!) look for reviews then look for the best pricing options including delivery. I generally try to buy first from Ireland – however, in general I find Irish companies poor when it comes to e-commerce – often websites consist of one page “under construction” with telephone and snail mail details, or prices are not displayed and they ask you to call them – or details such as delivery charges are “hidden” until you get to the checkout – or you e-mail an enquiry and they take several days to reply – if they do at all. Not all Irish companies are like this I should point out, but it does seem to be a lot of them. I tend to find that businesses that have historically had an overseas market anyway (for example specialist Irish bookshops) are much better, more up to date, client-friendly webpages etc. because otherwise overseas customers would just go elsewhere. Our large corporate bodies are often no better – it can take days to get a response from a government body. I teleworked for many years for an international company with offices all over the world – time differences meant we used electronic communications to keep in touch with everyone – all of our customer e-mails were responded to within a couple of hours.

  • Directory websites are not just a bit useless, but some of them can be a nuisance as well. Many of them use the very shady and dishonest practice of sending out speculative invoices, making it look like the recipient has already signed up for the service. I’m sure some businesses, that don’t have web savvy people on the staff, accidentally pay these invoices.

    I feel that directories are essentially useless unless they come with a review system (such as Onlinetradesmen.com or Menupages.ie) so that you can compare ratings.

  • @Adrian Smith – I guess for €250 a year these days a company can get their own online presence rather than paying to get into only one directory – that might not even be a “good one”.

    @jean – thanks for your comment. I’ve already covered the fake invoice issue here on the site before. I’m plagued with them here at ValueIreland.com.

    I’m not all that familiar with Onlinetradesmen.com, but I do know Menupages.ie and after seeing the information that led to my post about them here, I won’t be using them in future.

    http://www.valueireland.com/2008/10/an-interesting-case-of-%E2%80%9Cfollow-the-money%E2%80%9D/

    Always a difficulty in trying to run a review site and collect advertising revenue at the same time.

    Again, something that ValueIreland.com had to deal with – and hence no paid advertising over and above google ads over which I’ve no control, and no one pays attention to anyway 🙂

    @Caromom – Many thanks for the detailed comment. Many of the aspects of online shopping you refer to are issues we’re trying to address with certain websites as our attention are drawn to them. If you’d like to e-mail me with any sites that you have particular difficulties with, I’ll follow up and share the concerns with the rest of the VI readers.

  • Never use them – they are a total pain in the ass – all that wading through masses of sites, many of which aren’t what you are looking for in the first place.

  • Hi Guys
    I have been reading through all your comments and to a degree I have to agree with the fact that an on line business directory can prove just that , a directory and if someone is looking for a product on the internet they will google it, which brings me to why I am writing.
    In your post you commented on my website http://www.shopin.ie and I know it was added some time ago and we have had to communicate prior to this comment.
    I do hope at this stage that you have checked out what shopin is all about and not still focusing on us as a business directory.
    Shopin.ie may look like a directory but it is NOT just a directory, You said that if looking for a business you would look on google, How do the businesses ensure that their website gets to the top of the search engines?? all websites find it hard for their business to come up for certain key words and quite a few are not internet savey, Well at shopin,ie a businesses leases a section on the website that allows them to go in and advertise their business every day, they blog under their own name then if they are not used to key words we help them both on line and by phone, This is a website that is controlled by each business, they use it as often as they want and the more they use it the more their website and business name goes out to the internet, they also have a direct link to their business through each article they upload which i am sure you will agree also gets their name out to the search engines.
    I am known as one of the top business supporters and networkers and go out of my way to see that a business is getting the attention it needs and it was because of the fact that I was on business directories and getting no support that i created the peoples business directory.

    If you would like to have a read of some of the testimonials on Shopin.ie from some serious business people you will see just how well shopin.ie is working for them.
    We also promote all the business on quite a few of the major social networking websites, We network the businesses, we offer video,we teach SEO, we source and bargain for web development for them, We do press releases for them, and loads more support services that would take too long to mention.

    Your feed back is always welcome as I know this site is a great website but I would suggest please get to know the full structure of a new website before a negative comment is posted.
    I am just an Irish woman who works very hard to support businesses as much and in as many ways as I can.

    Warmest Regards
    Maureen O Halloran
    http://www.shopin.ie
    http://www.shopintv.ie
    http://www.maureenohalloran.ie

    Can you tell me what other directory gives as much support as shopin.ie does to all the businesses registered to it?

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