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Search Engine Versus Directory

It can be easy to confuse the terms Search Engine and Directory because to the average person, both are a listing of website. To the website developer , they are two different things, both important in their own way.

The Search Engine
As you may have heard, a search engine is program that conducts internet searches based on specified keywords. The search result is a list of the sites where the keywords were found.

As a website designer or blogger, your goal is to have the keywords that the searcher is looking for. Finding this out is a lot of work and can cost some money to do.

Most search engines work by using "spiders" that crawl the web. An indexer, will use these results to creat a list or an index based on the words contained in each webpage. Search engines such as Google use an algorithm to create its indices to help rank the highest appearing results- ie where you want to be.


The main difference between a search engine and a directory is that the directory is compiled by a real person. You, as the site owner ,will submit your URL to the directory compiler to be considered for inclusion.
Directories can be divided into categories that you are able to choose from. There is little science or mathematics invlolved. However, some directories may charge a fee or you may want to pay someone to list you to many directories. Whether or not someone will actuall use the directory may not be as likely as a search engine.

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