Very little new information escapes the robotic digital systems that constantly scour the internet for new links or publications, and the amount of data available through search engines has become unimaginably huge. An online directory gathers related types of information and combines it into easily accessed groups or lists.
While they may seem similar to a standard search engine in many respects, the key difference is the inclusion of the human element. The databases exist because people have painstakingly analyzed and arranged specific categories of information in ways that go beyond the initial search process, making them more logical and easier to work with.
These organized sources of information largely eliminate the need to pour through hundreds of individual search entries in order to find the right link. Businesses may be grouped according to the product or service they provide, or with other general enterprises in the same city or region. The information is edited by people, for people.
Not only does this make research simpler and faster, but it also provides an beneficial and even profitable platform for highlighting a new service or consumer product. This kind of advertising reaches individuals who are not just randomly browsing, but who are looking for a specific offering, and have greatly narrowed their search.
Many online business directories also present reviews that come directly from consumers. While these are not scientifically based, they are an indicator of general public satisfaction or unhappiness with a particular company or product. When the reviews are primarily good, they can be one of the most cost-effective forms of advertising.
An online directory can be built around nearly any category, and is not restricted to commerce. The sites effectively combine the old-fashioned telephone book, encyclopedia, and even product catalogs into a single source that is not only easy to access, but also receives constant editorial attention from people, as well as computers.