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Start a directory website in 5 easy steps!

August 24, 2009
  1. Buy some software like
  2. Buy some data with a republishing license (harder than it sounds)
  3. Make some bold claims about your position in the marketplace (“Number One Bestest Directory Ever!”)
  4. Start charging excessive amounts for priority listings and watch the business roll in.
  5. Go sip martinis.

I came across an article about a new business directory that is already clashing with Yellow Pages who disagree with their statement that they are the “biggest tradespersons’ directory in New Zealand”.

Tradesmen Direct must have backed down quickly because I can’t see this claim anywhere on their site now; it is now “New Zealand’s Number One Trade Directory”. That claim is patently ridiculous to me too. A directory can only measure its success by the number of people using it and I’m sceptical that a 3 month old website with under a 1000 pages listed on Google is “number one”.

It’s great that the cost of entry into the directory market is close to nothing. It drives competition and means the consumer should get a great deal. It does mean that there are some amazingly crap websites (Tradesmen Direct actually looks alright) out there but they usually won’t go the distance.

I wish Zenbu was in a place to compete for the “Number One Tradesperson Directory” category but it is definitely weak in that department right now. Please go on and add your local electrician or plumber (or see the recipe above and buy me a martini).

  1. Oly permalink
    October 2, 2009 12:05 am

    In 6 months or so the Yellow website including all the other business directories and Zenbu will find it pretty challenging to compete with Google Place Pages – a new product announced a few days by Google

  2. October 2, 2009 10:06 pm

    Google has had the Local Business Center out for several years, you see these at the top of search results occasionally but they certainly aren’t pervasive.

    Google Place Pages is an extension of the LBC as there are pages for places, cities, parks – not just businesses; much like Zenbu has been all along.

    Google says Place Pages won’t appear in search index results so they won’t be extremely visible to most.

    You’re right in one sense though; Yellow and other directories that charge excessive advertising fees will continue to struggle as quality free information becomes more available.

    There is also considerable niche value in the fact that Zenbu data is Creative Commons licensed, something that Google or Yellow won’t compete with.

  3. November 6, 2009 2:56 pm

    use phpldidrectoy for free…

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