On May 5, 2014, Web Directory Reviews Org conducted an online interview with Charles Michaels, of the Ezilon web directory. Ezilon has been online since 2002, operating on in-house custom scripts. Although Charles is the spokesperson for the purpose of this interview, Ezilon is a partnership.
WDR: Why did you decide to start a web directory?
Charles Michaels: We started a web directory far back, since 2002, mainly as a hobby which later developed into a business. Having traveled the world, I noticed that there was a need for a transatlantic medium, where travelers could access information, be it business or travel.
WDR: Do you have any paid staff?
Charles Michaels: Yes, we do. We have always had full-time paid editors, over the years and presently. They are not paid according to the time worked, since they work on an office time basis.
WDR: Do you have a volunteer program and, if so, how many volunteers are currently active in your directory?
Charles Michaels: In the past, we have had an active volunteer editor programs, but presently we don't have any.
WDR: If someone wanted to submit a website to your directory, what are the requirements, and is there a cost involved?
Charles Michaels: Due to the time involved in evaluating site submissions, we do require the payment of a submission fee. All submitted web sites must be in the English language, and must be active. All sites must be free of abusive words, fraud, hate, and anything in between.
Submitted sites must be of high quality, user friendly, and easy to navigate. A working contact phone is a must for e-commerce or shopping sites, and for all business sites. Since our directory is a regional one, we advise all users to submit their site to the regions that best match their site's content or at their locale, in a nutshell.
WDR: How many words or characters do you allow for a site description?
Charles Michaels: The maximum character limits for a site description should not exceed one hundred and fifty characters.
WDR: Over the past few years, a lot of people have discounted the value of web directories in search engine optimization. Are you optimistic about the future of the web directory industry?
Charles Michaels: Yes, we are optimistic about the future of a web directory that focuses on quality niche, and keeps offering the same usefulness all the way. The Internet is still in its infancy. As world population grows, there will be a need for more food, more housing, more facilities, more roads; and the same concept can be applied to every business or website, likewise for directories.
WDR: Can you tell us what future plans you might have for the Ezilon web directory?
Charles Michaels: Among the plans that we have, over the next couple of years, is to research more, and to build a more stronger, regional-based site with good quality content, even stronger than what we have today. We plan to get more regional participation, to build more likability, and to possibly work more closely with the major search engines.
WDR: Other than serving as a source for back links, what do you see as the purpose of a web directory today?
Charles Michaels: Directories are, in the first place, websites. Like other websites, they should contain enough information for users and search engines to access. A well kept directory, with good quality and large content can still attract users as long as the Internet exists. The same applies to well targeted directories with a niche for a specific area or different fields of human endeavor.
WDR: I own several websites, and I receive traffic from some of the better web directories that my sites are listed in and, while I will admit that the majority of my traffic comes from search engines, largely Google, the traffic that comes from web directories is targeted traffic, which means that these are people who are more likely to look through several of my pages, and to return; if I were selling anything, they'd be more likely to buy.
Still, as an industry, web directories have seen some hard times over the past few years. Do you have any thoughts about what the web directory industry might have to do in order to survive and to grow in today's environment, and on into the future?
Charles Michaels: As a website, a web directory cannot outlive its usefulness. Any good site, such as a web directory, should have a slogan, a pattern, and should satisfy its users' needs or maintain some quality that should not change or waiver. Consistency and tenacity do breed good business.
WDR: What does the Ezilon web directory have to offer its users that can't be found through Google, Bing, or another search engine?
Charles Michaels: Since the introduction of the sitemap as a shared tool, almost all of the content of most useful web sites or directories are transferred into the large pool of search engine databases. For example, our directory data is generated from time to time, and passed back to the search engines, using sitemap techniques on regular intervals. For this reason, we cannot claim that there is something we have that cannot be found in Google or Bing. We, as a directory, are ever grateful for the major search engines, especially Google and Bing, since the more they are in use, the more their usefulness is passed back to us, and vice versa, no matter how small.
WDR: Thank you, Charles. That's all that I have for you, so I guess that wraps it up then. Thank you very much for speaking to me today. Please let us know whenever you have made significant changes in your directory, or if you are running any special promotions, as we sometimes announce these things in our Musings blog.
Web Directory Reviews Org's interview with Charles Michaels took place on May 5, and was published on May 6, 2014.