The elves that build search engines are really kicking into high gear, and I’m loving it.  If you have been following my writings for awhile you know that I want a Web with 5 to 8 major search engines and bunches of smaller search engines and hundreds of directories.  The Web is being harmed by having a Google and Bing duopoly controlling the gateways to the Web.  So I’m rooting for all search engines with their own indexes and crawlers and I’m always on the lookout for new contenders.

 

The following have been added to the directory.

 

Small Search Engines

 

  1. Alexandria Search – being developed as a non-profit. It’s index comes from the Common Crawl so it’s in the billions of pages.  No crawler is mentioned on the website so I’m going to guess they totally rely on Common Crawl for additions to the index.  I’m impressed by their algo.  I’m getting really good results considering they don’t have a humongous index.  This is one to watch
  2.  Yep – this is a beta commercial search engine started by an SEO tools company.  The company already has crawlers scouring the web building reports about who is linking to who for SEO purposes.  And they had crawl data going way back.  Somebody decided that they could expand what their crawler already collects to include data about each page like a real search engine.  Since they are crawling anyway this search engine makes a heck of a lot of sense.  Results are mixed but I expect them to improve because these are SEO’s and they do know a lot about search ranking.  You can tel with the current results that a lot of their data is linking data but the results are interesting,  This is another one to watch.

 

Really Small Search Engines

 

These are small and not really usable – yet.  But you have to start somewhere.  These have their own crawlers and are building their own indexes so major points for that.

  1. Bloopish
  2. Crawlson

 

 

Again hat-tip to Seirdy for these.

 

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This Website Submission Guide is for Personal Weblogs

Do Not Submit an empty blog with no content.  Make some pages and write at least a dozen long form posts first.

I have omitted directories that charge a fee for submission.

This guide is for site promotion of non-commercial, personal weblogs.  For static personal homepages use my other guide here.

All links open in a new tab.

 

Major Search Engines

There are only 4 large English language search engines that have their own crawler and index.  Google, Bing, Yandex and Mojeek.  You cannot submit to them, there is nothing for you to do. But rest assured, they will eventually find you by following links to you from other websites and then crawl your website.

 

Search Engines for Non-Commercial Sites

(Check to see if you are already listed.)

Searchmysite.net

 

Small Search Engines

I’d never heard of these but they have “Add URL” so go ahead and submit if you want.

  1. Bloopish – new to me.  Free submit so might as well.
  2. Crawlson – Ditto.

 

Weblog Directories

There are a blue million blog directories old and new .  Most charge money because they are selling links to commercial blogs for SEO purposes.  Best to stay away from them.  I like these:

  1. Blogarama – They have a free submit. It takes several months before it’s reviewed but it works.  I get some good traffic from this directory.
  2. Blogroll.org – A link back is encouraged.
  3. Blogsurf

 

Larger Non-Commercial Directories

(Check to see if you are already listed first.)

  1. Indieseek.xyz Directory – drill down to the category that best fits your site and add URL from there. Tip: The “Internet >> Weblogs” sub-category fits most non-topical personal blogs.
  2. Yesterweb Directory – submit as per the rules.

Link Back Directories

(These smaller directories all require a link back to them before you submit and you have to stay linked to them to remain in the directory.  See each directory for submission and linking instructions.)

Linklane –

List-Me –

Moonshot –

NerdListings –

Smooth Sailing –

 

Webrings

  • Webring Directory – browse through the webrings, visit, and pick those that you like, seem well managed and that you qualify for and apply. Follow the webring’s rules.  Join 3 – 4.  Webrings bring traffic.

 

Disclaimers

(Ye Olde Fine Print)

  • Resources listed in this guide should not be considered an endorsement.
  • I have not listed resources that charge a fee for listing, no matter how small.
  • If you know of a resource that should be included, please let me know in a comment below.  No promises though.
  • If your resource is listed and you would like it removed, please let me know in a comment.
  • Do Not use this guide for submitting static personal homepages.  I will be making a separate guide for static websites.
  • Do Not Spam these indexes. Submit once and wait to see if you are accepted or rejected.  It may take weeks
  • The directories listed are human reviewed. They each have different standards. Submitting does not guarantee inclusion.

###

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I made a Thing!

 

I made a new webring, Retroweb Ring

 

A webring for non-commercial personal pages be they static homepages or blogs or non-commercial directories that list the 1995 – 2005 style Web pages. No hate, no resumes, no third party advertising.

 

You are invited to join if you have a qualifying site, because the ring is new so it’s kind of lonely here.  *cricket* *cricket*  🙂  See link above.

 

After a number of false starts a few years ago, I finally made a functioning webring.  Another thing I can cross off my bucket list.  And it comes at a good time because I’ve been surfing other webrings and having a great time doing it, which started the itch to build one back up.

 

The Retroweb Ring is powered by webri.ng.

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“Site Promotion” is an old term from the 1990’s Web for getting your website listed in as many search engines and directories as possible so that no matter where a person was searching, they ran across your website.  Back then there were a lot of search engines and directories, both large and small and you had to submit your website’s URL in order to be listed.

Who is This For?

This is basically a URL submission guide to promote your website to a wider audience.  It is intended only for non-commercial, personal HTML type sites.  Think Neocites type sites and the like and you would be right.  It is NOT intended for submitting blogs, those need to be submitted to different resources.  See the guide for blogs.

I have purposely omitted directories that require you to pay a fee when you submit your site for inclusion.

If you have a Neocities site this guide is intended for site promotion in addition to whatever is provided or is customary among Neocities sites.  So, first do what webmasters normally do within the Neocities community and then do this guide.  You may already know about these lisitng places but beginners might not so you can pass this along to them.

 

(All links open in a new tab.)

 

The Big Search Engines

There are only 4 large English language search engines that have their own crawler and index.  Google, Bing, Yandex and Mojeek.  You cannot submit to them, there is nothing for you to do. But rest assured, they will eventually find you by following links to you from other websites and then crawl your website.

 

Search Engines for Non-Commercial Sites

(Check to see if you are already listed.)

  1. Wiby.me – this search engine was built to index HTML type websites.  They need you to submit your URL.  They will then crawl your site.
  2. Searchmysite.net – for non-commercial sites.  They do not crawl the web the way the big search engines do.  The only way they will find you is if you submit your site.

Small Search Engines

I’d never heard of these but they have “Add URL” so go ahead and submit if you want.

  1. Bloopish – new to me.  Free submit so might as well.
  2. Crawlson – Ditto.

Larger Non-Commercial Directories

(Check to see if you are already listed first.)

  1. Indieseek.xyz Directory – drill down to the category that best fits your site and add URL from there. Tip: The “Personal Homepage” category fits most non-topical personal homepages.
  2. Yesterweb Directory – submit as per the rules.

Link Back Directories

(These smaller directories all require a link back to them before you submit and you have to stay linked to them to remain in the directory.  See each directory for submission and linking instructions.)

Linklane

List-Me

Moonshot

NerdListings

Smooth Sailing

Webrings

  • Retroweb Ring – you can apply to join our webring.
  • Webring Directory – browse through the webrings, visit, and pick those that you like, seem well managed and that you qualify for and apply. Follow the webring’s rules.  Join 3 – 4.  Webrings bring traffic.

 

Disclaimers

 

  • Resources listed in this guide should not be considered an endorsement.
  • I have not listed resources that charge a fee for listing, no matter how small.
  • If you know of a resource that should be included, please let me know in a comment below.  No promises though.
  • If your resource is listed and you would like it removed, please let me know in a comment.
  • Do Not use this guide for submitting blogs.  I will be making a separate guide for blogs.
  • Do Not Spam these indexes. Submit once and wait to see if you are accepted or rejected.  It may take weeks
  • The directories listed are human reviewed. They each have different standards. Submitting does not guarantee inclusion.

###

 

 

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What if you combined a webring with a blogroll (or linkroll?)

We need to define an important difference between the two:

  1. Webring: the site webmaster must ask to join a webring and place a special ringcode on his website.
  2. Blogroll is a list of websites compiled by one person.  The sites listed have not requested to be included as they would with a webring.

 

What if you could combine aspects of the two?

 

What if you had a script that let you create lists of websites, navigate through the list – going to each site (actually “around” the list because once you reached the end you would start over at the beginning)?  The navigation would be handled by a narrow Frame which would which would have links to Previous, Next, Random and Index, plus a link to remove the frame and drop out of the ring if you found a website you really wanted to explore in depth.

Additional features:

  1. Anyone could create a “ring,” subject to moderation.  This means anyone can create and curate collections of related links without running their own server or paying for hosting.
  2. Rings, once approved, would appear in a directory of rings.
  3. Webmasters could apply to join an existing ring and have the option of placing a link to the ring on their website.
  4. People creating rings do not have to wait for webmasters to apply for ring membership.
  5. The ability to Navigate around the sites listed in the ring makes it different than just a blogroll or linkroll.

 

Huh?  Wait a minute, This sounds familiar.

None of what I just described is new, if you are old enough you will remember that what I just described is how Bomis and Bomis Rings worked!  See Bomis on Archive.org.

Bomis and it’s directory of rings (the directory built on top of a copy of Dmoz.org) was intended to be a sort of crowd sourced directory for navigating the web in a manner similar to the indexes of rings at the traditional webring hosts (see the directory of rings on Webringo as an example.)

Bomis had the advantage of speed vs. traditional webrings.  You could make a Bomis Ring almost as fast as it took to create a blogroll.  You did not have to wait for webmasters to apply to join, place a ringcode etc.  Bomis was about just doing it.  Not waiting for permission.  Collect your links and then share them with the world in a fun to navigate fashion.

 

Downsides

  • Some webmasters may object to their website being shown in a frame.  This area is a bit fuzzy.  Opt-in webrings like Webringo (above) have frames as one ringcode option – but again they are opt-in and the webmaster has to place the JS code on their own site.  Discovery services like Stumbleupon used browser toolbars but may have also used frames but I don’t remember.
  • Bomis style was very plain compared to the flashy HTML webrings of old.
  • Because most sites are added by the ring owner, the sites do not have a link back to the ring so they cannot feed traffic back to the ring.

 

Anyway, is anything I wrote not clear?  We are not talking about a commercial for profit enterprise, but would it work today?  I wish somebody would code it up because I think it would be useful today.

 

 

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I can tell when I add a genuine Old 1990’s website to the Indieseek.xyz directory.  See, when I’m adding a URL the directory script tries to fetch the Title tag and the Description meta tag.  If it actually shows me a filled in Description, then odds are the website is Real Old.

So fair warning, I’m writing this for a selfish purpose because a well written Description meta tag saves me a lot of time trying to write a directory description of what your page is about.

 

This post is primarily for personal static websites like those being built at Neocities.

 

The big search engines pretty much quit using the Description meta long ago, so everybody lost interest and soon forgot about the practice.  After all is was from the early days of Web 1.0,  it didn’t fit in with the corporate advertising platform of Web 2.0.  Well, we are building a retro web revival so screw the Big Tech search engine silos.  I don’t care what they use or don’t use.

 

Who Should Use a Description Meta Tag?

 

  1. Personal static HTML sites, like Neocities sites, especially on pages that have little or no text on them, like a blank welcome/doorway/splash page.  The big search engines might still ignore it but new small search engines devoted to HTML sites are being developed now and they might take description metas into account.  And, of course, many directory scripts like mine look for Description metas when adding non-submitted URL’s.
  2. Personal blogs.  You know better what broad subject themes you constantly blog about better than any directory editor will be able to figure out in a 3 minute review.

This becomes more important for the future because more directories are being built and more niche HTML site search engines are being developed that might use them.

Like I say, it’s a shameless self serving suggestion on my part, but I think it has some merit for the use cases above.

Does this make sense?  What do you think?

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Only it has a Different Name Curlie

 

Curlie.org the successor to the old defunct Dmoz Directory (aka Open Directory Project or ODP) has come out of hibernation and is ready to be used by you and me.  They are even accepting URL submissions and editor applications.  It looks like a lot of the old dead wood listings have been cleared out and new listings added in the categories.  And the whole site is usable and tidy.  With over 3 million sites listed Curlie is the largest human edited directory of the Web.

 

See, Dmoz/ODP was created as a legitimate aid for the navigation of the Web, back before search engines got good.  It never sold listings for the sake of link popularity with the search engines so it is of much higher quality than the thousands of later directories that were built with the express purpose of charging a fee for links in order to get better search engine rankings.  This makes Dmoz/ODP and now Curlie stand above the rest.

 

They Were Quiet

 

When AOL decided to shut down Dmoz a group of editors decided to use one of the last open source Dmoz data bundles and try to carry on with the Dmoz mission as a human edited directory.  Thus Curlie was born in 2017 as a successor to Dmoz.  Curlie was available but seemed dormant, you could not submit sites and there were a lot of dead listings.  But the editors were busy, getting rid of dead links and adding new ones over a few years.  This had to be a very big effort.

 

Now they are once again open and ready to be searched and browsed.  Browsing Curlie is fun, I suggest you explore.

 

I’ve said this before,  big directories cannot compete with search engines.  But human edited directories can discern quality, something that search engines still cannot do.  So there is still a place for them and I’m very glad that my favorite of all the really big directories has survived.

 

Good luck Curlie.  Do well.

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I recently had to post a bio of me online and the web directories I’ve built.  While writing it I remembered I’d done this before on my personal blog.  I pretty much stuck with science fiction, fantasy and horror with a specialized Lord of the Rings directory added in and a spy/espionage fiction directory thrown in for something different.

Anyway my post  Highlights of Web Directory Building Past, includes links to Archive.org’s preserved copies of my work.

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FLASH, I’ve been carping about the Web needing more webring hosts for awhile, only to discover a new small startup webring host webri.ng on Hacker News discussion.  This is definitely a good step for the Web Revival.

 

Webri.ng is fairly basic, it does not have all the features of the big legacy hosts like Webringo.  But it has enough to create and run a ring.

 

Why is a Webring Host Important?

 

Most modern webrings are controlled by a code that  the ring owner has to install on their own website or server in order to start one webring.  A webring host is like the old original Webring.org or Ringsurf.com they power webrings using their own servers.  Not just one ring but many.  What this means is that anyone who wants to start a webring can do so and only needs an email address and know a little bit of HTML.  You don’t need to install Javascript on your site and you do not need to mess with Github pull requests and the like.  Anyone joining your hosted webring just needs an email address and again a little HTML knowledge.  IMHO it lowers the bar to entry and makes it much easier for many webrings to be started and maintained.

 

Just to be clear: I’m not knocking the various new scripts for creating single webrings.  I think they are important for those who know how to use them.  They also have the advantage of being decentralized.  But I think the web revival needs both homebrew webrings and third party remote hosts to really get webrings back in the public eye and popular.

I hope you give webri.ng a lookover for your next ring.

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Replied to

In reply to: [[wikilinks]] and #hashtags as a portal to cross site search by Chris Aldrich

 

[[wikilinks]] and  could act as snippets for custom searches on various platforms. I’d like to be able to either click on a link or possibly right click and be presented with the ability to search that term (or nearby terms) on a variety of different platforms or trusted websites.

 

I like this idea a lot and I am still sorting the implications which could be revolutionary if this can be done.  This could be huge.

 

Random thoughts from the top of my head:

 

  1. This could be a big boost for non- Big Tech search engines, niche search engines like Marginalia Search, Indieweb Search, and various web directories. Plus, as mentioned, wikis like Indieweb.org.  I always have the notion that we are underutilizing both web search and site search on the web.
  2. It strikes me that having this as a browser extension is on the right track although it might be easier to make this platform specific like plugins for WordPress.
  3. “downsides and social ills”  Right now I can’t think of any but they will exist because this is the Internet and anything that can be exploited will be exploited.
  4. Searching one specified off-site source with a wikilink may not be too hard but trying to do a meta search of several sources could be very difficult unless each source searched opens in a new tab.
  5. The UI will be tricky. If you want wide spread adoption then it needs to be simple.  Even DDG’s !bangs are a bit too complicated for mass use.

 

Anyway it sounds like something to be discussed, thought about and experimented with.

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