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July 20, 2011

Google Directory, No Longer Available

Google Directory was the second Google service launched, after the Web search engine. It was released in 2000 to compete with Yahoo Directory, the most popular Web directory at that time. Google used data from Netscape's Open Directory Project, but it added an innovative feature: automatically ranking results.

Here's an excerpt from an article written by Danny Sullivan back in April 2000. "Google is applying link analysis in a new way, to the human powered information of the Open Directory. All I can say is hurray! I've been chanting for an end to the tyranny of the alphabet when it comes to directory listings for some time. Why should sites that begin with an A appear at the top of list, oppressing better quality sites that may simply begin with a letter further down in the alphabet? In many cases, this offers no help to the searcher."

Directories were useful at that time because there weren't too many high-quality sites and reviewers could keep up with the growth of the Web. Now that the Web has a lot more than a trillion pages, it's impossible to maintain a directory, so algorithmic search engines are the only ones that can scale.

Now Google Directory is no longer available. "We believe that Web Search is the fastest way to find the information you need on the web," says Google.

Google Directory has been irrelevant for many years and very few Google domains still included the service in the navigation bar. Last year, Google dropped the search feature and not many people noticed.

{ via Search Engine Roundtable }

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