Web catalog (also: web directory or directory) is a collection of web addresses (hyperlinks) that are listed hierarchically in categories. In addition to the mere listing of web addresses, web catalogs can also contain descriptions, screenshots or cross-references to additional information. There are web directories for specific or multiple topics.
The webpage in question as to be registered as a prerequisite for an entry in a web catalog. You will be asked for the URL, title and description of the webpage. Depending on the catalog, the data to be entered is more or less extensive. After checking the entered URL, the page is approved and included in the appropriate category. Some web catalogs will only include you in their listing if your set a Backlink to the catalog. These are referred to as web catalogs with backlink obligations.
High-quality web catalogs are usually maintained manually and regularly checked by editors to ensure the quality of the directories. Many web catalog services are payable: they offer entry of the website for a one-time fee or as a subscription service for a certain time period.
In recent years, entries in web directories have been seen as a way to generate free backlinks. However, the Google search engine is currently able to uncover this link-building tactic. With the Panda Update in 2011, numerous inadequately maintained web catalogs received a Penalty. Thus, the backlinks from these web directories were canceled. Nowadays, it is no longer recommended to build up large quantities of catalog links, but to rely on quality link-building.