Should I build a niche Directory?

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So I have some spare time on my hands and an interest in a specific niche which hasn't been flooded by directory-type sites yet. I've been thinking of building one for several reasons:

1. A general interest in this niche so good for networking and I know a lot about it.
2. Make a bit of money on the side.
3. Fairly easy to do these days with wp plugins.
4. Promote my own site

I found a post from 2015 here https://www.buildersociety.com/threads/tips-on-building-a-directory.668/ but as that was 5 years ago I wonder what your thoughts are on building a directory these days? Maybe there is a better direction? New ideas for building a user-generated niche hub that's useful to readers and Google is happy with!

Thanks :smile:
 

Ryuzaki

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Here's something I posted in that thread that still holds true:

The main key is knowing how to make them without it being trash that Panda is going to destroy. Think about things like tying into the Google Maps API, auto-uploading your data from a CSV, mass-dumping images you had sourced and resized and optimized by a VA, having Ad-lib statements about the statistics of each state/city/country/etc, and having 200-500 words of true content on each page as well. There are ways to make these pages so valuable that you basically auto-rank once your domain has some power behind it. Don't fall into the trap of trying to get links to each directory page. You won't find enough high quality links, and will end up getting penalized (like I did). Patience is the key on these if you build the directory well enough. Time will take care of it for you. Everyone wants to automate and auto-scrape build these sites. Give it some love and it's an easy win.​
What's your aim with it? What is the unique value proposition? How will you market it?

If it's for links and it's clear it's all user-generated, Google very well may ignore the outbound links, so having "link selling" as part of the value could back fire. But using the pages themselves to be ranked in part of a reputation management campaign could be good value if you're willing to deal with people potentially spamming your pages.

Otherwise, I think you'd have to be generating real marketing buzz to make this make sense for a buyer (if they're paying for a profile). If it's free to the buyer then you may get some traction, but then what?

That's my ultimate question. What's your goal with this in terms of finances, connections, marketing?
 
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Although I personally don't approve of this, I know someone that created multiple directories in large niches that had a plethora of competitors (with small listing fees, around £5/month). He'd create an amazing looking site with listing pages that had all the bells and whistles then just outreach to potential buyers.

He'd first gather all of the business information from competitors listings then cross examine to find people that had purchased listings on both directories. Then he'd contact them with a very sales heavy email/call (with absolutely no stats mentioned) and just profit off of peoples naivety.

Seems to me a bit scummy but i guess it's money or ethics.