We’ve seen plenty of web directories before. We’ve also seen an innumerable number of paid wikis. In yet another effort to sell you some web space, the Word Directory has been launched and they’re selling English words at $1 per letter. This review will probably be one of the most straightforward ones I’ve ever done for John Chow dot Com.
Redirecting Words to Your Site
The introduction pretty much explains the entire premise of the site. You can choose nearly any English word and then have that word transformed into a link to a site of your choosing. The Word Directory doesn’t state so explicitly, but the assumption is that you’d own the word for however long the site stays live.
On the main page of the site, you’ll notice that there are certain terms that are featured and then there is also a list of recently purchased words. Each of these stands out as a small gray box and when you click on any given one, it redirects you to some website. Words are sold at a dollar a letter, so “ipod” costs four bucks, whereas “business” goes for eight dollars. Strangely, there’s no mention of how you’d go about getting your word “featured” on the site.
Paid Backlinks: RSTLNE
Like other paid directories, the Word Directory is essentially a repository of paid links. The difference is that details surrounding your particular website are not listed. Instead, all you get is an obscure link buried somewhere in the website. Purchased words are surrounded by a gray box, whereas words that are still available just look like regular underlined links.
Yes, money is already taken, but there are literally thousands of other options still available. Checking out the stats in the footer of the site, I found that only 41 words have been purchased to date. This leaves over 170,000 words that can still be bought, but I’m not sure if any of them are worth your while. I imagine that you won’t get much traffic from an obscure word-based directory and the link juice is probably pretty weak too.
As you’ve probably noticed, the site design is remarkably barren. There are no flashy banners or even any real splashes of color. All you’ll find on the Word Directory are, well, words linked to websites. I understand that the Web 2.0 phenomenon is pushing toward increased white space and I’m not saying that the site should be “loud”, but as it stands, Word Directory is one big snooze-fest.
Launch Your Own Clone
Think you can take the concept and make it better? The developers of Word Directory certainly want you to try. The script that powers the site is available for purchase and it goes for a measly $18.95. You essentially get the same website and then it’s up to you to make a word directory that’s more valuable.
The sales pitch reads: “Sometimes people just think it fun to buy themselves or friends a English word!”
There are at least two grammatical errors in that statement, above and beyond the fact that I don’t think it’s all that fun buying a word. I can’t possibly be the only one with this opinion.
The DoFollow Movement
In the footer of the site, there is a small link to a DoFollow blog search engine. Many of you may already know about the “U Comment, I Follow” movement in the blogosphere where people are removing the “nofollow” from their comment forms. People love getting the free link juice when leaving comments, so a directory of such blogs could prove useful.
Unfortunately, I don’t really see how this search engine works. All the icons at the top point toward Randaclay.com and the only search box is that of Google Custom Search. This does not return dofollow blogs. The only links to these blogs comes as a random smattering of four links under “what’s happening now”, so there really is little value in this search engine… seeing how it’s not even a search engine.
Might I Have a Word With You?
In the end, I don’t see much value in buying a link on the Word Directory, unless you happen to have a few bucks kicking around that you don’t know what to do with. It might be a fresh take on the paid directory and paid wiki trend, but it’s not enough to captivate my interest for long. It’s going to take a long while for the developer to recoup the costs of this review, one dollar at a time.