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Web Directories, Web Indices, & Subject Trees
Web directories — also known as web indices or subject trees — are often confused with search engines. A typical directory offers search capability, but it is essentially a hierarchical list of web sites, organized into categories. Each category has others below it, with contents listed alphabetically. Unlike search engines, directories are hand-compiled by human beings, rather like a library catalog. Sites must apply to be listed, and each is reviewed by a human evaluator. This means you can usually count on a manageable list of high quality links on any topic. To locate information in a directory, drill up and down the subjects until you find what you are looking for. (Tip: drill part-way down a directory's tree structure, and then use its search feature, for more focused results.) There are millions of directories on the Web; many exist just to build link popularity for sites trying to improve search engine standing. The list below is brief because we have concentrated on quality directories with substantial content. Below are some of the most popular. Try them all, as each lists different content. And if you're looking for a specialized directory or link collection on a single topic, try locating a jumplist.