Listed in the BOTW Directory?

Some time ago if a web marketer wanted to know details about a site it could take hours to investigate. How many links does a site have? How many pages does a site have cached in Google? How old is the site? What is the site’s Alexa rank? It was enough to drive you nuts!

Fortunately where there is a need, there is typically a savvy business person to step in and fill the gap. Enter Aaron Wall and the SEO for Firefox Extension. By simply downloading and activating the extension, interested marketers can discover a plethora of details about any given site, providing some understanding to the search engine listings.

We are pleased to announce that the super-cool SEO for Firefox extension now includes details about BOTW listings. Included amongst the host of features, web marketers can now see if a given site has been listed within the BOTW directory. Very nice!

Find out about all the features here (make sure to watch the instructional video). After learning more about the extension, download and activate it, and take your insight to the next level. And don’t forget to chech out the rest of the SEO tools provided by Aaron – the keyword suggestion tool is ingenious.

Happy surfing!

BOTW, Stirred not Shaken

We have long stressed the importance of surrounding yourself with the best people that you can find. We take great pride in the people that work for Best of the Web, and expect passion and a commitment to excellence from all. By attracting the best people we can continue to pursue initiatives fully confident that each project will move ahead with a focus on quality.

In keeping with this tradition, we are pleased to welcome Roger Montti as the newest member of the BOTW executive team. Roger has spent the better part of the last decade solidifying his spot as one of the top professionals in the search industry. Many readers may know Roger through his blog, Martinibuster, or through his work as a moderator at Webmasterworld. If you have been fortunate to hear Roger speak at a conference, or spend time with him talking shop, you have no doubt left the encounter wiser.

Roger will be acting as BOTW VP of Verticals. Our newest offering, BOTW Verticals (beta) will serve as an online resource for users to find information on various business solutions. Vendors will be able to interact with users, resulting in highly qualified leads. Roger’s experience in the search industry and lead generation should help to propel the initiative to a successful launch.

We are very happy to have Roger aboard, and welcome him to the Best of the Web team.

Customer Plus-Delta

Knowing what your users think about your product or service can prove to be a crucial role in the success of your offering. Is it solving their needs? Easy to use? The only way to know is to ask.

The goal of the BOTW Directory is pretty straightforward. Build a comprehensive directory of quality, relevant sites. With so many chefs in the kitchen, there are times when things don’t go quite according to plan. Listings get added that shouldn’t have been, or sometimes they get placed in an inappropriate category. It’s tough to keep an eye on everything – with so many moving parts, you just can’t be everywhere, all the time.

The quality of our listings is our number one priority. We endeavor to provide our users with relevant information from quality sources for their chosen topic.

This morning, we launched our Category Feedback. At the bottom of each category, there is a link that leads to a feedback form. If during your travels through the BOTW Directory, you stumble across a listing out of place, you catch a typo, or find something else out of whack, please let us know. We are always open to ideas on how to improve, and we rely on user feedback for future development ideas.

So don’t hold any punches – we’ve got thick skin. Let the feedback fly.

Lend a Hand

In a departure from our stance on the Web Directory, we have opened up the Blog Directory to volunteer editors.

We unofficially launched the volunteer program about 10 days ago, and have since received more than a few applications. Now that some of the bugs have been worked out, we felt we would officially announce the volunteer editor program. (Not to suggest all the bugs have been taken care of.)

So what is it, and why should you care?

The goal of the BOTW Blog Directory is to build the most comprehensive collection of quality blogs online – a colossal undertaking. Much like the BOTW Web Directory, each listing in the Blog Directory must meet a set of minimum listing criteria. In a nutshell, all listings must contain unique content, and be relevant to the category in which they are listed. By holding ourselves to a high level of listing criteria, we are able to consistently provide our users with timely, relevant results from the blogosphere.

Blog Directory Editors should be experts in their respective field of editing. We are looking for people who are active bloggers, proficient in their area of interest. Ideally, you’ll have some experience editing at other directories (DMOZ editors welcome!), be an active member of other online communities, and generally feel very comfortable online.

Please don’t see this as an opportunity to stuff your blogs into the directory. First of all, you don’t have to become an editor to get your blog listed. Just submit it. It’s free, so you don’t need to feel compelled to put on some big charade to get your blog listed. Secondly, editors don’t get special priviliges to stick any blog they want in. Every blog enetered has to meet the minimum site criteria, regardless of the owner. Any editor that abuses the responsibility will be dismissed.

Of course, you are allowed to put your own blog in – provided it meets the guidelines and is relevant to the category. You can put all your friend’s blogs in too. And every other blog you find that fits the bill. That’s what we are looking for. Once again though, any editor that abuses the responsibility will be dismissed. We refuse to compromise on the quality and integrity of the directory.

So why should you care? Well, you have the opportunity to get in early on what promises to be a fantastic project. You’ll be able to work with some pretty cool people building a valuable resource. If that’s not enough, editors are given an Editor Page on the BOTW domain where you are free to list personal details or other projects you are involved in. Additionally, you’ll be able to add it to your work experience, and impress all your friends and coworkers ;)

Though the editor forums are a little thin, and the editor wiki still needs some attention, we are off and running. As it goes with any new project, I don’t know how this will ultimately pan out. But you are invited to come along for the ride.

Find out more about becoming a Blog Directory Volunteer Editor.


My Lords… My Ladies…

Today you find yourselves equals – for you are all equally blessed; For I have the pride, the privilege, nay, the pleasure, of introducing you to the BOTW API!

What I’m about to tell you is subject to change, since it’s still early in the game. There is nothing to see yet on, but methinks that once all the legal mumbo jumbo has been taken care of, and all the T’s crossed and I’s dotted, you can expect a more formal overview in the BOTW Help Center of what the API is and all the inherent benefits of becoming an API partner.

In the meanwhile, however, I’d like to briefly explain it to you and share with you why it will be a fairly exciting time in terms of our B2B relationships. Simply put, the API allows your web site to talk to the BOTW Directory Submit Service on our web site. The BOTW Directory Submit Service, of course, is our product which allows a web site owner to submit their site(s) for review for possible inclusion into the Best of the Web Directory. The API (which stands for Application Programming Interface), is just that; an interface for remote access. In other words, you don’t need to be surfing around On to submit your site – you can be surfing around on the site of an API partner and they will “do the needful” on your behalf.

OK, so why is this important and exciting? For one, it enables the API partner to bundle our submission process into their own product offering, and two, depending on volume, we can negotiate custom pricing with the partner. The partner gets billed separately and thus has the flexibility to charge what they want for the product, depending on what their bundle/package/promotion happens to be.

Well, I do enjoy letting the cat out of the bag, and this is quite the bag containing quite the kitty. If you’re quite the guinea pig, er, I mean, if you feel like being among the first to get started with this service, please Contact Us and we will consider granting you access. If you’re feeling shy, that’s cool. Kick back, let some of the other lemmings go over first, and we’ll be hitting you up more formally later on.

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