The webmaster of allWebscape approached me recently to advertise on this site. The webmaster is a fellow Australian and what he was doing seemed interesting. I have a couple of directories myself, and rather a paid advertisement I thought doing a short interview would be interesting and beneficial to both myself and my readers. There are a couple of well-known Australian bloggers, but it is generally difficult to make contact with other Australian internet entrepreneurs. We both seem to have a similar background starting out with eBay and then moving into websites.

If anyone else would like to be interviewed, please drop me an email (not just Aussies).

How long have you been working on the internet and how did you get started?

I got a start working online selling software and electronics on eBay Australia back in 2000, straight out of high school. I was looking for a way to supplement my full time job at the time, working in the electronics department of a Myers Grace Bros store.

Where are you from in Australia?

I have lived in Concord West all my life, which is an inner-west Sydney suburb located 20 minutes from the CBD.

Why did you create a general directory site?

Whilst there are already a lot of general directories already online, I felt there was a lack of quality free directories, which you can submit quality websites to. Most directories start out being free, but quickly turn into a paid only business model. Whilst I do charge for featured listings on submitters do have the option to submit normal listings for free. As a directory owner, I think it’s important always giving the submitter the option to submit their sites for free. A directory is nothing without a large database of quality websites. If you’re refusing many good website submissions just because they didn’t pay, what kind of directory would I be building?

Do you run any other websites?

Yes I have quite a few. My biggest web project to date would have to be my pocket bike racing forums. I launched this site in late 2004 and it has really taken off since. The forum just passed a milestone, reaching 3000+ members which I am excited about.

Do you do this full-time or is it just a hobby?

I have been working online since 2000. I only started to get serious about things in late 2004.

Where do you see the future of directories going?

Unfortunately I don’t have great optimism for the free web directories. The spam situation is only getting worse, and as much as you want to provide a free resource too much time is consumed having to remove all the spam submissions. I think there will always be a market for quality paid directories.

Is it still beneficial to submit links to a directory?

Yes definitely. As I am sure your visitors are aware, link popularity is one of the main factors in getting good search engine rankings. Submitting to directories is one method to obtain one way back links to your website.

How do search engines treat links coming from a directory? Is it any different from a non-directory site?

It’s a good question, and probably really only something search engine engineers could answer accurately. From my experience I find links from directories to still be very beneficial.

Did you write the script yourself?

No I am using an off the shelf script which I have modified. The script is called PHP Link Directory.

Do you have any suggestions for people running a directory style site?

Try and stand out from the crowd. If you are going to adopt a paid directory business model, give submitters a reason for wanting to submit to your directory.

You have a pretty good alexa ranking, do you have any suggestions for improving your ranking?

Advertise on sites which will generate targeted traffic for you and implement good SEO practices. If you do both these two things well you should go a long way to increasing traffic levels.

Any final thoughts…

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to be interviewed.