Really.... Another Directory ???
Zeef, a newcomer to the scene has truly timed things perfectly with the Yahoo Directory shutting it's doors at the end of the year. With that looming reality a zeef review as I'm sure others will be sprouting up seemed in order.
Having been a part of the net for years, the Yahoo Directory definitely means something to me. A meaningful directory is hard to come by and while the question has been one of major debate for years, it still receives it's share of controversy as to whether the $300 a year recurring price of admission to be in the Yahoo directory was worth it or not. Yahoo may have had it's troubles with respect to meaningfully competing with Google as far as search market share is concerned, but for those in search of a quality link, it would be hard to dismiss the value in the Yahoo directory link alongside it also becoming a nice addition to your existing link profile.
Zeef (zeef.com), however cannot be dubbed as "just another directory". It is far from the most popular directory online right now, but as the finalization of the Yahoo Directory nears, I think it would be fair to allege that many people and their businesses may turn their sights to Zeef.
Another directory worth mention since we're on the subject is the DMOZ directory. A directory that closed down in 2011 that was the Yahoo Directory equivalent and was powered by human editors. A once very highly coveted destination online for anyone trying to get ranked online. So with that said, directories still matter, but moreover human edited directories are highly sought after because of their filtration processes and such is the case with Zeef too.
Nevertheless, lets get back to what Zeef is all about. Zeef isn't a place where "anyone" can just join the club. Zeef's mantra is about filtering the web's content through the use of experts. If there's something we can all agree on about the web it is this: there's a TON of information out there and it's not all good or quality for that matter.
The reason why Google is the lion that it is comes down to the reality that when we are looking for information, we find the most relevant information, the fastest and with the most consistency using Google. Likewise, Zeef sets out to be a destination where people can go and find the most relevant links that's aligned to what people are looking for from information based queries to purchasing decisions. Klaas Joosten, the founder of Zeef has set out to make it his life's mission to provide an "expert-filtered" link directory that reaches beyond the limitations of search engine algorithms that are not as easily able to determine what is quality as opposed to what is not.
Get Ready, Set, Goooo Zeef !
The platform is very simple and straightforward. In order to get started, you have to create a page. You get three options when you create your page. Of those options you can choose from building a subject page, a company page or a personal page. Examples for pages could include:
- For a subject page.. your page address might look like this: camping.zeef.com
- For a company page.. your page address might look like this: companyabc.zeef.com
- For a personal page.. your page address might look like this: yourname.zeef.com
Next you should upload your photo. Now given how much social matters, if you have social accounts, Zeef provides you with the ability to fill in your personal details with your website address, your linkedIN account, your Twitter and Google Plus accounts, Facebook and 24sessions (beta business website). I would suggest filling these out only if you have active social accounts. Visitors won't be attracted to dormant social profiles.
Now that you've decided on the type of page you want and have chosen your name, you will be able to move on to creating your blocks for your Zeef page. The blocks that I started with on my page were the about block, blogs block and books block. For my about block, I just pointed it to the about page on my website. Since Zeef gives you the ability to just point the links to other existing pages, I did this pretty quickly after I got acclimated to their layout and the functions within the content builder. For each block, you can give it a title. What I discovered is that as you add your title, the smiley face will change depending on the length of what you've typed. Shorter titles seems to keep the little guy happy so keep that in mind. Additionally, as you create your blocks you can add link blocks, feed blocks, image blocks and text blocks.
As you complete your page(s) with content, you can also preview what it's going to look like when it's live by clicking on the (eye). You can continue to make edits by clicking on the (pencil) and can change additional information regarding the page by clicking on the (circular gear). On this page, you can add meta tags and I would definitely make use of this feature. As you type in your keyword, you have to click on the keyword for it to get added to your list of tags, otherwise it won't allow you to add it. Additionally, one word phrases are the only tags the system will allow. Beyond that, you will also be able to see how your link will look as people search for your page in Google. Once you're done with this page, you should be ready to request to be published.
Your Zeef Is All Done
Requesting to be published means that a real person will look at your page and decide whether it should be published on Zeef. My approval process took less than 48 hours, however I do not know what is the standard approval timeframe. I would assume that this all depends on how large the queue is, workload and other factors.
While my account is very new, Zeef seems to be a nice alternative to the Yahoo Directory that gives all those that participate on the platform a way to earn traffic, money, learn of new quality websites and be part of a directory that takes quality curation seriously.
Update: 5/26/15 - Zeef's Sharasale Affiliate program is currently offline.
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