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Web directories (or as they are better known search directories) existed before the
search engines, especially Google, became popular. As the name implies, web directories are
directories where different resources are gathered. Similarly to desktop directories, where you
gather files in a directory based on some criterion, Web directories are just enormous
collections of links to sites, arranged in different categories. The sites in a Web directory are
listed in some order (most often alphabetic but it is not necessarily so) and users browse
through them.

Although many Web directories offer a search functionality of some kind (otherwise it
will be impossible to browse thousands of pages for let's say Computers), search directories
are fundamentally different from search engines in the two ways most directories are edited
by humans and URLs are not gathered automatically by spiders but submitted by site owners.
The main advantage of Web directories is that no matter how clever spiders become, when
there is a human to view and check the pages, there is a lesser chance that pages will be
classified in the wrong categories. The disadvantages of the first difference are that the lists in
web directories are sometimes outdated, if no human was available to do the editing and
checking for some time (but this is not that bad because search engines also deliver pages that
do not exist anymore) and that sometimes you might have to wait half an year before being
included in a search directory.

The second difference no spiders means that you must go and submit your URL to
the search directory, rather than sit and wait for the spider to come to your site. Fortunately,
this is done only once for each directory, so it is not that bad. Once you are included in a
particular directory, in most cases you can stay there as long as you wish to and wait for
people (and search engines) to find you. The fact that a link to your site appears in a
respectable Web directory is good because first, it is a backlink and second, you increase your
visibility for spiders, which in turn raises your chance to be indexed by them.

Examples of Web Directories

There are hundreds and thousands of search directories but undoubtedly the most
popular one is DMOZ. It is a general purpose search directory and it accepts links to all kinds
of sites. Another popular general-purpose search directory is Yahoo! Directory. The Best of
the Web and Jasmine Directory are some of the oldest Web directories that still keeps to high
standards in selecting sites.

Besides general-purpose Web directories, there are incredibly many topical ones. For
instance, the The Environment Directory lists links to environmental sites only, while The
Radio Directory lists thousands of radio stations worldwide, arranged by country, format, etc.
There are also many local and national Web directories, which accept links to sites about a
particular region or country only and which can be great if your site is targeted at local and
national audience only. You see, it is not possible to mention even the topics of specialized
search directories only because the list will get incredibly long. Using Google and specialized
search resources like The Search Engines Directory, you can find on your own many
directories that are related to your area of interest.


What is a Specialized Search Engine?

Specialized search engines are one more tool to include in your SEO arsenal. Unlike
general-purpose search engines, specialized search engines index pages for particular topics
only and very often there are many pages that cannot be found in general-purpose search
engines but only in specialized ones. Some of the specialized search engines are huge sites
that actually host the resources they link to, or used to be search directories but have evolved
to include links not only to sites that were submitted to them.

There are many specialized search engines for every imaginable topic and it is always
wise to be aware of the specialized search engines for your niche. The examples in the next
section are by no means a full list of specialized search engines but are aimed to give you the
idea of what is available. If you search harder on the Web, you will find many more

Examples of Specialized Search Engines

Probably specialized search engines are not that numeric as Web directories but still
certainly there is no shortage of them either, especially if one counts password-protected sites
with database accessible only from within the site as a specialized search engine. As with
Web directories, if there were a list of specialized search engines it would be really, really
long (and constantly changing), so instead, here are some links to lists of search engines:
Pandia Powersearch, Webquest, Virtual Search Engines, the already mentioned The Search
Engines Directory, etc. What is common for these lists is that they offer a selection of
specialized search engines, arranged by topic, so it is a good starting point for the hunt of
specialized search engines.


Electronic mail, most commonly called email or e-mail since around 1993, is a
method of exchanging digital messages from an author to one or more recipients. Email
operates across the Internet or other computer networks. Some early email systems required
the author and the recipient to both be online at the same time, in common with instant
messaging. Today's email systems are based on a store-and-forward model. Email servers
accept, forward, deliver, and store messages.

Neither the users nor their computers are required to be online simultaneously; they
need connect only briefly, typically to a mail server, for as long as it takes to send or receive
messages. Historically, the term electronic mail was used generically for any electronic
document transmission. For example, several writers in the early 1970s used the term to
describe fax document transmission. As a result, it is difficult to find the first citation for the
use of the term with the more specific meaning it has today.

An Internet email message consists of three components, the message envelope, the
message header, and the message body. The message header contains control information,
including, minimally, an originator's email address and one or more recipient addresses.
Usually descriptive information is also added, such as a subject header field and a message
submission date/time stamp. Originally an ASCII text-only communications medium,
Internet email was extended by Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) to carry text
in other character sets and multi-media content attachments.

International email, with internationalized email addresses using UTF-8, has been
standardized, but not yet widely adopted. Electronic mail predates the inception of the
Internet and was in fact a crucial tool in creating it, but the history of modern, global Internet
email services reaches back to the early ARPANET. Standards for encoding email messages
were proposed as early as 1973 (RFC 561). Conversion from ARPANET to the Internet in the
early 1980s produced the core of the current services. An email message sent in the early
1970s looks quite similar to a basic text message sent on the Internet today.

Email is an information and communications technology. It uses technology to

communicate a digital message over the Internet. Users use email differently, based on how
they think about it. There are many software platforms available to send and receive. Popular
email platforms include Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail, Outlook, and many others. Network-
based email was initially exchanged on the ARPANET in extensions to the File Transfer
Protocol (FTP), but is now carried by the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), first
published as Internet standard 10 (RFC 821) in 1982. In the process of transporting email
messages between systems, SMTP communicates delivery parameters using a message
envelope separate from the message (header and body) itself.


Message format

The Internet email message format is now defined by RFC 5322, with multi-media
content attachments being defined in RFC 2045 through RFC 2049, collectively called
Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions or MIME. RFC 5322 replaced the earlier RFC 2822 in
2008, and in turn RFC 2822 in 2001 replaced RFC 822 which had been the standard for
Internet email for nearly 20 years. Published in 1982, RFC 822 was based on the earlier RFC
733 for the ARPANET. Internet email messages consist of two major sections, the message
header and the message body. The header is structured into fields such as From, To, CC,
Subject, Date, and other information about the email. The body contains the message, as
unstructured text, sometimes containing a signature block at the end. The header is separated
from the body by a blank line.

Message header

Each message has exactly one header, which is structured into fields. Each field has a
name and a value. RFC 5322 specifies the precise syntax. Informally, each line of text in the
header that begins with a printable character begins a separate field. The field name starts in
the first character of the line and ends before the separator character ":". The separator is then
followed by the field value (the "body" of the field). The value is continued onto subsequent
lines if those lines have a space or tab as their first character. Field names and values are
restricted to 7-bit ASCII characters. Non-ASCII values may be represented using MIME
encoded words.


Add a signature to your email. Depending on the application you are using, you
can easily add a signature that includes your name, an animated picture or a web
link to each email you send. This helps identify your email and give it a more
personalized appearance.

Embed an image into the email. Many people love to forward pictures they find
on the Internet and incorporate them into a funny email. You can include pictures
by uploading it in the email itself, or by including the hyperlink in the text field of
the body of the email.

Create an email template for your business using Dreamweaver or a similar

HTML production suite. This is a great tool for those who operate their own
business and want to send out personalized emails tailored specifically for their


Add additional folders to your email server. Additional folders allow you to
further organize your email. For example, you might want to add a folder for all of
your business related emails, and one for your friends and family. Adding an extra
folder in Outlook is done by right-clicking in the "Mail" section, and clicking the
"New Folder" link.

Make your email application automatically check for new emails. Outlook,
Yahoo! and Gmail can periodically check whether you have received new email.
They can even provide alerts to let you know when they have been received.