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tonyhughes

Hawkes Bay
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#41494 17-Sep-2009 10:19
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This sites listings are ranking quite high in Google searches for NZ businesses (I have Googled around 500 businesses in the last few weeks for work).

Anyone know what the story is? Genuine strong entrant into the market? Flash in the pan with short lived Google lovin'? Major business? Just another one-man-band directory adding to the noise in this sector?

We steer clear of paid listings with this type of site, except for a couple of the bigger mainstream ones.







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Kyanar
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  #256999 19-Sep-2009 11:49
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According to http://www.zipleaf.co.nz/About-Zipleaf, it's a "passion project from the founders of Netcode, Inc". They're a Canadian firm, and they've got a "ZipLeaf" in 7 countries.  Started out as "CaTrades.com" (which from memory had TONS of Google love - pretty good at SEO I guess).

Oh yeah, and listing on their site is free, though they have paid listings too.  No harm in putting up at least a free listing is there?

tonyhughes

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  #257021 19-Sep-2009 13:39
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The trouble with some of these sites is that often they will list incorrect details, without you even knowing the site exists.

For example, one "business directory" that took it upon themselves to list us, has a web based contact form for us, and were actively soliciting our potential clients to use the form to contact us.

The trouble is, wherever the emails were going, they certainly were not going to us. Therefore, clients who thought they were sending us their personal financial details, were giving it to someone else, totally unconnected with us.

Another site listed a phone number we dont use as our main number - callers would get a disconnected tone, and assume we had gone out of business.







 
 
 
 


Ragnor
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  #257731 23-Sep-2009 10:05
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If you look at Zipleaf listings the link they provide back to your site uses a redirect http://www.zipleaf.co.nz/GoToWebsite/xyz1234 and specifically has the no follow tag.  This means when Google crawls their site it won't follow those links through to your site and won't count the link as a back link to your site.

Given the chief reason to list on a business directory type site like this is to get more back links to your actual real site to improve your own Google juice/ranking... it does seem not that useful to list on Zip Leaf.

There are quite a lot of business directories that will give you legitimate back links eg: Finda, Made From New Zealand, HotFrog etc

tonyhughes

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  #257740 23-Sep-2009 10:24
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What is the advantage to Zipleaf to use nofollow on their listings?







Ragnor
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  #257750 23-Sep-2009 10:44
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It's one of those SEO grey areas, there is a very fine line between a legitimate business directory and a dodgy link scheme.

If Google decides Zipleaf is a link scheme they would be devalued in search results.


jpilon
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  #258669 27-Sep-2009 09:58
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Hello Guys,

I thought I'd put up my comments here, after all I run the ZipLeaf websites ;)

We build the engine (code named Opacia) back in October last year due to client demand for a simple directory system which can dynamically launch new websites and everything is managed via one interface, which is exactly what our engine does. We then launched the first directory which was, zipleaf.co.nz, to test the engine. Then over the next month/two launched the .us, .ca, and .in sites. Just last week we launched some more directories for other countries.

We wanted one thing and one thing only, a simple to use business directory. Not a link based directory, there's a billion of those out there already.

We put zipleaf.co.nz online 2nd week of December (approximately) and by the first week of January it was getting around 500 unique visitors a day, which is phenomenal in my opinion.

To answer questions:
"According to http://www.zipleaf.co.nz/About-Zipleaf, it's a "passion project from the founders of Netcode, Inc". They're a Canadian firm, and they've got a "ZipLeaf" in 7 countries. Started out as "CaTrades.com" (which from memory had TONS of Google love - pretty good at SEO I guess). Oh yeah, and listing on their site is free, though they have paid listings too. No harm in putting up at least a free listing is there?"
- catrades.com was the first directory we ever launched, was a Canadian 'contractors' directory. Google loved it but ultimately we abandoned it for zipcanada.com. Reason for abandoning it, we didn't like the domain name. We then were going to launch zipcanada for other countries in the format of sites such as zipnewzealand.co.nz, zipbritain.com, zipamerica.com, etc, but didn't like that branding. We finally came up with zipleaf. short simple name which was somewhat catchy.


The trouble with some of these sites is that often they will list incorrect details, without you even knowing the site exists. For example, one "business directory" that took it upon themselves to list us, has a web based contact form for us, and were actively soliciting our potential clients to use the form to contact us. The trouble is, wherever the emails were going, they certainly were not going to us. Therefore, clients who thought they were sending us their personal financial details, were giving it to someone else, totally unconnected with us. Another site listed a phone number we dont use as our main number - callers would get a disconnected tone, and assume we had gone out of business.
- yes, this is a problem. we don't have any kind of email forms unless a business registers and enters in a business email address. actually our contact form system hasn't even been put online yet (despite so many requests from businesses listed), will be soon but again it's entirely optional. A lot of business directories also have 'seeded' data which is more or less a database they buy and put in their directory. we did the same as you have to have data when your launch, but contrary to many other directories we do have a simple online way for businesses to 'claim' their listing and then make changes or even remove it all together.

If you look at Zipleaf listings the link they provide back to your site uses a redirect http://www.zipleaf.co.nz/GoToWebsite/xyz1234 and specifically has the no follow tag. This means when Google crawls their site it won't follow those links through to your site and won't count the link as a back link to your site.Given the chief reason to list on a business directory type site like this is to get more back links to your actual real site to improve your own Google juice/ranking... it does seem not that useful to list on Zip Leaf. There are quite a lot of business directories that will give you legitimate back links eg: Finda, Made From New Zealand, HotFrog etc
- this is an important issue, linking back. The reason why we have the "/GoToWebsite" is so the listings statistics can be updated with +1 for website clicks, so we put in nofollow in the link tag as it's not really going to help out with seo anyways, google's going to know that it's a redirected link and who knows, might even harm your websites ranking. we do have the full URL listed on the profile page though, and I'm sure Google see's that it's a link and that might even count.
- link backs from directories often don't help a websites ranking anyways, a directory is a directory, unless your website is a directory as well google's going to recognize its not a 'relevant' site and it won't count for anything

The one thing that is beneficial for listing in our site, is the traffic we get. we get thousands of searches (visitors using the top search bar on our site), businesses are sorted in the results based off the amount of data they enter, so it really does help. We have a great rank with Google, so by listing on our site you'll often get that listing page indexed and ranked higher than your own website, for many keywords we are ranked higher in google search results than the users actual website!

The other major benefit is unlike other directories, when a business logs into their account, they get statistics, nicely presented stats. They get a 3 month overview of how many page views their listing gets, website clicks, and (soon) emails received. We have dozens of other features in the works so we're definitely keeping on top of our directory.

I'll check this thread again in a couple days and answer any other questions.


jpilon
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  #258673 27-Sep-2009 10:02
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I should also mention that the zipleaf network is a work of 'passion', definitely not a big revenue generator. All sites combined don't even cover web/database servers costs :)

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