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The Major Web Directories and Portals on the Internet
Web directories provide the second way for Internet users to find a relevant information about a web sites content. These Internet directories in fact consist of huge database of web sites links organized in categories by topics. In contrast to Internet search engines, which use crawlers or robots to collect web site content, web directories are organized mainly by human editors and so must provide more adequate information in site descriptions, which means more relevant search results.

Listing of the major web directories on the Internet:

Open Directory is the general Internet database created by volunteer editors, covering business, computing, science, sports, society, and shopping topics.
LookSmart A human-compiled Internet directory organizes the web content into hundreds of thousands of categories.
Yahoo Portal and web directory provides extensive categories and news, hosts Yahoo Auctions, Classifieds, Weather and Maps.
Zeal: Community-driven web directory offers descriptions and ratings of web sites provided by volunteer.

The Internet becomes more and more popular source of information for many people around the world. Web visitors now may find news, whether forecast, financial news, stock quotes, and much more. They even can easily communicate thanks to e-mail, forums, and instant messenger services. Fast development of e-banking and e-commerce allowed appearance of Internet shops and stores which now offer consumers to shop from one spot: the home or office PC. All this Internet development led to the appearance of web portals, entry point sites incorporating most popular Internet services like news, e-mail, chat, forums, search, and web directory together. Now these web portals are the preferred starting point or home page for the most of Internet users.

Listing of the most popular web portals on the Internet:

Yahoo provides personalized content, Internet directory and search options, news, chat-rooms, free e-mail, clubs, and shopping.
MSN: Microsoft's Internet portal entry features the LookSmart directory, international search sites, personalization, special features and integration with Hotmail e-mail.
eBay Trading Internet portal provides online marketplace for the sale of goods and services by a diverse community of individuals and businesses.
GO Network provides search tools and free email, news, money scope, yellow and white pages, and movies.
AOL Anywhere: Personalized content Internet portal with news, sports, weather, horoscopes, maps, calendar, shopping, features web directory and search.
CNN: Personalized news portal provides detailed background analysis of current events, weather, business, sports, politics, travel and education.
Lycos: Personalized content Internet portal includes web guides, contact manager, message boards, and free e-mail.
BBC: UK and international news portal, includes sports, weather, directory, message boards, and h2g2 guide written by public.
Netscape: Customizable web portal offers category and searches, access to stock quotes, sports scores, news, and weather.
Excite: Personalized content web portal with news, weather, and financial content; also features a search engine chat and a free e-mail account.
iWon: CBS Internet portal that combines search, content and functionality with a cash giveaway.
About.com: The Human Internet is a collection of vertically focused web guide sites organized in categories.
CNET Network provides hardware, electronics and software reviews, tech auctions, price comparisons, Internet services and popular downloads.
InfoSpace.com: A web directory for finding yellow pages whites pages, finance information, government data, and chat rooms.
iVillage.com: The Women's Internet portal - offers a community in which to share advice on parenting, careers, fitness, food, relationships, beauty, shopping, and travel.