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About the Colossus search engine directory ...
... and its limits

I’ve been seeing mentions of the Colossus search engines directory since 1999. Along the years, I sometimes had a go at it and tested some of the search tools (web site directories mainly) it recommends.

Its main and only interest is it lists a number of regional web-site-directories.

Its limits

But apart from that, I do not recommend using Colossus.

Its very ancient HTML code (written in CAPITAL letters) should be enough to keep you away from it [1]. Why ? Because it’s a sign of a probable lack of updating.

Other, more serious reasons for not using and not trusting it much include :

  • it links to other old, not updated directories instead of to final resources. Example : this directory’s page it links to is empty :
  • it lures you into believing it indexes a ton of treasure troves but it’s deceptive
  • spelling mistakes
  • same search engine directories repeted in each country section. Example : Ezilon
  • its local countries web-site-directories are :
    • incomplete. For instance, its France section does not list /, a not too recent but very active actor
    • and they list mainly regional-level, not specifically national, link directories.

To conclude on Colossus :

  • granted, beggars can’t be choosers and there really isn’t a lot of competition in its field (local oriented link directories)
  • but in my opinion, it’s too old/not updated enough, repetitive, deceptive and incomplete. Event the concept of directory itself is outdated — though I appreciate it much personnaly and have long advocated it and taught a course on how to build a link directory [2].


If you’re searching for local resources, it might be among other starting points, but really, it shouldn’t be alone and its links should be tested thoroughly. Personnaly, I’d rather use a standard, reliable, web search engine to locate the main resources and perhaps, in a separate query, some specialised, local link directories and start from there.

What’s your own point of view ? Do you think it’s still worthwhile ? The comment section is open.

Emmanuel Barthe
librarian researcher, Internet search tools evangelist


[1Links are deactivated so as not to give any indirect recommandation or link juice to it.

[2Cataloguer, classer et trier ... le Web : Comment monter un annuaire de sites, avec ou sans base de données (pour documentalistes) : Plan de cours, 22 mai 2007.