Over the last few weeks many web directories have been penalized in the Google rankings and won't rank anywhere in the top 40 or 50 for their trade names or anything remotely competitive. I am trying to work out would could have caused it. Here are a few things that a lot of the directories have in common:
Many have huge amounts of paid links that pass PageRank.
Many of the directories are interlinked (reciprocated).
Many of the directories have pricing schemes where you can pay extra to get extra deep links to your site.
Many of the directories have links to bidding directories (these are the latest trend in the industry where you pay extra to come up in a higher position).
Many of the directories have links from bidding directories.
Many of the directories offer a discounted price to website owners who place a link back.
Which of these factors do you think may have caused the directories to get penalized in the Google rankings? Do you think it is possible for a penalized directory to get their rankings back? Say a directory owner has really put a lot of effort in, made sure their content is unique, made sure they only link to high quality sites, earned a lot of natural links, would it be worth them making changes and then sending a re-inclusion request to Google?
Many thanks in advance to anyone who can help me with any of these questions.