I want to create a directory site, but i don't want to get nailed as a link farm by google, are there steps you have to follow? I would assume all enteries in DMOZ under "directory" are exempt from some google "link farm" filters..?
I've been thinking about this alot lately myself as a significant part of my site is a directory.
I link out to over a thousand Homeless Widget Shelters and only about five of them link back to me. (The directory was built before I ever heard of PR)
Now when I add new links I do ask for a link back but I don't push the point. I just started asking a few weeks ago after hanging around here.
My PR is 5 on the index page, down from 6 a couple of months ago when just about everyone took a PR hit from what I gather. That sounds kind of low but I looked at other Widget Welfare sites about a week ago and couldn't find any that were higher than a PR6 so I guess 5 isn't really that bad.
I figure that my visitors are getting the information they need and it is entirely too much trouble to hide the links out from Googlebot so unless I drop even lower than a PR5 I'm not going to worry about it.
There is a huge difference between a link farm and an honest directory. Sometimes reading this forum people get too afraid of exchanging links. People exchanged links long before Google came along. It's the tricky stuff that's done to rate high on Google that is the problem.