Guess Google just caught up with you. Directory = serp manipulation these days.
EDIT - I think Google is rolling out PR reductions in waves, though others would need to confirm this - I've not heard too much about it today though)
There's a lot of it going around.
The clamour is about paid links at the moment, but I think there is a more insideous reason and it's just Google protecting their index from any and all manipulation.
As long as your traffic is not affected there's not much to worry about...... at the moment that is.
Check who you are linking to and by which manner.
I don't know a thing about directories I'm afraid but if I had a big one I'd be trying to make it as close to yahoo etc (in how they link out to external sites etc).
10 bob (that's 2c) :)
Deezin, I realize this may be "disturbing", but what does it really mean? Has traffic/revenue dropped as a result? I hear a lot of talk about PR dropping but I suspect it doesn't actually mean much in day-to-day operations. Have you lost rankings? The only downside that I've heard of is some sites don't even rank when you type in their <sitename> in a Google search box.
Now that I think about it, my PR may have dropped. I check it maybe once every 4 months or so. It is absolutely meaningless to the visitors to my site so I don't bother too much with my PR.
Hmm.... I just checked my PR. It was a 5 last time I checked, and now it's 3. I'm serious. I don't even know when it dropped, traffic is still there. Well I guess I answered my own question... :)
p.s. I don't buy/sell links either.
Thank you everyone for your response. No, it doesn't seem to have had any effect on traffic. But it scares me that it will reduce at some point. I heard that Google gives you a warning before they ban you, are they warning me of something that I don't even know that I am doing wrong.
Can you please tell me how Yahoo directory does it...do you mean rel=nofollow?
The thing that bothers me the most is that every day we get people asking to pay for a link and I always say no, so it bothers me that I am trying to follow the rules and I am still getting hit.
PLUS get this - I just had my 4th baby, my husband quit his job to work from home (he quite the day before we found out I was pregnant), and we moved to PA from NJ to cut down health insurance costs but our house isn't selling. SOOOOO that is why a drop in PR scares me so much.
I am sorry that your PR dropped to 3 too. :(
Rachel, if it makes you feel any better, I quit my day job this summer and this is all I'm doing to pay the bills. I can understand why you're concerned but at the end of the day it doesn't seem to really mean much (to your visitors), so don't worry about it.
Many websites saw their toolbar PR go down recently for reasons that had nothing to do with a penalty for that website, or a "warning" of some kind. As the web grows, this is almost inevitable mathematically. If traffic does not take a dip at the same time, then there's usualy no problem.
Also, because PR was recently reduced for certain sites that have been selling links for PR purposes, there can be a kind of cascade that spreads out from those sites. You may not have a backlink from them, but you may have backlinks who have backlinks... etc.
Thanks guys for trying to make me feel better about it. :)
It is fun working from home full time, isn't it? I know I wouldn't want to go back to work for someone else...I'm too independent now.
It's much more fun being my own boss. That results in me working part-time though. I'm not sure if that's a good or a bad thing yet.
When I say look at how for instance yahoo does it and learn from it, I mean just that. Yahoo doesnt need to Nofollow because it is well moderated.
I mean how they organise things, how they editorially moderate, how they link out. Sure these links manipulate serps but not it appears in a way Google dislikes.
As I said, I know d*ck about directories. Perhaps someone more experienced has better advice?
BUt I have always thought right from the beginning of this Paid Links war, this is about pure and simple serp manipulation. AND I also firmly believe it's FUD to a certain extent when it comes to Toolbar PR.
The whole network has taken a nosedive, just not everybody knows about it yet because Google seem to like rolling this one out slowly at the moment so every body thinks it's only about Paid Links.
Saying that, I did clean up my link profile and who I was linking out to. My toolbar PR hasnt went back up and I am not reconsidering a reinclusion request despite the change in rhetoric on the form. Toolbar PR is just a shadow measurement of what your site was one day months ago.
Forget about TBR - and think PR.
Hi SandPetra -
Thanks for clarifying. I've had my directory since 1998 and everything is hand added in html (no script)...so everything is 100% moderated. So I already do it better than Yahoo (in my opinion) because I don't ask people for money to be considered for the directory and I check for dead links which they seem to have stopped doing since last time I checked their site there were way too many dead links.
Thanks for all of your feedback...I really do appreciate it. :)