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This 34 message thread spans 2 pages: 34 ( [1] 2 > >     
I see 50% of free submission directories now out of Google

 6:36 am on May 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

While checking some sites links I found 50% free submission directories are out of G now.
Will Google count such links in negative SEO or unnatural linking?



 11:36 am on May 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Meaning if you try to find these directories by typing in their name into Google, they no longer show up?


 12:27 pm on May 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Yes their index pages in G are ZERO now.

Waiting for this query:

Will Google count such links in negative SEO or unnatural linking?


 12:40 pm on May 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Sunny. I don't have a crystal ball to answer you - we can only speculate. My guess is that such links will simply be ignored.


 2:14 pm on May 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

While checking some sites links I found 50% free submission directories are out of G now.
Will Google count such links in negative SEO or unnatural linking?

Does this means G! start preferring PAID directories over free directories so Webmaster or Website owner with huge budget can manipulate SERP?

Does G! indirectly start converting customers who use to use free directories to paid directories?


 2:27 pm on May 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

I have a paid directory that I haven't touched for about 3 years, only gets about 25 submissions ($10) a year - strange thing is, I just looked and not only is it well indexed but all the internal pages are now showing page rank - for a very long time they were all 'greyed out' after the google clamp-down on directories a couple of years ago.

No idea when it came back, certainly nothing I've changed and pretty unlikely it's attracted natural links.


 2:51 pm on May 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

I don't think free or paid makes anywhere near as much of a difference as to whether or not the directory is actually curated for quality. Because if it isn't, what other reason is there for it to exist other than to create links?


 2:53 pm on May 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Also speculating here but could it be down to amount of submissions approved? Obviously a free directory will get a constant stream of sites and expand quite considerably thus not really giving great quality signals. Paid won't get as many submissions.
This could also be why Rasputins directory has improved with only 25 submissions being approved per year?


 2:59 pm on May 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Could it be down to the quality of the actual pages of the directories? TBA I am surprised some of they directories have lasted this Long.

Wonder if Google will de-index Dmoz :)


 3:26 pm on May 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

I am wondering how a new site can start getting some visibility.

Marketing Guy

 3:28 pm on May 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

Paid directories don't seem to be hit as hard - I've a list of 100 or so that I've been keeping an eye on and only 3 have been blitzed (completely de-indexed, but still have TBPR...).

The common issue between them was allowing keyword laden anchor text (which is common in free directories too). Makes sense they'd be on the hit list tbh.

There has to be only maybe 2k-5k free directories out there that are being used regularly (submission services, etc). Realistically if Google is slapping people with exact match anchor text in Penguin, you could also use that data to identify common sources of exact match links. Given directories are mass-submission techniques, it makes sense that they'd appear at the top of the list and are likely to be the first place Google kills off.

IMO just the start. If Google is using backlink data to identify the common source of spam, it's only a matter of time before they can refine the process to indentify more subtle offenders like smaller content networks and so on.


 4:21 pm on May 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

IMO just the start.

However a bloody stupid idea IF a trade-specific widget directory is the ONLY place for trade widgets to be listed...baby and bathwater comes to mind.

The more they do the more they screw it up.


 4:40 pm on May 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

Maybe they look at whether or not it's a directory that people specifically come to find sites, rather than just one that people submit to?

I myself don't think I've purposely visited more than two directories in the last year, and they were tightly focused industry directories for clients.


 4:50 pm on May 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

I think the OP was referring to the poorly ranking link sites created solely for SEO value.

Symptoms are: Open Source link directory software used, sample data set loaded and a domain that has very few back links from anything remotely authoritative like DMOZ, Yahoo! Directory or other well respected directories (read very few).

Personally I'm not sad to see those with less than 200 outbound links gone. Those directories just made it harder for the legitimate ones (example: true niche, trade and regional) to thrive.


 8:02 pm on May 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

I believe Google has compiled lists of sites which they believe are places your site SHOULD get links from if it's of sufficient quality. If your site isn't getting links from these places it may be a sign your content isn't worthy in their eyes. A Google post mentioning the addition of hundreds of forums as a source of social signals led me to believe this. The article was written in a "social discussions about your site" context but it makes sense that these places should be linking to you, it's where Google expects to find sites like yours mentioned. Are you being mentioned in the right places? The wrong ones are likely ignored imo. Focus on being mentioned where you should be instead of link quantity and you'll do just fine.

As Bing calls it - join the discussion about your site/content because it's happening with or without you.


 9:36 pm on May 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'd imagine that they'd not only be hit for being of poor quality, but also because they contain so much duplicate content. What percentage of the directory submission people actually use unique text to describe their site? I'd guess maybe 5%, if that.

Back in the day, you *could* get a DMOZ submission approved just for being of good quality and being listed was very beneficial. Now-a-days, you're lucky to find a "good" directory without bias.


 10:19 pm on May 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

@Sgt_Kickaxe, forum links have always played a part, as have social site links, and always will in what your main sites keywords will list on the top 20 search results.

My question is does G distinguish between social truth and social gosip when reading the forum content?


 1:34 am on May 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

I took a quick look around in my niche space and didn't see any changes other than the chaos Panda created a long time ago. This dumping of directories obviously didn't just happen in my niche so I know that number is fiction for one faction.

Just what 50% of what free directories got dumped?

How did you arrive at the 50% number, just where did this come from anyway?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Please provide some facts to back up this claim.


 12:52 pm on May 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

I am wondering how a new site can start getting some visibility.



 12:53 pm on May 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

Now-a-days, you're lucky to find a "good" directory without bias.

Then that is a business opportunity waiting to be fulfilled.


 2:27 pm on May 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

I do a lot of directory submissions, working with a list of about 20k.

This is absolutely not true from where I sit, I see nothing but normal attrition.


 12:24 am on May 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

I too am not seeing directories that are deindexed, which probably means that I have selected my bookmarks well. Attrition seems to have killed a lot of the DMOZ clones and non-curated ones. If a directory allowed you to specify the anchor text, e.g. as the "Name" field, I can see them being hit by Penguin rather than a directory-specific cleanup.


 1:32 pm on May 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

Personally, I don't see why ANY directory should flow ANY page rank toward the targeted site.

I mean, yellow pages is a directory. Should anyone get page rank because they are listed in the online version of yellow pages?

Why should a site get more page rank because they hired some clown on fivrr or mechanical turk to go go around filling out directory forms?

How is that an indication of quality?

Marketing Guy

 1:55 pm on May 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

"How is that an indication of quality?"

To be fair, same could be said about press releases, article marketing, forum signatures, profile signatures, guest posting, link exchanges, link requests, broken link requests, link bait, comment spam, forum spam, sploging, paid links, etc etc.

Link building is all about artificially inflating quality signals and not about building actual quality signals. Just because there's a sliding scale of spam involved with each technique, doesn't change what is.

Personally, I think directories are a grossly underrated potential revenue stream for website owners. A combination of SEO spam and Adsense induced laziness probably makes them less appealing, but if you can design, build and cultivate a good directory, it can really be a good little earner.

From a search point of view, such a directory should tecnically pass some kind of qualitative signal, but that's only in theory. In practice, there are only a handful of directories like that, compared to thousands that have grown from the DMOZ-clone / link spam era. It makes sense that Google would take a swing a directories in general (although I'd add again, I've not seen any impact on some of the better directories).

I just hope it serves as an incentive to some people to reassess their strategy with directories and help build better ones, rather than just let the concept die a victim of Google spammers.


 7:08 pm on May 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

I don't think the missing directories have much to do with Google. The free cookie cutter directories have been rapidly going out of business this year since they finally figured out you can't make any money with them.


 8:19 pm on May 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

I think this is an attrition issue. Duplicate content in directories gets no search engine love, and Google has specifically said they don't want to show directories that don't provide added information above the snippet, title and url format.

Most submissions that come in are duplicate content. So what this means is it's a little more labour-intensive to run a directory that benefits from search engine traffic, and owners have to give more attention to each listing. The good ones were doing this already, but for the poor ones the game's up.


 8:34 pm on May 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

There have been absolutely no facts put forward to substantiate the OP's assertion. It's a myth and maybe even a malicious one as far as WebmasterWorld is concerned. Please stop posting, its being sited in other forums as a joke.


 9:36 pm on May 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

Agreed - this thread is now locked.

There is no thorough inventory of free directories here. Rather we have one member's experience with his own list of diretories.


 3:59 pm on Sep 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

I've decided to re-open this thread - because there is some truth here.

No, it's nowhere near 50% of free directories that were thrown out of the Google index - but research is showing that a number of free directories were de-indexed in mid-May, in one survey it was 16% out of 500 tested.

That doesn't mean you get a penalty because you had a link there. However, you would lose any positive effect the directory was generating, and who knows? If I were designing a Penguin, I would definitely look hard at other factors for any site that was listed in a lot of those directories.


 4:50 pm on Sep 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

If I were designing a Penguin, I would definitely look hard at other factors for any site that was listed in a lot of those directories.

If I were designing a penguin I wouldn't design a penguin. I would design the egg that the penguin will be born from and then nurture it with proper logic of information architecture until it can evolve to the point where a penguin could actually fly on its own.

Also, I've been playing with the idea lately of starting a directory of my own for a niche that is very up-and-coming that has tremendous growth potential for the next 20 years as far as I can predict. It would be a complete manual process with very strict control of what gets in there as well as plenty of supporting content. I would be especially picky about what gets listed. It would be a hobby project for the sheer enjoyment of creativity and the enjoyment of playing with search engines. If it gains enough traffic over time I'll offer ad space, if not it will have been an investment in learning for learning's sake.

Directories of value will live on and new ones will be born out of the richly fertilized burnt forest by the ones that went up in smoke. My biggest stumbling block though is trying to work out a scraper-proof solution before going ahead with it and that is a nearly impossible task. Nearly.

This 34 message thread spans 2 pages: 34 ( [1] 2 > >
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