We're not there yet. incrediBILL, you mentioned...
As soon as search placed value on links the internet began to revolve around getting good links. Since browsers are the interface we use everyday to connect to search I don't suspect this will change until the browser itself "learns" from individuals and everyone's "search" evolves independently without needing a "search site". No centralized ranking, results all customized to the person using the computer, all profiled as if by the FBI directly.
We're not there yet.
incrediBILL, you mentioned...
and that leaves me with 2 questions.
#1 - Do you see directories becoming more important or less important as search continues to evolve? The future?
#2 - How is that statement different from what a site that entertains crappy links is saying to attract customers? Same demographics?
edit: late night typos... I should also add that I've owned a directory for several years but now only add 3-5 links a week, mostly as I come across them online, and I remove an equal number. The project stalled, or rather I halted the original plan, when I couldn't find an added value proposition that wasn't on 100 other sites already (ie: web tools, guides, comparison etc).
Now I rely on my dead link checker and on Google pagerank to keep the directory clean, the sites are listed according to their rank so I can spot penalized sites pretty quickly as they fall to the bottom of their categories. With 1000 links or so, all of which I'd readily link to myself, what to do with it? Does the future hold anything that suggests I need to put more effort into it than that? A bit off topic but at the same time how can I encourage the good sites and provide something worthwhile for everyone besides "my choice of sites"? Maybe the problem isn't the keyword spammers, maybe it's what I'm offering, or not offering, that makes it nothing more than SEO linkbait.
[edited by: JS_Harris at 9:02 am (utc) on May 21, 2009]