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.