McMohan - 11:05 am on Jun 5, 2012 (gmt 0)
The first onslaught of Penguin update is behind us. As someone who is an active SEO managing several websites and also the administrator of a popular web directory, I am seeing a lot of webmasters and SEOs rushing to remove their listings from web directories. This has got me pondering over if the Penguin update is all about profiling inbound links as directory links, forum links, blog links, so on and so forth, and removing all links belonging to a particular profile. But I beg to differ.
1. My first yardstick is to see if a page linking to your site is meant to give links out. Is a forum page carrying a signature link to your website is meant to carry such links? Is the guestbook on a site carrying a disproportional guest entries with links to some sites is meant to give out links? If it is such a page where the users are not likely to be benefited by links, then such links should be discounted. Is a directory page expected to give links? Yes, it is.
2. My second signal is, as you all know, the anchor text abuse. This has little to do with linking site profiling. If the linked to site has disproportional percentage of keyword anchor text in its inbound link profile, it is a case for it to remove such links or edit link anchor text where possible. Again, if the directory is not in the habit of giving Title just made of keywords, I don't see a reason why should they be removed.
3. And lastly, Neighborhood. Links placed in pages that is not relevant to the target site or bad neighborhood. Again, if a directory has stuck to its editorial integrity and not compromised on categorization or placed RoS links to Payday Loan sites, that directory can't be on ones hit list.
Just how useful are directory links, is a subject for debate on another day, but blindly going after all directory links, to me, is nonsensical.