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Many have huge amounts of paid links that pass PageRank.
Many of the directories are interlinked (reciprocated).
Many of the directories have pricing schemes where you can pay extra to get extra deep links to your site.
Many of the directories have links to bidding directories (these are the latest trend in the industry where you pay extra to come up in a higher position).
Many of the directories have links from bidding directories.
Many of the directories offer a discounted price to website owners who place a link back.
Which of these factors do you think may have caused the directories to get penalized in the Google rankings? Do you think it is possible for a penalized directory to get their rankings back? Say a directory owner has really put a lot of effort in, made sure their content is unique, made sure they only link to high quality sites, earned a lot of natural links, would it be worth them making changes and then sending a re-inclusion request to Google?
Many thanks in advance to anyone who can help me with any of these questions.
Say a directory owner has really put a lot of effort in, made sure their content is unique, made sure they only link to high quality sites, earned a lot of natural links
Eavesy, you have just listed out points how to keep the penalty at bay. Mantra in today's Google world, keep a low profile, unless you believe you have done things close to 100% right.
It's still up for debate whether or not this was a manual penalty. The way a particular group of directories has been hit suggests to me that there was a broadening of the way the crosslinking penalty was applied. It's long been known that if websites are excessively crosslinked those links won't hold any weight, and may incur a "bad neighbourhood" penalty. But nobody except Google knows just how many websites can be counted within this neighbourhood, and what % of crosslinks between sites will pass under the radar. I'm inclined to believe this was a tweak of the algorithm, and that a lot of these directories have been interlinking too narrowly.
Likewise, if there a principal of efficient action that suggests that if one picks off the most vocal targets first their tendency towards being vocal might be the most efficient way to "get the message out"?
It seemed as much a matter of obvious targets as it was a matter of efficient targeting. I was dumbfounded by the very public way the members of the directory forum at DP went about their business. It was a classic slapping of a bulleye on one's posterior and daring the marksman to shoot. I'm sure it's been a live and learn experience for many who felt the sting of the marksman. Sad.
C'est la WWW, oui?
[edited by: Webwork at 6:58 pm (utc) on Sep. 28, 2007]