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Spent some time in deciding whether this post should go to Directories or Google or Google PR..
Heard somewhere that, Paid directories might be prevented by Google from passing the PR benefit to the listed sites, since money power can influence the neutral Google SERPs.
If this were to be true, even Yahoo will also get affected, which I think is a remote chance.
Now I am on the verge of laying budgets for paid submissions. Will it be safe and money well spent? Has there been any trends recently that might add fuel to my fear?
Google is unlikely to do such things. After all, they don't know which links are paid for anyway.
The paid directory IS likely, and many of them already do (they use shrouded links for tracking; some of those schemes will cause the links to be ignored by Google. You can look at the links currently in the directory, but you are unlikely to get any guarantee that they won't pull a Verisign or Looksmart on you: with choice of pointed, sharp, blunt, poisoned, or otherwise discomforting instruments limited only by their lawyers' imaginations.
No, it's not safe. Nor is driving a taxi in Washington, D.C. But some people make a living at it.
Nice way of putting it :-)
I foresee, barring a few major directories like Yahoo and ODP, directories will continue to exist only if they transfer good PR to the listed sites. Traffic will be like an added freebie. I mean it is going to be a diminishing utility of traffic and increasing utility of PR. So, small to medium players will have to fall in PR line by providing clean links, should they sustain.
Just a personal opinion.