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  1. #1
    Influencer Marketing GravityFed's Avatar
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    Legit Web Directories & Google - Filtered?
    Hey Folks, I would love to see a thread here about on this topic...

    If you havent already check out
    http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum30/30575.htm

  2. #2
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    Gary it's no surprise, it's been a while coming and it was only a matter of time until it started to happen. There's also a thread here that got into it a few days before the thread you pointed out, and is getting into some of the reasons

    http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/...ead.php?t=6642

    There are legit directories out there, but there's also a ton being produced that don't have legit value. Some of the good ones are suffering along with the others with this hit, but who knows whether it's being done by hand removal or algorithmically through filters.

  3. #3
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Good riddence as they served no purpose other then link farming and Google gaming. Hope they whack all the expired domain directory templates too.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  4. #4
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Yeah, what Mike said. I also am enjoying the irony as some of those directory-runners used to go around on a high horse talking about how THEY "add value" to the Net. Guess Google doesn't agree with that assessment! Ha ha

    Plus it shows that G does indeed think something is more whack-worthy than affiliate sites.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  5. #5
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Leader it sure will put more B, in the BS, the SEO firms pile on the desperate marketers not deserving of Google/Yahoo listings. Those with link farm scripts showing the GoogleBot ""add your URL here" line will whack both the link farm and their crop of fools.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  6. #6
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    Plus it shows that G does indeed think something is more whack-worthy than affiliate sites.
    And the irony is that most of them would not accept sites that "consisted mainly of affiliate links" to other sites.

  7. #7
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webworker
    And the irony is that most of them would not accept sites that "consisted mainly of affiliate links" to other sites.
    Yeah...so that makes it a billboard-sized HARDY HAR HAR to see them getting the axe as the unworthies!! See how *they* like it!

    Serves em right, serves em right, serves em right, for snooting up their noses at us affiliates.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    I read a couple disucssions about this and some people echoed the points being made here. What value do link directories really add? Who actually uses them? Since search became practical, they really don't have too much value. The only directory of links that comes to mind with any value is Hotscripts which has links to application homepages. It's another one of those cases where you need to do it right and make it worth while for the visitors. I agree with others here.. At least affiliate sites aren't the only targets.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  9. #9
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I think some can add value, but most just become havens for SEO. For instance, I still find a lot of value in the Yahoo Directory.

    I've contemplated building a directory (and even have a good domain name for it) that I think would be valuable, but it would be a pretty small directory. (Basically, it would just a categorized list of my bookmarks.) Sites that I found useful enough to bookmark. I know I would get inundated with link requests (most of which I wouldn't accept), so that's what's held me back.
    Michael Coley
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  10. #10
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    There are still directories out there with value, even some older ones and especially some verticals and narrowly focused niche directories. But what's being cranked out nowadays is for different reasons and just because someone downloads a script and slaps the word "directory" on a website doesn't make it one.

    The only directory of links that comes to mind with any value is Hotscripts which has links to application homepages.
    There you have it Scott, it's a vertical directory for a special interest that happens to be your interest. But other members of the net population not only don't use it or know about it, they don't want to get anywhere near it, it's scary to some. I bet they don't get much traffic from women on AOL.

    But women on AOL into gardening sure will be interested in a niche directory with quality info and sites about gardening listed, and if we think about it a niche affiliate site that's well done that has resources & merchants listed for everything gardening isn't all that much different from a good directory - it's a resource to find stuff. So is an affiliate mall site somewhat of a directory in a way, just a different kind - and they can have value.

    It's another one of those cases where you need to do it right and make it worth while for the visitors.
    Doing it right is not what those pseudo-directories being cranked out are about. A lot of them are about getting exposure - with tons on *lists* of "directories" being spread around and being posted all over SEO forums. And if you look at a lot of them, they're for SEO purposes and to sell text link ads. It's a whole industry that's sprung up with a business model and they're filling the engines - or trying to.

    I agree with others here.. At least affiliate sites aren't the only targets.
    The problem is that some affiliate sites were getting loads of pages nuked, either going URL only or Supplemental and if it's an algo or filter thing that's being used to kill directories, if there's any common elements that can be figured out then it can prevent good affiliate sites from getting hit by avoiding what filters are catching.

    It's so sad to see some of the posts by people who have genuinely worked hard to create quality sites getting hit right along with the fly-by-nights.

  11. #11
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    I have directories on most of my larger niche sites, and use other peoples directories all the time in preference to search engines.. I'm not talking about scraper sites, but proper hand edited directories that are kept up to date.. I find for my own self that the more complex an area, the more value a proper directory provides above search engine results.. Running a larger niche site without a directory is also a waste, as bucketloads of people use directories, and they'll just go elsewhere more often if you don't give them one..

    I don't accept straight affiliate sites in my directories either - I won't even link to my own affiliate sites from them..

    I also haven't had a single site filtered from Google yet, but that may be because my sites have more than just a directory..

  12. #12
    Content $ Queen Ebudae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webworker
    I bet they don't get much traffic from women on AOL.
    Speaking as a "woman on AOL" (and one who has been for quite a long time) - you might well be surprised in what kind of directories we are interested in.
    Ebudae


  13. #13
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    Along the lines of what webworker was saying, I run a directory that has been active since 97. It is a narrow niche and very much serves a purpose. It also takes alot of work to run - 3 people and it is still constantly backlogged.

    But we have been uneffected by any google action. Well just the normal ups and downs, but nothing noteworthy.

    As for the quick to make, useless to use except as feed to get adsense ads shown. I am all for closing those down. Not only do they offer no value, they tend to spam my directory in the hopes I will get drunk some night and activate their links.

    Chet

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    This scares the h3ll out of me, but I actually agree with Mike's first post.

    I never quite understood why a SE would list a bunch of directory sites when doing a search, especially when the sites listed in those directories were buried further down in the search results due to the directories.

    I think they're mostly a waste of bandwidth and time. I can see where professional directories, club directories, etc., could be helpful to members and other interested parties, but by and large most of them are useless. I'm glad to see them getting wacked, I think they've done more harm than good, especially over the last year or so.

    Andy

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    From googles own webmaster guidelines - "Submit your site to relevant directories such as the Open Directory Project and Yahoo!, as well as to other industry-specific expert sites."

    Google must really hate them

  16. #16
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    "Submit your site to relevant directories such as the Open Directory Project and Yahoo!, as well as to other industry-specific expert sites."
    The key words being "relevant" and "such as" and "expert" - especially the "such as" part.

    Some of the new directories out there have unmistakable telltale characteristics, and those bear no resemblance to ODP or Yahoo

    The expert part resonates, because it's a word used in that Hilltop Algorithm that everyone was talking about after the Florida update, and some of the criteria that are used to decide whether a site is an "expert" - like linking patterns from independent, unrelated sources being one of them. A lot of the newer directories are on the same "resource" pages that link to them, and also, a lot have most all of their inbound links from SEO forum posts and lists like those - with a lot of cross-linking to boot.

    Google may not actually hate them as such, we have no way of knowing. But those aren't exactly signs of expert sites, and the ones they're comparing to (ODP & Yahoo) don't have loads of empty, duplicate category pages run on the same templates and the kind of sitewides that some do. Y! and ODP also don't advertise themselves all over that deep links with anchor text can be bought for cut rate prices either.

  17. #17
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    I fail to see a reason for Google to link to ANY directory, even Dmoz. Why would they link to what amounts to micro-competitors, when they can just spider the sites in them themselves?! It stands to reason that G would want all that traffic that's looking for links, to just use G's own index.

    Quote Originally Posted by TK
    From googles own webmaster guidelines - "Submit your site to relevant directories such as the Open Directory Project and Yahoo!, as well as to other industry-specific expert sites."

    Google must really hate them
    They may. Since when did Google put the real deal in their guidelines? The SERPs almost always indicate that the real algo isn't what they've got printed, or at least is so far different that it'd take a decoder ring to find a correlation...

    I figure if they'll let a site doing what's "against" their guidelines to rank highly, it's not far-fetched at all that they'd nuke a site that was in compliance.
    And, remember that now, some people say that a site will be nuked for being TOO compliant--that's "overoptimization!"

    In other words, their guidelines are BS, IMO.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  18. #18
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    Leader the value is - google starts with data and tries to make sense of it. A well run directory starts with the sense and adds data to it. You can have a page about the indians. Tons of stuff on the indians.

    Am I talking about native americans, india indians or the cleveland indians?

    Instead of sifting through all the raw data with some algo that is not set to extract meaning, google can shortcut it by linking to a directory that has done the work and has made the choice for them and the viewer.

    That is two very different approaches to search/data, and by google indexing them they are meeting in the middle, which is hopefully best of both worlds.

    Chet

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador Jane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader

    I figure if they'll let a site doing what's "against" their guidelines to rank highly, it's not far-fetched at all that they'd nuke a site that was in compliance.
    And, remember that now, some people say that a site will be nuked for being TOO compliant--that's "overoptimization!"
    It's just a dumb algo, it can't tell the good sites from the bad. When sites that go against their guidelines rank highly, they change the algo. Good sites will get taken down along with the bad. Don't blame Google, blame the spammers, they are the ones that cause the constant algo changes. If there was no junk there would be no need for filters.

  20. #20
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jane
    It's just a dumb algo, it can't tell the good sites from the bad. When sites that go against their guidelines rank highly, they change the algo. Good sites will get taken down along with the bad. Don't blame Google, blame the spammers, they are the ones that cause the constant algo changes. If there was no junk there would be no need for filters.
    The way things have always been with them, if you don't learn some decent SEO skills you can't rank. IMO they created the monster. And, reports of penalties for things like following their guidelines "to the letter" just go to show how much craziness is going on there! That's like getting a ticket--for going the speed limit!!

    As for what's "junk," with very few exceptions, having someone (or some company) trying to impose what amounts to matters of taste onto the entire internet (or a big part of it) is just bogus. One person's "tasteful, well-done" site is another's waste of disk space!

    IMO getting rid of the scraper-"directories" is good. But not because of trumped-up "lack of usefulness" stuff. They interfere with the rankings of the sites they scrape off of, and to add insult to injury they do it with the snippets they scraped! So, BYE to them!

    As for other directories, it's just plain old funny to see them get whacked after all their uncalled-for snootiness against affiliate sites. They've enjoyed calling us "spam," "clutter," "useless," and all kinds of other totally bogus epithets just because our sites are *different* than theirs--and we dare to make sites with making money as our objective. As if having a site unlike their idea of "good" is somehow evil!

    So it's very nice to see the turnabout, see them finally have PROOF that a low rank or even banning doesn't always mean the site sucks, and otherwise to see the shoe on the other foot.
    Last edited by Leader; August 1st, 2005 at 07:35 AM.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  21. #21
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    Not linking to affiliate sites is simply good business.. Straight affiliate sites are mentioned in googles guidelines, and from my own experience and many others, affiliate sites get delisted and demoted quite frequently (meaning they don't seem to like them).. Affiliate sites also use heavy linking quite often, and/or cross linking of their own sites, and can create a "bad neighbourhorhood" as they call it.. I can't see one good reason why anyone would risk sites that they've put a lot of time, effort, and $$$ into just to link to affiliate sites which are for the most part self serving (mine are anyways )..

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy
    I never quite understood why a SE would list a bunch of affiliate sites when doing a search, especially when the products/sites listed in those affiliate sites were buried further down in the search results due to the affiliate sites.

    I think they're mostly a waste of bandwidth and time. I can see where price comparison, coupon sites, etc., could be helpful to members and other interested parties, but by and large most of them are useless. I'm glad to see them getting wacked, I think they've done more harm than good, especially over the last year or so.

    Andy
    Funny how you can change a few words and it sounds like you're on another forum altogether.. Quite ironic..

    And no the above is not my own sentiments.. just found it interesting is all..

  23. #23
    Influencer Marketing GravityFed's Avatar
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    Thank you!!
    I really value all these opinions.. we have a few really good affiliates that run outdoor-themed directories who have been crushed lately.. and we are trying to help them figure out 1) why, and 2) what they can do to differentiate themselves from the scraper sites who are getting filtered.

    In fact these sites I am referring to are thoroughly human-maintained and valuable resources from the user's perspective, so it would be a shame to see them stay out of the mix.

    I was gone all weekend.. Hiking/Sleeping at 9000'+ in the Uinta Mountains of Northern Utah ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uinta_Mountains ).. so it was nice seeing all the discussion here when I sat back down at my desk.

    Keep the comments coming!! GBM

  24. #24
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Hand created directories = GOOD (much of the time)
    Machine created directories = BAD (nearly all the time)

    Unfortunately, the search engines may have a hard time telling the difference so they all get whacked.

    I think if one could get their directory listed in yahoo or dmoz it would hold up.
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  25. #25
    Influencer Marketing GravityFed's Avatar
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    hmm.. one in particular is listed in both and is still getting hoaxed..

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