Erosion of Value: Small General Directories...PUNT!

BobMuch keeps promoting directory lists over at SEW forums (which frequently inclde 5 of his own directories), but many scrappers sites have recently been given a hand job, and DaveN says of directories:

whats stopping someone just scraping and building directories, using the same footprint


added oops they all ready have

If scrappers are a big burdon on Google (and they are), and

  • they pattern themselves after directories; and

  • most of the small general directories are not much more than glorified link farms

Then it makes sense that small junk directories are on their way out.

Marcia also mentions identifiable link networks, staying below radar, and how many directories appear as link farms:

There are some that are, beyond a shadow of a doubt, visibly identifiable as being part of linking "networks" - either networks of likeminded directories interlinked and cross-linked with the same business model in mind, or quite visibly as SEO networks.

Unfortunately, trying to emulate BH techniques without following the basic rule of BH, which is to stay off the radar, isn't what so many of them are doing. Publicizing and soliciting business for them right at SEO forums, right where search engineers can and do read, is exactly the opposite - it's putting them right on the radar and it's only been a matter of time before the ships either float or sink.


A good, substantial, vertical directory that's well established and gets inbound traffic for the relevant keyword set will do that, but those are a far cry from many of the little directories being thrown out there daily, both independently and as part of networks, that hope to monetize by selling text adverts or footer sitewides, even though, as pointed out, in many cases they're literally undistuishable from scraper sites

For a while I tried to help promote some of the directories, but almost all of them have turned out to be quick buck operations, and I will not be sad to see that business model erode.

What have you seen of Google and directories? Are they becoming less effective?

Published: July 4, 2005 by Aaron Wall in seo tips


July 5, 2005 - 1:58am

I don't think it's necessarily a small-directory problem - they're just easy to target. I think it's just a crack down on people trying to fake their way to quick bucks, and "come and go" directories are the best example of those. Set up shop, put Adsense up, make some $ selling links to basically a bunch of other "SEO's", then get a 0PR, and start all over again. Those sites bring little to no worth to the internet, IMO. There are still some directories that hold weight, but they are few are far between...

Anthony Parsons
July 5, 2005 - 5:15am

Its all in the eyes of the owner IMO. They can run a credible directory of quality sites to help build and promote the Internet as a whole, or they can simply let everything and anything within their directory for the exact purposes mentioned, $$$.

I often don't see many directories holding any sort of credible rankings, though mine will. Bob Munch is a twit IMHO, and simply out for the $$$. A sustainable business model should comprise something unique, not what everyone else is doing.

So I disagree that directories are going to go away, though I agree that all the scraper and adsense plastered one's should disappear, the sooner the better. If the SE's want to help that along, then great, that would be a better all round situation.

A good example of something I rejected just recently,, which is a good example of a DMOZ scraped replica for adsense $$$. The owner will wonder why the business model didn't work! No doubt! The reason is because no business model exists, just spam and $$$.

July 8, 2005 - 4:21pm

Agreed. Lately is seems like many directories that once held PR are showing 0, or worse yet - the dreaded grey bar! I think some directories are still useful but I also think that many are begining to hold less and less weight than in the past.

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