I have sorta let the Directory Archives site go to crap (ie: be poorly maintained) for a number of reasons. I still like many of the better directories (like Yahoo!, DMOZ, Business.com, MSN Small Business Directory, BOTW, Gimpsy, JoeAnt), but outside of the top few general directories and a few high quality niche specific directories most directories probably do not pack much of a punch at manipulating Google's search results or delivering direct traffic. Given the flood of low quality directories, and their lesser value in manipulating search, I have not put as much emphasis on my directory of directories. All the following reasons play part in its reduced priority status:
- Most directories are of limited quality. Building a high quality one is an expensive and time consuming process, and most of the people who have been creating directories over the last few years have not been concerned with quality. Most of them have been selling hollow PageRank to naive webmasters.
- Search engines (especially Google) have limited the effectiveness of many low quality links, in some cases not only deweighting the value of low quality links, but if you have too high of a junk to quality link ration they may throw ranking penalties on your site or reduce your crawl depth or crawl priority. The reduced crawl depth and crawl priority (based on low quality inlinks and outlinks and duplicate content issues) also hit many of the directories themselves, causing many of their pages to be deindexed.
- Social sites and consumer generated media add much more context to links than most directories do.
- Social bookmarking sites have limited editorial costs and a huge number of editors, thus they are more comprehensive than most directories are, while having much higher profit margins.
- So many people are blogging that if you can create something legitimately useful and get it a bit of exposure via your own blog or via the social sites then it is bound to pick up many high quality links.
- Improving search relevancy coupled with this additional content makes directories less necessary. Various niche blogs, the Wikipedia, and other authoritative social sites have largely replaced most directories in the search results, thus reducing the direct traffic most directories send to listed websites.
- Using the social sites is often a cheaper and more effective way of building a natural and diverse high quality backlink profile than by trying to build links from some of the lower quality directories. The social sites often lead to many secondary citations.
Rather than just killing off Directory Archives I added a social news and bookmarking section to it, such that it can still be used to help webmasters acquire good links and market their websites. In addition to listing social bookmarking and news sites it also has categories for sites like Squidoo and Work.com.
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