Paid Directories Becoming A History
Posted on : 11-09-2008 at 0124 hrs
Author : Rif Chia
Paid directories, soon becoming part of Search Engine Optimization's history, were once regarded as one of the best link building strategies back in the golden days where manipulation of search results were easily done.
As the search engines' algorithm gets complex and smarter, more considerations are now being factored into ranking web pages and delivering the most relevant results to the end-users. In order to be inline with their ultimate goal, search engines such as Google began their mission against websites that believed to have violated their holy guidelines.
Web Directory or commonly known as Paid Directory was one of those websites being targeted by Google for violating their HOLY guidelines which to some extent is quite true. As a result, many once popular and powerful paid or web directories were being penalized or even banned by Google over the past years. However, there are still a number of quality directories there were spared by Google and maintained in its Pagerank and Authority till today. Read on to view some examples of paid directories that were being penalized, banned or had their PR edited and those that managed to maintain their authority till now.
Penalized or Banned
Alive Directory - Once being regarded as a powerful paid directory with an amazing PR 7, went straight down to a PR value of 0 after receiving a Google's penalty kick during the period of Sep 2007. Alive Directory is now currently nowhere to be found within Google's SERPs for their own domain name.
Uncover The Net - Once a PR 7 paid directory has now been banned from Google completely. Do a search using site:http://www.uncoverthenet.com at Google and you will see the cruel truth behind this ban. It is now re-registered as http://www.uncoverthenet.net which will be redirected to its parent site.
PageRank Being Edited
Site Sift - PR edited from PR 6 to PR 3
Aviva - PR edited from PR 6 to PR 0 to PR 4
Romow - PR edited from PR 6 to PR 4
Quality Directories That Maintained Its PR and Authority
Family Friendly Sites - Been around since 1996 and is having a PR 6. They brand their site as a directory that delivers family friendly websites.
Joe Ant - Been around since 2001 and is having a PR 6. Positioned themselves as an informative web directory.
Best Of The Web - Been around since 1994 and has a PR 6. Branded itself as the oldest directory in the Web and it is by far the best paid directory online. Its name spells everything we need to know.
These paid directories have maintained their PR and authority throughout the years because of their stricter guidelines in accepting inclusion of websites into their directories.
Why do paid or free directories get penalized or banned from Google?
Google wants to deliver the most relevant search results to it end users and it's in their best interests to control or stop techniques used by webmasters in the manipulation of search results. This is the simplest reason as to why web directories are being penalized or banned when believed to have violated the Google Guidelines. Nofollow movement, no paid links, no link farms or keywords cloaking are some of the guidelines set by Google as part of the effort towards delivering better search results.
With that in mind, many paid or free directories were penalized or banned because they have violated at least one, if not all of the strict Google Guidelines in link building. Below are some common mistakes that will sparkle off a Google penalty kick :
1) 301 Redirections in the effort of raising PR value
2) Linking structure that projects an impression of a link farm
3) High acceptance of low quality or spammy sites
4) Allows keyword rich anchor text for their accepted sites
5) Purchase / selling of paid links
6) Cross linking across sites within the same network
7) High percentage of irrevelant link exhange
8) High acceptance rate of adult site
Most of the paid or free directories have already become powerless in the eyes of the search engines and it is worthless getting your site listed within them. For those paid directories which are still as powerful, my thoughts are they are getting more expensive than they used to be and webmasters must really weight the value of spending on directory inclusion against spending on other link building techniques. If there is really a need for directory inclusion, i will recommend using Best Of The Web because it is worth the money listing your site there.