Is Google Really De-indexing Free Directories?

Today Barry Schwartz reported on a WebmasterWorld thread in which an SEO had noticed that Google has started to purge their index of the free directory submission web sites. In the post Barry indicated a number of free Directories were being removed from Google’s index. Below is an excerpt from his post.

He said that about 50% of the free directory submission web sites are no longer to be found in Google. Barry added “I searched for a bunch and about 50% of my searches returned results and 50% did not”.

Google de-Indexing directories

Directories that would be candidates for this kind of “draconian” action were as good as de-indexed ages ago. We sent out our super staffer Mike, with our vetted list of directories to see what he could find. From that (top end list) we found 65 no change, 2 domains parked and 1 de-indexed site; roughly 1.3% were de-indexed.

Next we went to our friends at Steam Driven Media for the last 100 (based on TBPR) from a list of 1500. From this group we found 1 with low indexation and 9 deindexed/gone – roughly 10% affected. Keep in mind, we have no idea how long these sites were out of the Google index.

 

So what’s the deal here?

My gut is telling me there could be lots of reasons for a massive de-indexing of crappy directories with the Penguin on the loose but I think it could also be lots of other reasons including someone on WMW having a really crappy list of free directories. 😉

Regardless whether directories are getting nuked or not, the Penguin and Panda are clear indications the writing is likely on the wall for many types of low quality sites to get classified as dead zones. Do your due diligence, quit using strictly SEO metrics in deciding where you get links. The new way is to look for strong sites in building a more diverse link profile!

At any rate our spreadsheet is here for you to use and peruse (and double check) or checkout a list of press release and directories I did for SEO Pros where you can log in here free. I think that it’s one of those threads from WMW that ends with a Roseanne Roseannadanna …”nevermind

 

Updated at 3:00 PM EST on May 15, 2012

We have added more directories (for a toal of 468) to the (low end) list and found that the next batch moved up to 16% from 10% from the first 100 sites. The significant thing we see here is that if there is a de-indexing occuring it is on sites that pass more link equity and are low quality sites. Google is classifying sites so it could be another indication that sites can also be classified as spam and de-indexed. Not saying that is the case for sure but it does seem that classes and types of sites are being hit with these unspecified Google updates

We are running another batch of 400+ this time from mid-range TBPR2-3 home pages.

 

Updated at 3:40 PM EST on May 15, 2012

Ok, we ran 423 mid-range directories (TBPR1-3) and found 22 not indexed. The spreadsheet download has been updated. So here’s what we have so far;

  • Vetted list of top directories (66); 1.3% not indexed
  • 423 mid-range directories; 5.2% not indexed
  • 468 low end directories; 15.76% not indexed

Again, we don’t know how many of these were previously in the index, but it does give a sense of the quality factor involved.

Updated; May 22nd 2012 – We ran the list again this week and there was virtually no change. The mid-range directories were at 6% not indexed and the low end is at 17%. Most certainly we’re not seeing the mass de-indexing that a lot of folks were concerned about. We shall run it again for the next few weeks, but so far there’s nothing of interest to report.

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42 Comments

  1. Thanks for the list and for the research 😀

  2. i’m not finished yet, wait til next weekend.

  3. @Manuel no probs, it seemed a little deep digging was appropriate. As for the lists, always vet your own stuff. hehe

    @Steve, on that note, we’re going to run this again for the next couple of weeks on Mondays. We won’t let it die here…so do YOUR WORST!! 😉

  4. Thanks for the list, I’ll add it to my own personal list and re-crawl all of them.

  5. We really haven’t been overly active with them, thus ours is down to a mere 66 (still sounds high)… But we did learn by getting some larger ones that one might want to be a bit careful with them. At the end of the day it will be another one of those, “who didn’t see that coming?” when they well and truly pass. That being said, digging into these kinda dealies is fun. So let me know what you find.

  6. There are quite literally tens of thousands of directory websites out there and to claim that they are being de-indexed with a sample of “5” or even 100 is not terribly scientific. Even at 1,000 being checked we are still only getting anecdotal information because I doubt too many people were tracking them to begin with.

    I keep a refreshed list of about 1,000 directories for a lot of reasons, mostly because I’m bored, and even that list sees about a 5% de-indexed or simply closed/shut down website percentage. between refreshes.

    Until someone takes the time to track a statistically relevant number of sites over a period of time longer than ‘right now’ no one can claim anything. It strikes me as more of an effort to be first with news, even if it’s wrong, to me.

  7. thats great research man.. I recently found there is a correlation between Twitter Sharing and Search Engine ranking.. this is going crazy at this moment.. 🙂

  8. *sigh* another thread. Tested the de-indexation theory on the Info Vilesilencer Top 100 Free Directories list, and found that 0 were de-indexed. Yup.

    Just goes to show what I’ve been saying for 10 years. Quality over quantity. Always, review directories before submitting to them.

    Anyone that’s gone through any other directory list with free directories will probably find a very significant percentage of junk.

    Google isn’t “suddenly” devaluing these directories. It has always devalued them. Wake up and smell the coffee!

  9. Thus a first round of Google Penguin rolled out, what next we do not know, if there is a case of web spam, the directories are no longer to be seen by google in their search engine index.

  10. Did you guys check the excel doc properly? He has added PR2 sites in the vetted list and many domains has already expired in that list. So the list and the calculated out come is not reliable at all. Google add and de-index site, it’s a regular process.

  11. Joseph Chambers

    [quote name=”Dan”]*sigh* another thread. Tested the de-indexation theory on the Info Vilesilencer Top 100 Free Directories list, and found that 0 were de-indexed. Yup.

    Just goes to show what I’ve been saying for 10 years. Quality over quantity. Always, review directories before submitting to them.
    [/quote]

    i haven’t used Info Vilesilencer in a while. Interesting.

  12. I believe that it the big taking control of page rank as they want to keep this system running. After all they created it right?
    If they can remove any ways for SEO guys to make inks to build page rank they have more control over their page rank system.
    See you on the inside!
    Marty Ware The SEO Dad!

  13. This is really amazing but i want to know on what factor do you determine these directories as vetted top list, mid range and low end. Can you define it, or just based on page rank..

  14. I checked the web directories in the Excel file today (May 18) and the following two have also been deindexed:

    googlephone24.com (PR 2)
    ohworld.com (PR 2)

    Vivek

  15. First of all Thanks for your research. My friends according to the Penguin More OBLS and low quality sites will be De-index so don’t be panic be cool it is the summarize result of this research and also on April-24-2012 it was cleared by Penguin release..

  16. Terry you have not answered my question yet..Waiting for your reply.. Vivek if you found some website deindexed do not forget to mention which list it belong to, whether Top list mid range or Low quality..

  17. [quote name=”mathewdav”]This is really amazing but i want to know on what factor do you determine these directories as vetted top list, mid range and low end. Can you define it, or just based on page rank..[/quote]
    Vetted list…. not really it is a list a friend has… we use it in our work… we have been using it for years as have many others 😉

    Basically we used the TBPR of the page to decide the low end etc. We have directories with high PR etc. has anyone vetted beyond do they take submissions no. But the position of the post is clearly saying de-indexing is not a “problem” nor is there reason to stop using them …should it be your whole campaign ..no …it’s all about diversity of technique.
    It is foundational linking every site can use. As it is I don’t think these are a big deal and the de-indexing|closures|attrition is normal.

  18. good news about dirs .

  19. I think nowadays you need to be aware of building links to those free directories. is it worth it? Differentiate yourself from the others and push the bout out and invest in some good links.

  20. Thanks for sharing your research and the list of directories – I always love how willing the SEO community is to share! I do my best to return the favour. I would agree with Sam – at this point I think directories need to make up a small part of any SEO strategy, so even if some get deindexed, the value of the other links you are building should be outweighing them anyway.

  21. [quote name=”Vivek”]Update:

    Nine more web directories have been deindexed in the last 24 hours:

    http://www.zillowlite.com PR 3
    http://www.dropclear.com PR 3
    http://www.koupa.com PR 3
    http://www.wizkeep.com PR 3
    http://www.halfpintgentleman.com PR 2
    http://www.imaginerevolution.com PR 2
    http://www.worldexpophotos.com PR 2
    http://www.charlychans.com PR 1
    http://www.decily.com PR 1[/quote]

    How did you checked it that Google deindexed these web directories?

  22. Amazing… I am also trying to find a tool, where we can check any web directory link quality and come to know the exact status.

    From SEOmoz i have got a directories list of about 400 directories and the webmaster of seomoz said its refine and not banned by Google.

    Anybody, have idea that how can we check at same time of submissions?

    Thanks in advanced.

    Rock

  23. Thanks for looking into this Terry. Is there any chance you could followup on the affect on niche directories? Our directory as an example is made/run by actual contractors in the trade and is human edited and selective. Also, I watched the Matt Cutts video on directories and was curious as to how their crawlers would detect the difference in auto versus human edited. Thanks…

  24. Neal I have a niche directory and I’ve never noticed any kind of drops anywhere. For instance we even have $ memberships. In the past when the general directories got hit…nothing…. even when the Paid link FUD hit…. Google didn’t punish us (our directory links were not nofollowed, ads are marked sponsored) but hammered paid directories. We had major churn because of the FUD but other than that nuthin’.

  25. HashesSEO the site:operator is your friend 😉
    use this syntax in Google search
    site:http://www.spammysite.com
    it returns no results if the site is de-indexed… it is very useful as it returns the number of indexed pages

  26. [quote name=”Terry Van Horne”]Neal I have a niche directory and I’ve never noticed any kind of drops anywhere. For instance we even have $ memberships. In the past when the general directories got hit…nothing…. even when the Paid link FUD hit…. Google didn’t punish us (our directory links were not nofollowed, ads are marked sponsored) but hammered paid directories. We had major churn because of the FUD but other than that nuthin’.[/quote]

    In my niche, a blog (highly ranked) turned to a pseudo directory by creating “state” pages and then openly sold links. They dropped totally out of the serps for our primary keyword (not deindexed). We offer free listing for qualified contractors and have premium features…Should I be concerned? BTW, we use a wordpress directory theme. We are a directory but our listings are probably seen as posts by googlebot.

  27. I have observed that Google is trying hard to give the ethical search results and because of that de-indexing all those sites which are not appropriate for the guidelines of Google.

  28. I completely agree, Google is not going to tolerate any spammers that’s why they are de-indexing all the directories which are free to submit.

  29. Whether they can remove any methods for Search engine optimization men to create ink to construct page ranking they’ve got more treatments for their page ranking system.

  30. we also analyzing that google is not providing the value of low PR and poor quality websites. Now a days, mostly high pr website not providing free links, all are paid. I want to ask you that directory play good role to enhance the ranking in search engine?

  31. I dont what to say at this min coz in my point directory really dont work these days as per the new google algos and all on the other hand we always feel greedy for free backlinks that these directories can provide..but one has to be very carefull when doing this

  32. Directory sites are a a great way to get free backlinks in the UK it seems that Google is makeing these harder to use to any website designers advantage, come on google what you playing at?

  33. I know i am commenting pretty later here..but just to add some info…its 2014 and as i have noticed only major directories help in SEO ( even though no-follow)…now there are plenty other techniques..most important is great content and tons of sharing.

  34. He said that about 50% of the free directory submission web sites are no longer to be found in Google. Barry added “I searched for a bunch and about 50% of my searches returned results and 50% did not”.

    😉 :-* 😀 😆

  35. 8)

    dmoz.org
    scrubtheweb.com
    directoryworld.net
    somuch.com
    jayde.com
    rdirectory.net
    dmoz.in.net
    tsection.com
    freewebsitedirectory.com
    wwwi.co.uk
    viesearch.com
    1abc.org
    businessseek.biz
    cipinet.com
    directmylink.com
    directoryfire.com
    prolinkdirectory.com
    pedsters-planet.co.uk
    amray.com
    gainweb.org
    linkbook.pcgraphicsolutions.com
    the-web-directory.co.uk
    links.scrabblestop.com
    submission4u.com
    suggest-url.net
    elitesitesdirectory.com
    inteligentd.com
    linkpedia.net
    1websdirectory.com
    9sites.net
    synergy-directory.com
    wikidweb.com
    247webdirectory.com
    piseries.com
    pr3plus.com
    nexusdirectory.com
    the-net-directory.com
    linkdir.info
    bestfreewebsites.net
    suggestsite.net
    nipao.org
    sighbercafe.com
    diggdirectory.com
    10directory.com
    visionwebdirectory.com
    xysyst.net
    seofreelinks.com
    dir4uk.com
    prweblink.com
    royallinkup.com
    adityawebs.com
    directorybooks.com
    leadinglinkdirectory.com
    answerspots.com
    seouplink.com
    directories.cf
    good-useful-links.com
    visionwebseo.com
    uklistingz.co.uk
    webappsdirectory.com
    findwebsite.net
    localsuccess.org

  36. hi there

    can any one provide me list of directories who accepts adult toys e-commerce website? i trying to list list the website but in their term and conditions adult materials are not allowed

    thanks in advance

  37. This is really amazing but i want to know on what factor do you determine these directories as vetted top list, mid range and low end. Can you define it, or just based on page rank.

  38. Is it true Google de-indexes directories?

  39. Thanks for the spreadsheet. I will collect the right one and also will also add some more relevant directory websites.

  40. These days Directories are taking months time to update/index the websites.

  41. what about the links that i have already submitted my links o those sites that are penalize by Google. May i need to find those sites and remove links manually or you have some other idea??

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