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”.
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.