Is the end in sight for directories as link building?
Well, I guess I have to state the obvious huh? Be careful of using directories for link building.
A while back there was a bit of a firestorm around free directories being indexed. And during that some posts cropped up saying to ensure the directory you’re submitting to is indexed yada yada. That, may not be the safest approach either my friends.
In short, Google may have put a target on their backs, indexed or not. Toolbar PageRank, or not.
Tear down the links!
Yesterday we were reporting on a variety of different responses from Google to reconsideration requests people had sent in (mostly for unnatural links messages). In that post, I had deliberately not hammered home the obvious point; they sure don’t seem to like directories.
I was hoping folks might pick up on it, apparently not.
It doesn’t matter if the site, or even the page is indexed. It doesn’t matter if the site has (toolbar) PageRank either. These are often the measuring sticks used to ‘qualify’ a directory. And seemingly, not a good ones.
Quality over quantity
At this point I am entirely comfortable in recommending that folks be wary of using directories for link building as they have in the past.
From what we can tell it is more about the quality than anything. Most of the directories highlighted by Google didn’t really pass the sniff test, (a good SEO can tell crap just looking at it). We also didn’t see any of the paid ones being mentioned, take that for what it is.
In other instances, either written about in the space or in talking directly to Google, we’ve also seen low-level blogs being highlighted as suspect. This brings me to the concept that the quality of the site is probably the deciding factor. So, I’d also be careful doing things like blogger outreach as well. Just because a blog is indexed, has home page toolbar PR, doesn’t mean its a ‘good‘ target.
The negative SEO issue
And of course, before I go, it has to be stated again that this becomes a huge issue as far as negative SEO is concerned. Have some competitors with weak/immature link profiles? No probs, just go sign up for some directory submission program and use their URL instead of yours.
And be sure to us all the same title, description and anchors too. Just to make it REAL spammy.
If you missed yesterday’s post, go back and read it!