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24 Oct 2008, Posted by admin in Greyhat, 3 Comments

Why Exactly Are Directories Worthless?


I might be being a bit harsh in saying this – I’m sure there’s a couple of directories out there that aren’t dreadful. Dmoz is probably the best example. The Yahoo directory can give sites a boost too. The vast majority, on the other hand, are pointless.

Dmoz and the Yahoo directory can pass some decent link juice for a few reasons. They’re old, they’ve built up a lot of authority and they’ve got a lot of trust flowing to them. Because they’re so well known, they’ve got a lot of inbound links propping them up – according to Yahoo’s Site Explorer, the Yahoo directory has over 1.9 million links to it while Dmoz has in excess of 2.5 million inbound links. That is a shitload of links. Dmoz and Yahoo also get away with having a lot of weight to throw around because Google loves them, they’re great examples of what directories should be – each site submitted is manually reviewed extensively, and there’s a human element that determines whether or not a site is included. In short, if it’s a good site, it’ll get in. If it’s not, it won’t. Google loves that.

It’s the other directories that Google hates – the ones that say they’ll manually review your site but tend to have a shitload of spam in their indexes anyway. The directories that will charge you for featured listings and, in general, are clearly out to make cash instead of provide users with a usable base to navigate the web. The problem with these directories is that no-one wants to link to them. They’re so easy to see from a spider’s perspective – they’ve got more outbound links than most other sites out there, yet their inbound links are so much smaller that it’s ridiculous. They’re so easy for an algorithm to spot, and Google obviously doesn’t want them to influence it’s massive money-making index. This is why the other directories don’t really pass any weight or authority.

It’s a slightly different story with blackhat though. If you’re into linkspamming, getting 1000 directory listed backlinks to your site first will help to cover up your other links. Most other SEOs in your niche trying to find your backlinks will be using Yahoo’s Site Explorer to find who’s giving you link love, and Yahoo will only show the first 1000 links you’ve got. Make them directories, and most people won’t be any the wiser as to how you’re ranking so high.

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3 Comments

December 1, 2008 10:17 pm

diggalive

I agree totally. It maybe good for getting your site crawled for a particular Keyword, that’s about it.

January 5, 2009 10:52 pm

scott roberts

Dmoz and yahoo, but that is just 2.. There must be some others that are worthwhile submitting to..? Dmoz is nearly impossible, or takes forever to get in, and Yahoo cost $300.00 a year! Any other directories, that are both possible and somewhat affordable to get on that you recommend?

January 6, 2009 9:48 pm

admin

There’s not many that I can recommend I’m afraid Scott, from what I’ve seen directories don’t pass on much value, and usually not enough to warrant paying what they’re asking for. 3rd and 4th place probably goes to Business.com and BOTW.org – I think they both charge for review like Yahoo though. Incidentally, Yahoo’s UK directory doesn’t charge, but it does take a huge amount of time to get included, like Dmoz.

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