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Google Removing Free Directories From Index?

A WebmasterWorld thread has one SEO noticing that Google has started to purge their index of the free directory submission web sites.

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

This wouldn't surprise me a bit. What value do these directories provide to users? If you were running a search engine, would you want these sites coming up in search results?

Kevin Gallagher's profile photoMax Minzer's profile photoPat Kaehler's profile photoLee Smallwood's profile photo
Hi +AJ Kohn quick comment before I go to a meeting. In some ways there would be more justification to get rid of paid listings for most site owners they are effectively paying for a link.

Thanks for sharing another great article!
AJ Kohn
Yes +Chris King, I've been vocal about the fact that I see little difference between a paid link and a paid directory.
+AJ Kohn +Chris King absolutely...! one might ask will Yahoo listing go the same way? Even though the listing isn't guaranteed and is for an adminstration fee ...
AJ Kohn
The Yahoo Directory is a paid link +Lee Smallwood. I'm sure the idea is that there's 'editorial oversight' but ... really, it's just a paid link, and a good one.
Probably a good idea, and more similar to come I guess
+AJ Kohn ;) yes I know... and the SEO benefit is huge... My question is really whether a paid directory link should be nofollow - as per paid link?

Otherwise where is the line in the sand going to be drawn...?
I agree that from a stand point of consistency that a nofollow would make sense for paid directories, but it is my antidotal observation that when building links filtering for sites that have a yahoo directory listings brings up higher quality sites than not.

Further in some sectors it seems to have a higher correlation than filtering for DMOZ.

I guess You could say I am using that filter as a signal.

It would be interesting to test my observation and see if there is any real correlation 
Let's just make every link nofollow.
+Jason Nelson won't it swing the other way then, with more authority being shown on which nofollow link has the greater amount?
This was inevitable. A no-brainer. Why distinguish between paid and non-paid? - good question +Chris King +AJ Kohn . Let's see where Google goes from here...
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