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?

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