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NoIndexing the pages with no listing/content

Discussion in 'Directories' started by Nima, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. #1
    I'm considering NoIndexing all the category pages in my directories that have no listing/content inside of them. That would motivate myself to find listings to put in those categories and also remove duplicate content/empty pages from search engines that might cause a penalty. It would also mean that i'll lose some search engine traffic that's coming to those pages.

    What are your thoughts?
    SEMrush
     
    Nima, Apr 9, 2013 IP
    SEMrush
  2. stoner3221

    stoner3221 Notable Member

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    #2
    Just keep in mind that some submitters get cranky about submitting or getting moved to pages that are not cached in the search engines.
     
    stoner3221, Apr 9, 2013 IP
  3. Nima

    Nima Well-Known Member

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    #3
    You are right and I know that. I'm not making my directories for submitters :) If there is a conflict between value added to visitors and value added to submitters, visitors win every time.

    If the no-content pages are not indexed, fewer pagerank (page authority) is passed down to those pages and less duplicate content pages listed in SEs - therefore the listings that do pay and are already listed get the most value. It's actually best for everyone but the submitters might not see it right away.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2013
    Nima, Apr 9, 2013 IP
  4. YMC

    YMC Well-Known Member

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    #4
    You could solve the duplicate content issue by adding category descriptions. If we're talking about your Legal directory, I suppose you could write a blurb about the way each state is set up from a legal perspective or how many lawyers there are there, etc. (Yes, I realize that would be a huge undertaking.)

    While I too try to set up my directories for visitors more than submitters, you have to remember that the submitters are providing the content for the visitors to see. There are many here and elsewhere that recommend folks not submit to pages/categories that are not indexed. There are also many submitters who won't bother submitting if they can't find their category - after all, many directory owners delete or even ban sites that submit to the wrong category.

    It might also run the risk of people thinking you are a nofollow directory.

    With my pets directory, I had planned on splitting some of the physical/real-world businesses out by location. I decided that until the site grew enough to populate a main category plus location-specific categories that I would lump everyone together and make sure the descriptions, and often the titles, included the location. I'm so glad I opted to do it that way. The site hasn't taken off and I would have tons of subcategories with only one listing in them and multitudes of empty categories.

    The page rank hounds won't like being moved from a top level category to a subcategory but they might learn to like being on a tighter content page and getting more visitors.
     
    YMC, Apr 11, 2013 IP
  5. Nima

    Nima Well-Known Member

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    #5
    I already have related government and legal links on every page as well as the number of lawyers and city/state population from U.S. Census(and you are right. It cost me a lot of money to hire someone to digg all of that) in every category. I've still decided to go ahead with the NoIndexing of pages with no listings on them.

    I don't list lawyers to give them link backs. I actually do send lawyers clients. This would also motivate me to add at least one free listings to each category to get things moving fast.
     
    Nima, Apr 11, 2013 IP
  6. YMC

    YMC Well-Known Member

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    #6
    Problem I see with seeding a paid directory is determining who gets the freebie and why.

    Please don't misunderstand, I'm in no way comparing my site to yours other than the issue of dealing with location-specific sites/companies. I doubt there are many law firms sitting at their boardroom table discussing page rank. LOL

    Problem is the SEO firms they might hire care about crap like that. sigh
     
    YMC, Apr 11, 2013 IP
  7. Nima

    Nima Well-Known Member

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    #7
    That's true. The problem will only exist until there is at least one listing in each category. As for who will get the free listings... that'll be the decision for directory editor. If I do it myself I usually use other DMOZ or other well known directories to find potential listings. I'll also make sure they have a reputable website and such.
     
    Nima, Apr 11, 2013 IP
  8. silencer

    silencer Notable Member

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    #8
    It's a really good question, and there are pros and cons as already identified by YMC and Stoner.

    I wrote an article for phpLD recently on seeding and why it is so vitally important to directories. I recommend people read it if they are thinking of beginning any type of directory.

    The biggest negative in keeping empty categories is that you have huge sections containing no content, and it does look bad unless you start filling it up really quickly. Empty categories look bad from an engine AND a visitor perspective. An empty directory looks like it isn't useful.

    Think on this scenario. Your car needs washing. Let's say you drive by two carwash places every day. One is huge, but it never looks like there are many cars there... the other is much smaller and always seems to have a lot of people using it.

    Perspective-wise the smaller car wash looks like a more successful business, and subconciously you are thinking... I'm gonna go to the small one, they must be doing something right because they are busy.

    In reality, perhaps both car washes service the same number of cars, but the smaller one looks busier because it doesn't have any empty areas. It's the right size for its customer base. On-going the smaller one will get the most business, affording it more opportunity to grow with its customer base. As it does it retains the same level of busy-looking perspective until it reaches the size of the other one. Meanwhile the other one still looks the same, empty and unsuccessful.

    This is how seeding really works, and why empty categories are considered a huge negative.

    I've tried to drum this idea into people now for a very very long time. A directories biggest value is its content. If it doesn't have any content, why does it have any value?

    @Nima: You've stated you want to service your visitors as a priority. Well, visitors are serviced by providing them with great content, well categorised, so they get what they are looking for and have choices/variety available to make their decisions.

    I can't state it any clearer than that.
     
    silencer, May 10, 2013 IP
    gkd_uk and Nima like this.
  9. Nima

    Nima Well-Known Member

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    #9
    I agree silencer. I ended up no-indexing all the empty categories and have started filling the categories with actual listings. I decided not to add listing by myself and instead contact lawyers (my customers) and get them to sign up for the website (free to them). This way the categories will have content and I'll build a strong network of customers for future business.
     
    Nima, May 10, 2013 IP
    silencer likes this.