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What would revitalize the directory market?

Discussion in 'Directories' started by Nima, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. Mia

    Mia R.I.P. STEVE JOBS

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    #21
    And what I said is, there's no money to be made.

    To the contrary, the SEO industry creating a perception. That perception is based upon their own interpretation of what you believe to be Google's perception. The reality is, Google is not out to get Directories. They are not out to get Link Farms. They are not out to get anyone save for the SEO's that perpetuate misconceptions of how websites become indexed, obtain traffic and gain popularity.

    I can tell you that 99.9% of the removal requests I get come directly from the SEO's, not the site owners. The perception and belief that a web site that has been penalized is coming DIRECTLY from the SEO, not the site owners, and not google.

    Case in point. The removal requests I see all come in the form of a "FORM" letter. They all look similar and all say some pretty generic things. Not once, and believe me I have asked several times, have I ever seen a directive that came directly from Google that spelled out either "directory link" nor a specific directory by name as the culprit for what SEO's are interpreting in Webmaster Tools.

    What SEO's are witnessing here is Google's generic blanket punishment without a specific cause. In other words, Google is telling SEO's that there is a problem, without specifically naming that problem in order to get SEO's to do what they are doing, which is running around and just REMOVING EVERY LINK from EVERY WEBSITE they have EVER LISTED WITH.

    There's no science, there's no skill. The truth is no one knows specifically what web site caused the penalization. That's because it was not ONE web site. And it was not one specific link. And it was not one directory. In fact, it was not a directory or directories in general. What it was? Its a combination of BAD link schemes, keyword stuffing, hidden text, poor or no content. Its just absolutely sloppy, crappy, terrible SEO that was designed to deceive and manipulate search results.

    Truth is, had the web sites simply been left alone, we'd not be having this discussion.

    This is not about liking google. Heck, this is not even googles fault. If a website was penalized, there's more than ONE reason. When I look at the web sites that request removal and I look at the source, as well as other very OBVIOUS things that have been done by the SEO to cheat the system, it becomes blatantly clear to me that Google is cleaning up SEO's, not directories. Google dislikes SEO's, not directories.

    If you're suggesting the directory must diversify to find another niche' to make up for loss of its traditional mission, why then have a directory. That would kinda defeat the directories purpose.

    Again, Google is not the only player out there. I think you make some pretty absurd assumptions with regards to "Googles Power". The "public" you speak of has NO idea what we are talking about, you and I that is. The average person, site owner? Not a clue. The public you refer to is the SEO, webmaster, site designers. And if anything any "power" Google has is over them.
    SEMrush
    As to "naming", please show me evidence of this? I have asked numerous times and no one has been able to produce any evidence of Google naming any specific directory and or directories as providing "unnatural link warnings".

    If Google is as powerful as you think, don't you think they are smart enough to discern a crap web site from a relevant content rich website, regardless of where its links come from?
     
    Mia, Oct 18, 2013 IP
    SEMrush
  2. tornado!

    tornado! Active Member

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    #22
    Mia, I spent many thousands of dollars for listings in directories over the years. I bought many other types of links too, and some for even directory owners. I am not spending on directories anymore. This is because of what I believe to be a larger campaign by Google to absorb as much of everyone's marketing budget that they can by dishing out penalties to those who spend money outside of Google. To continually grow their profits, Google must take money away from your industry, the link building budgets of seo companies, the do it yourselfers and anywhere else they can. This is what they are doing, yet people still believe getting new links or removing unnatural links will help them to score the big time. When Google shows nothing but paid ads, organic listings mean nothing. Few people get any substantial traffic from other search engines, so what Google says is taken as gospel.

    Regardless of what you think or I think, it is what the larger public thinks that will influence their opinions of directories. Few people are going to advertise that their websites have been hit with an unnatural link warning, so evidence is scattered. But it is out there.

    https://plus.google.com/111696587332859976219/posts/G8f9VZcZu5g

    http://productforums.google.com/for...20example/webmasters/SuVGo3y-ZVg/QOy1gUolw-MJ

    What Google displays as example unnatural links does not mean they are unnatural. But directories have been referenced enough, including DMOZ, to influence behavior.

    Google also influences the public's perception of directories by stating "Low-quality directory or bookmark site links" are unnatural.

    https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/66356?hl=en

    All the big seo blogs and services are telling their members that directories are harmful. This is along the lines of seos running around crazy like you said. But in their craze, they are informing their members how bad directories are and to avoid them. Whether this is true or not does not matter. It's yet another source telling people that directories are bad. When people hear this enough, from Google and many other sources, it becomes truth. AHREFS is the last major seo related place that I saw where they discussed their negative opinion of directories. They said "Everyone is aware that links from directory sites are negative signals/votes to a website and may affect your website performance in SERP." at http://blog.ahrefs.com/link-profile-defining-unnatural-links-avoid-penalty/

    Reality is based on perception. There are enough people, seos and search engines out there talking down on directories to influence perception on a large scale. It's already happened, and it will continue to get worse. I don't think Google is after directories. Google is out to consume everyones internet marketing budget any way they can. They can't do this all at once, but they are doing it gradually. Their double digit growth earnings (http://investor.google.com/earnings/2013/Q3_google_earnings.html) suggests that money is coming from somewhere. Some of those profits are coming from directory owners pockets, seos, press release websites, and any place that accepts money for linking to a website.

    When I look at a link opportunity now, I still do consider the seo benefit and also traffic. Directories just don't meet my criteria of a good link anymore. This is sad to say, because I think of some directory owners as friends.
     
    tornado!, Oct 18, 2013 IP
  3. Mia

    Mia R.I.P. STEVE JOBS

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    #23
    If you have concrete evidence of it I would certainly like to see it because based on what you are saying Google would be in violation of Anti-Trust laws and subject not only to criminal prosecution but civil damages in a class action suit.

    Proving that? Probably a fruitless exercise.
     
    Mia, Oct 18, 2013 IP
  4. stoner3221

    stoner3221 Notable Member

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    #24
    What the industry needs is for all the link farm so called directories to close.
    This greatly amuses me, and strongly reminds me of the intelligence of the witch hunts of Salem. Thank You.
     
    stoner3221, Oct 18, 2013 IP
  5. ezmoving

    ezmoving Active Member

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    #25
    ezmoving, Oct 20, 2013 IP
  6. heredia21

    heredia21 Well-Known Member

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    #26
    Most large web directories both paid and free have spammed up quite a bit and Google has taken notice. Those hard to get accepted/paid directories are the ones still holding a strong value.
     
    heredia21, Oct 20, 2013 IP
  7. stoner3221

    stoner3221 Notable Member

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    #27
    Not so interesting, just another webmaster who most likely submitted to huge numbers of link farms calling themselves directories. If you try to beat the Google system you had better be prepared to eventually get busted and possibly never recover from it.
     
    stoner3221, Oct 21, 2013 IP
  8. silencer

    silencer Well-Known Member

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    #28
    There's been some good points made. The scene will never be the same before, because the search landscape has changed. Anyone that's been in denial for the last few years, certainly cannot ignore that hummingbird is semantically and conversationally focused. You certainly can't ignore also that this shift in search, creates an equivalent shift in focus. Local SEO which people have been getting into lately, has skyrocketed, because the results are incorporating knowledge graph and giving better than ever results.

    No longer is Google "passing the buck" to a directory as we've discussed previously, when trying to give a result, they are cutting out the middleman to deliver the result themselves. Why? Because it generates revenue for them. They are also effective changes in their paid networks, and they allow "affiliation" on the knowledge graph pages, which generates big traffic for those that take part.

    Directories that consist of a title and a description, do not fit this model. For global search it makes general-style directories pretty much a useless entity unless they have built up authority over a time frame. At the local level, if a site can gain citations (regardless of a link) from IYP style directories then they are going to be competitive in the local space.

    Directories still exist, but in terms of the OP, they need to shift focus and really give far more detailed information such as business listings with NAP, opening hours, and the opportunity for reviews (no point having these if they don't get utilised).

    If it's a niche directory it probably has the opportunity to be even more powerful in the local space by offering this extended information. A niche directory globally will also still be useful if it is offering good on-topic content. Move forward people...

    I've used this word a lot in the last 10 years when describing directories... They must EVOLVE to survive. If you are like everyone else, and you aren't offering anything unique or remarkable, then why the hell do you exist?
     
    silencer, Oct 23, 2013 IP
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  9. dvduval

    dvduval Notable Member

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    #29
    Right now, the poor directories have become either worthless or are being targeted for unnatural links. There is a great cleansing going on. A bigger question is why this happened in the first place, and that is because Google had a weakness in their algorithm where it was valuable to utilize a semi-automated link building process, and also to seek the purchase of high pagerank links. Face it. It worked, and now it doesn't so much.

    In some ways the directory market has gotten smaller and that scared me. But what has been great is the people that remain have higher standards, because they are creating directories driven by some passion beyond the quick buck.
     
    dvduval, Nov 13, 2013 IP
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  10. Mia

    Mia R.I.P. STEVE JOBS

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    #30
    I think the bigger problem is that the "weakness in their algorithm" still exists. Only it's allowing MFA, Unrelated and or Dead links to flourish.
     
    Mia, Nov 18, 2013 IP
  11. Nima

    Nima Well-Known Member

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    #31
    True that and now they've removed the keyword data partly to hide that.
     
    Nima, Nov 18, 2013 IP
  12. dvduval

    dvduval Notable Member

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    #32
    Ok, I am not seeing this all that much myself, but you may be right in some sectors. Any good current examples of this?
     
    dvduval, Nov 19, 2013 IP
  13. Nima

    Nima Well-Known Member

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    #33
    Google's results are filled with ads and too focused on the large brands and recently updated pages...

    I used to feel (correctly so most of the time) that if I did a google search all the websites with good-great content would be there in the first few pages; the ranking would change but Google could pick up those sites. I don't feel that way anymore. There been too many times that I've found good websites that are not even on Google's first five pages for the search terms that make the most sense. However you can be sure that you'll always see a large brand or recently updated page (without much relevant content) to rank high.
     
    Nima, Nov 19, 2013 IP
  14. EngineerofSuccess

    EngineerofSuccess Well-Known Member

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    #34
    It's pretty much all about how you promote that directory and beneficial features you highlight in a discussion thread, webpage or blog post on your site. As long as you have some kind of site whereas people can submit content to. What are your current methods of Internet marketing promotion right now besides forum networking?
     
    EngineerofSuccess, Nov 20, 2013 IP
  15. silencer

    silencer Well-Known Member

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    #35
    @Nima - You are correct, Google is favouring branded/paid results. They've trialled wide banners across the top, and they also now place PLA ads above the sponsored ads block. On a lot of searches that can yield a results page with zero organic results above the fold. Which is interesting when Google says it is against websites utilising too much ad space above the fold.

    But. Google can do whatever the hell it wants, and will continue to do so with total disregard for you. You need to accept that and realise that if you do not evolve and adapt that you won't survive. It'd be like Nokia whingeing about the smartphone. Too bad for Nokia, the world has moved on from their mobile phones, they were forced to partner with MS to get back in the game. They've come up with some interesting ideas since (the 43megapixel camera phone).
     
    silencer, Dec 6, 2013 IP
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  16. Nima

    Nima Well-Known Member

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    #36
    Adapt and evolve to what visitors are looking for? Indeed.
    Adapt and evolve to whatever Google commands? Nope. Some of what Google says is good, but at the end of the day we build websites for visitors. If that clashes with what Google wants, visitors win every time.
     
    Nima, Dec 7, 2013 IP
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  17. Mia

    Mia R.I.P. STEVE JOBS

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    #37
    Google's philosophy is "do as I say, not as I do".

    And ironically you will find in almost every case, Google does what everyone else once did, then tells them not to do it.

    Google's found a new revenue stream and since they control your position and existence within their collective, if you do anything to earn indirectly short of their system, you're stealing from them.

    I still find it wildly ironic that Google would send me directions on how to bilk advertisers of their hard earned dollars by positioning their ads on my web site in places GOOGLE believed would be more effective at separating their advertisers from their money..... then turns around bans those ads from one of my web sites when the advertisers cry foul.

    We've completely abandoned Adsense. Google got greedy, and I'm not about to help them cheat people out of money, including myself.
     
    Mia, Dec 9, 2013 IP
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  18. Nima

    Nima Well-Known Member

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    #38
    I abandoned adsense a little over a year ago too. My advertisers get a better rate dealing with me directly, they get better results, and I make more money myself.
     
    Nima, Dec 9, 2013 IP
  19. EngineerofSuccess

    EngineerofSuccess Well-Known Member

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    #39
    Wow. Never knew that about Nokia. They are a good company, though.
     
    EngineerofSuccess, Dec 9, 2013 IP
  20. Web Directory Reviews Org

    Web Directory Reviews Org Active Member Premium Member

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    #40
    Exactly. Directories need to evolve. When people argue that directories are dead, there is some truth to that, but only when the reference is to the sort of directories that were around in the 1990s. Like most everyone else, I use search engines more often than I do directories but a well organized directory can provide much better results than a search engine on some searches, and I don't see that the search engines are getting better. When I am looking for something specific and I'm getting garbage results from the search engines, I'll turn to a directory. Niche directories can be very helpful, but so can well maintained general directories. I know that I'm not alone because I have several domains and I get visits from directory users, and these are targeted visits.

    So directories have not lost their purpose, but this can be greatly enhanced when a directory adds other content that brings people in, as this introduces people to web directories who may not otherwise have considered them. However wonderful a directory may be, if no one ever goes there, it's useless as a directory. Additional content brings in new visitors, and some of these new visitors will become acquainted with the directory as well.

    This content can take several forms. It might be an active forum that attracts people beyond site submitters, or it might be informative articles on the topics that are represented in the directory; and no, I'm not talking about article directories that publish babble that is made for search engine spiders rather than human beings, but unique, useful content. It could be pretty much anything, but I think that while the pioneers in the industry might be able to ride things out on earned authority, it will be tough for a start-up to make it in the industry without adding something new.

    Pretty much every industry changes and when that happens, those who are unwilling or unable to adapt drop out, other make the change, and still others come in to fill the gaps.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013
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