Matt Cutts Identifies Which Directories Will Get You Penalized

matt cutts jazz handsFree and paid directory listings have historically helped boost credibility and PageRank. If you want to know which directories to submit your website to keep reading.

Google does use directory listings as part of their quality score algorithm, and the higher quality directories are given more weight. Paying for a directory link is not an indication of quality, but discrimination is. When creating your link directory, don’t try to hide paid links and don’t link to unrelated websites.  The only bad paid links are links designed to disrupt the flow of Pagerank and attempt to game the Google algorithm. Google wants your spam reports on paid links to better test, confirm and improve their link valuating algorithms. When submitting a spam report include the text “paidlink”. This is a semi-automated method used to test the effectiveness of low qualty paid link schemes.

Matt Cutts answer:

A: I’ll try to give a few rules of thumb to think about when looking at a directory. When considering submitting to a directory, I’d ask questions like:- Does the directory reject urls? If every url passes a review, the directory gets closer to just a list of links or a free-for-all link site.

– What is the quality of urls in the directory? Suppose a site rejects 25% of submissions, but the urls that are accepted/listed are still quite low-quality or spammy. That doesn’t speak well to the quality of the directory.

– If there is a fee, what’s the purpose of the fee? For a high-quality directory, the fee is primarily for the time/effort for someone to do a genuine evaluation of a url or site.

The more discriminating and selective a directory is, the better changes it has of passing trust and improving your ranking. This is the reason that the Yahoo directory and DMOZ have been the premier directories that are essential to be in.

Read more at SE Roundtable, SEL and SE Watch.

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