DMOZ.org has been regarded as one of the most trustworthy web directories online and with a history that spans back more than 18 years coupled with the fact that getting anything listed into their listings over the past couple of years has proven to be a true test, we quickly realise that directory link building is never going to be the same.
Although there are thousands of web directories that claim to give you the same level of authority, the truth is that the list of directories that are going to provide you with anything more than a shady look from Google are dying quickly, especially with the closure of the Yahoo Directory a couple of years ago too.
The lack of ‘true value’ directories that exist in the current day is extremely limited, with make-shift directories created by website owners that are purely looking to generate income from listing fees and in the wake of the Google Penguin update, a darker side of ‘pay to remove’ ventures too.
While directory links seem to have been part of the link building process from the moment they made their inception into the online world, due to their free or cheap listing fees, times have changed and Google have realised that links from thousands of un-trafficked, unmaintained web directories are infact a low quality signal and thus included that mentality into their Google Penguin algorithm.
Although the quality of a web directory is hard to establish when looking at the site, the past few years have seen discussions undertaken across the SEO industry surrounding their value and while some directories such as BOTW, DMOZ and Yahoo Directory used to be often found in the few names that did carry benefit, the list of directories that continued to appear in Google manual action penalisations continued to grow significantly, making directory link building a risky business.
Working on almost 100 Google penalty recoveries in the past couple of years, we have seen that this fact continues to haunt those with either Google Penguin or manual actions placed on their website however the online SEO market seems to fail to be willing to let go of offering such links as a service.
With a high number of sellers and ‘services’ offering directory links as either a standalone service or part of a package deal sold at lower prices, we continue to gain clients that are looking for help in recovering their rankings following negative actions being placed on their site related to their backlink profiles and for many, the first actions that we have to take is an manual removal request from directories that continue to be listed in examples of infringing backlink placements.
While we point out that many web directories are potentially damaging to your website, we must stress that we should point out that by this we mean making use of directories that are low quality and in multiples, so the odd placement here and there should not be too much cause for concern and there are a limited number of directories that still do carry some benefit, albeit not many following the closure of two of the main ones.