Well, web directory is probably a common word for all webmasters in today’s date. It really needs no introduction. So i will come to point straight away.
Recently, Google penalized (or whatever they call it) many of the leading web directories. Most of them were pretty big, but they witnessed huge pagerank drops and fall in SERPS as well. Basically, Google went against any kind of paid advertisement.
Now i was wondering, if paid links is the case, then why the hell did they penalize one of my free directory, which first of all is FREE and secondly has 15k listings already with current alexa of 79K. Besides these, we have a unique submission guideline of accepting only those links whose titles are actually the break of the domain. For example, we would not accept a listing with title “Make Money Online With Sharat Jaswal” or something like that. If the domain is sharatjaswal.com, Then the title accepted will be “Sharat Jaswal” only. Now this is one feature that is very uncommon in most of the directories present on web. Also, we understand the point here, these titles are not helping the listed sites a great deal. They won’t affect the SERPS in any way. I mean, let’s accept it, most of the domains rank number 1 in most of the Search Engines for their own domain name. Isn’t it? So why should be there any kind of problem to Google from my free directory? So, i kept on analyzing the things and now i am trying to make some changes. The changes are basically an experiment to see how Google reacts to my directory, in terms of Pagerank and in terms of SERPS.
Well, i am listing some of the changes that i have decided to go with, in regards to betterment of my directory.
In recent past, i had sold few outgoing links on the directory. Although the links were relevant and of same niche, but still… a paid link is a paid link. So i have decided to remove all the paid links as soon as i can.
Some advertisers are interested in the traffic rather than the PR and link juice. My directory has a good alexa of 79K which is going higher day in and day out. So yes, i will continue to sell banner space on my directory however that would be with the “nofollow” attribute. I mean that’s what Google actually wants…right? Sell traffic, but do not sell paid links. Soadding “nofollow” attribute to the banners and links is another thing that is to be done. Ofcourse with the consent of the advertisers.
Third point is a debateful topic. Earlier in this post i mentioned about the particular guideline regarding the Title of the listing. This guideline had been functional on the site since an year, so 85 percent of the listings do have the titles according to the specified guidelines. Now everyone knows that Titles of the site’s listing (which are actually the anchor text to your links) does make a difference in SERPS etc in all search engines. Whether free or paid, a link is a link, and it will definitely effect the SERPS in one way or the other. So what i was thinking was to put “nofollow” attribute in all the approved free listings that i have on my directory. Now the point is.. Is that worth to do? Does that make my directory even more google friendlier or is it just a useless thought? This third point is what i am still trying to analyze. I would like to hear your comments on this issue. What do you think about it.
Anyways, this experiment will have it result out let’s say after three months or so. (Ofcourse i cannot guess exactly when Google will update the pageranks again.). But this experiment will definitely clear one or two things. If the results are good, then we can say that the Google is living upto it’s words. And if the experiment is a failure then all we can say is “So Long Google….Trusted you for long. Can’t do that anymore”.
I would like to hear your comments on this post. This would really matter to lot many webmasters, specially the web directory owners. So have your say on this post!!!