Free Directories Might Be Toast, You Say?

Last week, Navneet Kaushal published an article at SearchNewz.com, entitled “Google De-Indexing Free Directories,” saying that the new Google updates  may have made free web directories toast. The information came from Terry Van Horne of Search News Central, who says he tried 500 directories, and all were gone.

Toast, toasted

Toast, toasted (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Navneet cited an example he tried of “site:global-web-directory.com,” saying that when he plugged the phrase into Google, nothing was found. I tried this myself, and guess what? He’s right.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean that ALL free directories will no longer be listed in Google’s index since the Penguin update.

In fact, I repeated the experiment with abc-directory.com, freeprwebdirectory.com, and tamzone.com — ones people probably have never heard about, and another 15 more and guess what? ALL of them came back with results.

Don’t know what younz was smokin’ but …

I didn’t test 500 directories, but listen, out of 500, how many of those have disappeared over the years? I mean, way back when we knew that directories that had no human vetting were unimportant. I’m guessing lots of those went by the wayside after that happened. (Like in 2008 or 9.)

SERPs are different

Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the sites will come up in the SERPs (search engine results pages) right?  You can be indexed and still not have a place on a SERPs page. So… Let’s go see. Hmm… Yep, I got bizseo.com, www.littlewebdirectory.com, dirmania.com and more from a search of “free web directories.” So, yeah. Free directories are still showing in the SERPs, too.

But are they of value?

That doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re doing any good for your site, though.  Only Google knows if they’re passing page rank or any link juice at all.  So, I tried the “link:” query at Google. I know where we placed a couple of free directory links for one of  my clients, and guess what? Nothing shows — nada.

So, what are the conclusions? Navneet, my friend, no… Google is not de-indexing free directories. I know your article questioned whether Penguin had taken that step, but it was a bit mis-leading, and I do realize it was based on someone else’s research.  But I read all the search news and after reading your article, I figured that maybe the free directories had drifted into history with Google, until I tried things myself.

What’s the deal?

The moral of the story, my friends, is twofold:

1. Don’t believe everything you read or other people’s research, and…

2. Don’t waste your time with the free directories anymore. What worked in the past won’t work now.

The end.

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