Did Google Drop 100+ Small Directories?

Yesterday I covered a WebmasterWorld thread where SEOs were complaining that Google has been removing tons of free web directories from their index.

I conducted some random tests and did notice some of these free web directories not coming up in Google. Later in the day, Terry Van Horne began running larger tests on 500+ web directories and noticed as much as 16% or more are no longer showing up in Google. Based on his initial numbers, there are over a 100 web directories that are not indexed by Google.

I do not know if these directories were ever listed in Google or removed recently due to one of the recent Google updates; i.e. Penguin, Panda refresh, blog link network elimination and unnatural link warnings.

I did ask Google for a comment on this specific case and Google declined.

Have you noticed a recent massive delisting of web directories from Google’s index?

Postscript: SEOmoz did their own analysis and claims 20% were removed, 20% of the web directories they looked at are no longer showing up in Google. They looked at 2,678 directories and checked to see how many of those are in Google.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: SEO | Google: Web Search | Link Building: General | Link Building: Paid Links


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • http://twitter.com/avinashconda Avinash Conda

    Can we have the list of the once which are no longer being indexed?

  • http://www.pokergosh.com The PokerGosh

    I confirm that this is correct ! 
    I’ve noticed a couple of hundred back links that are missing from my websites…

  • http://www.mrmarketology.com Mr Marketology

    The PokerGosh, have you noticed any decline in ranking?

  • http://www.seo-theory.com/ Michael Martinez

    Are the directories still online?  A lot of “seo friendly” directories were published by the same networks.  If the networks closed up shop the directories would have vanished around the same time.

  • http://www.ilawyersource.com/ iLawyerSource

    I run http://www.ilawyersource.com, a large law firm directory, and everything is normal here but this is a large niche directory.

  • Etienne Clergue

    I do directory submissions for my clients on a regular basis and I did notice that a few I used disappeared after the recent updates. 

  • http://twitter.com/boblaw boblaw

    I operate a niche insurance directory. Seems fine here.  However, I can’t say that we weren’t hit by Panda Penguin.  

  • infovile

    Again. Ran a test on the entire 100 directories in the Info Vilesilencer Top 100 directory list, and every single directory is indexed. Are you guys just looking at the crap directories, if so. why? Because why would Google bother indexing said crap in the first place. I’m really surprised at you Barry, I thought you were an SEO guru. Shouldn’t you be advocating quality not quantity?

  • http://twitter.com/kolargol Mathias

    Small does not always mean shitty for your information… And even if they are crap as you say, it may be good to observe why it happened, it’s also a way to progress. It’s normal for a guru, to take your words, to be curious about such things I think.

  • infovile

    Did you see the thread on WMW that triggered the blog posts? Because it looked like someone that didn’t know what they were talking about suggesting that something big is happening. When in reality I’ve seen no changes. But, I do take your point – It is good to be curious and to check things out. Not knocking the blog post at all, just wondering why the drama… From the findings I think it is safe to say business as usual – for now :)

  • http://twitter.com/MfPWebMarketing Dr Ian Smith

    We have noticed a handful of directories have gone. But nothing like a hundred (yet)!

  • http://davidawilson.co.uk/ David Wilson

    I haven’t noticed any of my regular directories being removed, however I do only use a low number of large directories for my submissions. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/brentwallac Brent Wallace

    Do you have a boblawlawblog? 

  • http://www.nuslink.com/ Get a NUS Link

    strange enough! not good for directory owner.. like me.
    i have just started mine.

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