Earlier this month, a discussion on our Sphinn site looked at how it seemed Google was going after directories with penalties. But was this really happening, or was it just forum noise coming out in particular from Digital Point?
Today, Rand Fishkin takes a long look in the issue in What Makes a Good Web Directory, and Why Google Penalized Dozens of Bad Ones and decides yes, Google went after some directories. He also offers some tips on what he thinks makes a “good” directory that won’t be banned.
Not enough for you? Matt Cutts of Google recently offered some advice, following the concerns that have been raised.
I personally watched these threads very closely and held back on doing a larger post. Why? Over time, I noticed some directories start to come back to life. Now the dust has settled more, and Rand did an excellent job showing which directories he believed were penalized. Many believe these penalties were applied manually. In my opinion, Matt implied it was more algorithmic.
Directories were not the only changes we have seen at Google recently. Answers.com Loses Significant Google Traffic Despite Google Definition Links coves how that site, and perhaps similar “consolidation” sites that may use Wikipedia, might have taken a hit in Google’s algorithm.
Of Disappearing Sex Blogs & Google Updates from the end of last year also looks at how sex sites got hit with a targeted algorithm change.
Coincidentally, did Google penalize Danny’s article on how Google penalized sex blogs? A search at Google for “Of Disappearing Sex Blogs & Google Updates” seems not to return article despite looking for it with the exact words used in its title.
This is despite the fact that the page is indexed: see this, and you can tell Google knows about it. It just doesn’t rank for its own name.
Finally, yesterday we reported changes at Google where it appears Chinese looking domains are spamming the index. These Chinese looking domains, are in fact not Chinese sites, but rather redirected domains, as confirmed by Matt.