Google Not Penalizing for Inbound Links - what about Directories?

Oct 5, 2007 • 1:17 pm | comments (3) by twitter | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization
 

Recently Barry covered a subject that comes up every once in a while: can competitors do something to damage your rankings in Google? In Google Says Spam Links Can't Hurt You, Again, more “proof” is presented that Google will not hold linking against you. The problem is that while they are saying that, they are also saying that you should be careful which directories you use, as covered by Tamar in May when she wrote Matt Cutts Tells Us Which Web Directories Can Impact Your Search Rankings.

In his statement, Matt provides “a few rules of thumb to think about when looking at a directory. When considering submitting to a directory…” He is not clear if submitting to the “spammy” directories that he describes could cause some sort of penalty, or if they would just be ignored.

A question posed recently at Search Engine Watch Forums asks about some directories that the user found in his backlinks that he did not submit to. He feels like others that the directory probably just added his site in order to help fill out their category index. Yet if the directory falls under the definition of “spammy,” can this hurt him?

I would hope that the answer is that they will simply ignore it, otherwise this is a specific way that someone could harm your rankings. I know this is sort of a circular argument, but it would help to clarify if penalties are involved on the directory front or if it is just devalued.

Please share your thoughts at the SEW forums.

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Comments:

Chris Beasley

10/06/2007 12:01 pm

I think its quite clear Matt was merely speaking as a webmaster advocate, not wanting us to waste our money submitting to spammy directories that will not help. Not indicating that a listing in such a directory would hurt anything more than our pride or our pocketbook.

J. Public

10/07/2007 02:06 am

Shhhh.......... don't tell any one ! Matt Cutts and his minions are doing hand ranking ever since googles Ph.D algorithms failed. BTW this is absolutely not evil...... The best SEO strategy these days 1. Visit Matt Cutts blog every day and massage his ego, if you don't believe go visit his blog and see it yourself. 2. Meet Matt Cutts in the seo conferences and buy lots of beer and buddy up with him.

Chris Boggs

10/08/2007 02:13 pm

yeah I agree that Matt was likely just helping people save time, but who knows if there is some addiitonal scrutiny based on being in certain directories that get flagged, right? I'd still like to hear web sites are not getting penalized and that the links just aren't worth anything...

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