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I know I will take some heat for this one, especially as many will view this as some sort of personal attack against the SEO Community’s Golden Boy. I feel, however, that since many people won’t even recognize a spin job when they see one, that someone really did need to do a piece on this.
Comments49 Comments  

Comments

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from DazzlinDonna 2669 Days ago #
Votes: 8

Wait, lemme pop some more popcorn. Looks like this wrestling match just might get interesting. ;)

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from Sebastian 2669 Days ago #
Votes: 6

http://www.seo-scoop.com/2007/08/06/ouch-that-smarts/ Thanks for the popcorn, I bring the beer.

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from Skitzzo 2669 Days ago #
Votes: 3

I think the last point is the best one. Criticism from a competitor is viewed in an entirely different light than criticism from an unbiased expert in the industry. I don’t really know that the thing from three years ago is all that relevant but I definitely think a side by site comparison was in order if he’s going to claim Aviva had no value and socengine did. I’d like to hear a response from SEOmoz on this one but suspect it might fall under times they think it best not to defend yourself as mentioned in the article. P.S. Are there any more ringside seats available?

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from HamletBatista 2669 Days ago #
Votes: 5

It would be interesting to see Rand’s response

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from SEOish 2669 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Great article, which brings up alot of specifics.

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from majorbta 2669 Days ago #
Votes: -2

I want to read it but websense blocking it as "games" related

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from Oggy 2669 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Hopefully Rand is writing a well thought out response as we read this. He’s a great writer, and I’m sure he’ll be able to put out this fire. I’m really looking forward to see how it develops!

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from AdamAudette 2669 Days ago #
Votes: 5

Fair, well reasoned points mvandemar. Reminded me of Aaron Wall’s post recently http://www.seobook.com/archives/002354.shtml

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from imnotadoctor 2668 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Ouch. That slap had to hurt, but I am sure Rand will counter with a knock out punch.

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from dannysullivan 2668 Days ago #
Votes: 4

I haven’t followed the entire directory debate. Aviva might be super wonderful, for all I know. Don’t get me wrong (really, don’t -- I haven’t look at it or the issue in any depth). I’m just going to comment on the fact that it has sitelinks (those five links below it) as some type of proof that it *or any site* is an authority. http://www.google.com/search?q=threadwatch I think Threadwatch is an authority, but I know plenty who think Google views it as Satan’s spawn :) http://www.google.com/search?q=text+link+brokers I wanted to find Text Link Ads to demonstrate this, but I think they’re banned from Google (which is stupid if people want to find them by name -- what, I can only get to them through the AdSense ads they’re allowed to buy? But fair to say Googel probably isn’t that thrilled with Text Link Brokers -- but they get sitelinks. http://www.google.com/search?q=vw VW (or try Volkswagen) gets no sitelinks. What, no authority? Hmm, PR7. And come on, it’s Volkswagen. Nope, in this case the Flash home page pretty much keeps Google from figuring out what’s the site’s main areas.

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from johnandrews 2668 Days ago #
Votes: 1

And by adding my name to the "who sphunn this" I suppose I further remove myself from the SEOMoz trusted recommended SEOs list, heh heh (kidding!)

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from Skitzzo 2668 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@john, nah, I think you’re just adding yourself to the list of who wants to see some fireworks ;)

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from qwerty 2668 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I wouldn’t expect Rand to respond to it right away, as he’s out of town for the week. See the end of his post at http://www.seomoz.org/blog/trendspotting-with-popular-search-sources-a-new-tool-from-seomoz-to-help I’m not too concerned about this incident from 2004. If he was new to the business and he was concentrating on a site in the real estate niche (a line I prefer to avoid), he probably just got some bad advice. Regarding Aviva, I’ve never used it. I get a bit wary when I see a directory linking out to a group of other directories from its home page. But since I’ve never used it, I’m not going to argue about its value. I would suggest that Rand’s opinion might not be wrong, because it’s just an opinion. If his methodology for checking the quality of the directory led to a different result than yours does, that doesn’t make either of you wrong unless one of you has a methodology that doesn’t make any sense.

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from HamletBatista 2668 Days ago #
Votes: 0

hey! When is the fight ... ehm... I mean intelligent debate is going to start?

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from mvandemar 2668 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@Danny - I do see the sitelinks for [vw] when I search, and when I was speaking of "authority", I meant as far as having importance to Google as a search engine, since that’s really what the discussion was about, and not some sort of peer review based tag. Also, Text Link Ads doesn’t appear to be banned, just penalized (showing n the 70-ish range).

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from dannysullivan 2668 Days ago #
Votes: 3

Weird, I so don’t see VW! If I search for "volkswagen of america," then I do get it. The main point I’m stressing is that I don’t take sitelinks as meaning a site is important to Google. In particular, you called them "Authority Indented Listings." To me, they really indicate that you probably have a large site that Google has enough data on to know what are the most common areas visited within it. But when you give them this authority name, then I see young newbie SEOs going woo hoo, I made it! Then after that, getting upset they don’t somehow magically rank because they are authorities. In short, I see that for a site, I simply think the site is ranking well for its own name and has a significant site structure. Not sure what peer review based tag you’re talking about, but as I also said, I’m not jumping in trying to dissect whether this or some other directory is good based on some particular set of criteria. FYI, if I personally were going to be in a directory, I’d just be looking at whether it’s likely to send me traffic. Yahoo, probably, given it still has enough people using it. ODP, similar reasons. Aviva? I don’t give a toss about whether the inside pages are ranking or whether the links pointing at it seem good yada yada. Me -- personally -- I’d want to know if it or any smaller directory seemed likely to send me traffic perhaps via detour search traffic. For example, I want to be found for acne control. I search for that on Google: http://www.google.com/search?q=acne+control Am I seeing this page at Aviva coming up in say the top 3 or four pages: http://www.avivadirectory.com/Health/Acne/ No -- so am I likely to get many visitors searching on Google, then clicking to that directory page and in turn coming to me? No. Am I likely to then submit anyway? Probably not guessing it’s not worth either the time or money. Flip it around. I want to be found for real estate consulting. I search for that: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=real+estate+consulting There’s the ODP on page 1 http://www.dmoz.org/Business/Real_Estate/Consulting/ There’s Yahoo on page 2: http://dir.yahoo.com/Business_and_Economy/Business_to_Business/Real_Estate/Consulting/ Here’s some small directory I never heard of on page 3: http://www.realestatekey.com/consultant I want these all because people will visit them, thus be likely to "detour" from them to me. And if Aviva ranks well for some term I’m interested in, then I’d want it as well. Now if I wanted to be found for "information web directory," then how Aviva ranked for that would matter to me. If I don’t want to be found for that term, I don’t care. My personal criteria doesn’t involve wanting to be listed for the anchor text/PageRank aspect, of course. If someone has that in mind, they have entire other things they need to analyze.

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from SEOish 2668 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I hate to disappoint everyone wanting a fight, but Rand is currently scouting out a place to have his wedding. And I am sure when he returns he will be in such a good mood that he won’t even charge Aviva for the enormous amout of publicity he has provided for it.

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from steaprok 2668 Days ago #
Votes: -4

Its almost funny to see people argue, both reaching to save some sort of face amongst their peers, give it up dudes!!! Make love not war!!!

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from mvandemar 2668 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@Danny - Rand’s entire evaluation was strictly from the SEO value of links from those directories, not traffic. He specifically discusses the "link value" (or lack thereof) of these directories.

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from jaybong 2668 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Without commenting on the actual issue, I must commend you for your well worded logic. Brilliant! "He wraps up the lesson saying that when defending oneself, he endorses responding, engaging, being honest, and apologizing when you have erred. If he’s endorsing honesty, then of course he must be practicing it, and if he says it’s ok to apologize, then it must be that the only reason he hasn’t done so is that he was not, in fact, wrong."

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from HamletBatista 2668 Days ago #
Votes: 0

"FYI, if I personally were going to be in a directory, I’d just be looking at whether it’s likely to send me traffic." @Danny - We’re on the same page on directory value. See my comment on Rand’s controversial post http://www.seomoz.org/blog/the-wisdom-folly-of-directory-link-building#jtc30774 I followed it up with a more detailed post http://hamletbatista.com/2007/07/25/rome-wasn%e2%80%99t-built-in-a-day%e2%80%94neither-is-effective-link-building/ Sometimes we focus too much on technicalities that we forget the common sense stuff. ;-)

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from dannysullivan 2668 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@mvandemar: Yes, I understood that he was talking about link value from an SEO perspective. That’s not how I’d measure the value of a directory. So you’ve got me saying Rand is wrong however he’s trying to calculate it. That also means I disagree with anyone who is trying to choose a directory in that fashion, based on the potential link juice they’ll get. Of course, you’re going to get people who will then disagree with me, saying that purchasing links can be a useful way to generate valuable anchor text from authoritative sources and drive traffic. That’s fine. I’ll leave it to that group to disagree with me and then fight over which is the best directory, the worst, which is blocking using robots.txt in the evil way Rand himself apparently once did; who is now using nofollow; whether page X counts as much as page Y since page X shares the PageRank among many more links and on and on and on. Or, I can just try to decide if I think a directory has a strong natural audience or other traffic drivers such as search rankings that will generate detours to let me focus only on the traffic aspect and stay more sane. I go with that -- plus another advantage in doing it means I don’t have to think whether something is a directory or not. I can just ask myself whether it’s a page that might send me traffic period.

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from randfish 2668 Days ago #
Votes: 5

Here’s what I left on the blog: So many points to try to address in this post, but I’ll do my best. 1) You are totally correct that I wrote a post marketing our list of directories addition to the premium content, but I’m not sure what’s wrong with that. I wasn’t attacking directories to make people sign up for membership - I was doing it because all our testing and link building over the past few years has been showing me that there really is a very, very tiny amount of value in general directory link building. Give it a try! Go to a list like StrongestDirectories.com and buy links at all of those low-mid range general directories that market in people’s signatures at Digitalpoint and V7N. Make it for a moderately competitive market like "hvac training school" or similar. Let me know if buying all those directory links gets you any ranking - my experience has been that it just doesn’t provide good ranks, but if your experience is different and you want to champion the value of those general directories, I’d love to see some examples and would be happy to blog about the value if you can show it. 2) Is rankings a fair way to value links for rankings? In my opinion it is. We disagree on that, and that’s OK - John Scott, who’s a very smart SEO, and many other folks disagree as well. There are plenty of people on both sides of this issue, but my experience puts me heavily on the "good rankings = generally high value from links." Poor rankings for many unique terms in a title tag and on a page can also often spell a penalty or dampening of some type. For directories, this has always set off red flags to me that Google doesn’t trust them because they’re linking out to some shady sites. 3) Is it inaccurate to say that directory owners got upset with us? I’m pretty sure they did... Was there a lot of comment from non-directory owners in those threads? If so, I do apologize for my generalization - I just saw a bunch of links to directories in the signatures of the criticizing members. 4) Honestly there’s not a lot of "spin" going on. These are just topics that were on my mind. In fact, believe it or not, I had no idea that Jane was making a follow-up post on the subject. She’s had her own criticism aimed at some of her private projects on sites like Digg, so I think it was an issue close to her heart. In either case, I can say honestly that there’s no intention to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes - they were just subjects that were interesting to us (independently). 5) RealEstateWebmasters from 3.5 years ago - yeah, that was a total wrong-headed move. I think it was actually the start of my decision to go white hat. I hated the idea that I was hiding something and overall, I think it made me a better SEO. I do still apologize to anyone who was part of that (I think we got 3-4 links out of that and I tried to personally address all of those folks). After a couple months and some apologies, REWebmasters let me back in, which was very nice of them. 6) SOCEngine - you’re totally right on this. I think it provides no value - it’s a general directory with almost no value. I’ll ask the crew to shut it down - it has been barely operating the last couple years. We’ll just keep it in existence but kill the submissions so anyone who is listed now will continue to be listed. As you’ll note, I haven’t promoted it at all in 3 years. It’s certainly not an income source for us in any meaningful way. 7) The personal attack seems very, very harsh here. I think the message is "don’t trust Rand or SEOmoz - they’re trying to pull a fast one on the SEO world." I work really, really hard to try to do just the opposite, so obviously, I’m heartbroken to see this kind of post. I guess we can always work harder, though, and I’ll try to do that when I return from vacation. In the meantime, please do consider responding to my email. Best, Rand

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from dannysullivan 2668 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@ManishPandey, I don’t see the sitelinks appearing as making a site an authority. That was my reason in commenting originally -- not to say whether Rand did or didn’t do his homework, but to point out that just seeing sitelinks to me doesn’t mean that a site is somehow "better" to Google than other sites. In your searches for SES, you don’t see the sitelinks showing up the first time because SES isn’t the first site listed, and the only time sitelinks will appear for a site (if they do) is for the very first site listed. The second search you do, SES is number one -- so voila! -- sitelinks appear. The site’s "authority" didn’t suddenly change. Rather, how it is displayed in the results changed simply because of its position. http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=47334 explains sitelinks from Google: "We only show Sitelinks for results when we think they’ll be useful to the user. If the structure of your site doesn’t allow our algorithms to find good Sitelinks, or we don’t think that the Sitelinks for your site are relevant for the user’s query, we won’t show them." It doesn’t say if you’re an authority, we’ll show them -- if you’re not, we won’t. http://searchengineland.com/070212-093435.php from us explains the sitelinks a bit more, will an example, plus points to some speculation on why the exact links get selected. http://www.seobythesea.com/?p=406 from Bill Slawski gets into the patent application about them, which slightly hints that popularity in terms of traffic and/or links (internal & external) might play a role.

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from Aussiewebmaster 2668 Days ago #
Votes: 0

This one got hot fast....

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from mvandemar 2668 Days ago #
Votes: -1

@Rand - sorry for the late approval, your comment is live now, others will go through fine. I will be responding shortly. @Danny - Just so you know, those sitelinks are not about "good navigation"... Matt mentions them somewhere, but they are in fact signs that Google does think the site in question is special. Digital Point has the exact same VB navigation of thousands of other forums, they have the sitelinks, the vast majority of others do not. @marcp - you dropped an extra "r" in the name, just so you know. :) My motivation was based on what I perceived to be going on, and unfortunately, based largely on Rand’s reply, I may not have been clear in what I was saying. To All - Based on Rands reply, it seems that my main focused may have been missed by some people - IMO many of the directories out there are not worth the bytes they are printed on. My post had nothing to do with his assertion that the majority of the directories out there are a waste of money. Again, I will be replying on my blog shortly.

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from randfish 2668 Days ago #
Votes: 0

mvandemar - I’d still really like to chat over email or the phone. Please consider getting in touch directly! And - if your post wasn’t about the value of directories, and we share opinions on that, then it sounds like your post was instead directed to simply be a pure negative, personal attack... Why?

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from corey 2668 Days ago #
Votes: 0

....its good for tv?

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from rmccarley 2668 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Michael is a fact guy. I have gone plenty of rounds with him in the past because I didn’t cross a "t" or dot an "i" when I made a post. As aggravating as it is, it does keep us honest. In this case a lot of us think that most directories are bunk. The question is "why?". How we get to that conclusion can make a big difference, especially in SEO where ideas lead to other ideas and build on top of each other. If we are wrong early in the thought process (even if it gets us the right result at the time!) it can lead to disaster down the road. Anyway, don’t take it personal. Like I said, Michael and I have locked horns plenty.

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from bestoptimized 2668 Days ago #
Votes: 1

For some reason mvandemar seems to hate Seomoz. In every post about Seomoz at any forum he posts negative comments.

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from randfish 2667 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Randall - I hate to say it, but I think you’re kidding yourself if you think this isn’t a personal attack. The phrasing and style of the writing isn’t designed to be journalistic or factual, it’s inflammatory and agressive. Just look: "Rands starts his bit with spin from the get go" "is it possible Rand doesn’t actually know how to use Google?" "despite his total lack of coming clean, that Rand is at heart a trustworthy person, let me enlighten you to a little known bit of history" "Rand lied through his teeth" It’s personal, it’s meant to be personal and it’s effective because it’s personal. I’m not entirely sure that I have the right to complain, though. I’ve written some rough blog posts about reporters and SEOs and website owners and businesses that I felt were dishonest and didn’t pull the punches there either. In any case, I’m hoping that Michael gives me a call this week and we can sort it out from there.

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from mvandemar 2667 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Rand, I replied. It was before I saw this though. I gave a rundown of exactly why it looked the way it did to me.

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from mvandemar 2667 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@bestoptimized - is that true? You can actually back that up?

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from MattC 2667 Days ago #
Votes: 2

"The phrasing and style of the writing isn’t designed to be journalistic or factual, it’s inflammatory and agressive" .. Aww come on. That’s what social media has taught us all to be ;) Btw, is there anyway to broadcast a discussion between you two, this is like Trump vs Rosie. However I wouldn’t call either of you Rosie.

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from dannysullivan 2667 Days ago #
Votes: 1

"That’s what social media has taught us all to be" Let’s hope we can break those lessons, then. It’s really easy to get too personal, especially if you feel passionate on a topic. But points can also be made without the personal side.

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from MattC 2667 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@danny"palmer"sullivan, let me just clarify myself. I do not condone getting too personal but I would be a hypocrite if I said I have never crossed that line several times. All I meant was that I think all these social media sites have turned people into tabloid journalists. In order to get dugg or sphunn (with all respect) people have to write a headline, or throw out a "sound bite" that will force readers to react. SM didn’t start this style of writing but it definitely has encouraged it. I am not defending him, and I don’t mean to get off topic, but just clarifying. And my palmer reference is all in fun, i just listened to your show from yesterday.

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from dannysullivan 2667 Days ago #
Votes: 1

We’ve also crossed it, Matt :) It’s really easy to do, especially when we’re not face to face with each other. And SM can indeed encourage it more. But still, you can have interesting discussions while resisting the pressure. And actually, I’m very pleased that it’s pretty much been that way within this particular thread.

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from MattC 2667 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Yea, acting like mature grown-up types can be hard. :) So how bout that Xbox? kiddin

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from mvandemar 2667 Days ago #
Votes: -2

Btw - does anyone else think what I posted was nothing but smear and malice? Or that I was so wrong in my conclusions that it must have some sort of a personal attack?

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from dannysullivan 2667 Days ago #
Votes: 4

You took Rand to task for how he wanted to evaluate that directory, and that was fair enough. You were even handed in doing it. When I started reading the post, I thought everything was reasonable (except for sitelinks as an authority trigger, which I won’t go back into -- and I could be wrong on that). For me, it turned when you mentioned Jane doing her post, calling it a "tag team." OK, I deal with a multi-author blog of my own. We have a budget and planning, so I often know what some of the stories will be. But Greg or Barry might spot something and post news for even me -- or a column might appear that Chris Sherman has coordinated, which is also new to me. So your emphasis on Jane and her reasons for not responding as somehow being Rand’s -- you lost me on that one. I was tempted to comment as much initially, that I think you were probably reading too much into it, and somehow saying that if Jane gives four reasons to not reply, then Rand must follow one of those four reason, just didn’t make sense. I mean, Neil Patel once wrote a column for us saying don’t put social media links with all your stories. But we do, because FeedBurner makes it easy to have subtle ones. Neil has his opinion; I had mine. Jane had hers, and I didn’t assume Rand must then do what she says. Still, that wasn’t really that personal, and I can see how you might have felt it was tag team like. Where it got personal -- though perhaps not unreasonably -- is in the last two paragraphs. You basically say he’s not trustworthy. You point out that three years ago, he did this pretty stupid thing, apparently lied about it, then throw in the qualifier that "I’m not saying..." he’s still doing it -- but you have to consider it. Well sure, I suppose you do have to consider it. And it was certainly news to me. But despite the qualification, yes, I came away with the feeling you were saying he was lying and untrustworthy. Moreover, you do a kicker suggesting that this was all arranged perhaps to somehow protect that socengine site that was also news to me and also interesting. Did you have malice in raising this? I doubt it. Was it a smear campaign? Not really -- you’re pointing out facts and raising motives that could exist. Was it personal? It’s hard not to suggest an individual is lying without it being personal. But then again, you’ve got Rand talking about being honest -- and you’re feeling that he hasn’t been now, perhaps, as hasn’t been in the past. Given that, you were actually pretty restrained, aside from the occasional sarcasm. Anyway, everyone can keep analyzing it, or you and Rand and others can talk more about the directory evaluation criteria. I’ll say that the easiest thing would be for him to likely take the feedback and include a lot more directories. The harder road, though more valuable one, would be to take the feedback, really correct any actual errors he might have but still stick to the guns of excluding some directories that he doesn’t find useful. That is, if you think it’s useful to have a guide to directories that let you essentially buy links at a flat rate for hopes of getting PageRank mojo. Me, I don’t get the point. IE, who cares if they are directories or not. If I want to buy links (I don’t, but if I did), Google isn’t going to care that the link is somehow in a magical directory wrapper or on a non-directory site. So I don’t need a list of directories. I need a list of places to buy links that Google simply can’t spot -- if I want to go the paid route.

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from mvandemar 2667 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Danny - thank you. I did actually have someone go over my drafts before posting, to make sure that it actually did make sense, and wasn’t looking like nothing more than an attack. I posted in what I saw the situation as being. I know it comes across a little like a conspiracy theory in spots, and I did try and post enough of my observations to tie everything together, but that is how it looked to me.

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from SEOish 2667 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Hi, if you look at my original comment on this I said "Great article, lots of specifics" I think it is a great article in that sense. You did provide great detail and specific points, i respect that. I didn’t like to see you speak about Rand in the manner that you did. I like SEOmoz alot and that is well known, but I think that it is an extraordinarily right on thing for you to bring up the points that you did. It did seem to be hurtful and I agree with Danny, the personal seemed to start getting strong near the end. Rand has decided to be in the lime light, so I think it is more than fair to bring up valid arguments against something he has said, that is part of the game. But to answer your above questions... "Does anyone else think what I posted was nothing but smear and malice?" - No. I think what you posted was several valid arguments and good debatable points, in addition to some malice, and some smear. "Or that I was so wrong in my conclusions that it must have some sort of a personal attack?" I do not think it was a personal attack because you were wrong in your conclusions. I think it was a personal attack because of the way you were attacking him personally.

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from rmccarley 2667 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@randfish - I didn’t say it wasn’t aggravating, just not worth taking personal. ;) @michael - You’re too smart to not know where the line is between professional and personal. Even you are a victim of hype/spin in your own way. I’m not saying you went over the line or anything. That’s just how I see it after reading your posts for the last couple years.

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from ciaran 2667 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Wow - came late to this one (well, came early actually, then back after a day). I guess if nothing else, Danny is now fully justified in calling Sphinn a forum.

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from mvandemar 2667 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@Danny - "Moreover, you do a kicker suggesting that this was all arranged perhaps to somehow protect that socengine site that was also news to me and also interesting." Just to clarify, I didn’t think they were protecting socengine per se. I actually more wanted to highlight the fact that they owned an even better example of a crappy directory that he could have slammed. Choosing another instead kind of underlines deliberate moves rather than random ones.

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from randfish 2667 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Still on vacation - but I will try to eventually respond to all this. Michael - I’d still love to hear from you over email. Not sure why you haven’t responded yet after all your criticism towards me for not responding...

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from earlpearl 2667 Days ago #
Votes: 1

As someone who has seen many comments by both Mike and Rand, and respecting both....my sense of the flavor of this is that Mike is coming from a perspective of suspicion with regard to the sequence of events he described. I’m not even getting into the proofs of weakness or the status of a site with subcategories. (the facts). Alternatively I read the directories blog issue when it came out at moz, read the subsequent blog items and didn’t think twice about them. I totally discounted any impact vis a vis rand’s directory. It never developed--never got strength, and I can see why he forgot it. So I view this from a "how skeptically do I view something" perspective. I just never even got close to thinking there were ulterior motives. Different strokes for different folks.

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from mvandemar 2666 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@Rand - sorry, missed this comment. I emailed you almost 2 hours ago.

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from earlpearl 2662 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Here is a little anecdotal research with regard to the general strength of directory links. I practiced what Rand described above in comment one of his response..... "Make it for a moderately competitive market like "hvac training school" or similar. Let me know if buying all those directory links gets you any ranking - my experience has been that it just doesn’t provide good ranks, but if your experience is different and you want to champion the value of those general directories, I’d love to see some examples and would be happy to blog about the value if you can show it." I did just that type of experience years ago....placing specific and varied (mostly obscure) anchor text in a large number of directories. I virtually never checked the directories for strength. When the anchor text, which was generally non-competitive, stopped climbing in google’s rankings I stopped adding links in directories. Today 8/13/07 I was checking rankings for various phrases. For one obscure phrase...that combined a business service with a geographical phrase...I saw the following information. But before the stats....consider the phrase to be something like.....HVAC School in Southern Ohio. My site/business ranks 1st in G, Y, and MSN for the phrase. A directory in which I placed that anchor text ranks 3rd in Yahoo and 19th in MSN for the phrase. The directory doesn’t rank in the top 100 in Google. Over the last 40 days or so....I had 4 visits from the directory. I had something between 20-40 visits in google for the phrase or variations of the phrase. I had about 5 visits in Y for variations on the phrase.(didn’t check MSN) Incidentally, Yahoo ranked the phrase 9th for the plural of the phrase....HVAC Schools in Southern Ohio. (a little stemming there!) (btw...that is not the phrase) Whether or not Y or MSN would continue to give anchor text value for these phrases for the recipient site (mine) and give value to the directories....I couldn’t tell you as I stopped the process a while ago.

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