As you may know, Google’s Matt Cutts frequently answers questions from Google users on the Google Webmaster Central YouTube channel. There are a couple recent ones in which he addresses questions about directories and how they contribute to a site’s rankings.
The first question is:
When Google looks at whether or not a directory is useful to users, Google looks at:
- What is the value-add?
- Do they go out and find entries on their own or do they only wait for people to come to them?
- How much do they charge?
- What is the editorial service that’s being charged?
“If a directory takes $50 and every single person who ever applies in the directory automatically gets in for that $50, there’s not as much editorial oversight as something like the Yahoo! Directory, where people do get rejected,” says Cutts. “So if there is no editorial value-add there, then that is much closer to paid links.”
The second question is: