Tell Us Again What You're Looking For, Google

It is becoming increasingly difficult to figure out what Google is looking for, or why we should care.

As much as they keep telling people that they should build their sites for their users rather than for the search engines, Google keeps people going through seemingly senseless hoops, in the hope of avoiding being buried in the search results.

More than most, the web directory industry has been hit hard by Google, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to figure out where they intend to take us, or whether there is any sense in trying to keep up with it.

Not long ago, Google zeroed out the WoW Directory's PageRank. While it does have some quality problems, the WoW Directory has been online since late 2003 or early 2004, and has had a place in my top ten for the past two quarters. Given the thousands of absolute junk directories that are available online, does it make sense for Google to go after one of the better ones?

As a case in point, you will find a directory script on a domain called Cyborginfo.com. On this domain is an out-of-the-box directory script. Whoever put it up didn't even bother to add their own title to it, as it still reads "My Directory." I mentioned this directory on my forum a few months ago, after I first came across it, so it's not as if Google hasn't had time to get to it yet. With thousands of empty categories, and two -- yes, two -- active links, the Cyborginfo.com domain enjoys a PageRank of four.

I'm not done yet. Also mentioned in our forum, with a name like Linking Fast, one might think that some flags would go up yet, with mostly empty categories, Google thinks this directory deserves a PageRank of six. Even some of its empty categories have PageRank. Then, there is the Submission Web Directory, also with a PageRank of six. This one at least has some listed sites, but a PageRank of six? Really?

But wait!

It gets better.

Another solid winner, in the web directory industry, is the Site Promotion Directory, online since 2010, offering fewer than four thousand links and a crap load of empty categories, but boasting a PageRank of seven.

They must be doing something right because Google isn't coming after them.

Many years ago, when I was in high school, I was pulled over by a sheriff’s deputy just after another car had passed me at a very high rate of speed.

“Going a little fast, aren’t you?”, he asked. I was aghast.

“What about him?” I asked, pointing in the direction of the car that had just passed me going well over a hundred miles an hour.

“I couldn’t catch him,” he replied. He was joking, and I didn’t get a ticket.

I’m not sure what Google is up to, but I’ll probably be penalized for linking to these directories. Then again, maybe I’ll get a boost.
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