Today I was speaking to a new client on the phone and I was reviewing his backlinks, and I found several un-natural backlinks from directories….and many of these directories had pages the linked to the client that looked something like this: (this is not the client site below, just a random listing I grabbed)
According to Majestic’s backlink analysis, the site has had 1,933 unique domains linking to it (though only 368 domains link to it today).
With this many backlinks, you’d expect this site to rank for at least a handful of phrases…but if I take that root url by entering it into Spyfu (FYI, I’m using the new beta version), I get a keywords ranking chart like this.
In fact, I just checked, and the site is also completely de-indexed from Google.
So, for our new client, I grabbed maybe 9 words from his directory description listing that he had in this directory, and I went to google, and searched for that string of words with quotes around it…and yup, there were 28 other directories still listed with Google, all using that same exact directory description. I’m sure Google found hundreds more and de-indexed those sites as well, and there’s now only 28 left in the index, but these all rank for nothing. I also see that many of these other 28 site have “Remove your URL” pages where they’re putting prices on removing links.
I’m guessing that the person who obtained these directory links probably paid a lot less than $20 to get their link listed in this 1 crappy directory…but now it’s $20 to get the link removed….I partly understand… why would the people with the directory do this work for free? …You want your link removed, sure, pay for the time it takes. Of course, you can disavow the url, and it won’t cost you a thing…but wouldn’t Google really rather see the link removed???
Imagine if I mapped out the ~500 other sites in this network of directory sites, and then submitted a competitor to all those sites (probably for $20 total to get in all 500 of those directories combined)…
What if they got penalized for getting these types of links…and then it’s hey…you wanna remove those?…That’ll cost you $20 per directory for removal…or a total of $10k…..ouch…. one has to wonder, does one get out of a penalty faster if the links are actually removed, as opposed to disavowed….???
I’m sure there’s a whole new industry starting up for “create a crappy directory…maybe something like www.JIMs-SEO-Directory12345.com and populate it with 500,000 urls, and put the “Delete this URL $20” next to every listing…I wonder how much I’d make?
FYI, in case you were wondering, I don’t do things like that…but I see there are others who do and are.