Why Google doesn’t rank directories well

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A Google Webmaster help thread has a webmaster who started a business web directory in the Netherlands complaining that it ranks really poor.

As you know, less than a year ago, Google started removing directories from the index. But why? Why doesn’t Google like web directories?

The main reason is that they lack unique and valuable content – for the most part. Of course, not all web directories do this, but most do.

Google’s John Mueller explained in the thread:

With directories like this, I’m still worried that it’s really easy to create a ton of content that doesn’t yet have a lot of value. For example, I have clicked on a number of businesses, and other than general information like address and sometimes certain keywords, I’m missing something unique, compelling, and high quality. I realize that it’s not always possible to have this right off the bat, but if the majority of your site’s content is like this at this point, you can imagine that it can be very difficult for our algorithms. to judge your website as a whole. One solution might be to only include content that you are sure provides something unique; another possibility might be to keep those pages on your site (maybe users will add more content over time?), but prevent them from showing up in search results (maybe with a meta tag robots noindex).

Start a directory? Think twice.

Forum discussion using Google Webmaster.


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