Recovering from Penguin and Panda

By David | November 2, 2014 | Home | Blog Categories | Articles

It has been a tumultuous year for the directory industry where we saw Google rolling Penguins, Pandas, Zebras, and maybe a few other animals as well.  For directory owners many were hit with penalties ranging from thin content (Panda) to link issues (Penguin). As we get closer to the end of the year there are some signs that things may get better, or at least the solution is becoming more apparent. So let’s dive into what we can do!

Thin Content

Having a directory that consists only of links with very brief descriptions that were created by submitters that came and left is really not going to rank well anymore. As you are adding links to your directory, or reviewing submitted links, think about creating longer descriptions consisting of at least few sentences that are unique. Obviously if you are writing the descriptions they will be unique, but if you are dealing with many submissions, think about expanding on the descriptions with your own review of the resource.

Speaking of reviews, there is evidence that ratings and comments can show that your resources are more important. If you can find ways to get people to leave ratings and reviews that appear legitimate, I have seen indications that google will be more likely to rank the page even with thinner content. Of course, mileage may vary, but might be something you want to try.

Also think about your category structure. If you have 500 categories in your directory and 100 or more have zero links this can be problematic. porno Consider just hiding or deleting categories that you are not using, and instead focus on building several maincategories that link from your homepage.

Link Related Penalties

First, look at some of the more obvious issues like sitewide links or homepage links. If you have a lot of outbound links of these types, consider using the “no follow” attribute or reducing the number. Especially do this if your site is not getting traffic from search engines and a “reset” is in order.

And with the latest Penguin update that happened in the last week or so, I am seeing indications that finally the disavow tool is working. Again, if you are basically getting no traffic from Google, and you want to change that, you might want to consider using a tool like Majestic SEO, and disavow some of your weakest links. What’s nice is you can change the file you have saved in Google webmaster tools at any time. Now supposing you have several really strong links, and then dozens of week links from domains that may have been penalized, you might even consider disavowing all but the stronger links. That would mean Google would only consider the links not disavowed in the ranking calculation.

And finally if you have many low quality links in your directory, maybe consider going through and removing all the weakest links. If your directory isn’t performing well, even if people paid for links in the past, you may not being doing those people much of service anyway. It might be better just to wipe the slate clean!


In conclusion, try make sure all your pages have plenty of text, not just links with short descriptions. Avoid empty category pages. Consider reviews and ratings. Clean up your links and consider using the Disavow tool to remove the especially bad links pointing to your directory.

I hope some of these tips help you, and best wishes as we go toward the holiday season and 2015! Time flies and almost 10 years now since phpLD was first released!

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Publish date: November 2, 2014
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