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Old 11-08-2011, 01:19 AM
samdar samdar is offline
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Default "Directory = Duplicate content" - Why can't this change?

I am not an expert, but I would like to hear from pros and mavens who are there in this industry for a long time.

After analyzing many directories what I feel as a burning issue from a search engine / user perspective is duplicate content. People outsource directory submissions to offshore countries - They pay around $40 for 1000 submissions and give them 1 description. The outsourced party submits it manually or through software. Since many directories accepts these submissions, it leads to a havoc of duplicate content.

It's bad to a website and it's bad to directories. It looks like not many care about this. All these activities leave garbage content over the internet and definitely search engines won't love this.

Here are some questions that come to my mind, which I am really not able to understand.
  • Why can't the industry be like article sites? You give us a quality, unique description about your site and we will give you a link back from our directory. Simple enough right?
  • Why can't people write unique contents for every directory they submit? It hardly takes 1 minute to write a sentence about their site.
  • The industry is there for over a decade. Why there is no software / mod to hunt down these duplicate submissions?
  • etc., etc.,

I own a directory and we get over 500 submissions per day. More than 99% of the submissions are duplicate content. Even though we have a strong message that submissions with duplicate content will be rejected, no one cares about submitting sites with a clean content. It's such a pain.
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Old 11-08-2011, 10:07 AM
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It's true, and it comes down to effort and ROI.

People don't spend the time to build content, because it takes effort. The internet makes people lazy. Directory scripts do everything for them. They didn't build the software, they don't know much about how it works, they just stick it online and then add stuff.

So why don't people make an effort? because they don't see an easy way to make any money. Rather than work hard on 1 directory to earn a crust, they put up 50-100 and hope there'll be enough google clicks or $1 sales to get the job done.

They don't care about the junk content they are creating or the 50 worthless entities. All they care about is easy money.

In answer to your questions:

1. I think article sites are worse. It's a longer description, and it doesn't change either. 1 article duplicated thousands and thousands of times? How is that useful?

At least with a directory you are offering a recommendation on a website, so the description, whilst important, isn't the key benefit to the end user.

With an article, the content or description itself is the benefit. If its duplicated over and over (and let's face it most of them are so poorly written that a kindegarten student would be embarrassed to claim ownership) then it's no longer valuable.

2. For the same reason that they cannot submit their own site. It takes time and they'd rather saturate 10,000 directories with a hit 'n' miss method that takes no time than try and create unique profiles on a couple of hundred.

3. Because you hadn't come along to create it yet If you feel passionately about the industry make a change and contribute something to help!!!

We can all sit here discussing things till we are blue in the face. But seriously someone needs to step up and take action. We've all carried the baton at some point, but I'm not going to carry it all the time, someone else has to take over and go for a run.
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Old 11-09-2011, 02:02 AM
samdar samdar is offline
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Very true Dan.

Ha ha !! Nice challenge on point 3. I will have to put a comma here! We are working on something that the industry will love. Will let you and the world know when something that big is ready
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Old 11-09-2011, 05:51 AM
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The laziness Dan points out is absolutely right. I am guilty of it at times. I also make it clear, no duplicate content. Most of the time a simple google search of the description shows more then enough information on a site.

My tactic is to not search the URL title. Instead I search the URL name, then try to get a list of what and who they are. Just using something like this:

1: Your title should be the name of your site, period. No keyword stuffing.

2: Use a original description, if we Google your description and find it has been copy/pasted, REJECTED!

Is never enough, sometimes I find sites that are good. They are however horribly managed by "SEO" firms that do more harm then good IMHO.

Example of something I do, I blog about websites, products and random subjects. I had the opportunity to review a listing for "Johnny Cash Tribute Band" The site was superb, I love Johnny's music. Though, the description was lacking. So, using their sample music page, I decided it was in both our best interest to just write a blog review of their music.

I used Youtube to find some stuff and off their website. I made this review

Much to my surprise. (Really, I was blown away in shock.) They contacted me, I spoke with the lead guitarist for about 20 minutes (on the phone) about SEO work and Johnny Cash. He said that the band was sending me a hard copy of their latest CD. I wrote the review because I loved the music, they sent me a CD because they loved the review. WOW!!

http://secwh.com/Picture_1.jpg
and
http://secwh.com/Picture_2.jpg

This was worth far more to me then a simple 5 dollars. I had a blast, so I listened to the whole CD and went back and redid some stuff.

Is this offset by the fact I screwed up when seeding my directory? While I feel my directory is never finished. I was keep checking over and over to make sure everything is good. I will miss things, just need to fix them as I find them. I would say, stay strong and never hesitate to just add random websites you enjoy

It is not always about them "submitting" to you, you can also submit things yourself.


Hope I made sense here.
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Old 11-09-2011, 11:35 AM
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drwebs, great post... There, immediately, is something different.

People, directory owners usually, ask me what they should put on their blogs...

Duh - It's simple. Any gems you discover, let us know about through the blog. Sure you added 20 sites last week, maybe 100, but that's generally a small isolated listing.

Quote:
It is not always about them "submitting" to you, you can also submit things yourself.

That too is a massive part of creating something useful.

People crap on about what makes a quality directory. Build content. Blah blah blah.

What does all that mean? Well, content isn't just listings in the directory, it's the stuff that surrounds that. How did you find that website? Why is that website recommended? Who are the people behind the band/company/organisation that you listed. Etc etc.

A blog is a brilliant way to showcase the best offerings of your directory. Don't be tempted to go down the way of being paid for blog posts. Unless you are willing to disclose that a post is paid for in neon lights above the post.

Creating content is giving us YOUR opinion, YOUR viewpoint, YOUR recommendation, not one that has been paid for by someone else

Instantly the directory comes alive.

Is that directory even adding sites anymore? Ummm yup, go check their blog out, they posted yesterday about this great website they found while surfing the web in their lunchbreak.

The best directories, are that way because you don't need to ask that question, you can see it!
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Old 11-09-2011, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drwebs View Post
I used Youtube to find some stuff and off their website. I made this review

Wow, drwebs, amazing! Good to see someone thinking out of the box.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drwebs View Post
1: Your title should be the name of your site, period. No keyword stuffing.

2: Use a original description, if we Google your description and find it has been copy/pasted, REJECTED!

You know, point 1 is not a problem. I do that on my directory.

Point 2 is pain in the ass for a directory owners. I own a PR 6 directory. You know how many free submissions I get in a day? Between 500 to 600. Almost 99.9% of submissions have duplicate content on their descriptions. After basic thumb rule rejections I will have over 200 sites to review per day. It's impossible to verify each and every listing for duplicate content. So I think this situation can change only if there is an automated way to slaughter these copied crappy contents in a directory.

Dan, the blog idea is really cool. I was also thinking on these lines....
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Old 11-09-2011, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan View Post

A blog is a brilliant way to showcase the best offerings of your directory. Don't be tempted to go down the way of being paid for blog posts. Unless you are willing to disclose that a post is paid for in neon lights above the post.

Creating content is giving us YOUR opinion, YOUR viewpoint, YOUR recommendation, not one that has been paid for by someone else


Thanks Dan, this post here was an old college paper I wrote. No clue why I wanted to post it, but I did.

http://secwh.com/blog/the-human-condition-definition/

I like the blog, sometimes for videos I find, or reviews of websites. Either way, it's a medium for me to just say something. To long has the directory world been stagnant in "the "old ways." ways of old." This is something I have recently talked with David from phpLD about. So many people with the mind frame get rich quick or I need to run 100 directories to be good. When in fact they need to stop, and read this, and a post on the phpld forums titles definition of insanity. (not sure if I can link to it)

http://info.vilesilencer.com/forum/s...ead.php?t=8147

I read it, and after I just started thinking, what can be different, what is required of me?

"Human conformity can be highly beneficial, such as standing in a line at a bank or waiting our turn at the gas pump. However, there are times when human conformity can have a negative impact on society. " Right from my blog, I think it relates. Directory owners see a format, they follow it, and wait. When my view is, to see the format, follow it and move on into different areas of my site. Hell, I have not clue sometimes what I am doing. I am however having fun.

I changed my blog theme, it sucked ass.
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Old 12-02-2011, 11:47 PM
YMC YMC is offline
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Since it's just us directory owners here, I'll share one of my secrets...blog about sites you find or have been submitted, invite people to visit the other sites in the same category and link to that category. For best results, use a different domain for the blog.

As to the description thing, why even waste time checking if the description is unique? I would assume most general directory submissions are done in batches and therefore the same or very similar descriptions are used multiple times. Particularly with a paid directory where submitters are supposedly paying for a review and not a link, it would seem that a custom-written description by the directory owner/staff should be a given. After all, isn't that what a review fee is supposed to represent?

I've never understood website and directory owners who whinge that they can't write unique descriptions about their sites. Yes, there will always be folks who don't understand that a description should be a bit of sales copy that represents their website. There will always be others who are just too damn lazy to bother. As a directory owner, once you accept that, you can move on and write descriptions that work to your benefit as much or more than they do the sites being described.
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Old 02-25-2012, 05:12 PM
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I think the more blog-like, and the less directory-like a directory is, the better and more useful it's going to be. And that inevitably means moving away from listing hundreds of sites a day and going with the basic format that anyone can offer of site titles, descriptions, and a url. Smaller, nichier, more info-rich and with more editorial content is the way to stand out.
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Old 06-09-2012, 09:40 PM
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Quote:
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As to the description thing, why even waste time checking if the description is unique? I would assume most general directory submissions are done in batches and therefore the same or very similar descriptions are used multiple times. Particularly with a paid directory where submitters are supposedly paying for a review and not a link, it would seem that a custom-written description by the directory owner/staff should be a given. After all, isn't that what a review fee is supposed to represent?

I actually do this on Info Vilesilencer. The descriptions that get submitted are almost always horrid. People are just bad at writing something un-biased. Directory owners who should know better are often the worst culprits (being that Info Vilesilencer is a directory list you would probably think that's all I see but 95% of submissions are made from non-directories, some are actually quite good, but clearly we only list directories so they get rejected anyways).

When I am given a good description, I seek to re-word it. Even sometimes I know the description exists elsewhere, but because they've written it well, I will simply expand upon it and give more information regarding the site. I did that recently with a directory called Arielis. After a brief discussion with the owner about the directory I had more information to expand the description beyond what they had submitted.

Quote:
I've never understood website and directory owners who whinge that they can't write unique descriptions about their sites. Yes, there will always be folks who don't understand that a description should be a bit of sales copy that represents their website. There will always be others who are just too damn lazy to bother. As a directory owner, once you accept that, you can move on and write descriptions that work to your benefit as much or more than they do the sites being described.

It can be a tedious process, but if owners embark on it, the gains are huge. Nothing beats content that is consistent. Having descriptions mixed between 1st and 3rd party, promotional and non-biased is what makes many directory far less valuable. As soon as the opinion is not the directory owners but the website owners, it loses it's value. People still don't understand that the content on their directory is THEIRS. They are not only responsible for what they list, but they are also responsible for the value of what they list.

Anyone can list legitimate websites, and accept submissions. Only a true directory owner can look at the legitimate websites, and work out if the site is really of any value (e.g. the indian flower shops I speak of often, might be legitimate websites, but they are spam and should get rejected/removed).

Only a true directory owner can amend/edit or completely re-write the description of a website. For mine, it is called editing because you aren't necessarily re-writing or creating the description/titles for the site owner. They are describing for you what their site does, in their words, then you edit it to describe what the site does in your words.

Might be as simple as changing perspectives from 1st person to 3rd person, but if that's all it is, it is still a valuable process.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Catfish View Post
I think the more blog-like, and the less directory-like a directory is, the better and more useful it's going to be. And that inevitably means moving away from listing hundreds of sites a day and going with the basic format that anyone can offer of site titles, descriptions, and a url. Smaller, nichier, more info-rich and with more editorial content is the way to stand out.

I agree. I had a discussion on Digitalpoint with pipes regarding that very same topic. They believed that directories needed to be more true to their "old ways" of structure, whereas I believe that only directories whose structure is malleable (adaptable) will be able to evolve, develop and ultimately survive.

Things like categories, design, content, display of information, additional information, metrics are all available to adapt and change. No one says categories need to resemble the standard structure of a DMOZ.

It's a good start, and things like symbolic categories do help with navigation, but that doesn't mean you can't then twist things once you've got the foundation down. You can build categories that are more blog-like in their form (they could be designed to capture the eye with a clever tag-line rather than just the words "arts and humanities" or "science and technology" which have been done to death).

When people talk about doing "category dumps" I cringe. Info Vilesilencers category structure was built from scratch. Every category I have hand-created. I have to go through and add individual meta data/titles, as well as on page descriptions of each niche topic area. This is an ongoing process for me, something that I may never finish. But when I work on a particular niche that is what I am doing.

I'll often find a lot of directories pertaining to one topic (like the twitter directories, buddhism directories, and guns and ammo directories that I added all in recent times). These were all done as a batch lot. 10-20 directory groupings that I found which made me create a category to house them. It wasn't really seeding as such because I populated the entire category with every good directory in the niche I could find.
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