Managing Directory Submissions

I got an IM from a friend today who has a directory over at Firetown. He’s got another friend helping him wade through the submissions (lads, how about mine?)

Hi Mike,

I’m looking through now and I need some guidance.

I’m seeing

  1. 2 identical, keyword descriptions (ie not sentences) for 2 different travel sites with the same IP. reject?
  2. people who have applied multiple times to correct errors. reject first, accept second?
  3. spammy keyword descriptions (eg Powerhouse all-in-one audio/video converter (CD, MP3, WAV, WMA, OGG, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, AVI, WMV, etc); editor; recorder; CD ripper; copy music CDs; audio, video (VCD/SVCD/DVD), data CD/DVD burner; and much more.). but from an seo-guy forum member.

    Accept or reject?

  4. Nice descriptions with cool sites, but deep linked.
    Accept? Edit link and accept? Reject?
  5. Sites built for Adwords sites, but offering reciprocal links. Reject?
  6. And some great sites from famous people in the digitalpoint forum….

It’s quite interesting. But I’ll keep looking, and wait for some thoughts from you before accepting/rejecting the dificult ones.

I’m making the assumption that Mike wants his directory to be useful to both humans and webmasters and that he doesn’t want to risk penalties, so a conservative approach is needed.

Lets take these points one by one.

  1. 2 identical, keyword descriptions for 2 different travel sites with the same IP.
    I’d be inclined to reject both, they’re obviously mirror sites designed to dominate the market and may be penalised by Google. If one has useful information to visitors, actually sells travel, or mentions the people behind the site then consider listing it.
  2. people who have applied multiple times to correct errors.
    This should be OK, just drop the old one. Some sites offer the ability to edit submissions but, quite frankly, I can’t keep track of them so use their facility.
  3. spammy keyword descriptions
    A little naive of these webmasters to think they can get a hold on some of those words and they’ll need more than just directory listings. They’ll need alot of natural inbound links, alot of pages, and alot of fresh content.
    IF the site is actually worth listing change the title to the title of the site – but that may be spammy too, so change it to what you think it should really be.
  4. Nice descriptions with cool sites, but deep linked.
    Is it appropriate to just link the top page? Does it add value? This may not be a huge issue.

    I’ve been know to submit links to my property investment directory because it’s significantly different from the main site

  5. Sites built for Adwords sites
    Reject, pure and simple
  6. And some great sites from famous people in the digitalpoint forum….
    Great sites – gotta be a good thing!

Now, how did I learn these lessons – a little bit flying solo over at DMOZ but mostly on my own directory.

Take a look at my Nevada Property page. Everyone wants “Las Vegas Real Estate”. Can’t blame them but as a human visiting that page it just looks like crap. How do you decide which to actually click on?

Be OK if it was just Nevada but the story is repeated over and over. And the more you move sites into specific categories (when the parent gets too big as I’ve done in California) the more similar the titles get and the more devalued the directory gets for the human visitor.

I imagine that even Googlebot and it’s mates get bored with reading the same link title over and over and scream “Enough Already!”, and we don’t want that, do we?