Digression: What are article directories? For those who do not know what article directories, here's a brief digression: In an article directory is usually a blog where "guest article" may be published. The lyrics often have a length of around 300 words and in these texts are - how could you expect otherwise - include outgoing backlinks. In general, the publication will be made in such a article directory for an appropriate compensation. Are Article directories bad link sources? Article directories are as good or bad as any other link source and also of course make this a red flag for search engine providers, since they conflict with the applicable guidelines. But when you referred to article directory as a bad link source, then you would have to also link other sources such as Web directories, social bookmarking, forums, media portals, Parasites, etc. mentioned in the same breath as they actually exist for no other purpose. What would ultimately still remain, would only sites with very high Trust, each of the like gets a link. But even here one must often pay with hard cash, what Google will appeal just as little. In short: you judge so consistently according to Google guidelines then would ultimately all links that have been set by agreement with another website owner, critical. But not for the fact that they are blogs, where guest article may be published, article directory to make a bad link source - it is simply in the wrong configuration! The correct configuration is important! Why should Google have something against blogs that publish guest articles and it may point to other sites? Basically nothing, because then everyone would have to actually fly out of the blog index. So is it just about paid backlinks? Yes, thank God, but Google can not (yet) access to the circulation of money savings, Google only according to certain patterns or footprints and the design and quality of link sources. If you look at the projects that have been bowled from the Google index some time ago, then you can see very quickly a pattern: There is Expired domains that were configured more or less carelessly. It was perhaps looking for 10 minutes after a free WordPress theme and then sold the first guest articles with backlinks on the next day - often several on the same day, and almost always by the same scheme: A 300-word article and a backlink to the side of the + buyer a link to Wikipedia. It was also the operators apparently do not care about what topics are: loans, washing machines, evening dresses, water beds, etc. will be mixed. All brought what money was taken. The main thing the money roll in! And one wonders seriously that the sides eventually fly out of the index? Of course, there are still very many counter-examples that show that the concept still works without problems, but that should in my opinion in terms of sustainability continues to be absolutely no reason to make it so. Google wants quality, so it provides them quality! Article Directories mean creativity and quality! What many have forgotten: The algorithm of Google is nowhere near as bad as some people think. Google recognizes that there is pattern and also whether certain topics fit together or not - especially when it comes to the revival of Expired Domains. Several years ago, was preached in various blogs and forums, if you take advantage of Expired Domains, remains as close to the original theme of the old site. But somehow, this cup is pulled past and now some people have experienced firsthand that this age-old tip gold was worth just yet or is. The topic of article directory requires the operator creativity and quality in the sense that an article directory should withstand a manual control by a human Qualityrater - because the page actually adds value! Is the quality of a blog, then there are really no obvious reason for Google to punish a site just because it has a few outbound links, because every blog has any outgoing links. Links are recommendations and should if possible be used in this sense as such. Sometimes you have to sometimes "No" can say! If the euro fast waves, then the brain switches unfortunately quite fast on stand by and the greed triumphs over reason. A proverb says: "Less is more" - and that this also applies here, because sometimes you have to times as publisher "No" can say! This can be for both the publisher and for the prospects of benefit in terms of SEO. Certainly there are Expired domains which allow a mix of topics, but usually it was originally but a thematic website and it should only be used for orientation. As an example, this means that on a former domain on education simply does not include articles on car insurance, shoes or water beds - if you can not justify somehow thematically coherent halfway there. Clear at the moment is the rejection of a guest article, a job lost, but instead by the subjects relevance of the page is preserved and can be significantly more value in the long term.