"What Search Engines Want From Directories Not all directories provide links that the search engines value. The key as to what would cause a search engine would vlaue a directory link or not is in the editorial policy of the directory. The essential factors that the search engines look for are: The fee paid is made in payment for an editorial review, not for a link. Editors may at their whim change the location, title, and description of the listing. Editors may reject the listing altogether. Regardless of the outcome, the directory keeps the money (even if the publisher doesn't get a listing). The directory has a track record of rejecting submissions. The inverse of this, which is more measurable, is that the quality of the sites listed in the directory is high. The following is an extract from my blog post on The Role of Directories in Link Building: Ultimately, "Anything for a buck" directories do not enforce editorial judgment, and therefore the listings do not convey value to the search engines. To take a closer look at this, let's examine some of the key statements from Yahoo!'s Directory Submission Terms: For web sites that do not feature adult content or services, the Yahoo! Directory Submit service costs US$299 (nonrefundable) for each Directory listing that is submitted. I understand that there is no guarantee my site will be added to the Yahoo! Directory. I understand that Yahoo! reserves the right to edit my suggestion and category placement; movement or removal of my site will be done at Yahoo!'s sole discretion." Classifying Directories We can divide directories into 3 buckets: Directories That Provide Sustainable Links. These are directories that comply with the policies as outlined above. Most likely, these links will continue to pass link juice for the foreseeable future. Directories That Pass Link Juice that May Not Be Sustainable. These are directories that don't comply with the policies as outlined above. The reason such directories exist is that search engines tend to use an "innocent until proven guilty" approach, so the search engine must proactively make a determination of guilt before a directory's ability to pass link juice is turned off. Even so, link juice from these types of directories is probably not going to be passed in the long term. Directories That Do Not Pass Link Juice. These are the directories that have already been flagged by the search engines. They do not pass any value. In fact, submission to a large number of them could be seen as a spam signal, although it is unlikely that any action would be taken solely on this signal alone. Detecting Directories that Pass Link Juice The process is relatively simple for directories that pass sustainable links, as defined above. The steps are: Investigate their editorial policies and see if they conform to what search engines want. Investigate their track record. Do they enforce their policy for real? This may be a bit subjective, but if there are lots of junky links in their directory, chances are that the policy is just lip service. As another check, search on the directory name and see if there is any SEO scuttlebutt about the directory as well, and then read what it says to see specifics. The process is a bit harder for directories that do not confirm to the policies search engines prefer. There are still some things the publisher can do: Search on the name of the directory to see if it shows up in the search engine results. If not, definitely stay away from it. Take a unique phrase from the home page of the directory and see if that shows in the search engine results. If not, stay away from it. Do they have premium sponsorships for higher level listings? A sure signal to search engines about their editorial policies. Do they promote search engine value instead of traffic? Another bad signal. Evaluate their inbound links. If they are engaged in shady link building tactics, it's a good idea to stay away from them." I was reading on SEOMOZ when I found this. Basically it says that if a directory accepts all entries, google will cause all backlinks out of that directory to not count. Is this true? How can google asses if a directory accepts all links or not? How can the link not count if it is ********?