During the first part of 2006, I stated to notice duplicate directories
stating to pop up. As the months went on the amount of duplicates started to grow
exponentially. By April, they were everywhere. People started creating directories
and selling them with with a database structure and maybe some listings. They then
sold the same directory over and over again. Putting a different domain and logo
on a site doesn't make it unique. Directories are available for sale by the hundreds,
including almost any niche you can think of. I must commend them on a great business
model, although they are not looking out for the people wasting hours doing the submissions.
Some generous folks are sharing their databases with others. It really saves a great
deal of the effort requried to create all the categories and sub-categories required
for a good directory.
What does it mean?
I personally think that duplicate content raises flags at the search
engines. If the search engines don't trust a site or a page, there is a strong chance
that they won't give full weight to a link from that page, either now or in future
algorithms. The search engines normally keep only one copy of a similar page in their
index. The rest are ignored. I will not have full agreement from everyone on the
effects of duplicate content, so feel free not to agree with it. It is based primarily
on my own experience with search engine results with duplicate sites.
What should you do?
There are thousands of directories out there to choose from. Unless
you have unlimited time on your hands I suggest that you submit to the unique directories
first. Furthermore, I definitely wouldn't pay for a listing or ad in a duplicate