Why Does Google Constantly Favor Directories Over Our Websites?

We’re coming off of a relatively big algorithm update in the past couple of weeks, and while it looks like the vast majority of our client websites benefited, our Market My Market website unfortunately did not.  We were excited for the month or so of hanging around #2 for “legal marketing company” (an impressive feat, I think, considering the volume of searches) and similar keywords, but as of this moment, we’re hovering much lower in the page.  What I’ve seen, though, and am seeing more and more, are directories taking such coveted spaces for competitive search terms.  Now if you’ve been doing SEO for a while, you’re probably saying “Come on, there are obvious reasons.”  I’d agree, and I’ll begin to outline the obvious and not-so obvious reasons why:

  • Directories are typically massively authoritative and have backlink portfolios any website would almost never be able to match
  • Directories are typically pretty slim code-wise and load much quicker than most business websites
  • They have dedicated SEOs that are always ensuring the onsite SEO is done properly
  • They pay Google to have organic positioning, and offer exclusively to them and not people like you and me (that one isn’t serious, but it makes you think …)

What are some not-so obvious reasons?

  • They have a superior grasp on Structured Data, and have been maxing out that potential since day one
  • A superior grasp on sitemaps and acknowledging crawl budget, especially on pages that could potentially receive an inordinate amount of quality traffic
  • They employ a superfluous method of including keywords on pages, but since it’s a directory, it’s far more natural than if we were to do that on any of our own pages
  • They often times use a new iteration of the old concept of “keyword stuffing” – except this time on the backend.  This is in the form of code I’ve seen on several directories – of course likely for innocuous reasons, but I’m not here to assume anything.

We’ll go over all of these in more detail.  At first glance, it seems like we have almost enough to just accept why directories should have placement over regular websites in most SERPs (especially just massive backlink portfolios), but there are definitely reasons it shouldn’t:

  • Directory results typically have very thin content, and there’s a high likelihood there is content on the page that has been duplicated thousands of times on the website.
  • The URL structure is typically bogus, with odd subdirectory choices, and going down tiers that would be uncrawlable for most normal websites

And maybe most importantly, user intent. What’s interesting too is that directories come up through any variation and inflection of searches – “(service) near me”, “find the best (service) in (city)” and just “(city)(service), (service)(city)”. The one argument you can propose to Google that completely negates everything they say about creating a user experience.  The ONE caveat that makes the majority of the results directories come up for arguably illogical.  Of course, we save the best for last.  Let’s dive into why directories rank so well and what you can learn from them for your own website:

Why Directories Rank


As I mentioned, there’s really no competing with the monstrous amount of links directories that rankings get.   Let’s look at some prominent directories and their backlink portfolios.  These two links rank 1 and 2 respective for the keyword “nyc personal injury lawyer”


You would think that a tier 4 link would never be able to compete against a homepage, but here it is – you may notice that the Expertise page technically only has 16 backlinks built to it compared to 805 (the idea that links were sent to a tier 4 page is mind-boggling enough, but proves how proactive these directories are with guiding links to specific, potentially high volume pages).  But it benefits from the overall authority of the website being able to generate tens of thousands of links a month, with most of them likely going to the homepage and some scattered throughout interior pages.  How they get their links is simple, of course:

Their badges are embedded with backlinks to them.  Most webmasters don’t really think about removing the “a href=” since you don’t need it for the image to appear (that’s img src=), but of course it’s a sneaky backlinking practice.  Didn’t Thumbtack get dinged for that?  It may have been because of their association with Google, or the fact that adding the links translated to some sort of bonus point system.  Either way, links embedded within badges and images is a common practice and webmasters should be aware that the href to pass authority to a directory can be removed without detriment.


If you’ve noticed anything about directories, the biggest thing that stands out is they’re not very flashy.  That’s because the emphasis is listing out results with few bells and whistles.  While most websites are on WordPress nowadays, there’s always the con that the superfluous nature of WordPress will bog load speed, especially with a heavy employment of plugins.  Essentially, directories are built to be as sleek as possible, and with advanced techniques such as dynamic rendering.  How can the top 5 results of “nyc personal injury lawyer,” which dozens if not hundreds of law firm websites dedicate their time and resources to ranking for solely and not passively, not compete?

According to Google’s PageSpeed Insights, here are the load scores respectively of the first 5 results on Mobile and Desktop:

  1. 94, 99
  2. 44, 90
  3. 44, 91
  4. 24, 69
  5. 15, 60

Surprisingly (or not), 1, 4 and 5 are directories and the others aren’t.  There’s definitely a trend from the load standpoint of who is ranking, but it’s odd to see SuperLawyers with such poor site speed load time optimization, and a random directory called “Halt.org” at 5 with load speed worse than the majority of legal websites.   I think it does show that quick load times are always going to be an important consideration for website rankings, since it contributes directly to user experience.  Interestingly, Expertise is sitting on WordPress, which gives hope to anyone that doesn’t want to jump for another CMS or something “proprietary.”  They’ve managed to create a page with less than 2k lines of code, which seems to be about half of what the average WP page with plugins enjoys today.


How would you like to go up against one of the in-house SEOs working around the clock to optimize and increase the authority of their websites through advanced link building techniques?  This one is pretty straight-forward – with teams of SEOs and content writers working day in day out to build the content and authority of one directory, you can bet they’re going to get solid visibility from every angle.

Structured Data

Structured data is a very crucial part of larger websites and often neglected by smaller business websites.  You can learn more about it at schema.org as a reference.  Most websites do the basics – type of Organization, BlogPosting, Article, Reviews maybe.  But there is so much beyond that specific to Events, FAQ, HowTo, and ItemList – and you bet they’re taken advantage of on directory websites.  Let’s see how some directories are using them:

SuperLawyers wraps their lawyer results in a ton of schema options – take a look at the following and you can see really the extent of Structured Data you can offer to Google (this is in JSON format):

[{“@context”:”http:\/\/schema.org”,”@type”:”Person”,”name”:”Linda Armatti-Epstein”,”jobTitle”:”Attorney at Law”,”url”:”https:\/\/profiles.superlawyers.com\/new-york-metro\/new-york\/lawyer\/linda-armatti-epstein\/18ca6416-3c31-45e8-81f9-c00dfe51d690.html”,”alumniOf”:{“@type”:”OrganizationRole”,”alumniOf”:{“@type”:”CollegeOrUniversity”,”name”:”Southwestern Law School”}},”award”:”Selected to Super Lawyers”,”worksFor”:{“@type”:”LocalBusiness”,”name”:”Jacoby & Meyers, LLP”,”telephone”:”212-445-7000″,”priceRange”:”Varies based on case specifics”,”address”:{“@type”:”PostalAddress”,”streetAddress”:”39 Broadway”,”addressLocality”:”New York”,”addressRegion”:”NY”,”postalCode”:”10006″,”addressCountry”:”US”},”location”:{“@type”:”Place”,”url”:”https:\/\/profiles.superlawyers.com\/new-york-metro\/new-york\/lawfirm\/jacoby-and-meyers-llp\/60c96b94-7955-42e4-aa92-b46379ffe03e.html”,”geo”:{“@type”:”GeoCoordinates”,”latitude”:”40.706339″,”longitude”:”-74.013410″}},”image”:{“@type”:”ImageObject”,”url”:”https:\/\/d22sy6g45ur8ee.cloudfront.net\/profile_image\/Armatti-Epstein–Linda-_18ca6416-3c31-45e8-81f9-c00dfe51d690-p0yy9r-small.png”,”height”:”150″,”width”:”115″}}}

Pretty specific, right?  We have information being provided to Google on the backend that includes:

  • Person
  • Attorney at Law with a link to the SuperLawyers profile
  • Alumni of the Organization that is a University
  • The local business she is affiliated with
  • Exact location of this business (including GeoCoordinates!)

Directories don’t exactly provide this information for their health.  These are all available opportunities to use Structured Data, and they’re doing it.

The actual associated profile is here:

I find this odd since the snippet of Structured Data associated with this is the first in the backend code, but the profile is much further down from the top.  It’s technically reinforcing the fact that structured data is information provided solely to Google and not to website visitors, and their association can technically be non-existent — but you can be at risk for a manual penalty.  You can also see an example of an FAQ SD on the page:

context”:”http:\/\/schema.org”,”@type”:”FAQPage”,”specialty”:”Personal Injury”,”name”:”Personal Injury FAQ”,”mainEntity”:[{“@type”:”Question”,”name”:”What is considered to be a personal injury?”,”acceptedAnswer”:{“@type”:”Answer”,”text”:”Personal injury in law is very broad and covers a wide spectrum of legal issues including injuries from car accidents, medical malpractice lawsuits, slip-and-fall, and dog bites \/ domestic animal attacks. Because personal injury is a civil law issue, it is concerned with liability and damages. Generally speaking, if someone harmed you in some way and they were at fault, you may be able to sue and collect monetary damages from the other party. Not all personal injuries require physical harm as certain cases of emotional distress and\/or psychological suffering will also fit the criteria for a personal injury lawsuit.”}}

You can see this on the side as well:

This is more in line with using SD to support content on the site for users.

Halt.org considers their results to be blog postings as seen by their SD:

The funny thing about Structured Data is you can essentially input data that isn’t necessary verifiable anywhere else.  For example, they can simply change the “Date Modified” to today and then Google would accept it, much like the aggregateRating (which is showing up less and less in SERPs because of the likelihood of rampant abuse).  For some reason this page exists as well https://www.halt.org/top-10-new-york-city-personal-injury-lawyers/top-10-new-york-city-personal-injury-lawyers/


This isn’t supposed to be a blog about Structured Data, but it is maybe a quick expose on the high level SEO and techniques that websites are using to get ahead of the curve, and you should be aware of many concepts that your website is likely not taking advantage of.

On-Site Keyword Average

Any typical website wouldn’t be able to mention their main keyword over and over again without it sounding very unnatural.  Then you have directories, where the main keyword can be mentioned dozens and dozens of times and it just makes sense.  For example:

The top of the page and URL mention that every listing is a personal injury lawyers in NYC, yet every listing mentions it again.  But it still doesn’t come off as keyword stuffing.  This is a technique often employed by most directories – reiterating the keyword in every listing to add to the keyword focus on the page.  And I guarantee this instance doesn’t translate as keyword stuffing to Google since there’s a large gap in code between each listing.  And nothing looks out of the ordinary to anyone visiting the website.

Keyword Stuffing on the Backend?

I mentioned a few instances of some very particular opportunities for additional keywords embedded in pages.  After looking at the source code for most directories, the main keyword appears in the text (where visitors can see) but the keyword appears in the code within structured data, CSRF tokens, button alts, image alts, and other available fields.  Seems sort of sneaky!  And let’s look at some examples.

Let’s go back to our URL www.expertise.com/ny/nyc/personal-injury-attorney: personal injury is mentioned 41 times in the code.  I can’t think of any instance of a normal website being able to pull that out on one page.  As far as placement, we see it:

  • 3 times in meta information
  • 30 times in text
  • 8 times as a data category for an input

Even in Orlando, where Morgan and Morgan has dominated for “Orlando personal injury lawyer” for years and years, the top three results are directories!  With Expertise out of nowhere at the top again. What are they doing so correctly? Again, 31 instances of “personal injury” on the front end and 8 on the back (going to look like I’m giving them backlinks!  Don’t worry they’re no follow)


  • 74! On the front
  • 82! On the back


  • 38 on the front
  • 30 on the back

And the 4th result, an actual website


  • 4 on the front
  • 2 on the back

How do you compete with this egregious use of keywords?  How does this not resemble any instance of keyword stuffing or over-optimization that normal websites have been held accountable for throughout the past decade?

Why Directories Inherently Shouldn’t Rank

Perhaps I have a slight bias as to why directories shouldn’t rank as prominently as they should – it takes positions away from my clients and also my own website.  My own Director of Client Experience just stated on a call “shouldn’t Google be aggregating as many varied results as possible?” insinuating that even somewhat unrelated results shouldn’t still be included.  I thought that’s what Bing was for (sorry Joanna), but there is truth in there.  Nevertheless, the reason directories shouldn’t rank so prominently is mostly in line with what Google indicates can create a great user experience.

Thin, Often Duplicate Content

If we look at directories like FindLaw and SuperLawyers (and really any directory that isn’t legal) you’ll notice that each one has plenty of content used over, and over, and over again.


On these searches alone, we know these text snippets have been used hundreds and potentially thousands of times on each one of the directory pages.  So, is there a reason Google doesn’t care?  Perhaps because it’s duplicated on their own website and not technically plagiarized from another could be one reason.   I’ve created websites years ago that were one piece of content, duplicated thousands of times, and the only difference in each page was the city name.  And as long as the sitemap and indexing worked, the vast majority ranked for their respective keywords.  Regardless, the content on many directories is very thin, almost only utilizing listing descriptions as the form of content.  This doesn’t seem like it’d be a good way of addressing user intent, but we’ll talk about that in a moment.

URL Structure


Does that look like a structure that would work on any ordinary website?  Of course not.  Especially since many of the tiers in these kinds of structures just redirect to something else completely, meaning they’re hardly even crawlable all the way down.  Take the following:

https://lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/firm/personal-injury-plaintiff/new-york redirecting to

What was the point of the further tier then, besides guiding a user along?

Check out this work of art:


It is affirming its datedness by including 2018, without use of dashes to separate keywords, and yet it’s almost on the first page.  And of course the stylization of the page itself is totally broken, but that isn’t relevant for rankings, just user experience.


This one almost takes the cake for so many reasons:

  • It ranks using a tier 5 URL, and as a subdomain that evidently has as much authority as FindLaw
  • As far as a progression leading to the lowest tier, Florida for some reason proceeds Orlando (the breadcrumbs are the opposite) yet it ranks for the Orlando keyword prominently
  • People hardly search using “plaintiff.”  Would FindLaw include defendant as well then? Odd.

Most websites would have to rank their main keywords via the homepage – it’s rare to see important keywords being optimized any lower than tier 2.  Yet directories can pull it off easily with tier 4-5 links.

User Intent

If I had to make one case at all about the inherent misrepresentation of directories being top results for short-tailed keywords, it’s simply user intent.  This may be more subjective, contentious reasoning, but to me, if I’m searching “DUI Lawyer,” why would I want a directory showing me a list of lawyers and add an additional step to my user experience?  I would think that the results should be exclusively websites representing DUI lawyers immediately.  If I wanted a directory, wouldn’t I use keywords closer to:

  • List of DUI Lawyers

After writing this, wouldn’t the query need to have an intent where the user wants another aggregation of lawyers besides the one already provided by Google?  There’s also one obvious facet of directories – they aren’t based off the merit and quality of the company and law firm whatsoever.  It’s broken down into your Platinum, Gold, and Silver packages for paid placement.  This has been the case for decades, and there’s no way that Google doesn’t know these activities are happening on directories.  If Google is supposedly spending so much time perfecting its search results based off of “best practices” websites they’re observing, why would a top result be a directory where their results are just whoever is paying the most?  I really think about this one the most – the fact that Google spends an unimaginable amount of time and energy perfecting their algorithms for the best search result experience, only to defer results to directories that prioritize their results solely on who wants to pay the most for preferred placement.

In summation, what process would the Google algorithm have to engage in for a query related to a service, with plenty of local websites able to fulfill the request, in order for the results to primarily focus on directory results?  Especially when:

  • The user experience Google outlines would say directories are nearly devoid of what they’re looking for, considering:
    • Thin content, or no content, especially bizarre with EAT documentation
    • Overuse of keywords
    • Heavily duplicated content
  • The user intent draws in keywords that arguably aren’t fulfilled at all by directories
  • Directories benefit from positioning from URLs that would be completely considered buried on normal websites

Devil’s advocate, I did state far more reasons why directories are rankings, which comes down to:

  • Far and away more authority than any individual website
  • Generally, a stronger grasp on advanced SEO techniques and tactics, some maybe to the point of exploitation (what’s new?)
  • Website builds catering to providing quick, easy results

If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them?

Even after this, I’m not entirely bashing directories.  I just don’t think that we should be seeing algorithm updates where directories are heavily leapfrogging websites that have been around for years with superior content and user intent, if Google claims each algorithm update is to refine and improve the user search experience.

Plenty of people do want directories to give them some sort of social validation and peace of mind when choosing the right service.  I advise clients on trying out directories that have a good placement since their marketing mix should be diverse.  Ultimately, we want our own websites to be the source of our efforts, time, and quality leads, though, and by exploring why directories continue to have a strong share of SERPs, we can find innovative ways of taking back coveted positioning by applying the same techniques. Only better.

Check out the podcast I did on SEO is Dead and Other Lies – an Audio Approach to This Topic!  Transcription is below – please excuse any typos or errors.

Paul Warren:                     All right. Well for our listeners out there. We have a very interesting topic today to discuss. One, very close to Ryan’s heart, because he just wrote a pretty lengthy and in depth article about it on MarketmyMarket.com. See I plugged it so you didn’t have to, buddy.

Ryan Klein:                         That’s perfect. That’s how plugs work.

Paul Warren:                     Yeah. So, we’ll link to it in the episode and you can check it out after the, after the pod. Sorry, my dog’s going crazy in the background there. I don’t know if you can hear it.

Ryan Klein:                         He knows I’m coming over to watch him for a few days now.

Paul Warren:                     Yeah. Yeah, so we’ll link to it in the description of the podcast for you guys to read it afterwards. But Ryan, why don’t you go ahead and tell everyone what it’s about.

Ryan Klein:                         Sure, so let me preface really briefly because I know you don’t want to talk for over an hour about this. But there was, according to most SEO’s, a pretty substantial algorithm update the past two or three weeks. Would you agree with that?

Paul Warren:                     Yeah, oh absolutely.

Ryan Klein:                         Yeah. So it was pretty big. We saw a lot of fluctuations and rankings. Fortunately I haven’t had to put out too many fires because a lot of my clients benefited in record to there. That’s cool, so it’s been easy breezy for me. Easy peasy. But Market my Market, the first thing I noticed, took a hit for a lot of for a lot of great keywords we had. And I realized it wasn’t so much that we dropped rankings because we weren’t optimized well. It was more that a lot of directories came out of freaking nowhere to replace top spots like one, two and three. One of which was expertise.com, which reminds me a lot of thumbtack.com as in it just does a lot of SEO tactics, and different techniques.

Paul Warren:                     And it ranks really well?

Ryan Klein:                         It ranks very, very well. For everything but it’s not even specifically a legal directory. My keyword was legal marketing company. It ranked top ten for. Sorry, number one for legal marketing company. And then they also rank for lawyers and they rank for millions of other things. So, I just took a step back. I’m like whoa, if Google keeps on refining the algorithm to give the best user experience. Does Google seriously think that a lot of directories, taking one, two, three, four, five is a great user experience? And I just don’t really get it. And I feel like there’s kind of a detachment. I decided to dive in, write this article, and I thought those are actually a lot of great takeaways.

Paul Warren:                     Oh. I’ll just preface my point of view, in that I don’t like directories.

Ryan Klein:                         Yeah.

Paul Warren:                     At all. Because, generally in my line of work that means you have to pay them. Usually the free service is pretty bad. It’s hard to get things updated. And then when you pay to have things on there, you’re paying for multiple types of placements. Whatever way they’re monetizing it and they usually try and rip you off with that. And I’ve had experiences where they… We paid a lot of money for a listing on there, for a premium listing, in the legal space. And they had the wrong phone number for it.

Ryan Klein:                         Oh.

Paul Warren:                     It went to a competitor.

Ryan Klein:                         Know what you’re alluding to.

Paul Warren:                     Yeah [crosstalk 00:04:18] and then we had to make them, basically, back pay us for the amount of thousands of dollars. He doesn’t understand how much people spend, in the legal industry, on directories. It’s a lot.

Ryan Klein:                         Well, if it’s a all together a billion dollar industry, there is a big chunk of that, that would be directory premium placement.

Paul Warren:                     It’s crazy. So, I don’t much care for them but like Ryan’s saying, there’s a lot of things that can be taken away from them that they do well. We analyze their sites and we’re going to talk about some of those today.

Ryan Klein:                         Yeah, and I think that the main reason I really want to dive in and just dissect this is because I want to know what the logic is for Google. And this is kind of towards the article that I wrote, but really why I think this is an interesting topic is because Google is essentially refining their algorithm. Right? They’re spending… They’re hiring the most brilliant minds in the world to come up supposedly, to come up with these tweaks and these alterations to the algorithm to create the best user experience ever. But what they’re inadvertently doing is creating results where people are clicking to find more results but are… those results are only based off of how much people pay though.

Paul Warren:                     Yeah, and also I mean okay what’s the benefit? You click on a directory and you’re getting a bunch of other lawyers. And there’s going to be some sort of rating system where they paid to be at the top. But you know what, Google already has its own rating system.

Ryan Klein:                         That’s what… that’s what I mean it’s like why differ your results to other directories that are aggregating the data you just did.

Paul Warren:                     I don’t understand it. I think it’s silly, but I think that they figured out just because Google just they’ve made so many changes. They don’t know what’s in the sauce anymore. When you put a million ingredients in soup, you don’t know what to call it. And they’ve just kind of figured out a way to take advantage of it right now and with the current algorithm changes.

Ryan Klein:                         It’s either a jambalaya dance or a soup. Jambalaya, gumbo, or etouffee. Probably not.

Paul Warren:                     Probably I would say a gumbo.

Ryan Klein:                         MMM. Gumbo has a lot of [crosstalk 00:06:23].

Paul Warren:                     We got a gumbo here.

Ryan Klein:                         I’m thinking about our NOLA trip but anyway. Let’s dive in. Okay. These directories are obviously doing something that Google is favoring. And Google’s algorithm is just, let’s be honest, it’s stupid because it’s doing all these updates. It’s favoring directories. Directories just are not the best user experience. It does not cover the user intent and I don’t… If you’re on the fence right now I really hope by the end of this podcast I’m convince you because I really feel strongly about this. So.

Paul Warren:                     Whoa, whoa, whoa. What are… You just feel strongly about them being a terrible user experience? Or you feel strongly about.

Ryan Klein:                         Their bad user experience.

Paul Warren:                     About that you hate them.

Ryan Klein:                         I mean the thing is I… It’s hard to hate directories because sometimes people do like them. And then in some cases they work like restaurants. I don’t… To me it’s weird if I’m in Seattle and I’m like Seattle sushi restaurants. I don’t really want someone that’s really good at SEO to optimize a crappy sushi restaurant to number one. Or… I want the result to be probably a directory with reviews.

Paul Warren:                     Or you look at what’s close by and you look at the reviews. Usually in Google my business.

Ryan Klein:                         Right.

Paul Warren:                     Or occasionally Yelp. Sometimes Yelp.

Ryan Klein:                         I mean me saying this might even just be contradictory. I don’t care. I don’t want to get too carried away. What is the main reason that directory is rank in the first place? Back links, done. All right so.

Paul Warren:                     That’s it.

Ryan Klein:                         Yeah.

Paul Warren:                     A hundred percent.

Ryan Klein:                         It’s going to be back links. The first time that I saw this for sure was definitely Justia, it’s a legal directory. And they use to be the bottom of the first page, second page, third page. They just never competed with your… these are all like legal directories. Avvo, Nolo’s, Martindale’s, lawyers, fine law. They never competed and then one day they started hitting number one for everything. You do a simple SEMrush back link analysis. What do you know. Their link portfolio was flat line up until three months before. And then it spiked and it was completely a correlation with them being position number one.

Paul Warren:                     So back links.

Ryan Klein:                         It was back links. Let’s look at this article so. What are, I mean, how are they getting back links? Is the interesting part of course. How individual websites and people get links is extremely different from how big marketing departments and big directory companies get back links. So, do you want to talk about how Thumbtack did it? Do you remember that?

Paul Warren:                     Oh yeah.

Ryan Klein:                         Yeah let’s talk about that.

Paul Warren:                     Not just thumbtack. A lot of places do it.

Ryan Klein:                         Well let’s talk about how some of them do it and then people can kind of take some pieces from this and maybe apply it to what they do.

Paul Warren:                     Yeah, well for thumbtack I believe they had some kind of award system rank.

Ryan Klein:                         Yes.

Paul Warren:                     You know what they call it. Where it’s like you put a badge on your website that shows that you’re a trusted lawyer. Whatever it was, right? It’s just something for you. It’s some swag for you to put on your website but well then that little piece of code that you had to put on your site, there was a link back to their website. So when you put it on your site, you were linking back to thumbtack, to that page. And then tens of thousands of legal websites or lawyers did that. And all of a sudden, boom, they got a ton of links.

Ryan Klein:                         Oh yeah because they just they take the badge. Badges, the code for them is very simple for them to display. It’s just image source. There doesn’t really have to be any other code, but the href, href. And that’s what the link was, that’s how it passed on the juice. And people could have just easily, if they new a little bit about html. They are like oh I don’t want to pass on my authority to them. I could just remove that part and it would still function. But everyone, who thinks of doing that? They just grab it. They grab the snippet, they give it to their webmaster, they drop it as is.

Paul Warren:                     I mean that’s… it’s really simple. If you can figure out a way to do it. Do it, I guess is what I’m going to say. I know how some other places did it too that are also directories. But they took advantage of it. So they weren’t just a directory, they also built legal websites. And the thing about lawyers, they hate marketing. They just want to be lawyers honestly. And they don’t really know about building websites. They don’t really want to know. They don’t care. They just want it taken care of. So they end up paying obscene amounts of money for these kind of things. And one of these companies, every time they build a website in the footer there was a link that said powered by or created by this company.

Ryan Klein:                         Oh for sure.

Paul Warren:                     So, it did thousand and thousands and thousands of legal websites. All with the links pointing back to the homepage of this directory’s domain. So it was a very powerful tactic that they were able to take advantage of doing that and it worked pretty well for them.

Ryan Klein:                         Let’s be real. That happens like crazy still to this day.

Paul Warren:                     Yeah. And another thing that people do, not so much with some of these directories. I mean depending on the niche that you’re in but you can think about Yelp. How many websites link back to their Yelp profile. And Yelp, even though it’s partially review website, I mean it’s definitely a directory website for sure.

Ryan Klein:                         Oh yeah.

Paul Warren:                     No qualms about that. It’s set up like that, right? So that’s one of the things, people almost use your generated content in a sense on their in site, linking back to it. And I guess you can kind of think of it as a badge in a way for that too. But people do that, they always kind of link back to the social profiles, which they consider Yelp to be one of those as well.

Ryan Klein:                         Oh yeah I mean that’s a great point and great way to say it. Avvo was well known… I don’t want to talk about lawyers forever. This absolutely applies to every single industry, so don’t think that we’re exclusively this applies to legal. But Avvo almost perfected the user generated content. This is definitely an example of user generated back links. And one thing I want to mention too because I’m just going to flat out say it that fine law was notorious for just saying legal marketing solutions. And then just linking that back to them. Thousands and thousands of times

Paul Warren:                     Oh yeah. They were straight up with keywords and stuff.

Ryan Klein:                         Oh yeah. So the funniest thing about the [crosstalk 00:12:46] keywords. Yeah so you’ll see this. So you’ll see this in fine line and you’ll see this with badges. So what happens is, as we know it’s good to diversify your anchor text and link portfolio. So if you’re getting ten thousand links that say legal marketing solutions, that’s good but it’s kind of a lot too. Like why are there the ten thousand referring domains of ten thousand of the exact same refrain domains? So they would start altering it and it’d be legal marketing solutions, legal marketing company, legal marketing services.

And so they would kind of diversify, even what they’re embedding in the footer. And that’s what’s so funny about what expertise is doing. So, I was looking at if they just get all their back links just to the homepage or they actually get it to very specific results pages. So I was looking at one of the examples I have here is New York, NYC personal injury lawyer. And they ranked number one. And I was looking at that page and I saw that not only the authority of course is through the roof for the homepage, the index. But they were able to build a ton of links specifically to that page too. And that’s because they were giving people badges where the anchor text that was there said New York City personal injury lawyer. And it linked to that specific page. So they were spreading it out very proactively. Like here’s this badge that links to this specific interior page for us.

Paul Warren:                     Yeah.

Ryan Klein:                         So they were very proactive with that.

Paul Warren:                     I mean people do that in other industries. They do that regularly. Think about The Knot, right. The Knot is also directory of services for weddings. But there’s a ton of directories like that, that are important to you and your niche and you pay to be on there. And then you also generally link back to it because you can get reviews for your profile on there. People read reviews about it and there they are just building links. Building links without you even know it. Making you a sucker.

Ryan Klein:                         Stop the podcast. Pause it. Go on your website. Look at all your badges and get ready to.

Paul Warren:                     Take out that link.

Ryan Klein:                         Get all fired up. Get fired up when you see that your badges have embedded links that are to specific interior pages. Then come back, start the podcast again and get freaking fired up with us for the remainder of the podcast. All right?

Paul Warren:                     Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Ryan Klein:                         That sound good.

Paul Warren:                     That’s right.

Ryan Klein:                         So, these people are very. It’s not a hundred percent malicious but it’s not the best intent for them to be using your website as a source of links and it happens all the time.

Paul Warren:                     So, let’s talk about a couple of the other reasons why they do so well. And.

Ryan Klein:                         Yeah.

Paul Warren:                     At… For me is actually just how slim the sites are. How quickly they load. There’s not a lot going on. From a java script standpoint. They’re really quick, fast loading websites.

Ryan Klein:                         Expertise had a Google page speed insight of 94 out of 100 on mobile. And 99 out of 100 on desktop. 99 I’ve never seen.

Paul Warren:                     It doesn’t even go to 100.

Ryan Klein:                         What does that even mean?

Paul Warren:                     [crosstalk 00:15:42] is the highest you can get.

Ryan Klein:                         Google, Google is probably like a 95. I don’t know.

Paul Warren:                     Yeah. That’s amazing.

Ryan Klein:                         And you know what’s even crazier, it’s built on word press.

Paul Warren:                     That is crazy. I can’t believe that. It’s built on word press?

Ryan Klein:                         It’s probably modified very, very heavily. I’d imagine. They probably love the back end forward press and are like I don’t want to do anything proprietary. But hey probably, I’d imagine they strip down a ton of superfluous code. That’d be my guess.

Paul Warren:                     Yeah. So, that’s one thing to keep in mind. I don’t know of any websites that load that quickly. Especially one’s with a CMS and it’s just amazing. So they definitely spent a lot of work and a lot of effort to make sure that they’ve hit that. It’s impressive.

Ryan Klein:                         Yeah I mean that being said. If these guys are cross ware, I’m talking about expertise.com. And this is not just legal, it’s not just agencies. I think that they rank really high for a lot of different niches and industries. Like a lot, a lot.

Paul Warren:                     Yeah.

Ryan Klein:                         If I start doing searches I’d probably get more and more depressed. There’s a reason they put emphasis on this. They take this seriously. And I know that we talked about site speeding in the past but this kind of reaffirms it quite a bit, in my opinion. We talked about structured data quite a bit. We talked about it extensively with a guest and we talked about it on our own as well. But from looking at directories, they do their own structure of data completely. And each one does it differently. That’s crazy. But they all mostly do it. I’ve seen a couple that don’t do it at all and I don’t get it. But that’s okay.

Paul Warren:                     Yeah. But the ones that do do it. The one’s that do it do a really, really good job of it. Again the examples right here. So, guys if you’re wondering how to set stuff up, you’re looking at competitor sites. You’re doing research, man start start a directories. I’m serious start at it.

Ryan Klein:                         Yeah. See how they’re doing it. All you got to do is go on a page, right click, look at page source, find Schema. And then you’re going to see all the code.

Paul Warren:                     I think you can also use Google’s tester tool there.

Ryan Klein:                         You can do that too. What Paul said.

Paul Warren:                     Yeah.

Ryan Klein:                         You can do it the weird way or you can do it the probably the better way.

Paul Warren:                     Yeah. Which one is, wait, which one is which?

Ryan Klein:                         Again structure data if you didn’t listen to our other podcast. You silly goose. That’s very important stuff but the example that we have here was super lawyers they go really hardcore into the person. Their job title. Where they went to school. Their local business coordinates. It’s endless, the amount of information that they can input. So that’s what they do. We saw another one where they go nuts with epiq pages. So, that… they actually their directory page, every single directory page has some additional information on the side. And then they say its structured data for epiq page. And they do it over and over again.

Paul Warren:                     Yeah.

Ryan Klein:                         And it’s the same thing. It’s duplicate content. They do it thousands of times.

Paul Warren:                     One last thing to talk about that they’re doing, right? Right? It’s probably keyword volume on there. Like a on page, right? The amount of keywords they have on a page.

Ryan Klein:                         There’s a lot.

Paul Warren:                     Actually, it doesn’t really seem to hurt anything.

Ryan Klein:                         It doesn’t and I think if we look at this for a second. And we’re going to go into why they shouldn’t rank so well but the sheer volume of the keyword on a typical directory page is mind blowing. And if you did it on your own website, it would look so unnatural. It would be out of control and off putting.

Paul Warren:                     Yeah it would look like when you could keyword stuff and it worked really well.

Ryan Klein:                         Like it looks like something that would work 15 years ago.

Paul Warren:                     Yeah. Has it been that long?

Ryan Klein:                         Yeah.

Paul Warren:                     It has.

Ryan Klein:                         20…50 years ago. Two and a half decades.

Paul Warren:                     250 years ago. But I mean I don’t think you could do that on your own site and get away with it, which is weird. Even now.

Ryan Klein:                         Yeah you couldn’t. It just wouldn’t work and what we’re talking about is if you go to any directory and you see a result, right? And it’s a list, it’s a list of ten and you typed in Manhattan sushi restaurant, right? And every listing that says Manhattan sushi restaurant, next listing Manhattan sushi restaurant. It says it ten, twenty times on the page. As a user it kind of looks kind of normal because it’s like yeah it’s what I searched. This is what it is, it’s reaffirming it at every listing. And that’s how it end up on the page so many times. But if you do that on your website, how in the heck would you ever be able to do that? How would that come into play?

Paul Warren:                     I… yeah so it’s. We’re not recommending that you copy that portion of it because I don’t think you… I don’t think it’d work for you.

Ryan Klein:                         I don’t think.

Paul Warren:                     I don’t

Ryan Klein:                         I don’t think so.

Paul Warren:                     I don’t think you could do it.

Ryan Klein:                         So I wanted to mention, this expertise, that I keep on mentioning being as rank number one for a lot of things. They tend to say a keyword that they’re trying to rank for on the page, typically about thirty times on a page.

Paul Warren:                     That’s a lot.

Ryan Klein:                         It’d say it about thirty times visibly on the front of the page and about ten times on the back end in the code somewhere. So may be schema, some may be. I don’t know there’s additional code that you can do, it’s like a reference that even has a keyword in it. You’ll have to read the blog for the examples here because explaining it would be very difficult. I love super lawyers because they say the keyword 74 times. 74 times.

Paul Warren:                     74 on the front.

Ryan Klein:                         Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Paul Warren:                     On the actual page you can read.

Ryan Klein:                         You can visibly see the keyword personal injury, 74 times on the page.

Paul Warren:                     So that’s 82 times on the back.

Ryan Klein:                         82. For a grand total of 156 times.

Paul Warren:                     But I think that you can put as much as you want on the back end and you’re going to be fine.

Ryan Klein:                         Yeah and that’s an interesting thing. I’m going to coin it. I’m going to dive more into it in my own personal time but I think that there is a new trend. And we’re entering the age of perhaps back end keyword stuffing.

Paul Warren:                     Yeah.

Ryan Klein:                         Also, because we’re looking at structure data. We’re looking at new code that is accessible and can be exploited to a degree. And if it’s not on the front end then it’s on the back end.

Paul Warren:                     Your takeaway from this, keyword stuff to shit out on the back end.

Ryan Klein:                         Yeah go for it. I mean [crosstalk 00:21:54] structured.

Paul Warren:                     Yeah I think they don’t care. They’re not going to care. Google does not care.

Ryan Klein:                         Yeah I don’t know when Google has ever cared. We’re in the age where the seven pack turns to a three pack and there’s an ad. There’s four ad, Google ads, instead of three. They’re trying to monetize the crap out Google my business.

Paul Warren:                     Okay so let’s drill. Let’s go into some of the stuff that actually does suck.

Ryan Klein:                         Yeah you kick it off my friend.

Paul Warren:                     Directories.

Ryan Klein:                         Okay.

Paul Warren:                     So that one is… I can’t imagine. I would want to see what their bounce rates look like honestly.

Ryan Klein:                         Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Paul Warren:                     Because I feel like it’s such a crappy user experience going to any of these websites. Mainly because just the vast amount of duplicate content on every single page. And it… they rank really well for a lot of stuff and it doesn’t particularly even necessarily match up with a user intent. And then also it’s making you look again for the same thing that you just searched for. So I just feel like they have super thin content a lot of the times, especially on the directory side. Right?

Ryan Klein:                         Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Paul Warren:                     And it just sucks.

Ryan Klein:                         That’s a great point about the bounce rate because we know. We don’t know. We’re very, very certain that when someone clicks on a link and they bounce off of it and click another link, that original link should now be positioned there indefinitely. Because Google is able to see, hey they did the search again. Obviously that wasn’t a great user experience, maybe they shouldn’t be position number one. So, we’re sitting here like, these directories are all just chilling in these really prominent spots. Could they possibly be giving that good of a user experience? And its just doesn’t seem like that’s possible.

Paul Warren:                     Yeah.

Ryan Klein:                         Based on of what we uncovered.

Paul Warren:                     I totally agree. I just don’t think that they are.

Ryan Klein:                         I’m looking at fine law, one of the most prominent legal directories out there. And literally, the first thing that people can read, that’s actually text is, “oh you’ve come to the right place, if you or a loved one has suffered an accident or injury.” It’s like oh my god. Really? Is that really the best thing you could do when you come to a directory page? And it’s copied over and over again. Tens… I’m not even exaggerating. Probably tens of thousands of times.

Paul Warren:                     So, what else do you think that they do poorly?

Ryan Klein:                         Well, I already know. As I wrote this article.

Paul Warren:                     Well, let’s hear it.

Ryan Klein:                         These URL structures, the thing is, I agree with you that they’re kind of admirable for these big websites.

Paul Warren:                     I think it depends on the one that you’re looking at. For sure.

Ryan Klein:                         Well, I’m looking at one here. It’s just so many tiers. There’s so many sub directories. I just know, with no doubt in my mind, on any normal website this would be such crap. But here it’s just kind of how it works. So, I’m seeing the structure, this is for a very prominent directory listing. It’s the URL forward slash lawyer. That’s one. Forward slash firm. Forward slash personal injury plaintiff. Forward slash New York. Forward slash New York. To get to a New York City page. So it’s like wow.

Paul Warren:                     Yeah.

Ryan Klein:                         And that is a lot.

Paul Warren:                     And like the one example you give in here too. It’s like New York and New York. New York is in it twice. It’s also on a subdirectory.

Ryan Klein:                         Yeah. Oh it’s on a subdirectory too. Or a sub domain.

Paul Warren:                     And the subdirectory is lawyers. And then the directory has lawyers in it. And there’s two cities in it. So yeah it can be kind of a mess. It definitely could be a mess. I think there’s some of them that do really well for it. I don’t know if I’d use like… Fine law here as an example that’s one that’s good but I think that some of them, especially when you look at yellow pages type directory. A lot of them do a really good job of categorizing that stuff.

Ryan Klein:                         Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Paul Warren:                     With solid keywords in the URL. And some of them I think they’re limited to the search functions within the sight too. I think that causes a lot of technical issues for them. I know when I’ve worked on large sites that, that still causes a lot of technical issues for us. So, that’s probably a lot of what they have to deal with just having such a massive sight of that size.

Ryan Klein:                         Oh yeah. And I don’t mind if links go five or six tiers, if it makes sense. And it’s kind of getting more and more granular. I kind of just, I personally… You can tell me what you think. I just don’t get it when it’s kind of more vanity and not functionality. And what I mean is if you delete one of these tiers wouldn’t you kind of expect to get a page?

Paul Warren:                     Yeah. You don’t though.

Ryan Klein:                         So, if you delete… so this one’s that’s personal injury plaintiff New York forward slash New York forward slash New York and you delete the last New York. I’d expect maybe it’s a list of other cities in the state of New York.

Paul Warren:                     Of New York ones.

Ryan Klein:                         Right?

Paul Warren:                     Yeah.

Ryan Klein:                         But it redirects to completely unrelated page. And you’re like, so you’re telling me you added a tier for vanity that doesn’t, isn’t actually a page and it redirects. I don’t get how that would benefit your… why you would rank well. I don’t… what am I missing? How would the crawler get there when it redirect? What am I… I don’t know what I’m missing, personally.

Paul Warren:                     I don’t know. Yeah, I mean it would have to… if it crawled the URL.

Ryan Klein:                         It would get redirected.

Paul Warren:                     [crosstalk 00:27:12] that. But they may not directly link to anything from that.

Ryan Klein:                         Yes. So, that means that crawlers are being manipulated because it’s not naturally getting to that link because if it got to the New York, first New York tier it would redirect to an unrelated page. So crawlers, wouldn’t they be enforced to skip a tier to get to that page and then index it?

Paul Warren:                     Yeah. I would be interested to see what their crawl rates look like compared to the amount of content they have.

Ryan Klein:                         [crosstalk 00:27:42]

Paul Warren:                     As well.

Ryan Klein:                         We have to interview them. Their freaking site architects, and be like all right what are y’all doing? I don’t really get it.

Paul Warren:                     Maybe they’re doing that dynamic rendering stuff.

Ryan Klein:                         That’s possible. Yeah.

Paul Warren:                     Yeah.

Ryan Klein:                         But all I know is that it skips over a tier that’s purely a read rect and it’s there for vanity. Or who freaking knows all right. And then I saw another one that was still ranking. It says, it’s a page specifically for 2018. Google has no problem ranking, it’s catering to 2018. It says 2018 URL. Google is like.

Paul Warren:                     Ranking in 2019.

Ryan Klein:                         2019 is just as good. It was last year. It was so close. It was just last year, whatever.

Paul Warren:                     I knew a guy I did SEO with at a large company. We were on a big team and he would literally swap out, in the SEO page title, he would put two… the different year. He would swap out the year every year for the article.

Ryan Klein:                         And then the content’s exactly the same.

Paul Warren:                     Yeah, yeah. It didn’t make any difference.

Ryan Klein:                         Yeah, they’re like this is what you got to know for 2020 and it’s 2013.

Paul Warren:                     I’m not going to lie. I’ve done that before for some things and it definitely worked just fine.

Ryan Klein:                         I think everyone’s done it. I was like nothing changed this year. It’s the same thing, whatever. And then one last one that I think is hilarious, hilarious. Is from fine law. Lawyer slash firm slash personal injury plaintiff slash Orlando slash Florida. So it’s not even granular. It’s like, let’s go to Orlando but then go back up to Florida and then it ranks perfectly. It’s just… I don’t. It’s like they can do whatever they want.

Paul Warren:                     Yeah that one doesn’t make a lot of sense. And this is all Fine Law examples, right?

Ryan Klein:                         Yeah. People don’t like them.

Paul Warren:                     Yeah.

Ryan Klein:                         This happens if you all went out there and you looked at your prospective industry directories, there’s no way you wouldn’t see very similar things. It’s not doing it… It’s backwards. From an address standpoint, it’s doing it… it’s supposed to be more granular and that’s not how that works.

Paul Warren:                     Yeah. You get larger to smaller.

Ryan Klein:                         But you know what in the world of directory of your all’s, it appears that it doesn’t matter.

Paul Warren:                     It appears it’s working just fine.

Ryan Klein:                         I know it is. I still wouldn’t recommend doing it for your website but you have every reason to be a little bit irked.

Paul Warren:                     There’s a cut off point, from a character stand point, on URL’s anyways. And some of these on here are pretty dang long. So I bet that it doesn’t even crawl to a certain level for some of these.

Ryan Klein:                         But yeah I mean I guess maybe they know that if they added another one or two that.

Paul Warren:                     It probably wouldn’t even matter.

Ryan Klein:                         Well, for them I don’t think anything matters. I think they can.

Paul Warren:                     Yeah. Honestly, they might just be able to do whatever they want.

Ryan Klein:                         Full. That’s kind of my point that if you have just that overwhelming amount of authority, I think is ultimately the reason that this all works. That’s kind of how I feel. I’m like this massive amount of authority because your website, your efforts, you’re never ever going to be able to compete, ever. With the authority that these websites have, in your lifetime. If you’re an individual website. So that level of authority and page authority and domain authority allows you the leeway to do a bunch of dumb shit. Is kind of what I’m saying. It’s just like.

Paul Warren:                     So end of the day, what really matters is back links.

Ryan Klein:                         Yeah because the contents then is duplicated. Your all’s are deep and a lot of them don’t even make sense.

Paul Warren:                     But not just back links. Back links from things that are relevant to what your in.

Ryan Klein:                         But they are. That’s a great point because these aren’t just links from anywhere. They’re links from the industry that they’re representing, exactly. Exactly that industry.

Paul Warren:                     That’s as authoritative as you’re going to get.

Ryan Klein:                         So it’s like, imagine authority was money if you have a ton of money you can do whatever you want.

Paul Warren:                     Does this start something.

Ryan Klein:                         Yeah. That sounds about right.

Paul Warren:                     But also you need money to get like [inaudible 00:31:34].

Ryan Klein:                         Oh yeah. So really I think the directories are just a prime example of Google being like you know what, content isn’t king. It’s very obvious that authority is all that matters. These guys they could literally rank freaking smut and nonsense and it would probably be number one because half the time it doesn’t even say anything to begin with. They’re authoritative, they probably know what they’re talking about. Let them rank for it. That kind of goes down to the most depressing part of everything. Besides the things that we’re calling out, is full circle user intent. If I was looking for a service by me and I’m typing in very specifically a hairdresser. I’d probably want to get a hairdresser. I don’t know if people necessarily are expecting or wanting to get, click on a link, and then get… go through another process of looking for that person or that service.

Directories really are an exploitation of an algorithm in order to provide another list of results but make money from it this time. It’s just really the bottom line.

Paul Warren:                     Wouldn’t it be funny if your website that you listed on there was just another directory?

Ryan Klein:                         Yeah.

Paul Warren:                     It’s just directories, then directories, then directories.

Ryan Klein:                         Wow yeah I mean I’m all about getting really meta. It’s really weird but I’m into that.

Paul Warren:                     Getting deep. So you think that they have seen a resurgence from the updates that we just saw?

Ryan Klein:                         Yeah. I mean that’s what spurred this article because they’ve always been there. I’ve had other people tell me that it’s kind of Google’s… if they’re saying that they want to provide a good user experience, that technically they should include some directories in there to give a kind of diversify the results. And I kind of agree with that. It’s like, here’s a website. Here’s a directory. Here’s reviews. Here’s some social. Because SERP’s are becoming different especially with structured data. That I agree that a part of the user experience should be to provide a directory because some people might like it.

My point is why in the world would a lot of high level, high volume searches… why would the first 3 or 4 results be directories? That’s what happens a lot and that doesn’t make sense to me.

Paul Warren:                     I want to talk a little bit about the changes that have happened because this is what I’ve sort of seen. And I think that this kind of ties into authority, right? So a lot of websites that were in the medical space. So still the my money, my money my life.

Ryan Klein:                         Right.

Paul Warren:                     Or is it my money my health.

Ryan Klein:                         No I think it was my money my life.

Paul Warren:                     I think it’s my money my life, right?

Ryan Klein:                         It’s my money.

Paul Warren:                     So, I’ve noticed a lot of those actually got hit after this algorithm update, pretty hard. And one of the things that John Miller talked about on Google was websites that have been paying doctors to review their content so they can say that it was medically reviewed. To help with the authority of the content in that sense. A lot of places were paying a lot of money to have lawyers to do that so they could put that on the article and they can mark that up. And they get them an author profile for the person. There’s all this crap that goes into it. But he said that’s not how authority works at all. And so what I’m thinking, he didn’t really delve into a lot of the information about that. I’m thinking that the way that they look at authority is the other authoritative websites. The other websites that talk about what you’re doing, linking to you. I think that’s ultimately what they consider to be authority.

Ryan Klein:                         Yeah. And I feel its kind of weird. Think all these links, a lot of these rect are getting all these links from within an image. It’s like really, don’t you think that, that’s kind of suspicious which it almost always is too.

Paul Warren:                     Yeah but it’s not an idea that Google could rip off and make money and steal all as their own. So, they’re cool then.

Ryan Klein:                         They don’t even care. Let’s be honest Google, you listening here? Yeah you are because you.

Paul Warren:                     Yeah. It’s like MapQuest.

Ryan Klein:                         You go through. You listen to podcast and then you transcribe and you know what to do with it. You put it there or there whatever.

Paul Warren:                     I think MapQuest is officially, is officially gone now.

Ryan Klein:                         Oh God [crosstalk 00:35:31].

Paul Warren:                     So, it just recently sold the other day.

Ryan Klein:                         Sold for parts.

Paul Warren:                     And it was sold for an undisclosed amount, which meant that it was so little that they didn’t even bother disclosing it.

Ryan Klein:                         Yeah like we’re… Let’s just say that we’re not thrilled.

Paul Warren:                     I think they’re just going to completely shut it down. But Google was like hey what a cool idea. We’ll have maps on our thing. See you later.

Ryan Klein:                         Yeah.

Paul Warren:                     That’s the only reason. It’s weird though because they do offer reviews on lawyers. You’d think they’d be like screw you, people are going to get their legal reads from us but I don’t know if people trust reviews from Google enough, especially on certain areas.

Ryan Klein:                         Well, I actually just did a survey, recently. And it was asking people on a scale one through ten how much they trust reviews on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. And Google out of was the highest. And then Yelp was a little bit lower. And then Facebook was the lowest. I’m not really surprised.

Paul Warren:                     But.

Ryan Klein:                         People do trust Google the most. For that instance, and that was legal services.

Paul Warren:                     Yeah.

Ryan Klein:                         It could be anything if you’re talking about a lot of things of course Yelp.

Paul Warren:                     I think, I think though that was you gave them those options though. So they picked the best of the options. I don’t know if.

Ryan Klein:                         I did give them three options.

Paul Warren:                     Yeah.

Ryan Klein:                         I didn’t give them… I didn’t give them yellow pages. I didn’t give them decks. I didn’t give them manta.

Paul Warren:                     Yeah.

Ryan Klein:                         I didn’t give them.

Paul Warren:                     I think that.

Ryan Klein:                         Hotfrog.

Paul Warren:                     That’s one of those situations where I think the directories do have a lot of weight for reviews because I think they have a lot of them. Just like I think there’s, in the real estate niche, there’s real estate websites where people value the reviews on there, more than they do from Google. Or other places. I don’t think anyone particularly values reviews from Facebook, honestly.

Ryan Klein:                         No, it go the lowest response and honestly I wouldn’t personally. And I’m not expecting other people to.

Paul Warren:                     I don’t really even go on Facebook unless I have to publish ads. I have to do some ad campaigns.

Ryan Klein:                         Yeah. I do a post… I do a personal post twice a year now. And most of it is I’m eating shrimp.

Paul Warren:                     That’s good shrimp though.

Ryan Klein:                         So if consumers don’t know this already, I don’t know if this is a wakeup call but the majority of directories, the placement is prioritized by whose paying the most. That’s common. It’s not common knowledge but.

Paul Warren:                     No. Hey takeaways from this.

Ryan Klein:                         Yeah.

Paul Warren:                     Copy some of these things for your insight and I guess pay for a listing on those directories.

Ryan Klein:                         Well, that’s what I was going to say too. As much as we’re frustrated, we’re talking about… I’m talking about this for agency side because they’re taking positions but for you if you’re starting off and the price is right.

Paul Warren:                     Maybe.

Ryan Klein:                         I say it’s a if you can’t beat them join them kind of thing.

Paul Warren:                     Maybe it’s worth it.

Ryan Klein:                         Yeah it could be a part of your marketing mix. I mean they spent enough time and resources to earn the positions more or less. Let’s be fair. And if they have a good positioning and the price is right, yeah join a directory. It works for a lot of people. You just don’t want to be on directory that’s on the bottom of the page because you can just do that yourself, tomorrow. So why do you want to be in a position where you can be positioned already. What only matters is it’s one or two practically. So if you’re not one or two. Maybe you should be one or two and that’s one way to do it. It’s paid ads, display, social. It’s like everything else.

Paul Warren:                     And the other take away from this. It’s not what you say your content’s about, it’s what other websites linking to it says it’s about.

Ryan Klein:                         Oh man. Let’s be real. This is just a very extreme my guess proof but a correlation with these positions and just massive authority. It’s just, it’s pretty clear.