Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.
Jim Munro: Are you able to clarify with a link to an example, please Jay?<br /><br />(please disable the link for us).
Mark Gilvey: Good question; I asked a question about Citation Flow earlier today and I'm pretty sure your question is related because as I've read, you should have your Name, Address and Phone written excactly the same way everywhere that means writing a phone number like (XXX) XXX-XXX or xxx.xxx.xxxx but not a mixture.<br /><br />So that brings the question of "description" as well.
Jay Jetty: Thank you Mark that is what I have been told however it seems counterintuitive.<br /><br />Jim let me see...<br /><br /> ;<br /><br />Ok a little back story I was ranking #1 ;across the three major engines for my site<br /><br />I was hacked and a bunch of redirects were put on. My hosting co pulled my site before it could be deindexed. But the damage was done. now im trying to get that rank back.<br /><br />So the above example is a good one. should I ; cookie cutter the description on all of my backlinks? or try to mix it up a ; little.<br /><br />and could you let me know ;how to disable the links?
Justin Y: I think if you were to go back and make edits now, that could come off as unnatural. I don't think duplicates are really going to hurt because they're directory listings. Moving forward I would mix things up if you're concerned, but it's still best to have transparency making sure that your business info matches across all listings.<br /><br />Also, it looks like you're copying your competitors text from what I see in your example. I would use a different call to action and be more unique if it were me.
Jay Jetty: Justin Y That makes more sense than much of what I have heard before this. thank you. The competition is actually me. but your right I should try to keep these different sites separate
David Harry: Are we talking directories as in the old school crap? Or local directories? I'm lost. ;<br /><br />Oh crap, looks like every day run of the mill directories. Uhm.... can I ask WHY you are doing it? I'd be running around taking them down if I were you.<br /><br />I keep a bit of a history on Google's replies to various reconsideration requests, including one's for unnatural links. Starting last year they gave people examples of 'unnatural' links.<br /><br />Guess what? Directories are given as examples far more than anything else. More here; ;<br /><br />Now.... to that end Google also recently changed their "link schemes" page to include; ""Low-quality directory or bookmark site links "<br /><br />So, Best of the Web? Sure, usually I'll keep those. But most client's I do forensic work for tend to have HUNDREDS of crap directory links. We spend a great deal of time getting them taken down or disavowed. And guess what happens when we get them removed? NADA. Feel me? They're not counting, they can only get you in trouble.<br /><br />Just sayin... ;
John Britsios: If you are talking about citations, having same information on all sites you submit to ; is a good practice. But I am not talking about old school crap directories.
Jay Jetty: No I am not submitting to those anymore.<br /><br /> ;I was just using that as an example. This question came about when ; I was contacted by a salesperson telling me that all of the inconsistencies in the directories was hurting my SERP. ; I felt like it was just a sales pitch and kind of left it at that.<br /><br />John Britsios, I am not familiar with citations would you elaborate please?<br /><br />And thanks to everyone for the input. it is greatly appreciated.
David Harry: I would actually advise trying to get them removed, never mind the inconsistency. Only the best of them would have any positive affect and indeed there`s probably a greater risk of them hurting you. In almost ALL cases I can guarantee that you won`t hurt your rankings.<br /><br />A. A manual action can take time to sort out and even longer to regain trust from Google.<br /><br />B. A Penguin hit, given it takes 6 months to refresh, can be deadly to a small site.<br /><br />Again, I spend about 80% of my time doing forensic consulting to those that have been affected. I have chopped a TON of links, including directories, to see no ill affect. In short, Google`s not actually counting them anyway. There`s greater risk in being penalized than by any potential ranking benefit from them.