While Google has condemned buying and selling links that pass PageRank, they've encouraged listing in paid directories like Yahoo for years. It seems that era may have come to an end earlier today. The following bullet points have been removed from Google's Webmaster Guidelines Webmaster Help Center*
- "Have other relevant sites link to yours."
- "Submit your site to relevant directories such as the Open Directory Project and Yahoo!, as well as to other industry-specific expert sites."
Does this recent move reflect a renewed emphasis on rooting out paid links passing PageRank and/or low quality links by Google?
*As mentioned, the bullet points above have been removed from the US version of Google's Webmaster Help Center. Other versions may not yet reflect this change.
UPDATE: Hat tip to Barry Schwartz who noticed John Honeck's post in Google Groups where Google's John Mueller comments on the change. Barry provides a full recap at SERoundTable.com and SearchEngineLand.com.