So if you missed it yesterday Mediadonis posted about a very strange subdomain trick that he and others claim allowed anyone to check if a domain was penalised in someway by Google (from selling links or loss of pagerank from other ‘malicious’ means).

Google have since this morning stopped this from working, but the basis was to check pagerank on the domain of your choice with hyves as the subdomain.

You will now get one of three different results for the pagerank of this non-existent subdomain -> PR7, PR4 and PR0.

PR7 means that the domain is perfectly fine
PR4 means that the domain got penalized by google
PR0 means that the domain got banned in Google

Sounds crazy right?  Well I was pretty skeptical until I tried it on a number of domains that I know that do and don’t have Google penalties. I know some have mentioned a few discrepancies, but all those I checked supported the conclusion above entirely. Weird.

To add a little more fuel to the fire, I thought I would run a mass pagerank check on subdomains of a number of directories. Now, we know Google started penalising low quality directories a while back, removed directories from their recommended guidelines and then put them back in again.

So before Google took away the ability to use the hyves trick I quickly scanned a load of directories on the old strongest directories list by Aviva. Old I know, but I wanted something to mass test. The results are as below.

Directories Not Penalised (Pr7)

Page Strength 10

http://www.dmoz.org
http://dir.yahoo.com

Page Strength 9.5

http://www.business.com

Page Strength 8.5

http://www.botw.org
http://bubl.ac.uk

Page Strength 8

Directory.v7n.com

Page Strength 7.5

http://www.ezilon.com

Page Strength 7

http://www.familyfriendlysites.com
http://www.goguides.com

Page Strength 6.5

http://www.bloggeries.com
http://www.dirjournal.com
http://www.elib.org
http://www.gimpsy.com
http://www.joeant.com
http://www.maxlinks.org
http://www.skaffe.com
http://www.tygo.com/dir

Page Strength 6

http://www.allinfodir.com
http://blogannounce.info
http://www.cascandra.com
http://www.dmegs.com
http://www.incrawler.com
http://www.kahuki.com
http://www.onlinewide.com
http://www.prolinkdirectory.com
http://www.rakcha.com
http://www.top5jamaica.com
http://www.ventedoy.com
http://www.webahead.net

Page Strength 5.5

http://www.anthonyparsons.com
http://www.blazemp.com/dir
http://www.ebusiness-directory.com
http://www.enquira.com
http://www.global-weblinks.com
http://www.linkwith.us
http://www.nzpages.co.nz
http://www.pegasusdirectory.com
http://www.seoma.net
http://www.web1directory.com
http://www.webotopia.org
http://www.zorg-directory.com

Page Strength 5

http://www.123kidzarea.com
http://www.alikedirectory.com
http://www.gbguide.com
http://www.homesalez.com/directory
http://www.linkspub.com
http://www.massivelinks.com/
http://www.postdotcom.com
http://www.qoobe.org
http://www.umdum.com
http://www.web10.ws

Directories Penalised (Pr4)

Page Strength 7

http://www.avivadirectory.com
http://www.romow.com

Page Strength 6.5

http://www.2yi.net
http://www.index-it.net
http://www.mygreencorner.com
http://www.relmaxtop.com
http://www.webworldindex.com

Page Strength 6

http://www.allydirectory.com
http://www.busybits.com
http://www.browse8.com
http://www.domaining.in
http://www.ebjuris.com
http://www.gii.in
http://www.sevenseek.com
http://www.site-sift.com
http://www.szab.net
http://www.uksmallbusinessdirectory.co.uk
http://www.wowdirectory.com

Page Strength 5.5

http://9ug.com
http://www.abilogic.com
http://www.apahcinc.org
http://ask-dir.com
http://www.authoritydirectory.com
http://blogaboutmysite.com/directory
http://blogtagstic.com
http://www.cannylink.com
http://www.dirwizard.com
http://www.emillie.net
http://www.e-topic.com/directory
http://www.idk.in
http://www.kwikgoblin.com
http://www.linkopedia.com
http://www.linksjuice.com
http://www.makeasearch.com
http://www.map100.com
http://www.nobledirectory.com
http://www.photarium.com
http://www.qango.com
http://www.vxbox.com

Page Strength 5

http://www.alivedirectory.com
http://www.businessseek.biz
http://www.ensuredirectory.com
http://www.ewebpages.org
http://www.excellentguide.com
http://www.fullofsearch.com
http://www.linkcentre.com
http://www.maxdirectory.eu

Directories Banned (Pr0)

http://www.uncoverthenet.com

So What Can We Takeaway From This Data?

First of all, it’s worth noting I haven’t had a chance to go through all the above and verify the results. Or that all the sites are working, what their current Pr is or whether they actually have a hyves subdomain etc. :)

But at a top level view, I think there is a clear difference in quality between the sets of directories which supports the hyves theory. There are a few low quality directories in the ‘not penalised’ group, but perhaps these simply got through the net.

If my memory serves me correctly uncoverthenet.com was banned from Google completely quite sometime ago and it still seems to be the case based on the above results. Their full domain is also a Pr0 and not showing for their own name.

Obviously don’t take this data at face value – I am not saying you should go and submit your site to any of the non penalised directories, far from it. Directory submissions are very low value these days, this was purely for analysis before Google took it away.

Key Points From Hyves

  • It’s pretty easy to spot a site that has been penalised already. So this data didn’t really tell me much more than you could already work out yourself from a quick analysis.
  • There was not a lot of consistency on sites penalised – Some sites selling links but not others, some sites involved with text link ads but not others, some on the DP network, but not others etc. Again, like we already know!
  • Another point to remember is that SOME of the pagerank penalisations were toolbar only at a superficial level and links from these sites may still have value.

Anything I missed?