Why so many directory entries?

I am a website design consultant:  www.carolynfriedberg.com

About 10 months ago my PR slipped from 5 to 4.  Around the same time, Planet Ocean reported that Google was penalizing sites with too many incoming links with the same anchor text.  I changed the text on the 6-7 client pages that link to me and the descriptions in most of my 6-7 directory entries.  The last I’d run a link analysis, I only had one or two other incomings.

Then my attention was diverted elsewhere until this month.  While analyzing SEO for a client, I noticed I have 74 links in Yahoo and a whopping 186 from MSN.  Meanwhile, Google has reduced its number to 4, though all of my known incoming links and their Google standings were still intact.  

According to linkpopularity.com, all of the other links are from directories I’ve never heard of and to which I have never applied.  

Am I correct in assuming this is the reason for my PR decline?  If so, what can I do to cure it?
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Well, first - practically everyone has more links on MSN and Yahoo than Google.  One of my sites has around 50 on Google, around 600 on Yahoo and over 2100 on MSN.  Same site, different results on different engines.  

Google has implemented measures for handling link farming, but I sincerely doubt that you'd be affected given what you've described.   It's more likely that the sources of your pagerank were diminished for some reason (a page with a high PR linking to you moved or changed the page name).  This is particularly likely if you have one or two inbound links that are the primary source of your pagerank.
Hi 0247479,

How are you !

During the last update made by Google(which i think is still going on?), 2 of my main website went to PR 4 from PR5. Even though this happened , my sales and rankings(for inner pages) have not been affected much.

Concentrate on working on your business rather than worrying about PR. However If you want to improve PR - write a few articles with backlink to your site and submit them.

"Around the same time, Planet Ocean reported that Google was penalizing sites with too many incoming links with the same anchor text. " - I dont think this stands in the long run. If that was possible then everyone would submit not theirs but their competitor's website with same anchor text to get them penalised.

0247479Author Commented:
Thank you both.  I wondered if anyone else heard of competitors submitting links, so I guess that isn't the reason for the decline of my PR.

I find it strange that Google is only recognizing 4 of my links.  It used to show around two dozen - sites that are still out there with my link and healthy PRs.  Also, I don't recall getting linked to by any site with a high PR in the past.

Last year I consistently placed between #1 and #40 in all of my top 5 key phrases in Google, MSN and Yahoo.  I was contacted 2-3 times a month from potential customers.  This year I place on page 4 in only Google with just my top key phrase.  One prospect calls every 2-3 months. So, there is a difference.  Wish I knew why...
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