A couple of months ago there was a dialog on this topic and management indicated that Chow had made a decision (I may not be getting this right) to withdraw the Chowhound Restaurant pages from Google indexing because they were affecting the ranking of the site as a whole.
Note the Restaurant pages with formal "Reviews" are indexed, but none of the other page content which has been contributed by site participants appears.
Of course for those of us who have added considerable content to these pages to add value to the site and increase its profile this is very demoralizing. Personally, I have been much less motivated adding content in farflung regions of Italy knowing that no one will ever see it unless they search specifically on Chowhound.
In reviewing the situation it appears to me that this problem was causes by the immmense buys CHOW made to build the US restaurant database, with 85000 restaurant entries in California alone - there must be 100s of thousands of pages.. CHOW could recongnize the contribution of its contributors by allowing indexing of restaurants with user generated content. or which have been linked by a Discussion board poster. That way truly chow-worthy establishments that are discussed or relevent to chowhound participants.would be indexed and the pages will be the global resource it ought to be. The relatively small number of pages with actual user content would not bring down the rankings. Its all of those empty entries.
In italy, I now see many empty pages that come up in indexing for Foursquare and other media outlets trying to get part of this space. Its frustrating that we are not there.
What is the goal? Is there going to be any use to the Restaurant pages in Chowhound in future?
or should we just unplug and stop adding data?