Best Web Directories for 2013-2014

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The web directory industry is dead as we knew it a few years ago. Submitting websites to hundreds and thousands of farm web directories affects negatively a website these days. The reason is simple: 99% of then and simply link farms, filled with imported listings from DMOZ (PhpLD has an plugin for that), which for those $10-$20 fee all listings were approved and the money making process was as simple as hitting an “Approve” or “Accept” button.

Unfortunately, when you see in a SEO related category 10-20 “best SEO company” title listing, all offering “guaranteed results”, can we (or search engines) trust those sources? What about the “leading companies”… “leading” according to what?

Oh my, look at these “best directories 2013″…

Just look at these listings, taken from two different “well known” web directories:

Yeah, right... a directory from 2000, what a "quality" one...

Yeah, right… a directory from 2000, what a “quality” one…

or

The best of the best...

The “best” of the “best”…

The SeoMoz guys (MOZ now) had a list of best web directories, which vanished over time, but they said they’ll working on a project, called The White List Project.

Paying for being “the best”

There are many so called best web directory lists on the Internet (just do a Google search), I’ll list them a few I trust at the bottom of my article. The main issue with these lists, which, of course, all claim that be “These are the best and strongest directories”. Sadly, some of then are paid lists (this one for example-just look the top 25 most powerful directories) and there are other similar articles which were written by persons who are contributors to those publications and also have their own SEO companies. Is the image getting less blurry? 🙂

Each and every time, when I refereed to, I stated that a web directory, should fulfill the reason they were created for: to offer reliable, good resources for it’s users. How many of make their purpose as long as there is no editorial discretion whatsoever?

Why Google hates (some) web directories?

So basically, a web directory we can trust in, should have high quality websites listed, review what’s submitted, and have clear editorial guidelines and reject trash. Briefly, about this subject there’s an article here (seroundtable.com). You can take a look at Matt Cutts’ video, too:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKUlVquEImc]

Many people put a lot of weight on directories with a certain age, believing that we can trust them more because they’re old. This is just false. Others, put a lot of weight on the Page Rank of directories, but as we all know, even today, PR is very manipulable (you must see one of those “BlaBla Directory, since 2002, PR7, Submit now for only $10” ads). Not to mention the whole DirBull scam story. You can read more about it on this DP thread or this WDR article. Basically, they had a 1px hidden image link, from some PR9 websites.

How to measure the quality of a web directory?

In my opinion, any webmaster should have the MOZ bar installed (They have a Mozilla add-on and a Chrome one, too).

Over the years, MOZ developed a few metrics we can really trust by some extent. These are:

Domain Authority: “Represents Moz’s best prediction for how a website will perform in search engine rankings. Use Domain Authority when comparing one site to another or tracking the "strength" of your website over time.
MozRank: Represents a link popularity score. It reflects the importance of any given web page on the Internet. Pages earn MozRank by the number and quality of other pages that link to them. The higher the quality of the incoming links, the higher the MozRank.
MozTrust: “MozTrust is Moz’s global link trust score. It is similar to MozRank, but rather than measuring link popularity, it measures link trust. Receiving links from sources with inherent trust—such as the homepages of major university websites or certain government web pages—is a strong trust endorsement.”

So, you open a web directory and take a look at those values. The higher the better. Of course, you can check out it’s main page PageRank and if random inner pages have PageRank (when Google penalizes a website, they tend to lower the homepage PR to a value of 0-2, and n/a for all inner pages). But, only you, the webmaster can decide what’s good or bad. My strongest interest is the editorial discretion of the directory I’m submitting my website, to. At a glance, I can see if it is an “accept everything” directory or not. Why should I pay for something that it’s gonna hurt me soon or later?

The content is also welcome. Some directories have only the listings, and that’s it. It is ok when you have a blog attached, you update it every now and than, maybe some articles, how to’s, etc.

Best Web Directories of 2013 and perhaps 2014 too

I consulted a lot of lists, did some research on my own and here it is (yes, in my opinion) the best web directories (I inserted this link as an update, but this list is made based on a different perspective) of 2013. I’ll try to separate the list in two tiers, just because the difference between some of them and the others is huge.

First tier Directories-I mean, if you manage to get into these, it is very very good. But excepting Yahoo’s directory, you probably won’t.

  1. Yahoo’s Web Directory-Yes, they perceive a $299/year review fee (which is really a review fee, now a guarantee of inclusion, you get no refund if they don’t accept your website).
  2. DMOZ-An excellent resource and well categorized directory, is too bad the volunteer editing model kind of failed. There are categories that haven’t been touched since ages, so imagine. It’s free and you can suggest a website but don’t expect to be approved, even if you consider that your website is an excellent resource. There are more chances some editor will find you and add you into some category.
  3. Digital Librarian-is maintained by Margaret Vail Anderson, a librarian in Cortland, New York. There isn’t any way to suggest a website, it’s a pure collection of website.
  4. ipl2-They are not accepting new site suggestions since 2010.
  5. The WWW Virtual Library-a team of volunteers collecting websites, but you can’t suggest any website.
  6. Business.com-very well categorized, a $299 review fee/year is perceived.

(credit to Dan from IVS and our discussions)

Second tier Directories-All these directories are open to website suggestion, they have a team of editors behind, they’re adding resources frequently, and have very strict editorial guidelines. Almost all of them, use the official website’s name and don’t accept promotional language in descriptions like (“best”, “leading”, “cheapest” etc)-They keep it objective, as everyone should. I’ll list some of them, based on their domain authority and their editorial discretion.

  1. BOTW-DA: 80, $149.95 per year or $299.95 one-time
  2. Ezilon-DA: 70, $69.00 per year or $199.00 one-time
  3. DirJournal-DA 67, $59.95 per year or $159.95 one-time (Standard), $99.95 per year or $249.95 one-time (Express)
  4. Aviva Directory-DA: 67, $49.95 per year or $149.95 one-time
  5. Joeant-DA: 65, $39.99 one-time
  6. Alive Directory-DA: 64, $49.95 per year or $149.95 one-time (Standard); $74.95 per year or $224.95 one-time (Express)
  7. Jasmine Directory-DA: 63, $19 one time fee (Standard); $39 one time fee (Express)
  8. WebWorldIndex-DA: 60, $25.00 one-time
  9. Gimpsy-DA: 57, $49.00 one-time
  10. Skaffe-DA: 55, $44.99 one-time

Note: Each of the listed directories has empty or nearly empty categories. But hopefully, their owners, editors will manually fill them with useful resources.

There were many other directories which are listed in other best web directory lists, but as I said, I considered only the top 10 with the highest editorial discretion and Domain Authority. Age hasn’t such a high importance (Ok, I wouldn’t trust a 3 months old directory which contains 50k listings, that’s for sure-but neither in a 15 years old one filled with SPAM and 40% dead links), neither mentions in paid post by various SEO marketers that have/had access to strong publications/portals, maybe weights more importance the Alexa value (would you submit your website to a directory with Alexa over 1000000? I wouldn’t!) since some directories tend to deliver some traffic, too.

Resources, references, (and beer):

A post by Robert Gombos (73 Posts)

Robert Gombos is author at LeraBlog. The author's views are entirely his/her own and may not reflect the views and opinions of LeraBlog staff.

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15 Comments

  • really useful list. I can see here only the best directories and I think the industry is not dying but became more selective and only the best can survive.

  • I agree with @kidal – selectivity is the name of the game nowadays.

  • Yes, @Kidal, @Jeff,

    mentioning about “selectivity”, I place my bet on Google’s vision about what kind of web directory take into consideration.

    Like it or not, he’s the DJ, we’re the parties.

    And since they use back links as a strong indicative in their SERP, manipulating this with whatever keyword a submitter wants, it’s just not right. How did Ipl2 or The WWW Virtual Library, gain so much notoriety?

    They listed resources that can be trusted. Hundreds of them in each category. This require a lot of time, work and more than one people involved.

    Kudos for Margaret Vail Anderson from Digital Librarian, she did all the work by herself (I believe).

    The major problem will be with website owners, desperate to get another link, not realizing that a certain percentage of their success is the value of the website itself.

    Will they prefer and submit their website is spam directories, or just in a several “playing by rule” ones?

    😀

  • > Will they prefer and submit their website is spam
    > directories, or just in a several “playing by rule” ones?

    Unfortunately, it is easier to sell cheap than it is to sell quality. Even today you’ll see ads for “get listed in 1000 directories for only $10.”

  • @Jeff

    Yes you are right. But these Directories doesn’t give you any value. Actually they can do more damage for your SERPS. Once people realize that they will start looking for better quality Links/Directories.

    Kris.

  • @Jeff,

    Unfortunately, yes, that is so true and there are so many novice webmasters who’ll take the bait of easy road to success. But, I am happy to see there we still have several really trustworthy directories, where their owners manually ad valuable listings, they use a high editorial discretion etc.

    @Kris,

    Yeah, the “2000k directory submission for $10” will destroy a website or, the best, Google will ignore all those links.

    But, a link from a high quality directory, in which Google trust (the ones that apply high editorial/acceptance rules) is handy.

  • We agree with this article that not all directories are dead and we’ve been using the prime list for years. Also, that’s why we started a new kind of directory that aggregates a companies social updates onto one page. We HUMAN review EVERY listing and have a fee to eliminate spammers. So far so good, and the site is only 9 months old. 🙂

  • Do you have a list of country oriented Directories? I’m searching for this.

  • @Rishu Madaan,

    you could search DMOZ’ regional sections. Almost all countries have a section for directories.

    However, before spending your budget, keep in mind the main idea of this article. 🙂

  • Hi Robert,

    Thanks for your article. I just wonder why lot of spam looking directories are still ranking in google though.

  • Hey Lance,

    Good question. The answer is simple, I think. Google is just a software, nothing more, nothing less. The sum of a lot of algorithms. With all the updates we’ve seen in the last 10 years, the search results (in my opinion, I don’t want to generalize) are far from being “improved”.

    Also, those spam directories popping up on top positions, show us how manipulable the entire system is.

    Yeah, it’s scary, I know… but this is it.

  • web directory not popular anymore

  • baby hazel,

    take 2 minutes and listen carefully what Matt Cutts stated about web directories. If you dig deeper, even on one of Google’s webmaster guidelines pages is clearly stated that webmasters should submit their websites to quality web directories.

    Sadly, yeah, it’s true that 99% of the web directories out there are nothing but trash, but there are still a few very good directories that have their own editors. The suggestion fee is not equivalent with “guarantee of acceptance,” rather someone’s time and effort is paid.

    So, if you see a web directory from the SEO perspective, to get another link and if the web directory owner will accept your trash site for those few bucks, you’re getting it wrong.

    But if you’re aware that being included in a reputable web directory is beneficial both for users and search engines, than you’re on the right track.

    Nowadays there are tons of so called SEO companies being paid to build links. By any mean. SEO is quality, not quantity.

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