Best of the Web : BOTW Constantly Evolving the Web Directory

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For years on SEJ we’ve been a proponent of listing sites web directories as a form of traditional organic link building. And over these years many web directories have come and gone. As linking gets less oriented on brute force anchor text overload and moreso is taking a natural approach, sometimes it can be very easy to overlook the fundamentals.

There are three directories that I feel are the building blocks of developing a strong foundation in a site’s initial backlinks, and those are Best of the Web (affectionately known throughout the SEO industry as BOTW – “bot-wa”), the Yahoo Directory (how long is this going to be around?) and DMOZ (anyone steering the ship?).

One thing I love about BOTW is that I know that the folks behind it are really solid, stand up folks and from a directory guidelines standpoint, stick to their guns and end up rejecting almost as many sites as they approve. What this means to me is that I am effectively reassured that the pages that link to my site are not going to be littered with spam and questionable backlinks in the future. The Best of the Web team keeps things updated and uses their paid review service to employ a staff with a high regard for quality assurance.

Unlike Yahoo & DMOZ, I know that BOTW will be around in the future so an investment in advertising or listing a site is worthwhile, and with their quick turnarounds with approving or rejecting submittals, I know that my investment is more or less also bringing me a peace of mind — unlike the DMOZ blackhole that many good sites fall into.

The BOTW crew is always trying new things and innovating, which is cool to see too. They took the initiative to go head to head against and Google Places with BOTW Local and now they are getting into the Online Education channel with the BOTW Online Degree Directory. If a company like this is getting aggressive to compete in two of the more competitive spaces on the web; local and education, then this tells me that they know their stuff and they get the market.

Take the time to check out BOTW and look for a relevant category to sub your site (if it’s not listed already) or become an editor in their Blog Directory.

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
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  • norm

    Agreed. The only other directories I would suggest spending any real effort on is vertical market directories, especially for service based firms. For example if you are an accountant, finding directories like and that cater specifically to cpa’s and accountants, are directories worth being listed in.

  • nancy

    I agree with your article.The directories are most important for websites.It will help us for searching any information.thanks for sharing these information…

  • Abul Kashem

    Well, I have some sites listed there . I agree that they are very strict to list the site. Problem is I have hardly get any traffic from their site . On the other hand I get good traffic from less authority niche web directories.

  • persuasive essay outline

    It’s sad but today directories are good only for backlinks. I really wonder if there’s any traffic from botw, dmoz or yahoo.

  • Website Design Basingstoke | Snap Marketing

    I think this is an interesting piece – certainly new directories seem to spring up all this time – mainly from India. And loads just disappear so its a question of ROI for an active SEO – do I trawl the web for links from a directory that will bring little or no traffic or look for other better ways of building links AND traffic?

    Thanks for sharing.


  • Remya R

    I am convinced that directories are always beneficial for back-linking. When my website went down gradually in google ranking, I was very upset and find out that some directory paid links were expired. Upon renewal it came back again. It is important to have good quality back links for services such as web design, digital marketing, etc.