Back in the “old” days, we used to submit our sites to a couple hundred directories, and they’d rank like “instantly”. Those days are long gone, and with it most of the crappy directories that we used. Some directories survived though, and of them, Directory Journal, has asked me to do a sponsored review of its services. So yes, that means I got paid for this post, and no, that doesn’t mean I’m biased: I would have refused to do the review if they demanded I wrote certain things OR if I thought you, as a reader, couldn’t benefit from this post.
The reason Directory Journal and some other directories can still survive is because they do editorial reviews of sites they list in their directory, and as far as I’ve been able to tell, they really do a pretty good job of those. If you check out a category like Business Software, you’ll see a couple of listings, and when you click one, like the one for Fuel Quest, you’ll see that along with the homepage link you get up to 3 deep links you can submit. Now Fuel Quest doesn’t rank top notch with those links yet, but they do rank second page on some nice terms when they’ve only got 2-3 links, one of them being from Directory Journal.
I’ve investigated some more sites, and it seems that these links do help. After seeing that I dove into why that is true, after all, to be able to give away link equity, a site must have some of it first. If you check out the Majestic SEO report for the site, you’ll see they’ve got an awful lot of nice pages with pretty good backlinks, acquired through multiple methods. They’ve got some free WordPress themes to download, not one but a couple of very decent blogs with some real quality, unique content and some nice tools for webmasters as well. In all: they’ve earned their links, and have quite a few of them, which explains why a link from the domain would help in your rankings.
So I think I can honestly say that I think investing the $159.95 for a permanent listing along with 3 deep links is worth it if you need a couple of extra links, and that Directory Journal belongs in the small list of directories that you can still use and feel good about.