Once again, Dan Jensen has raised the bar in the directory world.
If you have been involved in SEO for more than two minutes, you probably know about Dan’s list of free directories at Vilesilencer. It was the first, and still is the best, list of free directories available. Dan keeps it updated like a clockwork, with major updates approximately once per month.
Dan has been an innovator with his list since then. When the trend in directory submissions moved to an increasing emphasis on niche directories, Dan introduced coverage of a large number of free niche directories.
And when other directory lists were emphasising their broad coverage (18,000 free directories to submit your website too!), Dan instead chose to go the route of limiting his list and including only the 500 best free web directories.
Now Dan has raised the bar once again by undertaking extensive editorial reviews of all the directories on his list. You can read his announcement of it here. According to Dan:
“After going through the directories that we re-added to the list last update and finding quite a few of them who have some terrible sites listed, we are going to be manually reviewing each sites content, to determine whether an editorial quality guideline is being met.”
As far as I know, Dan’s is the only directory list that reviews the editorial content of the directories listed. I think that this is particularly important for free directories. There are strong financial incentives for paid directories to keep their databases in good shape; the same incentives don’t exist in the free directory world. Too many free directories simply approve all sites submitted or only have minimal review standards. It’s not worth submitting your website to these directories. Dan, correctly, is not recommending these websites.
This is a major project, and I wish Dan the best of luck with it. The one sad thing about all of this is that I believe Dan actually puts more work into his directory list than many directory owners put into their directories. I think that a lot of directory owners would do well to emulate the example set by Dan.