I wanted to make a list for myself of the strongest directories currently available on the Internet. Then I decided to publish it, as maybe some other webmasters could make use of it as well. The table is ordered by Seomoz' Domain Authority however each column is sortable, by clicking those small arrows. I am going to update the list every 2-3 months. In addition to this table, which is purely based on metrics, meanwhile I compiled a list of best web directories based purely on editorial discretion (these directories are way more useful to the end-user and Google than numbers).

There are some extraordinary, strong web directories, however website owners can not suggest a resource by any mean. These are:

  1. Digital Librarian - is maintained by Margaret Vail Anderson, a librarian in Cortland, New York. (Removed the hyperlink because the domain returns a permanent 404 error)
  2. ipl2 - They are not accepting new site suggestions "(In 2010, ipl2 received more than 21,000 site suggestions and more than 85% of the site suggestions submitted did not fit the current ipl2 Collection Policy. We will evaluate all of the site suggestions that we have received before December 14, 2010. After Dec. 14, 2010, any suggestions for new websites submitted to this or any form on ipl2 will not be considered for inclusion in ipl2. We will update you with any changes to this decision." Citation source)
  3. The WWW Virtual Library - a team of volunteers are adding websites, you can't suggest any website.
  4. Chiff.com - "Simply put, we are not an all-inclusive directory. We choose sites that offer the best informational resources to make finding information online fast and easy. All of the sites we recommend are selected and reviewed by our staff. We do not include link exchanges, paid listings, or affiliate links in the editorial content." (1) On another page, they say: "If you use an incredible resource site which we missed, please suggest it for consideration. Include the category where it should be added, and a short description of the content and subject matter in order for us to refer it to the appropriate review team." (2). So that is why I included Chiff.com also in the table of best web directories.

Comparison between the strongest web directories (updated on May 22 2014). Note: Each column is sortable, by clicking on those small arrows.
Directory TF MR DA Alexa BL Age Price ED
business.com 65 6.44 80 28161 97653 18 $299,00 10
botw.org 66 6.14 67 110763 122516 19 $299,00 10
ezilon.com 41 6.39 57 25859 39660 10 $199,00 9
avivadirectory.com 57 6.90 56 336852 64700 10 $149,95 9
elib.org (2) 38 6.54 47 1153598 28669 16 $72,00 4
dirjournal.com 50 6.51 53 318937 44505 9 $159,95 9
joeant.com 52 6.72 51 283900 29663 14 $39,99 9
abilogic.com 55 6.31 43 121587 51185 12 $39,99 8
alivedirectory.com 53 6.49 46 58626 81743 10 $149,95 9
mygreencorner.com 31 4.65 44 544609 18909 9 $19,00 4
jasminedirectory.com 57 7.10 56 26503 84746 9 $59,00 9
goguides.org 45 5.52 53 78995 906 12 $69,95 4
gimpsy.com 49 4.08 53 356633 32788 10 $49,00 9
incrawler.com 39 4.57 41 719586 501 11 $24,95 7
findelio.com 49 5.66 51 822623 6107 11 $49,00 7
skaffe.com 48 4.01 40 768921 6487 11 $44,99 8
01webdirectory.com 34 5.67 41 328656 1530 13 $49,00 8
directory.v7n.com 43 6.03 49 101881 21944 11 $49,95 7
chiff.com (1) 26 4.43 43 487573 8713 13 $0 10
stpt.com 50 6.16 53 149183 3102 17 $99,00 8
TF = Trust Flow, MR = MozRank, DA = Domain Authority, BL = Backlinks from unique domains, ED = Edotorial Discretion.

Notes:

(1). Chiff.com accepts only informational sites... but it's filled with Google Ads so it's very confusing for a visitor.

(2). Elib.org accepts only shopping related websites.

For a better user experience, I've highlighted with DARK RED prices that are recurring/year (and if that's the only option they offer).


Updates

Update 02/25/2017

Well, during these three years many (iportant) things striked and made the Internet less interesting without two of the best web directories: Yahoo's Directory and DMOZ. I really feel sorry for DMOZ, maybe because I spent some of my spare time editing. AOL took the domain name, however the content belongs to the editors and metas. The internal forums were transfered to Curlie.org, a static (official) mirror of the Open Directory Project is located at DmozTools, there a few more mirrors. So I'm kind of optimistic. :)

Yes, "Humans still do it better". It's true even in the web directory industry. To be honest, there are very few quality web directories managed to keep their reputation, power and usefulness. And, as I always stated, the secret is simple: best web directories apply a strong editorial discretion.

So, today I updated Updated DA, MR, BL, Alexa, removed from the list DMOZ and Yahoo's Directory. I also removed Starting Point Directory because it seems that they abandoned the idea of what a web directory means (for example, in the Internet category they have only... two listings.) Since PageRank doesn't exist anymore (fortunately for some, unfortunately for others) I decided to replace it with Trust Flow (Majestic's most important website quality metric tool). I also decided to remove from my list spam directories (aka. directories where anyone can get in paying a fee).

Removing webworldindex.com from the list because returns a 404 error and there is no page indexed by Google.

Removing wowdirectory.com - parked domain.


Out of curiosity, I created a chart to compare DA vs. price. I added only the top 10 DA descending directories.

Comparing the top 10 strongest web directories: DA vs. the suggestion price
Suggestion price versus Domain Authority

Update 05/22/2013

Updated DA, MR, BL, Alexa.

Still in the process of reviewing quality directories, however, I won't include in this list directories with very low editorial discretion despite their high metrics.


Update 12/07/2013

Updated PR and DA.

Update 11/17/2013

Amray.com added to the list.

Second Update 10/03/2013

A few directories with very low editorial discretion were removed, some others were added in place.


Update 10/03/2013

After changing a couple impression with a few fellow web directory owner, especially the ones that maintain a best web directory list or more, the EDITORIAL DISCRETION was the main topic.

Editorial discretion refers to the web directory owners that apply a certain level of control, over what can be listed and what is not. This is what makes a web directory useful for users. We see everyday web directories, even "reputable" old web directories, listing any type of submission they receive after paying a review fee which in most cases is a guaranteed paid link fee, which violates Google's Webmaster Guidelines.

Here is Matt Cutts' video, explaining what makes the difference between a good web directory and a simple link farm directory:



So, I marked each value of the already added column of ED, with different colors. No one can say that this or that is a list of best directories. Every single one has a limit of subjectivity. I reviewed each and every directory listed in this table and noted the editorial discretion from 1-10. You may sort the table by any value you want, but keep in mind, that a listing in a bad web directory, that applies no editorial discretion, may harm you because basically you'll be surrounded by pure junk.

More directories will be analyzed and added instead of those with very low level editorial discretion value. I do not want to promote junk. Simple as that.

I hope I haven't offended anyone, I know that webmasters want they pure keywords as titles, I know that they submit "the best" and "the leading" businesses, I know that many of you won't refunt that $20 even if the submitted websire is crap, but a web directory is a resource of odjective useful information resource, not a "hey, give me $10, look, my domain is from 2000, submit now!!!!"

The table is sortable. Some may put more weight on Domain authority, others on domain age, others on PR, others on Editorial dscretion and so on. I can't be a captain saying that "this" or "that" weights more when we talk about a few web directories that worth submitting our websites to.


Update 09/12/2013

worldsiteindex.com, unfortunately, had a PR drop from 5 to 2.


Update 04/07/2013

- Table sort functionality has been added to the best web directories list. The default onload sorting is by Domain Authority.

- Since Google highlighted many times that web directories with no editorial discretion (directories without any editor, where any kind of website is accepted if the review fee is paid) are treated in the same manner as link selling websites we considered beneficial to add a new column to address this matter. This metric, to some extent, is a subjective one. We noted the ED of each directory with a value between 1 (very low editorial discretion) and 10 (very high quality editorial discretion). We visited few crowded categories from each and every directory to figure out if they are using any sort of editorial discretion or if they publish any listing with those well known "buy now", "the best", "leading SEO company", "guaranteed results" aggressive sales pitches.


Update 01/14/2013

Ask-dir.com has been removed from the list since they doesn't seem to care their website is not functioning. Findelio.com has been added instead.


Update 01/09/2013

(*) pegasusdirectory.com: although it has a nice profile (links, MozRank, PageAuthority) it has only a PR of 2, which is a bit fishy in my opinion. I thing Google penalised them for some reason.

(**) site-sift.com: their PR dropped from 5 to 0. This, alone, is a solid warning that something happened with their website.

(***) ask-dir.com: Currently, their website is bugged, and visitors can see only a bug in their functions.php file. Their PR dropped from 4 to 0 all of a sudden.


Mozrank vs. Pagerank

The MOZ guys say that mozrank represents "a link popularity score. It reflects the importance of any given web page on the Internet". Many have speculated that mozRank can be compared with Google's well known Page Rank.

As you can see, for the first few top directories the two values are almost the same, but as we go to the list end there is a difference between the two values. There are many things we could, perhaps, discuss in regard to attempting to answer why this difference is noticeable for web directories positioned in the second half of the list. I think that the number of backlinks is the answer: the higher the numbers of links, the two metrics that measure the same (using different methods) are less likely to be different.

Submission (review) price vs. Page Rank

In regard to price, I looked for the lowest possible submission fee for each directory listed. Of course, for featured listings, extra 3-5 backlinks, etc. the price goes higher. Only two directories from this list accept free submissions: DMOZ and Pegasus Directory.

It is hard to say if Yahoo's directory and Business.com are worth their fees of $299 per year each even if we all know that they're some of the best web directories. That's 600 bucks in just a single year. The main question is, will your website really benefit enough from these two links to have a ROI? I certainly would not recommend them for starter websites. Anyway, the decision is yours.

Are people paying for quality?

In my opinion, the Domain Authority value, as it's determined by Seomoz, is actually quite accurate. The more quality links you have for authority websites, the more your website's authority will then grow. It's logical, right?

Now, when it comes to the price that all of us need to pay when we submit our websites to various directories, we really should use some quality metrics and basic common sense. I mean, someone who has a bad directory cannot charge a very high price and call it a "review fee". So, it is best to actually know how you spend your money, even when it comes to the strongest directories.

You might wonder where from I managed to get all this data from in order to create this list of 35 strongest directories. Well, I have to give credit to (updated) Aviva's strongest directories, DirJournal's 10 Best Directories Post Panda/Penguin, IVS's Ultimate List of Strongest Directories for 2013, Barry Reynolds' Best Paid Web Directories For SEO and to The Best Web Directories for all of the help and information they were able to provide.