For those of us old enough to remember the dinosaur days of the world wide web in the early to mid 1990's, long before the days of Google, Facebook, and Twitter, will remember an awards program called, "The Best of the Web" or BOTW for short. This was one of the primary ways us Mozilla users (that's pre-Netscape for those of you too young to remember) found the best of the best websites. In fact, there were many copycat award sites that followed, but none ever compared to getting a prestigious Best of the Web logo to proudly post on your website. It was truly an award with meat as it was difficult to obtain.
Over the years, the Best of the Web awards site morphed into a human edited web directory. At first, it was just a general directory but then they started spinning off specialty directories including the Best of the Web Blog Directory launched in 2005. Given their history, the Best of the Web Blog Directory was trusted from day one. Inclusion in the Best of the Web Blog Directory is not free. It currently costs $149 per year or $299 for a permanent link. However, paying for a review does not in any way guarantee inclusion. This fact is key to Google's perception of BOTW.
Google representatives have made it very clear that inclusion in a well-respected directory where a listing is only given unless it meets very high standards can improve a site's standing in Google's eyes. In other words, a listing in one of these trusted directories can improve your rankings in the Google's search engine rankings. Along with DMOZ and Yahoo, BOTW seems to be one of the directories that Google values the most. This even held up as true after the well talked about Penguin update with many sites such as article directories and HTML 2.0 properties were drastically demoted in the search engine rankings.
While reviewing the Best of the Web Blog Directory, I searched through all the subjects I know best to see if they would have the best blogs I know about in each of these subjects listed. I was pleasantly surprised to find they did, including some that I know well and are not that commercially oriented. For example, one of David Mendosa's diabetes blogs was listed and I happen to know that David gives consistent very well researched advice to type 2 diabetics, definitely one of the best on the net.
If it is within your budget and you have a very high quality blog, I highly recommend paying the fee to be reviewed by the Best of the Web Blog Directory editors. If you look for them, you can sometimes find a special promotion code that will give you a discount to BOTW. Also, once a year they offer a permanent link for the price of a one year listing.