Best of the Web

The Best of the Web directory was evaluated for Web Directory Reviews Org on Sunday, September 7 and Monday, September 8, 2014.


As a web directory, Best of the Web has been online since 2003; prior to that time, as far back as 1994, it offered reviews of top web sites. Since this time, it has grown to become one of the largest and most respected web directories on the Internet. BOTW has a Google PageRank of seven. Its Alexa Traffic Rank is 11,993. Its Majestic Trust Flow is 61, and the Citation Flow is 55. BOTW's Moz Domain Authority is 78/100, its Page Authority is 82/100, Page MozRank is 6.45, and Page MozTrust is 6.54.

This is my seventh review of Best of the Web, as it has been on my top ten since I began evaluating web directories for Web Directory Reviews Org in January of 2013. During the first quarter of 2013, BOTW was #7 and, in the second quarter, under different review criteria, it was #2, as it was in the 3rd quarter, ending 2013 as the #1 directory in the 4th quarter. In the 1st quarter of 2014, BOTW was #2, and it was #3 in the 2nd quarter of this year.

The site submission fee for BOTW is $149.95 per year or a one-time payment of $299.95. Other options include a combination web directory and local listing submission for $199.95 per year. ProListings, which are essentially deep links, are available for $7.95 per month. Another option are category sponsorships, which cost $49.95 per month.

My reviews are based strictly on a user experience. In evaluating or rating a web directory, I don't consider SEO metrics or site submission costs, basing my reviews on an assessment of the directory's performance in five areas: aesthetics (10%), size (25%), intuitiveness (20%), quality (20%), and usefulness (25%). On top of this, I may add up to five points for extra content.

Aesthetics - 6/10

A basic blue text on a white background, with a touch of orange, Best of the Web's design is simple enough, but not unattractive. Its main menu is centered on the screen, with each of its upper-level categories, save one, consisting of one word; the exception, its Kids & Teens category is in the center of the menu items, so the symmetry does not suffer much.

Size - 25/25

Seeing as it is wholly impractical for me to browse through every category and subcategory of a directory that contains hundreds of thousands of sites, trying to count every one of them, I use a program called Scrutiny, which gives me the total number of links on a domain. Scrutiny does not differentiate between outgoing category links and navigation links, so this number will be substantially higher than the total number of outgoing category links but, since every directory is evaluated in the same manner, the results are comparatively useful.

I have instructed Scrutiny to not scan subdirectories, so any links that are contained in its UK directory, blog directory, or local directory would not be included in this result. To avoid crashing either the server or Scrutiny, I have assigned Scrutiny to stop scanning after it has found 500,001 links. BOTW did top out at that number.

For further information on my scoring of this area of the assessment, please refer to the guidelines that were in use this quarter.

Intuitiveness - 19/20

I believe that the Best of the Web Directory began with a taxonomy that closely mirrored DMOZ, and that it began with a dump of DMOZ data. However, the staff of BOTW has made it their own, making changes to it as they deemed necessary. The result is an organizational structure that makes sense, but without being a carbon copy of DMOZ.

BOTW makes generous use of @links and above and below the line capabilities, see also links, and other amenities. For the most part, sites are placed in appropriate categories, and a breadcrumb navigation allows users to easily move from one category to another, in any direction.

One thing that I find disconcerting as I am browsing its categories is that on some pages, the subcategory menu is to the left of the page while, on other pages, it is to the upper right of the page, as if there are differing templates in play.

Lastly, its in-site search is very functional, returning appropriate results for single or multi-word searches, including both links and categories.

Quality - 15/20

Everything seems to be in working order, in that clickable items are indeed clickable, and I didn't come across any errors. I did not come across any bad links, nor did Scrutiny, during its scan, identify a significant number of outgoing directory links. I believe that BOTW uses an automated program that deactivates bad links so that they do not show up in the directory.

If there are empty categories, I didn't come across them, although there are several in the lower levels of its regional categories that have only one link, but I don't view that as a problem.

In its site descriptions, Best of the Web uses sentence fragments rather than grammatically correct sentences, and they tend to be on the skimpy side, at that, many consisting of only few words that are not particularly descriptive.

Usefulness - 17/25

There is plenty of content in Best of the Web, and the directory is organized well enough to permit it to be found without difficulty. Sites are listed in categories where they might be expected to be found, and they are displayed alphabetically rather than according to what a site submitter is willing to pay.

On a negative note, there are no category descriptions. Although nearly every directory script includes the ability to include category descriptions as a standard feature, and Best of the Web used to include category descriptions, they disappeared some months back, and I believe that was an error, or at least a matter that detracts from the usefulness of the directory.

BOTW is not well optimized for a mobile device; at least not a smart phone, although it may do better on an iPad or something with a slightly larger screen.

Extra Content - 3

While this review was restricted to Best of the Web's main directory, BOTW includes a blog directory, a UK directory, and a local directory, as well as an affiliate program.

Overall Rating - 85%

On the basis of my evaluation of the Best of the Web directory on Sunday, September 7 and Monday, September 8, 2014, I have rated it at eighty-five percent.


The Best of the Web directory is well organized, and has a lot of content. This content is not restricted to its main directory, as it also has blog directory, a UK directory, and a local directory that were not included in our scan. BOTW has been around for a long time and has earned a good reputation in the industry, as well as in the larger SEO industry. There is little doubt that a link in BOTW will be advantageous as far as search engine positioning is concerned.


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