Directories have had a romantic relationship with SEO's over the past 20 years. There have been times when the directories have been completely ignored by the SEO specialists, and there have been times when directories have played a darling role to the SEO specialists. Most agree that directories have never fallen off the radar of good SEO specialists even though the ‘affection’ for directories has varied in intensity.
Surprisingly, directories seem to have had made a strong comeback after the Google Panda update that wreaked havoc on article directories and content farms.
Good directories are the ones that have the right potential as a link prospect. Remember, each SEO specialist has his own way of analyzing directories to see if they hold any promised value for the client’s websites. Still, generally, a good directory is the one whose owner is closely involved; a strong element of human review. Such directories can offer you considerable value, given the fact that most ‘human-reviewed’ and ‘human-edited’ directories have a small fee for the addition of your site to the directory. Since such ‘human-edited’ directories strive to maintain a certain standard at all times, most search engines are reasonably sure of the quality of the links contained therein. As a result, manual directories have passed the test of time and continue to offer value to the sites contained in their directories.
No two niches are the same , so the value of directory links is in different for every niche. As long as directory links are a part and parcel of a diverse linking profile, it makes sense to cherry-pick some of the more active ‘human-edited’ directories. Compared to the ‘human-edited’ directories, automated directory scripts that are set to auto-accept all linking requests are actually no different than link farms; avoid wasting your time.
Directory links may not always bring earth-shattering results but if your link profile is well-made then directory links will add stability to long-term rankings.