Over the past few years, my stance on web-directory submission services has gone from “I wouldn’t use them” to “waste of money.”
While there are still a few good web directories (BOTW and DMOZ are the obvious ones), most are just a collection of random links in a poorly-organized setting. They exist for purely SEO reasons, and I can’t imagine a real human being finding some value in them.
It is no wonder that Google started to penalize websites for links from spammy web directories.
Despite the fact that web directory backlinks hold little (or negative) SEO juice, I know that website owners will still pay the $50 to have their website listed in 500 directories (or whatever random number they promise). That is because web directories are still one of the cheapest and easiest sources of backlinks.
Yes, you can get backlink juice from web directories. But it is still a waste of your time to randomly submit your website to any ol’ directory. Instead, you should be carefully selecting directories which your audience actually would use!