Best of the Web

The Best of the Web (BOTW) directory was evaluated for Web Directory Reviews Org on Sunday, December 28 and Monday, December 29, 2014.

Best of the Web (BOTW) has been in the top ten of Web Directory Reviews Org since we began publishing web directory reviews in the first quarter of 2013, at which time it came in #7. Since then, it has ranked #2, #2, #1, #2, #3, and #3. Our ranking fluctuates often, due to changes in the criteria between quarters.

The Moz Domain Authority for the BOTW directory is 79/100, the Page Authority of its index page is 83/100, the Page MozRank is 6.46 and the Page MozTrust is 6.51. Its Majestic Trust Flow and Citation Flow are 41, and its Alexa Traffic Rank is 17,736.

The submission fee for a web directory listing is $149.95 per year or a one-time fee of $299.95. Other options are available for a web directory listing and a local listing. ProListings, which are basically deep links, are $7.95 per month.

Neither submission details or SEO metrics will play any part in the rating of a directory, however; I offer it only because people have come to expect it. The actual review is done through the perspective of a directory user, who wouldn't care about such things.

Each directory is examined and rated on its aesthetics (10%), size (20%), intuitiveness (20%), quality (25%), and usefulness (25%), with up to five additional points possible for extra content.

Aesthetics - 6/10
BOTW employs a rather safe theme, a basic blue text on a white background, with a bit of orange in its logo. Its main menu is centered on the screen, and the only upper-level category that consists of more than one word -- Kids & Teens -- is centered, so it doesn't detract much from the site's symmetry.

On the bottom row, the Regional category, with its subcategories, takes up a couple of columns. It might look a little better if it extended into the third column, but that's not a big deal.

There are no third-party ads displayed within the Best of the Web directory.

Size - 20/20

Obviously, I cannot visit every category and subcategory of a directory, counting each of the outgoing site links, so I use a program called Scrutiny to scan the directory domain prior to my review. I limit the number of sites to 500,001 for the sake of time, and BOTW did top out at that number. Please see the review criteria for this quarter for further information about the scoring of this section.

Intuitiveness - 19/20

To the best of my knowledge, the Best of the Web directory began with a DMOZ dump, using a taxonomy that closely mirrored DMOZ, but that was many year ago and the staff and editors of BOTW have made it their own. No longer a mirror of DMOZ, it has retained the same solid taxonomy as the older directory.

Also like DMOZ, Best of the Web makes use of @links, See Also links, and above and below the lines capabilities, as well as a breadcrumb navigation system that allows users to easily make their way back to categories higher in the directory structure.

Above and below the line features separate different types of categories, such as geographical from topics, etc.

In second-level categories, the subcategory menu is arranged in columns to the left and center of the screen, while deeper categories include the subcategory menu on the right side of the screen, and I am not certain that directory users will necessarily recognize the menu for what it is, on the right side of the screen.

The BOTW search features works well on both single and multi-word searches, returning both categories and site listings that match the search word or phrase.

Quality - 20/25

BOTW uses an automated system that scans the directory periodically, deactivating bad links. However, it cannot catch everything, particularly domains that may have changed content since they were originally added to the directory. Very few bad links were flagged by Scrutiny, nor did I come across any.

More than ninety percent of the links included in BOTW were added by directory editors and staff, while only a small percentage of them were submitted for consideration.

Sites are listed in appropriate categories, and I found no spelling or capitalization errors in site descriptions. DMOZ does use the sentence fragment model for site descriptions however, and they tend to be on the skimpy side, some consisting of only a few words. Longer, more descriptive site descriptions would help users determine which of the listed sites they might want to visit.

BOTW has a very thorough regional section, including categories and sites for very small towns that most directories would ignore. These tend to be categories that receive very few submissions, so it is clear that this entire section of the directory was built almost entirely by directory staff.

Usefulness - 16/25

There is a great deal of content in the BOTW directory, much of it is of good quality, and it is organized well, with sites listed in the categories where they may be expected to be found. Within each category, sites are displayed alphabetically rather than according to what the site owner is willing to pay, as is the case in directories with featured links.

However, as noted, site descriptions are not as helpful as they could be, and there are no category descriptions at all, although Best of the Web once included them.

Nearly every directory script includes a category description field as a standard feature, yet many directories do not use it. That is a shame, in my opinion, because a well written category description can provide additional information for directory users, aid submitters in determining which category might be the most appropriate, and serve as textual content to be spidered by search engines.

BOTW does not use a responsive theme, and may be difficult to navigate on a smart phone or on a smaller theme.

Extra Content - 2

Apart from the main BOTW directory, Best of the Web includes a blog directory, a UK directory, and a local directory, as well as an affiliate program and a detailed help system.

Overall Rating - 83%

Upon my assessment of the Best of the Web directory, I have rated it as eighty-three percent.


The Best of the Web directory has proven itself to be a reputable directory resource. Although its submission fees are steep enough that not everyone will be able to afford to submit to the BOTW directory, there is little doubt of the advantages to having a site listed there.


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