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Why Best of the Web is the Worst


When Search Engine Journal listed Best of the Web (BOTW) as #1 on it’s list of Blog directories that you should list your blog in, I knew I had to check it out.  I mean, of course I’ve heard of BOTW before.  But had been a while since I visited.  It didn’t take me long to remember why Best of the Web wasn’t one of my frequently visited sites.


Old Interface

Their interface feels very Web 1.0.

Is it even responsive?  No images?  Barely any information on each listing?

I supposed when you advertise yourself as being one of the oldest directories on the internet, you want to prove it through your interface.  Well, BOTW delivers for sure.


Lacking in Volume

Only 25 Customer Service Blogs?  Really?  That’s how many we found under their Blog Directory > Business > Customer Service Category.

In a half day, my Filipino friend found more than triple that number of blogs in a smaller niche – Customer Experience.  And he’s not even done yet.  Granted, not all of them are great (but most are).  We’ll discuss quality soon.

I know there are more than 26 quality customer experience blogs out there.  If I came to BOTW expecting to uncover the very best, I’d know right away that I’m missing out on tons of blogs I should be considering.


Lacking in Quality

The first blog I happened to click on was one with the title “Customer Experience for Profit” –  The first thing I saw was a post about landscaping.  And wouldn’t you know it, the second post was also about landscaping.  And the third.  In fact, every single post was about landscaping.  I did a quick search, and the words “customer experience” never appeared even ONCE across the entire site.  The only category in the blog was Garden Ideas.

The owner of had succeeded in fooling BOTW into linking to their PBN network.

Well.  Maybe it was just a fluke.  I had a quick look at the other 26 blogs listed under the category for Customer Service.  And here is what I found:

  • Blog with most recent post from 2013 (the blog had been abandoned six years ago)
  • Valid Customer Service blog
  • Another blog (on abandoned six years ago
  • Valid Customer Service blog
  • Blog abandoned seven years ago
  • Blog abandoned five years ago
  • Clear PBN blog abandoned two years ago
  • Valid Customer Service blog
  • Empty landing page
  • Blog abandoned six years ago
  • Valid Customer Service blog
  • Dead domain name
  • Valid Customer Service blog
  • Valid Customer Service blog
  • Valid Customer Service blog
  • Broken page (all HTML text)
  • Blog abandoned six years ago
  • Valid Customer Service blog
  • Horrible, but valid, customer service blog
  • Blog abandoned four years ago
  • Blog abandoned three years ago
  • Valid Customer Service blog
  • Chinese blog
  • Valid Customer Service blog
  • Dead domain name

For those of you keeping track, that’s 10 out of 25 listings that were operational and related to the category at hand.  The Best of the Web has a 40% success rate in their Customer Service Business category.

Here is what I promise you:  No one, and I mean no one, who wants to find a good customer service blog to actually read, is going to be using Best of the Web.  So, expect meaningful traffic from BOTW to be precisely zero.


But Still Not Useless

Having said all that, clearly whoever runs the site is finding an audience for what it is they deliver.  And I can think of several reasons why you might want to use BOTW:

Get Listed Yourself

It’s one place on the internet where it’s safe to just straight up buy a link.  Apparently, Google is okay with that on BOTW.  Even Ahrefs mentions BOTW as a “high quality directory that may be worth the submission fee.”  Granted, this was back in 2016.  But nothing much has changed since then.

Getting listed will help with other sources of organic traffic through the magic of search engine algorithms.  When Google sees your link on BOTW, they'll give your website more relative authority and you may just end up being higher up in the search results because of that link.

Look for Dead Sites

Sites die all the time, and there are many reasons to go looking for dead web pages or domains.  You could be looking for unused content (using the way back machine).  You could be looking for broken backlinks to drive a backlink building outreach project.  You could be looking to buy old domains that used to be in your niche.  Etc.

Just don't go there looking for good websites to visit.  Or if you do go, expect to spend 60% of your time sifting through utter garbage.

Half of staying happy is setting your expectations.  So if you do happen to visit Best of the Web, maybe you'll have a good experience having read our article.  Best of the Luck!

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