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Directories if properly constructed can fit bill. Remember Google resolves web pages and not sites, so if a directory has a page sufficiently dedicated to your theme then it is worth submitting to.
Directories can use ‘jump text’ which prevents data harvesting, but unfortunately removes value of links.
Should I pay or not? There are sufficient free directories out there, so there is no need to pay.
Ones to consider – DMOZ, allthebizz, smallerbizz, Gimpsy, wowdirectory.
Larger directories such as Yahoo maybe worth paying to list in as they can bring traffic in their own right.
Clare Lawrence is CEO of Discount Domains Ltd – A leading UK provider of Domain name registration and Web Hosting services. Please feel free to re-publish this article provided this reference box remains together with a hyperlink to http://www.discountdomainsuk.com Clare can also be contacted on email@example.com.