The Best of the Web, or BOTW as it is called in internet marketing circles, is the Internet’s oldest web directory. It pioneered the concept of awarding quality sites with recognition, and in fact this was its premise during the site’s initial six years.
Founded in 1994, Best of the Web was designed to showcase websites that were nominated and then voted as the best of a category. Brandon Plewe, the founder, included many categories, and the site was very successful. Party planning and housing issues were listed along side financial websites and online magazines. However after 1998, the site lay dormant for years until it was sold and refurbished in 2002.
Currently, BOTW is a general paid directory that allows only quality websites and removes spam. It is still as progressive today as it was in 1994, but there are many more directories available to compete with. Of course, there is not actually much competition at all from these other directories as Best of the Web is known to provide quality listings without the garbage that search engines often offer up.
Best of the Web has five office locations with employees at each scouring the internet finding quality locations to list in the directory. Webmasters can submit a site to be included, but they must wait for reviews and admittance before becoming listing.
As Best of the Web is known for its quality, the company can be very selective when it comes to individual website quality. If your site’s not deemed good enough, it won’t get in. It’s as simple as that. But if your site is allowed into the directory, you will be listed among many of the best and most authoritative websites on the internet today.
In 2005, Best of the Web introduced the first blog directory. The blog directory is just as powerful and authoritative as the traditional directory, and takes into consideration the constantly changing elements of a blog.
To be reviewed and possibly included, Best of the Web requires payment from commercial websites. After a site is thoroughly reviewed, it will be listed among the others of that particular category. As BOTW is such as prestigious directory, the fees to be reviewed are rather steep. A one-time fee of $239.95 will get your site included indefinitely, or $79.95 each year will let you take control of your own site, even in the directory.
Overall, Best of the Web is innovative and forward thinking. It has gone from a website that simply listed the best of the web to a website that clearly belongs at the top of the list. BOTW is indispensable for many searchers who are fed up with Google results and want to know that the site they are viewing is quality. And with Best of the Web, that is exactly what they get.