Google’s Matt Cutts explains on the latest Webmaster Help Video that Yahoo, Best of the Web, other Web directories with an editorial process are not considered paid links. This is because they have guidelines that need to be met and will reject low quality submissions if they don’t meet the right criteria.
This is very helpful and makes sense because both BOTW and Yahoo Directory are actually useful to users as well as Google and the search engines. One thing that always gets me is how Cutts says that you don’t have to worry about going overboard on SEO to rank high, just provide great content. This in some ways is true. Great content should out-weigh Optimized sites, but in actuality it doesn’t always happen that way. I know Cutts really can’t say otherwise, but it just gets a little annoying that he keeps saying make great content and everything else will fall in place, when he knows full well that often that isn’t the case.
Here’s the video. I’d love to hear what you think of this and what you think about Yahoo Directory and Best of the Web.