The main point of paying for the Looksmart submission is the fact that you get listed in MSN which, in many instances, can send more traffic than Yahoo. MSN is really the only engine I expect to receive traffic from based on the Looksmart submission.
IMO, the point is revenue. I don't have proof, but by advertising the looksmart submittal, and marketing it, I believe that Excite gets a revenue split of some kind.
If you list your site in the Excite directoy, it will be there as long as it is accepted by looksmart. Whether or not you appear in the search results is a different matter. I personally find their help pages very good, and I think there is a lot to be learned about how to get included by looking here: [excite.com...]
I submitted my site to LookSmart a year ago using the express submit and thinking it would automatically be included on all the sites they mentioned in their marketing hype. If you read it carefully, you will see that they only guarantee placement in Excite's directory.
I get great hits from MSN as a result. The very rare Excite hit and even more rare from LookSmart itself. Go figure? Had I known then what I know now, I would have paid for the Yahoo listing instead. Its all marketing hype and its nearly impossible to get into Excite ... although I don't see much of a point in worrying about them anymore. The results they display for any given search are so far gone that I believe they are on their way out anyway.
I belive that the traffic is still be there ... but I firmly believe it is only because the general public is unaware that the listings are completely antiquated. My point is ... how long can excite or any other engine get away with this?
Once the average Joe starts to underatnd that Excite's listings (as a whole) haven't been updated in years, it will only be a matter of time until Excite will die a natural and perhaps warranted death. I have had the same site listed on Excite for 5 years! I have changed the content entirely, all meta tag descriptions have changed numerous times, I have resubmitted ... but they still show the same description for that site. How pathetic is that and how can they expect to stay in business that way?