SevenCubed - 4:50 pm on Sep 28, 2012 (gmt 0)
If I were designing a Penguin, I would definitely look hard at other factors for any site that was listed in a lot of those directories.
If I were designing a penguin I wouldn't design a penguin. I would design the egg that the penguin will be born from and then nurture it with proper logic of information architecture until it can evolve to the point where a penguin could actually fly on its own.
Also, I've been playing with the idea lately of starting a directory of my own for a niche that is very up-and-coming that has tremendous growth potential for the next 20 years as far as I can predict. It would be a complete manual process with very strict control of what gets in there as well as plenty of supporting content. I would be especially picky about what gets listed. It would be a hobby project for the sheer enjoyment of creativity and the enjoyment of playing with search engines. If it gains enough traffic over time I'll offer ad space, if not it will have been an investment in learning for learning's sake.
Directories of value will live on and new ones will be born out of the richly fertilized burnt forest by the ones that went up in smoke. My biggest stumbling block though is trying to work out a scraper-proof solution before going ahead with it and that is a nearly impossible task. Nearly.