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Also are they really so strict with commercial listings? What would be classified as a commercial listing?
Has anyone been listed through the free route and, if so, how long has it taken?
Having had these two listings for some months now, I can't say I would pay $300 dollars to submit to the directory. Direct referrals are few and far between, despite my sites having great placement within the directory.
I haven't really noticed any residual effects from being listed, such as increased search engine rankings. It may have helped bump my PR up a bit, for whatever that is worth (not much, in my opinion).