There is an excellent thread at WebmasterWorld on the topic of web directories. Moderator, incrediBILL, runs directories and he goes off on how many of the submissions are not able writing your titles and descriptions to be click worthy, but rather they are stuffed with keywords for the SEO benefit, if any.
There is a key point in this thread which explains why possibly many DMOZ listings that are reviewed (many are not even reviewed) are not approved. Most SEOs who think of web directories don't think about the possible traffic benefit, they think about getting a keyword rich anchor text link. But they should not think that way. Why?
(1) Keyword rich links won't necessarily encourage a person to click on your listing (2) Directory editors hate submissions that are not designed for the directory user, but rather designed to improve the ranking of a web site in Google
Jim Noble, an experienced DMOZ editor, said:
As a DMOZ editor, I don't mind them doing that at all. It's an indicator that the site is likely to be a content mill/MFA/affiliate link farm - none of which we knowingly list.
Even if it's not, we need to amend almost all suggested titles & descriptions to make them guidelines compliant anyway. Of the tens of thousands of sites I've listed in DMOZ over the years, I guess I've only accepted around 50 without change.
When faced with a pool of listing suggestions, some spammy and some not, and limited time, guess which ones I process first :).
These are just tips to keep in mind when submitting your site to a web directory. Yes, getting those keywords in the hyperlink is a good thing, but honestly, it should not be your primary goal.
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.