In my opinion, the niche directoies are the way to go. They key is that the descriptions are well written so that the directory gets long tail traffic.
Rather than requiring reciprocals, you can ask for them or provide a small gif to link back to help promote the directory.
I have a similiar situation where I have placed a directory on a domain that I'm planning to build out into a blog. I want to place the directory into a subfolder. But I'm wondering if the blog will be able to flow enough PR into the directory to make it worthwhile?
But in the case of a directory, if Google decides that it's not up-to-par and penalizes it, and it's in a subfolder, then your primary site gets hurt too - right?
Unfortunately those of us that had legitimate PR were slapped as well. Google made a blanket attack on every directory as a result. Lot of collateral damage as a result, initially anyway.
To this day Google has never given my Legitimate PR6 back. Legitimate in the sense that it was earned not by buying links, but over time (YEAR in fact) of having a directory and offering quality listings and constant editing.
Has it hurt? No, not really... The reality is I think most people understand that PR does not mean shit, probably never did. Its traffic that means something, and traffic is what we've delivered.
Googles constant manipulation of the SERPs has if anything only succeeded in delivering more irrelevant results, dead links, and crappy content sites.
Last edited by bogart; 8 November, 2009 at 00:23 AM. Reason: no edit - meant to hit the quote button