Does free directory submission work? Yes... IF and only IF your site gets approved or the admin even looks at it. Here's the problem. Most free directories have free and paid options. Most of the time the admins don't even look at the free links and just go in every now and then and approve the paid reviews. Back in the old days, free directories always worked and admins always approved sites. Today there is so much spam and crap that gets submitted to web directories that admins can no longer keep up with it all.
So what do they do? Paid option! Because spammers will never pay for a review. They will always go with what's free. That's why payment is the best spam filter, even if it's only $1 like the site Link Bid Script Powered site - Add Your Site - Bidding Web Directory The cost is only $1 but it filters out all the spammers immediately. So that's why I suggest you stick with only paid directories. That's all I do. I don't even bother with free directories anymore.