Top 10 PPO Directory List

When I review web directories for Web Directory Reviews Org, I am constrained by the evaluation criteria. While this is a good thing overall, because it increases the objectivity of my reviews, it sometimes requires me to assign low ratings to directories that I am particularly fond of and, conversely, to give good ratings to those that I don't care for all that much. In this blog post, I will list my top ten web directories, based on purely personal opinion, with hardly a hint of objectivity. I hope you enjoy it.
Earlier today, I posted my fifth quarterly top ten list, based on public evaluation criteria that sometimes mandates that I give a poor rating to a directory that I personally like, or a good rating to one that I do not, according to their performance in five evaluation areas.

While there is a certain degree of subjectivity to these reviews, I try to be as objective as possible, or at least to be fair.

What I'd like to do here, in this blog post, is recognize those directories that I personally like, for one reason or another, regardless of how they may have performed in reviews published for Web Directory Reviews Org. This is my Top 10 Purely Personal Opinion Directory List.

The directories that I am going to acknowledge here, were chosen purely as a matter of personal opinion and tastes. At that, it may be incomplete, as it is quite possible that I have forgotten one or two of my favorite directories.

I began by assembling a list of twenty-five directories that I have a good impression of. Then, when I counted, I found that I had twenty-six, so I removed the Open Directory Project. I was one of the early metas with the ODP, spending several hours each day for about a decade on the project. My memories of the ODP will always be loving ones, but the reality of the Open Directory Project, today, is something different.

It's hard to describe how I feel about the ODP, but I will try to express it by telling you a story about my hometown.

I grew up in a small town, one that is really more of a dot on the map than an actual town, but it was a wonderful place to be, as a child. I knew everyone, and was related to nearly everyone I knew up until I started high school in another town.

Some time after high school, I moved away to another state. Forty years later, as I was about to sell my business, I considered moving back home again. But I no longer knew anyone there anymore. There were golf courses where people used to farm, and houses where we once picked blackberries in the summer. The home that I grew up in had burned, and a strange house had taken its place. I didn't know the people who lived there.

Thomas Wolfe wrote a book entitled, "You Can't Go Home Again." Referring specifically to the title, although I think it would hold true for the story as well, I found that to be fairly accurate. I could go home again, but it would have been a sad experience for me.

That's sort of how I feel about the Open Directory Project. I'm glad I did it, and I'll always treasure the memories, but it doesn't make me happy to go there today.

I wanted to acknowledge the memory, and I did that. Moving on, the twenty-five directories that I put up for consideration were, in alphabetical order:

  • AbiLogic - 6
  • AMRAY -
  • Authority Directory
  • Aviva Directory - 3
  • Best of the Web - 5
  • Directory Journal
  • Directory Times
  • Directory@v7n
  • Diroo
  • Family Friendly Sites
  • Gimpsy - 9
  • GoGuides Directory - 8
  • Jasmine Directory - 2
  • JoeAnt - 4
  • MasterMoz
  • Moo-Directory
  • My Green Corner
  • Rave the Web
  • R-TT Web Directory - 1
  • Skaffe - 7
  • Synergy Directory
  • VMOptions
  • Wikidweb
  • World Site Index
  • Yahoo! Directory

The directories above were chosen purely because I have a good opinion of them, either as a whole or of one aspect of them. Although some of these directories were recently reviewed, I didn't go back and look at them again before deciding whether to include them in the original twenty-five.

In some cases, such as the Moo-Directory, I don't remember what I liked about it but, in my head, I consider it to be one of the good ones.

Once I had chosen the twenty-five directories, I visited each of them to see what it was that I liked about them, and to decide whether the things that I liked about them were strong enough to outweigh the things that I disliked about them, as there is some of both in each of these directories.

These twenty-five are all directories that I have a positive opinion of, although I may hate some aspects of each. My task here is to subjectively pare this list down to the magical number of ten and, purely as a matter of personal opinion, list them in order, from my most favorite on down.

In doing so, some of these directories, such as AMRAY, were removed from consideration simply because I am not as familiar with it as I am with some of the others, and because I hate the music that plays on its index page. Still, AMRAY has a great deal of content. In time, I may learn to love it.

Directory Journal is another directory that I would probably like better if I were more familiar with it. I consider all of the twenty-five directories that I have listed above to be reputable and worthwhile. By way of a disclaimer, I should say that I don't know how reputable Wikidweb is, but I think it's an interesting idea, my sites are listed there, and I don't anticipate negative effects from it.

Off the top, I can tell you that the R-TT Web Directory and Jasmine Directory are going to make the list purely because I love their category descriptions. Best of the Web is probably going to make the list because it reminds me of what the Open Directory Project was when I still had access to it.

I am not going to refer to past reviews of these directories because this is not a review, and there would be little point in duplicating something that I'm already doing in another part of this site.

It was an easy matter for me to reduce the list to twelve, but it was more difficult for me to drop Family Friendly Sites and Directory Times from the list. The other two directories under consideration for a drop were VMOptions and Gimpsy.

In the end, I decided that what I really liked about Directory Times was its design, because I'm really a sucker for the old newspaper theme. But, after clicking into a few of its categories, I found the response to be very slow, and all three of the categories that I clicked into were empty, so I dropped that one.

Family Friendly Sites was more difficult, as I like the family friendly part of it. I have a few sites that display the Family Friendly logo, and I think that it is sort of a nice idea. But beyond that, while it is a reputable directory, there is nothing really special about it.

As it turned out, I learned that my IP number was still banned by Virtual Media Options (VMOptions), for having attempted to scan it a few days ago. So, although there were a lot of things that I liked about VMOptions, I'd be crazy to name a directory that has banned me as one of my ten favorite directories. I am substituting the AMRAY directory, despite the damned noise that it makes.

This left me with the ten that I wanted. The next chore was to put them in order. I will present the end result below, along with my purely subjective reasons for sorting them in the manner that I did.

R-TT Web Directory

In the review section of Web Directory Reviews Org, the R-TT Web Directory fell off of my top ten lists in the fourth quarter of 2013, when I began taking a closer look at the quantity of outgoing links that a directory offers.

The R-TT Web Directory is a project of R-Tools Technology, a data recovery company. There is no charge for submitting a site to the R-TT directory, and they probably don't have anyone scouring the Internet looking for sites to add to their directory.

What they do, however, is accept free site submissions, with no reciprocal link requested, but only if the site is submitted to an appropriate category with a site description of at least one hundred words of unique text, which provides valuable content for the directory.

Each of their categories also feature long category descriptions, adding additional content to the directory, making it a resource beyond its outgoing directory links. It's not a large directory, but it is attractive, well organized, and has a lot of content.

I have submitted a few of my sites to the R-TT Web Directory, and all but one of them was accepted. In my opinion, it is well worth the time that it takes to compose a site description of at least one hundred words, and more is better.

  • Visit the R-TT Web Directory.

Jasmine Directory

Relatively new to the web directory industry, as it was established in 2009, Jasmine Directory is effectively competing with the big dogs.

Jasmine Directory also uses content-rich category descriptions, illustrated with photos or other images, and this is my chief reason for holding this directory in high regard. I also like the overall design of Jasmine Directory.

Several of my sites are listed in Jasmine Directory, and I am pleased that I got in before the prices were raised. It's still a good deal for the money, but it was a better deal before the prices were raised. I'll probably submit sites to it again in the future, but I do think a little harder before I fork out forty bucks.

Jasmine does use sentence fragments in it site descriptions rather than grammatically correct sentences, and I view this as a negative.


Aviva Directory

I have always liked the feel of the Aviva Directory. Its taxonomy is unique and yes, its main menu is symmetrical, with each of its upper-level categories comprised of two words joined by an ampersand.

Where several other directories have stagnated, the Aviva Directory has added new features, and made subtle changes to its design without trying to remake itself.

Aviva Directory's category descriptions are getting longer, although not article length like R-TT and Jasmine. However, Aviva is introducing articles to some of its categories, not as category descriptions but as separate features.

While not as large as Best of the Web of the Yahoo! Directory, which have several years on it, Aviva has been growing steadily, and I like what I see.

Aviva's submission fees are $49.95 per year or $149.95 for a permanent listing. Submitting a site to the Aviva Directory is an investment, but I have found it to be a worthwhile one. I receive direct traffic from the listings that I have in Aviva Directory, and I have every reason to believe that a listing in Aviva can improve a site's search engine positioning.

Although not a major item, I wish Aviva would include above and below the line features that could be used to separate different types of subcategories.

  • Visit the Aviva Directory.

JoeAnt

JoeAnt is one of the few active volunteer-driven directories left. Established in 2001, in response to the closure of the directory at Go.com, the directory (along with the current GoGuides directory) was initially made up of former Go Guides from Go.com.

JoeAnt is an attractive directory, organized well, with a reasonable amount of content. Submission costs are $39.99, as a one-time fee, or submitters are invited to apply to become a volunteer editor, adding their own site for free as long as they comply with the directory's guidelines. Of course, it would be rude for a new editor to add only their own sites, and it would be only fair to stick around and help build the directory.

I both like and dislike JoeAnt's rating system. I can appreciate that an editor has taken the time to rate listed sites but, at the same time, I am not sure that I can trust the opinions of others and, since sites are sorted according to these ratings, I may never see those that have been assigned only one star.

I wish JoeAnt didn't have third-party advertising banners on its internal pages, however.

  • Visit the JoeAnt directory.

Best of the Web

BOTW reminds me of what the Open Directory Project used to be. It has a lot of content, arranged through a solid taxonomy. I am not certain, but I believe that Best of the Web began with an ODP dump, but it has long since come into its own.

On the downside, as a webmaster with limited funds, the submission fees are stiff, costing $149.95 per year or $299.95 for a permanent listing. Although I have no doubt that there is value to having a listing in the Best of the Web directory, I couldn't afford to list very many of my sites there.

However, Best of the Web seems, to me, to be going in the wrong direction in some areas. Whereas the directory once included category descriptions, it no longer does, and it has discontinued a monthly article feature that it once had.

  • Visit the Best of the Web directory.

AbiLogic

One of the things that I like about the AbiLogic directory is that it doesn't look like a directory at first glance.

Although it didn't do so well in the formal review that I did of it in June of 2013, I like it. It is well organized, using a familiar taxonomy. Its submission guidelines, FAQ, and a page of newly added sites are easily found in tabs placed below the header. Listed sites include a thumbnail image, social media links, a direct link to the site from the category, as well as a details page. An active article directory is also included. However, I wish it had category descriptions.

Submission costs are reasonable, with three plans, ranging from $19.95, to $24.95, to $34.95, all one-time fees.

The directory does use sentence fragments, for the most part, rather than grammatically correct sentences in site descriptions. In many cases, a more complete description can be found on its detail pages, however.


Skaffe

For reasons that I am unsure of, I love the look of the Skaffe directory. Before Skaffe, I would never have imagined that so many colors could look so good together.

I dislike the fact that it uses sentence fragments in site descriptions, and that it has no category descriptions.

Skaffe's submission costs are $44.99, as a one-time fee. A very nice feature is that Skaffe accepts free submissions on weekends.


GoGuides

GoGuides is another directory that was formed as a result of the closure of the directory at Go.com. Both GoGuides and JoeAnt were created largely by former Go Guides. If I remember correctly, GoGuides initially had a volunteer program, but it has suspended this program.

GoGuides is also an attractive directory, one that is well organized and well maintained. Like JoeAnt, the GoGuides directory uses a ranking system to sort its listings, and the comments that I made regarding this policy of JoeAnt applies here as well.

The submission options for GoGuides include its Express option, for a one-time payment of $39.99, and its Easy Submit option, which costs $69.99, for which the directory staff will optionally complete most of the submission fields, such as the title, description, and keywords.

Another option, which I hadn't noticed before, is its membership program. For $19.95 a month for individuals, or $149.95 a month for companies, members can submit an unlimited number of sites to GoGuides. At this time, I have only one site listed with GoGuides, but I may take advantage of its membership program, since I own several sites, some of which I haven't been able to afford to promote effectively.

Like so many other directories, GoGuides uses sentence fragments rather than complete sentences in site descriptions, and has no category descriptions.


AMRAY

Although I have been around web directories for over a decade, and thought that I was familiar with every directory that was worth knowing, I don't recall having ever heard of the AMRAY directory until one of its staff joined our forum a year or so ago. If I had come across it previously, it didn't register with me.

AMRAY has been around since 2000, and has more content than my scanning program is able to handle without crashing.

It's a fairly attractive directory, including a main menu whose upper-level category names are symmetrical, all using two words combined with an ampersand. There are ads on its internal pages, but they are to other directories and businesses associated with AMRAY, such as its web hosting business.

Site listings are displayed in separate boxes, with a thumbnail image, a direct link to the listed site, and another link to a detail page, which, of course, includes another link to the site. Users are able to rate the site, or write a review, each of which would include a link. I am not sure how sites are sorted within the category, as they are not sorted alphabetically. Premium listings are displayed ahead of basic listings, of course.

Probably, I will like the AMRAY directory better the more familiar I become with it.

Basic listings may be submitted for free, and premium listings cost either $29 per year or a one-time fee of $39.

Things that I don't like about the AMRAY directory are, first of all, the damned noise that emanates from its index page. I am told that there is a way to shut it off but I haven't found it. I either have to quickly click into a subcategory or turn the sound down on m computer, which interferes with the movie that I am watching.

I also don't like the fact that, by policy, they don't accept subdomains, and that they require an email address that matches the submitted site; I own nearly a hundred domains and have no interest in having that many email addresses floating around.

I also don't like the fact that they insist that AMRAY has to be capitalized, as if it were an acronym, although I don't have a clue what the letters stand for.


Gimpsy

Although it confuses me sometimes, the thing that I like best about the Gimpsy directory is that it dares to be different. Gimpsy categorizes listed sites differently than other directories. While other directories arrange sites by subject, Gimpsy categorizes them according to the service that the site provides. For this reason, sites that are the most appropriate for Gimpsy are interactive sites; in other words, those on which a user can accomplish something.

Additionally, search results are randomly generated, changing each month, although the first entries in the search results are often featured sites.

One thing that I don't like about Gimpsy is that even its site suggestion policies can be confusing. After clicking on the "Suggest a Site" link, I am presented with its Premium Option, at a charge of $49. As no other options appear on that page, at first glance it may appear that this is the only option. However, there is a text link at the bottom that leads to another page that gives the other options. Sites may be submitted for free, although there is a warning about a long review time. A Standard promotion is $29, and then there is the Premium promotion at a cost of $49.

I have never submitted a site to Gimpsy because I haven't really figured it out yet, but I do like the idea that it's different. Maybe I hate it for the same reasons.


Okay, that's it. If I were to assemble a similar list again next month, it is quite possible that it would include some different directories, and almost certainly the order would change, for such is the nature of personal opinions. Probably tomorrow, I'll wake up and remember some fantastically wonderful directory that I forgot all about today.

Again, this is not a review. This is nothing more than an assembly of personal opinions, having about as much validity as you are willing to give it.

What's your opinion? Please let us know in the comment section below.
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