AMRAY

On February 25 and 26, 2014, the AMRAY web directory was reviewed for Web Directory Reviews Org.

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This is our second review of the AMRAY web directory. In the fourth quarter of 2013, it was number five in our top ten listings. Web Directory Reviews Org evaluated twenty web directories each quarter, ten of them being the top ten directories from the previous quarter.

The Google PageRank of AMRAY's index page is four, and its second-level pages have a PageRank of three, while the third-level pages that I looked at didn't have PageRank. Its Moz Domain Authority is 54/100, and its Page Authority is 62/100. Its Alexa Traffic Rank is 19,627.

AMRAY has had twenty Google+ clicks, seven Twitter tweets, eight Facebook likes, and seventy-six StumbleUpon stumbies.

The AMRAY directory accepts free submissions, although its submission guidelines warn of review times in excess of ninety days. Premium listings are $29 a year or $39 for permanent inclusion. Premium listings are placed above regular listings. AMRAY accepts only top-level pages, and the email address used in the submission must match the domain being submitted. Fifteen to twenty words are allowed for a site descriptions.

Curiously, while I was reviewing the directory's submission guidelines, my IP was banned from using the site, "due to excessive submissions or other abusive actions."

I'm not sure what these actions would be, since it has been well over thirty days since I last submitted a site to the AMRAY directory, and I believe that was a paid submission.

Our ratings are based on our evaluations of the directory in five general areas, viewed from the perspective of a directory user rather than a site submitter. These areas are aesthetics (10%), content (25%), intuitiveness (20%), quality (20%), and usefulness (25%).

Aesthetics - 7/10

The orientation of AMRAY's index page is horizontal, with its header spanning the entire screen horizontally, while its main menu consists of fifteen top-level categories arranged in three columns of five each. All but one of its top-level categories consist of two words separated by an ampersand, and the one exception is a two word category, so its main menu has a symmetrical appearance. A map watermark appears behind the main menu. No scrolling is required in order to view AMRAY's index page.

Between the header and the search bar, with a blue background, are a number of navigational items, including a bullet list of webmaster tools and other features, followed by a photo, a music video, an ad for the AMRAY Web TV Directory, and a globe showing the locations of people who have accessed the AMRAY directory.

I personally find the music video to be annoying, particularly since I can find no obvious way to shut it off other than to lower the volume on my computer. As I am watching a movie on another monitor while I work, in fact, I am reviewing the index page of AMRAY from a screen shot. Otherwise, I jump past the index page to a subpage.

The AMRAY web directory makes an attractive presentation, including its internal pages. The right sidebar of the directory's internal pages include three advertising blocks, although they advertise AMRAY's web hosting plans, as well as another directory which is, I believe, a part of the AMRAY network. There is also a banner ad for AMRAY's web hosting plan at the bottom of its internal pages.

Each of AMRAY's site listings are set apart in its own block, with a thumbnail image of the site displayed to the left of the listing.

Content - 25/25

Content refers to the number of listings that are included in a web directory. In order to get a general idea of how many listings a site has, I use either Scrutiny or Integrity, both programs that will scan a domain and determine the number of links that it contains, flagging those that are bad, and giving the reasons why they were considered to be bad links.

Neither of these programs will give a precise number, however. For one thing, they don't differentiate between outgoing directory links and internal links. Plus, some of the links that it may flag as being bad are timeouts or other errors that do not necessarily represent a bad link.

However, since I can't page through ever category counting up the number of outgoing links individually, these programs give me a ballpark figure that I can use for the sake of comparison.

I limit the number of links that I scan to 400,000, as it takes far too long to scan beyond that point, and I risk a crash. The AMRAY web directory topped out at 400,000 and, out of that many links, it flagged only 3,084 as being bad links, not all of which are outgoing directory links.

The bottom line is that AMRAY is a large directory. Given its size, it has a rather shallow directory structure, but I'll speak further about that under the intuitiveness category.

Intuitiveness - 13/20

AMRAY's taxonomy is unique, and its category name choices are reasonable. Directory users should have little difficulty finding their way around the directory. There are no @links or related links, but its category structure is not particularly deep, so the need for these features is negligible.

There are some Miscellaneous categories, which tend to be catch-alls or temporary holding places for sites until appropriate topical categories can be found or created for them, but I've been tempted to create similar categories myself.

The AMRAY web directory does not have a regional tree. There is a top-level People & Places category, which houses regionally oriented content, although it goes about it differently than a regional category would, categorizing them topically rather than geographically.

For example, if I were looking for a hotel in a particular place, in a general directory I'd be able to browse to the category representing that place and look for a subcategory for hotels. The AMRAY directory includes a category for Hotels & Motels, as a subcategory of its People & Places category, with thirteen pages of hotels and motels from all over the world. Within its Arts & Entertainment tree, a subcategory for Museums & Galleries features nine pages of museums and galleries from all over the world.

AMRAY's directory structure is not very deep, and some of its categories could benefit from subcategorization. Some of its categories have as many as thirty-two pages of site listings, and that's not particularly helpful when it comes to finding something in particular.

As I mentioned in my last review, category descriptions would be helpful, as they can inform directory users and submitters alike, as well as adding content to the directory.

Quality - 15/20

The AMRAY web directory has published submission guidelines that it generally adheres to, both for paid submissions and editor-added site listings. Although I disagree with some of the directory's standards, most of its listings do comply with them.

There are always exceptions, however, and below are a few examples:

Hotel Lory,Garda Lake,Gardasee,Italy
little hotel,swimming-pool,parking,garden,rooms with bath..800m from see

Howie Mandel
Welcome to The Official Howie Mandel Website!

Lowest prices on supplements or it's FREE!
S4S in a Canadian based supplement company, offering the lowest prices on quality supplements!

These may be sites that were added many years ago, or they might have just slipped in while someone wasn't paying attention, but examples of poor quality can be found in pretty much every directory. Overall, the AMRAY directory does a pretty good job of enforcing its standards. They do use sentence fragments rather than grammatically correct sentences, which I prefer, and which I believe will be necessary if web directories are to remain relevant in the future.

According to my scan of the directory, AMRAY has a relatively low number of bad links. Additionally, its in-site search works well.

Usefulness - 15/25

The AMRAY directory has sufficient content to be useful, but many of these listings are buried within several pages of listings in categories that would be well served with further subcategorization. Directory users, like those using a search engine, are unlikely to look beyond the first couple of pages in a category, so sites listed on page thirty are unlikely to be found. The directory's in-site search works well so perhaps they can be found on a site search.

Extra Content - 2

Sites listed in the AMRAY web directory may be accessed through a direct link in the category page or from its details page. As descriptions are truncated within the category, the full description is included in the details page, along with various SEO metrics, such as its Google PageRank, the number of Google back links, and the number of pages of the site indexed in Google, as well as Alexa data.

Directory users are able to rate or review listed sites, or report dead links. Additionally, AMRAY includes a number of webmaster tools and other resources,

Overall Rating - 78%

Based on my assessment of the AMRAY web directory on February 25th and 26th, 2014, I have given it a rating of seventy-eight percent.

Comments

The AMRAY web directory is one of the largest directories on the Internet. It first shows up as a web directory in the Internet Archive on December 4, 2000, which makes it one of the oldest as well.

I disagree with its use of sentence fragment rather than grammatically correct sentences, and that is reflected in the score that I gave the directory in the quality area. However, AMRAY does adhere to its own standards fairly well.

Further categorization would be helpful, as multiple pages of site listings are not friendly to directory users, and category descriptions would be a huge plus.

Nevertheless, the AMRAY web directory is one of the better directories.

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