Authority Directory

Based on an assessment that was completed on August 2, 2013, the Authority Directory has been rated at 71%.

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During our Third Quarter of web directory reviews, I will be using a criteria that is essentially the same as that used in the Second Quarter, except that the values have been tweaked.

I'll be looking at the same five criteria items: Aesthetics, Content, Intuitiveness, Quality, and Usefulness. However, rather than awarding up to twenty percentage points for each of these, as was done in the Second Quarter, they will be assigned as follows:

Aesthetics - 10%
Content - 25%
Intuitiveness - 20%
Quality - 20%
Usefulness - 25%

The general look and feel of a directory is important in that someone is unlikely to look further if the directory is filled with advertising or if the design is such that the words are difficult to read, but the aesthetics of a directory are not as important as its content, intuitiveness, quality or usefulness.

Quality and intuitiveness are every bit as important as content and usefulness, I think, but there is a lot of room for overlapping in some of these criteria areas, and qualities that stem from the intuitiveness or quality of a directory will also be reflected in the usefulness of the directory.

Today, we'll be looking at the Authority Directory. This is one that I am somewhat familiar with, as I have some sites listed there, but it has never been the subject of a review on Web Directory Reviews Org before.

Established in 2007, the Authority Directory first shows up in the Internet Archive on August 30, 2007

Before we get to the actual review, let's look at some other stuff that might be important to site owners.

The index page of the Authority Directory has a Google PageRank of 4. Generally, its second-level categories have a PageRank of 2, and its third-level categories have a PageRank of 1. Approximately 133,000 of its pages have been indexed by Google. Its Alexa Traffic Rank is 168,659. The SEMRush Rank is 4,317,957, and the SEMRush Search Traffic is 4. The MajesticSEO number is 9,325,063. Authority has had 44 StumbleUpon stumbles, 6 Twitter tweets, and 6 Google +1 clicks.

I use a program called Scrutiny that will check every link on a website or directory, telling me how many links they are, listing them, and reporting the number of bad links, as well as just what it is that makes them bad. However, I have found that Scrutiny is very aggressive, and that it has slowed some servers down almost to a stop; as a result, some directories are set to ban such aggressive behavior, causing me to have to complete a couple of reviews through a proxy. Scrutiny is sometimes seen as a DOS attack, I fear. As a result, I will be running Scrutiny on a directory for only about fifteen minutes, which will give me an idea of the percentage of bad links to good.

As a result of my check of the Authority Directory, Scrutiny had checked approximately 11,000 links and found only seven bad ones. Only one of them was a 404 error, and that was in a blog entry, rather than the directory itself. Another was deemed bad because of too many HTTP redirects, and the remaining five had timed out, which are not necessarily bad links. This suggests to me that the folks at Authority are using an automated program of their own, which has resulted in a very clean directory, as far as bad links go. This will reflect in the quality of the directory, but I thought I'd mention it here as well.

Unfortunately, just as I was about to begin my evaluation of the Authority Directory, I lost access to it. At first, I thought that my IP had been banned because I had run Scrutiny on it, but I couldn't access it through a proxy either. Except for the fact that I was able to access it after I had stopped Scrutiny, I would worry that I had crashed its server. I did that once, to another directory, but that was when I was trying to do a full scan. I will say, however, that I have run Scrutiny on some very large sites of my own, and they didn't crash or even slow down noticeably.

That doesn't seem to be the case here. I don't grade a directory down because it becomes inaccessible because that is not necessarily something that can be controlled on the directory side. A network error anywhere between my point of access to the Internet and that directory's server could result in such a problem. I'll just do something else for a while, and come back to it. If it continues, I'll check it from another IP.

A few hours later, during which time I reviewed the Gimpsy directory, the Authority Directory is working again, so we'll continue.

Aesthetics - 6/10

The Authority Directory uses a simple, but effective, color scheme, using blue and black text on an off-white, probably WhiteSmoke background, which is easy on the eyes but not spectacular.

The index page includes a comfortable amount of white space. While the screen scrolls vertically for new articles, popular categories, and world news, the entire main menu fits onto the screen.

The directory's top-level categories are mixture of one, two, and three words. Additionally, the directory lists the first three subcategories beneath each top-level categories and, being of varying lengths, some of them take up two lines, while most require only one. This lack of symmetry isn't a major matter, but it is noticeable.

There are no advertising blocks to distract from the directory.

Content - 18/25

The Authority Directory has a fair amount of content in many of its categories, but others are sparse, and at least a few are empty. Its Regional categories, in particular, could use a lot of building up. On the other hand, some of its topical categories are well endowed.

Intuitiveness - 15/20

The taxonomy of the Authority Directory is easy enough to follow, although it does not employ such niceties as @links or over and above the line technology.

Category descriptions would be helpful. Apart from adding useful textual content to provide balance to outgoing links, category descriptions that are well researched and written can add much to a category and to the intuitiveness of a directory.

Nevertheless, the directory is intuitive. Besides, it uses a Google-based search feature that returns results matching site descriptions within the search field itself, which is fairly impressive.

Quality - 17/20

The Authority Directory uses a mixture of full sentences and sentence fragments on site descriptions. Whether this is a result of an improvement in its editorial policies or of various editor styles, many of its descriptions are very good, while I haven't found any that were very bad. Even the sentence fragments that I've found are reasonably descriptive of the site.

I have submitted a few sites to the directory and, in the cases where my submitted description was changed, it was improved by Authority Directory editors.

I have come across a few titles that were representative of the domain name but, in each case, that is what was used as the title of the site itself, so that is, in my mind, an acceptable practice.

Prior to losing my connection to the Authority Directory earlier, I had run a fifteen-minute assessment using Scrutiny and, while this was not a complete review, it showed a very low percentage of bad links.

Usefulness - 15/25

The one most significant step that the Authority Directory could take to make its directory more of a resource to directory users would be to add more content, particularly within its Regional tree.

Category descriptions would also be helpful, particularly if they were researched, well written, and unique. When a user is sufficiently interested in a topic to browse its category tree, then it would good provide some information about that topic apart from the outgoing links.

Apart from its directory links, the Authority Directory includes an article directory, a news section, and a blog; however, the most recent article was added on February 11, 2013, the news section hasn't been updated since April 11, and the last blog entry was in January of 2011.

Overall Rating - 71%

Based on an assessment that was completed on August 2, 2013, the Authority Directory has been rated at 71%.

Comments

There are thousands of web directories on the Internet, and only a small percentage of them are worthwhile. Whether or not it makes it onto our top ten this quarter, the Authority Directory is among these.

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