Authority Directory

On the basis of my evaluation on Friday, October 18, 2013, I have rated the Authority Directory at seventy-two percent.


During the last quarter, the Authority Directory made it into our top ten, on the basis of our review of August 2, 2013, holding the number 9 spot. Each quarter, Web Directory Reviews Org evaluates and rates twenty web directories, ten of them being the top ten from the previous quarter.

Established in 2007, the Authority Directory is a relative newcomer to the web directory industry, yet it has grown to be one of the larger directories.

The Google PageRank of the Authority Directory's index page is fluctuating between three and four today, although it most often is a four. The second-level categories that I checked had a PageRank of two, and its third-level categories range from zero to two. Its Domain Authority, as determined by Moz, is 51/100. The Alexa Traffic Rank is 159,917, and its SEMRush Rank is 2,332,521.

The Authority Directory has had 44 StumbleUpon stumbies, two Twitter tweets, and one Google + click. No Facebook likes are recorded.

Submissions to the directory appear to be fee-based, with options for annual or one-time payments. Regular listings are $10 per year or a one-time payment of $25, while featured listings are $20 annually or $50 as a one-time payment. Up to five hundred characters are permitted for a site description.

For the purpose of evaluation, the aspects of the directory that we'll be looking at are aesthetics (10%), content (25%), intuitiveness (20%), quality (20%), and usefulness (25%), some of which will overlap.

Aesthetics 6/10

The Authority Directory is using the same theme and color scheme that was in place when I reviewed it in August. Using blue and black text on an off-white, smokey background, the general appearance of the directory is pleasant enough, and certainly readable.

The main category menu fits easily on one screen, while horizontal scrolling is necessary for other features, such as new articles, popular categories, and a news feed.

Its top-menu category names are asymmetric, employing a mixture one, two and three words, and the first three subcategories beneath each upper-level category are displayed, as well. As these are of varying widths, some of them wrap to a second line, adding to the asymmetry.

No third-party advertising is in evidence. Its web listing pages are nicely put together, with each listing inside of its own box, and featured categories designated by a ribbon.

Content - 20/25

My Scrutiny scan program was allowed to run its course. As it take several hours, this quarter I have decided to limit it to 200,000 links, at which time I will consider that the directory has a sufficiently large number of links to be considered a top tier directory. Scrutiny does not differentiate between outgoing directory links and internal navigation links, and when extraneous content, such as blogs, are present, it will count these links as well, so it cannot necessarily be assumed that directories that top out at 200,000 have that number of outgoing directory links. Conversely, a directory that tops out at my preset limit may have well over 200,000 outgoing directory links. Depending on how many directories reach that limit this quarter, I may increase it next year. The Authority Directory did top out at 200,000 links.

Topping out at 200,000 doesn't necessarily translate to a full twenty-five percent on this criteria item, as I will also page through some of the categories and subcategories in order to see that the content is evenly distributed. For example, the Authority Directory has several subcategories established within its regional tree, but very few sites listed in regional. There are several empty categories in the regional tree, but that's a matter that I'll address in the quality and usefulness areas.

Intuitiveness - 15/20

Few should have any trouble browsing the Authority Directory's categories and subcategories, as they are easy enough to figure out. Category descriptions would be a large improvement in the directory. Unique and well written category descriptions can serve to aid submitters in finding the most appropriate category to submit their site to, and they can also provide additional information on topics that directory users might browse. Additionally, they provide spiderable textual content.

No @links, related links, or above the line technologies are in place.

Quality - 17/20

The Authority Directory employs a mixture of full sentences and sentence fragments in its site descriptions. As I have mentioned several times before, it is my conviction that web directories need to move away from standards calling for minimal textual content toward providing more content, both in category descriptions, site descriptions, and perhaps extraneous material.

However, I do understand that the use of minimal text and sentence fragments were once the standard in web directories, and I can appreciate that replacing two hundred thousand site descriptions would be a formidable project. Still, I strongly encourage directory operators to consider the advantages of adding textual content to their directories.

Although most of the site descriptions that I have come across employ sentence fragments, it is clear that the directory makes good use of them. Site descriptions are minimal, yet reasonably descriptive, and I am not seeing any promotional language or misspellings.

Unlike last August, when I was unable to complete a full scan of the Authority Directory using Scrutiny, I had no trouble with it this time. Of the two hundred thousand links that Scrutiny checked, it found 3,962 that it identified as bad. Of these, at least three-fourths of them were to and other non directory listings, and some were timeouts that may not be truly representative of a bad link.

Overall, it is clear that the Authority Directory has established an editorial standard, which it enforces on sites that are submitted to the directory. It is also clear that the directory editors have added much of its content to the directory. For these reasons, I will give the Authority a higher quality rating than I would ordinarily give to a directory that uses sentence fragments in lieu of complete, grammatically correct sentences.

Usefulness - 14/25

With the exception of its regional tree, the Authority Directory has enough content to be a resource to directory users. However, its lack of category descriptions and use of sentence fragments detract from its usefulness.

The Authority Directory includes an article directory, a blog, and a news section. However, the last article published was on February 11, 2013, the news section hasn't been updated since April 21, 2013, and the last blog entry was on January 19, 2009.

Overall Rating - 72%

On the basis of my evaluation on Friday, October 18, 2013, I have rated the Authority Directory at seventy-two percent.


The three most significant improvements that could be made to the Authority Directory are, in the order of importance:

1. Substantially more content in its regional tree.
2. Category descriptions
3. Employ the use of full, grammatically correct sentences in site descriptions, even if they were used only in new submissions.


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