Aviva Directory

On April 19-20, 2013, I evaluated the Aviva Directory, using the criteria developed for the second quarter of reviews and, as a result of my review, I have rated the general web directory at 84%. As one of the top ten directories from my first quarter of reviews, the Aviva Directory will be competing with the other nine directories in the top ten, as well as ten other directories.

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Each quarter, I will be evaluating and rating twenty web directories. The top ten of these will compete with ten additional directories in the following quarter. During the first quarter of 2013, the Aviva Directory tied for number three among the twenty directories that were included in that quarter's assessments.

During the second quarter, I am using different assessment criteria, however. Until and unless I can come up with something that seems perfect to me, I will probably tweak the evaluation criteria after each quarter.

Also, when I am reviewing a directory that I had reviewed in a previous quarter, as much as possible, I will be trying to look at the directory anew, avoiding comparisons between my observations then and now. Later, I may find that there are contradictions between earlier and later observations, but such is the nature of a subjective evaluation.

First, the SEO stuff. Although, in the second quarter, I will be evaluating web directories from the perspective of a directory user rather than as a webmaster or search engine optimization professional, I will observe and note some of the SEO data.

The index page of the Aviva Directory has a Google PageRank of 5. I didn't check every category but, generally, its second-level categories have a PageRank of 4, and its third-level categories have a PageRank of 3, although I found some without PageRank. Most of the fourth-level categories that I looked at had no PageRank, but some of them had PageRank of 2. Google has indexed 16,300 of its pages.

The Aviva Directory has an Alexa Traffic Rank of 46,117. Its SEMRush Rank is 288,053 and its SEMRush Search Traffic is 967. Its MajesticSEO backlinks are 68,720,821. Its seoMoz domain authority is 69/100 and the page authority for its index page is 74/100.

Its main page has had 432 StumbleUpon stumbies, 9 Twitter tweets, and 3 Google +1 clicks.

Now, on to the evaluation, which will be from the perspective of a directory user.

Aesthetics - 18%

I like the look of the Aviva Directory. I have read reviews from people who felt that the colors were hard to read, but I don't have that problem with it. The banner is green, with subtle diagonal stripes. On the left side, the directory is identified as Directory Aviva, in white and black, respectively. Coming out in front of the right side of the banner is the Aviva girl, a Celtic-looking girl with her hair blowing in the wind, along with leaves and butterflies. Well, one butterfly, anyhow. The textual part of the directory is dark gray in color, sectioned by horizontal and vertical stripes of a lighter gray. The text is green and white on gray, which I find to be easy on the eyes.

To the immediate left of the Aviva girl, the text reads Aviva Directory Directory. I'm not sure why Directory is repeated, but that's a fairly minor matter. I don't think I even noticed it the first time I looked at it.

The top-level categories of the Aviva Directory are divided into two columns. In the first column are Arts & Literature, Business & Industry, Computers & Internet, Faith & Spirituality, Health & Well-Being, History & Genealogy, and Local & Global. The second column includes People & Daily Life, Politics and Government, Reference & News, Science & Technology, Shopping & eCommerce, Sports & Recreation, and Travel & Tourism.

I like the symmetry of the two words divided by an ampersand. Yes, I know; People & Daily Life are three words, but they are comparatively small words, so the symmetry is maintained.

Beneath the category menu are Additional Readings, which include some helpful texts, applicable not only to webmasters but others as well, along with some fun stuff.

Along the right margin are Readings, which include Best Web Directories, Directories Blog, 21 Surefire Tips for a Successful Blog Launch, 99 Tips to (Cheaply) Brand a Start-up, Top 25 Web 2.0 Apps to Grow Your Business, 12 Important U.S. Laws Every Blogger Needs to Know, and 10 U.S. Laws Every Domainer Needs to Know.

The footer links to testimonials, submission guidelines, its privacy policy, terms, an about page, and its separate blog directory, which is setup much like the main directory.

Everything fits nicely onto one screen. I like it.

Content - 16%

The Aviva Directory does not have as much content as the Open Directory Project or Best of the Web, but it does have a reasonable amount of content, and the majority of it appears to be potentially useful. When I began my assessment, I began scanning the directory using Scrutiny software and, while it is still not through scanning the entire directory, it has located 112,719 outgoing links thus far, with relatively few bad links.

Intuitiveness - 18%

The taxonomy of the Aviva Directory is unique, as far as I can determine, and it makes sense. Its top-level categories and the category trees appear to have been well thought out, and not copied from other directories. The use of an ampersand rather than the conjunction is used throughout its category structure. There is some use of @links, the subcategories that I've looked at are clear and intuitive, and sites are placed in the appropriate categories.

Quality - 15%

In reviewing the Aviva Directory's listings, I can see that there are different editor styles in play, or perhaps a change in editorial style that hasn't made its way into all of its listings yet.

With few exceptions, the directory uses titles that reflect the actual titles of the listed sites, although I am seeing some that use the domain name as a title. In some cases, this may be because the site itself uses the domain name as the title of the site, but in other cases, there is a clear title on the site that is not being used for the listing. The vast majority of the titles that I have looked at are fine, however.

I am seeing quite a few skimpy descriptions, using sentence fragments rather than full sentences, but there are at least as many descriptions that do use full sentences and appropriate, descriptive keywords.

It is clear that submitted sites are subjected to editorial review, as I am seeing very few listings with promotional language, and sites are listed in appropriate categories.

Usefulness - 15%

The Aviva Directory's categories have descriptions that are explanatory, not only of what sorts of listings might be appropriate for the category, but they often provide useful information about the category topics as well. They generally consist of only three or four lines of text, but they are more helpful than many of the other notable directories.

Browsing the categories and subcategories of the Aviva Directory, it is clear that the majority of its listings have been added by its editorial staff, or that it has received some good quality submissions, as each of the many categories that I have looked at have featured useful content.

The Aviva Directory includes several useful texts and tools for webmasters, as well as a well developed blog directory, which is hosted as a subdomain of the main directory, and accessible through a link along the directory's footer. The blog directory's top-level categories almost, but don't quite, mirror the main directory. The blog directory separates the Computers & Internet category seen in the main directory into Computers & Computing and Internet & Online, and it does not include a Shopping & eCommerce category, thus retaining the same two-column menu with seven categories in each category that we see in the main directory.

The directory includes its own blog, which isn't updated often but does have an entry as recent as April 4, 2013, just over two weeks ago.

One thing that I don't like about the Aviva Directory is that its in-site search is not particularly helpful. If I enter a search phrase, whether or not I enclose the phrase in quotation marks, the search results include every category and site title or description that contains any of the words in the phrase, and it does so without giving preference to those that contain the entire phrase. For example, on a search for "Mac computer," the first page of results includes the City of Bedford, Texas, because its site description uses the phrase "computer recycling," as well as Cambridgeport School, because it has a "computer lab".

Extra Credit - 2%

The Aviva Directory includes a large amount of textual content, all of which appears to be unique content, and much of which is either useful or entertaining.

Overall Rating - 84%

As a result of my evaluation of the Aviva Directory on April 19th and 20th, 2013, I am rating it at 84%.

Comments


Established in 2005, the Aviva Directory is not as old as some of the other well rated directories, but it is certainly on the right track. If the Aviva Directory continues to add good quality sites to its listings, to improve upon the quality of its site descriptions, and maybe replace its search with one that will yield better results on searches, it will continue to be a contender.

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