Aviva Directory

On February 28, 2014, the Aviva Directory was reviewed for Web Directory Reviews Org.

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This will be the fifth time that Aviva Directory has been evaluated for Web Directory Reviews Org. The top ten directories from one quarter are reevaluated in the following quarter, competing against one another, as well as ten additional directories.

Aviva Directory was among the first twenty directories that I evaluated in the first quarter of 2013, and it has been in the top ten each quarter. It was number four in the first quarter, number one in the second and third, and number two in the fourth quarter. Aviva Directory was established in 2005.

Submissions to the directory are fee-based, at $49.95 per year or a one-time payment of $149.95. Up to five hundred characters are allowed for a site description. Inside pages may also be submitted. Outgoing links to listed sites are offered directly from the category page.

The index page of Aviva Directory has a Google PageRank of five, unaffected by a recent update that lowered the rank of several other directories. The PageRank of the second-level categories that I have looked at have ranged from two to five, third-level categories from zero to three, and I've come across some fourth-level categories with a PageRank of two.

The Moz Domain Authority for Aviva Directory is 63/100, while the Page Authority of its index page is 69/100. Its Alexa Traffic Rank is 11,656.

Aviva Directory has had 432 StumbleUpon stumbies, twenty-four Twitter tweets, four Facebook likes, and three Google+ clicks.

Web Directory Reviews Org ratings are not based on the qualities of a directory for search engine optimization, but from the perspective of a potential web directory user. In doing so, each directory is evaluated in five general areas: aesthetics (10%), content (25%), intuitiveness (20%), quality (20%), and usefulness (25%). I strongly believe that a web directory that meets the needs of its users will be valuable for search engine optimization as well.

Aesthetics - 9/10

Aviva Directory is an attractive directory. While retaining the general look and feel of its design, its has been updated considerably since my last review, including a new "Aviva Girl."

A few months ago, Aviva Directory began adding articles to some of its categories, to complement the trivia articles that it has long featured, although they weren't so easy to find before. Now, above the directory's main menu, four of its articles are highlighted, changing each time the page is refreshed.

Additionally, its regional tree, blog directory, and resource readings are featured to the right of the main menu.

Not only do these additions highlight some of Aviva's extra content, but it adds some attractive content to the directory's index page.

Other than that, its main menu hasn't changed. Each of its top-level category names consist of two words joined by an ampersand, which makes for a nice symmetrical appearance.

Its main menu, as well as its subcategory menus, are arranged in two columns. Although the directory does not utilize above or below the line features, @links are used sparingly.

No third-party advertising is in evidence.

Content - 16/25

Aviva Directory is not one of the larger directories in our top ten. Scrutiny found 136,072 links when I scanned the directory a few days ago, which does not include its blog directory. By way of comparison, some of the other directories in our top ten topped out at 400,000 links, which is the maximum number that I have it set to scan. Very few bad links were flagged by Scrutiny.

Within the English speaking countries, its regional tree is fairly well built out in most areas, and I found no empty categories anywhere in the directory.

Intuitiveness - 17/20

Aviva Directory's taxonomy is unique, which is to say that it hasn't been borrowed from any other directory, and it is intuitive. Category name choices and placement are such that anyone should be able to find what they are looking for without difficulty. The directory uses @links, although they are used sparingly.

Listed sites are displayed alphabetically, whether they are paid listings or ones that have been added to the directory by its editors. I haven't come across any sites that were misplaced.

Quality - 18/20

From the types, and quality of sites listed in Aviva Directory, it is clear that the majority of them have been added by its editors. There is a mixture of sites using sentence fragments and those using grammatically correct sentences. While some of its site listings are on the skimpy side, most are not, many are very good, and I didn't find any that I would call bad. I haven't come across any that contain promotional language, misspellings, or poor grammar, except as noted above.

With few exceptions, titles represent the actual title of the site, and the exceptions tend to be acronyms or, in rare cases, domain names that are found in that are found in the title field.

Every category has a description and, while there are some short ones, Aviva's editorial staff are enhancing the directory's site descriptions, which is particularly apparent in the first couple of tiers of its taxonomy, and in its regional tree.

There are not very many bad links, as identified by Scrutiny, and none that I came across while visiting its categories and subcategories. The directory's server withstood a full scan from Scrutiny without trouble.

Usefulness - 20/25

While not as large as some of the other directories in our top ten, Aviva Directory contains sufficient content to be useful, and this is further aided by an effective taxonomy, clear category and site descriptions, and good site placement. Its in-site search returns both categories and site listings whose descriptions correspond to the search term or phrase, although it performs better on single words than phrases.

The fact that Aviva Directory does not offer preferred placement for those who are willing to pay more makes the directory more useful to directory users, as sites are listed alphabetically rather than according to the amount of money that site owner is willing to pay.

Some of its categories have a large number of listed sites. Some directories will opt to automatically create additional pages when a set number of listings are added to any one category, but Aviva Directory lists them all on one page. While there are pros and cons to either solution, I think that directory users would be more likely to scroll to the bottom of a page of a hundred sites than to page through ten pages of sites that are listed ten per page.

Extra Content - 3

As I mentioned earlier, the directory now includes articles in several of its categories, which point to internal pages of the directory. As examples, see the directory's Industrial Revolution and Hutterite categories. Additional articles are included as blog entries.

Additionally, Aviva features a variety of webmaster or SEO resources, including a select list of web directories, assorted by Moz Domain Authority, a list of color-related sites, and tips on buying and selling domains.

The Aviva Blog Directory resides on a subdomain, separate from its main directory. Currently, submissions to the blog directory are free.

Aviva's affiliate program pays $20 for successful referrals.

Overall Rating - 83%

On the basis of my evaluation of Aviva Directory on February 28, 2014, I have rated it at eighty-three percent.

Comments

While I try very hard to be fair in my evaluations, it should be understood that each of my assessments are a matter of personal opinion. Quite frankly, I am more comfortable with some directories than I am with others, and this may be reflected in my reviews.

For example, I am comfortable with Best of the Web because its directory structure closely follows the Open Directory Project, and I was an ODP meta editor for many years. My policy of carrying the top ten directories from one quarter into the following quarter of assessments inevitably means that I will become increasingly comfortable with directories that I have reviewed several times, as is the case with Aviva Directory and others.

In response to this, I often question whether I find a directory to be intuitive simply because I am personally familiar with its structure, or whether it truly does have an intuitive taxonomy. I especially like its long category and site descriptions,

As directories go, the Aviva Directory is not one of the oldest ones. It's not one of the largest either, but it's large enough to be useful and it is arranged in such a way that people can find what they are looking for. I like the Aviva Directory, and I think you will too.

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