Aviva Directory

On January 31, 2013, I reviewed the Aviva Directory. The web directory scored sixty-eight out of a possible one hundred points.
Web Directory Review of: Aviva Directory

Established in 2005, the Aviva Directory is one of the newer of the more reputable web directories, and one of the more attractive.

Aesthetics - 5/5

The aesthetics of the Aviva Directory are, to my opinion, one of the more pleasing of the directories I have seen, incorporating elements of contemporary and retroactive design. The colors blend well, offering just enough contrast to be quite readable.

I believe that the Aviva Directory is powered by PHP Link Directory software, as it is highlighted on the phpLD web site, although it does not appear to be using a standard template.

All of its top-level categories, save Shopping, are compounds, separated by an ampersand and, for some reason, that looks very nice.

Taxonomy - 9/10

While the Aviva Directory includes many of the usual subject categories, the arrangement is unique, so obviously not a copy of the Open Directory Project, which is the case with so many others.

Its top-level categories are Arts & Literature, Business & Industry, Computers & Internet, Faith & Spirituality, Health & Well-Being, History & Genealogy, Local & Global, People & Daily Life, Politics & Government, Reference & News, Science & Technology, Shopping, Sports & Recreation, and Travel & Tourism.

Clearly, a good amount of thought went into creating the taxonomy of the Aviva Directory, as it is well developed and unlike any other directory I am aware of.

There is a limited use of @links but they are in place where they need to be.

Quality Control - 9/10

Browsing through the Aviva Directory, I clicked into many of its categories and subcategories, looking at site titles and descriptions and, overall, they look pretty good.

Differing editor styles are obviously in play, and some descriptions are a bit on the skimpy side, but most are informative.

I found no spam or obviously key worded descriptions. Most site listings employed the use of full sentences rather than the sentence fragments that are found in many other directories, and that was refreshing.

I didn't notice any site listings that were obviously out of place, and there is depth to the majority of its categories.

On a whole, I would say that the Aviva Directory does better than most of the web directories I am familiar with.

Maintenance - 7/10

I clicked on many of the links in the Aviva Directory and found no dead ones. I found one whose content had apparently changed since the site was first listed, but that can be a pretty tough thing to monitor.

I found no empty categories. Although there were some that had only one or two listed sites, that's not a major problem either.

Some categories were more fleshed out than others. In its Local & Global section, for example, the United States and Canada are far more developed than are its categories for other parts of the world. In many cases, given that the Aviva Directory is an English-language directory, this cannot be helped, but some U.S. states and Canadian provinces are more fleshed out than others.

On the other hand, some of the directory's Local & Global categories outside of North America are very well developed, most notably the English language nations, as might be expected. England and the Channel Islands, for example, are very well developed categories, as is the Australian continent.

Google Page Rank - 6/10

The main page of the Aviva Directory has a Google Page Rank of 5. Second-level categories have a GPR of 4, and most third-level categories have a GPR of 3. Its page rank seems to be lost at the fourth level, however.

Using established criteria, I am adding one point to the directory's main page rank of five, given that it retains page rank in many of its internal pages.

Alexa Traffic Rank - 3/5

The Aviva Directory has an Alexa Traffic Rank of 45,175.

SEO Ranking - 2/5

The Aviva Directory's SEMRush Rank is 310,735, SEMRush Search Traffic - 1,013, MajesticSEO - 68,740,413. It has 34,400 pages indexed in Google, and 210 back links shown in Google.

The Aviva Directory does not show up in the first ten pages of either the Bing, Google or Yahoo results on a search of "web directory".

Directory Content 8/10

The Aviva Directory has an impressive number of web site listings. The fact that there are no options for adding sites to the directory for free suggests that the Aviva Directory has an active staff of editors seeding categories, and adding useful content.

Additionally, the Aviva Directory includes a blog directory, which is also fairly well fleshed out.

SEO Content - 2/5

Many of the Aviva Directory's category descriptions are reasonably lengthy and well thought out, rather than borrowed from Wikipedia. Searches on fragments of its category descriptions will show that they are both unique and spidered by Google.

Apart from its category descriptions and site listings, the Aviva Directory includes informational topics on a variety of issues relating to web site management, blogging, and business, as well as other subjects.

There is also a blog, but that does not appear to have been updated recently.

I would like to see articles on some of the topics represented in its site listings, with links to applicable subcategories of the directory, as this might serve to encourage page rank to seep further into the directory's category structure.

Added on March 30, 2013: Actually, the Aviva Directory has a rich content area entitled "Trivia and Fun Facts." As it isn't linked to from the front page, I hadn't seen it when I did my review. I just came across it a moment ago when I was looking at some of the keywords that the Aviva Directory ranks for. Had I seen it before announcing the Top Ten list, I would have added a couple of points to this area. The trivia area can be found here.

Cost for Review - 4/10

The Aviva Directory offers permanent and annual listing options. The cost for an annual listing is $49.95 per year, while a permanent listing costs $149.95.

The Aviva Directory does permit the listing of internal pages of a web site, and its criteria for listing is well defined.

Web site placement and description is at the sole discretion of the directory, which largely accounts for the good quality of its site descriptions and site placement.

The character limit on site descriptions is 500 characters, which seems reasonable.

I own nearly a hundred domains so I am pretty cheap when it comes to paid submissions. I do have a couple of sites listed in the Aviva Directory, and have been pleased with the results.

Reputable Practices - 10/10

The costs for web site listing and placement are well defined, and I see no suggestion of misrepresentation.

Extra Credit - 3/10

The Aviva Directory has an affiliate program that pays $20 for each referral that results in a paid submission to the directory. Once I have reviewed a sufficient number of web directories to have determined a top ten, I may avail myself of this if the Aviva Directory is in the top ten, as I expect it will be. I would not refer someone to a web directory unless I believed that it was a good deal.

Overall Rating 68/100

The Aviva Directory scored 67 out of a possible 100 points.


In 2007, the Aviva Directory was one of several which were banned from Google results for a time. I am not familiar with the details of this, but I do know that the directory owner, Jeff Behrendt, was able to work it out with Google. My understanding is that, as a start-up, barely two years old, the Aviva Directory was caught up in an automated purge of trashy web directory schemes, so it was simply a matter of persuading the folks at Google that the Aviva Directory was not one of them, as it surely isn't.

Nevertheless, the Aviva Directory has moved on from that, and no reasonable person or bot would mistake it for a trashy directory today. I mention the incident only because discussions of the ban can still be found on the Internet.

I have listed sites with the Aviva Directory, and have received traffic from them directly and have no doubt that my listings in that directory have assisted their position in the SERPs. I have had sites show up in Google's index after listing them with the Aviva Directory and even before I had entered them into Google Webmaster Tools

The Aviva Directory of today is one of the better ones, I believe. Although I have only reviewed two thus far, I have been browsing web directories for years and am fairly familiar with the big players, and many of the others as well.

A score of sixty-eight out a hundred may not look impressive, and I may have to reevaluate my assessment criteria after the first round of reviews, but I want to ensure that the first reviews will examine each of the directories using the same criteria, as that is the only way that a fair comparison can be made. While I was teaching school, I wouldn't have considered a score of 68 to be a passing score, but if none of my students achieved a passing score, I would reevaluate my assessment criteria. But I wouldn't evaluate some of my students using one assessment criteria, while using another for the remainder of my students.

When everything is said and done, despite the rating, I believe that the Aviva Directory will prove itself to be one of the better ones.


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