Aviva Directory

The Aviva Directory was reviewed for Web Directory Reviews Org on Sunday, August 31 and Monday, September 1, 2014.

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The Aviva Directory is one of six directories that have been in my top ten each quarter since I first began reviewing web directories for Web Directory Reviews Org in January of 2013, although a couple of others (AMRAY and DMOZ) miss that distinction only due to the fact that I didn't review them in my first quarter.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with my reviews, directories that are in the top ten one quarter are re-reviewed the following quarter, so those that have been in the top ten all along are reviewed every quarter. I might do something else with that beginning in 2015 because, since directories don't generally change very much over a three-month period.

While I don't consider SEO metrics to be particularly valuable, I will admit that I look at them, and I know that some of my readers want them. I didn't report on the Google PageRank or Alexa Traffic Rank of directories that I reviewed last quarter, and some of you let me know that you wanted that information, so I will report this information in my reviews, although SEO metrics won't play a part in the rankings.

The Aviva Directory has been online since 2005. Its Google PageRank is five, and its Alexa Traffic Rank is 50,257. Its Majestic Trust Flow is 59 and its Citation Flow is 50. Its Moz Domain Authority is 61/100, the Page Authority of its index page is 67/100, its Page MozRank is 6.47, and its PageMozTrust is 5.84.

The cost for submitting a site is $49.95 per year or $149.95 for a permanent listing. Up to five hundred characters are allowed for a site description.

For the purpose of my reviews for Web Directory Reviews Org, I try to view the directory from the perspective of a directory user, being someone who has come there for the purpose of finding something. That being the case, SEO metrics and submission fees do not figure into the ratings that I assign.

Rather, I will evaluate the Aviva Directory in five general areas, some with varying possible values: aesthetics (10%), size (25%), intuitiveness (20%), quality (20%), and usefulness (25%). Additionally, I may add up to five extra points for useful content not generally found in web directories, or for qualifications that were not adequately addressed in either of the other assessment areas.

Aesthetics - 9/10

The Aviva Directory is an attractive directory, and one that doesn't use the same blue (or black) text on a white background that so many others do.

Its header area is a June Bud shade of green, with diagonal etchings and a spring plant design on the right side of the page. The directory's name is on the left, while the Aviva Girl is in the far right of the page, springing up from the action area of the page.

Below the header is the action area, containing links to the site submission form, an about page, and a contact form, as well as the search bar.

Displayed on a dim grey background, with diagonal lines, the feature area highlights articles that are displayed within some of the directory's categories, and within its readings area, color coded by topic.

The action area, as might be expected, contains the directory's main menu. On a darker grey textured background, the main menu's upper-level categories are in green text, while the three subcategories that are listed beneath each upper-level category are in white text. To the right of the main menu are three blocks highlighting the directory's expanded regional directory, its separate blog directory, and its resource readings pages.

Its footer contains the copyright, along with links to its about and contact pages, privacy page, and terms of use, testimonials, and a couple of promotional pages.

A couple of things that I particularly like is that its upper-level category name choices are symmetrical, each consisting of two words joined by an ampersand, and that its index page fits above the fold, with no need for scrolling.

Although I am giving it nine, and not ten, points in this area, I don't know what I would have changed. Its a fine looking directory.

Size - 17/25

In determining the size of a directory, what I am trying to determine is the number of outgoing links that the directory contains. Since it would be wholly impractical to page through every category and subcategory, counting the links, particularly since some of the directories that I have reviewed have more than 500,000 outgoing links, I scan it using a program called Scrutiny. The Scrutiny program will return the total number of links that it has found on the domain, not excluding internal links, so this is not an exact number. Still, since each directory is evaluated using the same method, it had comparative value.

Scrutiny found 141,952 links in the Aviva Directory. This is up 3,710 from my last evaluation of this directory, on May 25th of this year, so it has been adding approximately forty-two links per day. Scrutiny does not scan subdomains, so Aviva's blog directory is not included in this number.

This quarter, I am using an evaluation criteria that considers the age of a directory, to help some of the newer directories compete with those that have been around since before 2000, while still acknowledging the value of the larger directories. Because this is a different criteria than the one that was used previously, it may yield a different number, even if everything else remained the same. Please see the review criteria for this quarter in order to understand the ratings in this area of the assessment, keeping in mind that the Aviva Directory is nine years old.

Intuitiveness - 18/20

While many directories have achieved an intuitive taxonomy by copying the well developed organizational structure of DMOZ, the taxonomy of the Aviva Directory is unique but intuitive, using a solid category structure and adhering to it rigidly. Above and below the line features are not used, but @links are used sparingly.

Listings are displayed in alphabetical order, and on one page. While some pages are fairly long, the Aviva Directory creates subcategories when necessary. I did not come across very many sites that were obviously misplaced, although I did come across a few sites in its topical categories that would probably me more appropriately listed in a regional category. I came across no empty categories.

Its in-site search performs very well on single word search, and reasonably so on search phrases.

Quality - 18/20

Scrutiny can be quite aggressive while scanning a directory and, on some servers, performance has slowed considerably during a scan, and one directory crashed while I was scanning it, although I suppose that might have been coincidental. There were no problems while scanning the Aviva Directory, nor have I come across any errors in its scripts or pages.

There were no empty categories. Every category has a category description, and they appeared to be uniquely authored and helpful. The same is true of site descriptions.

Like many other directories in 2005 and before, the Aviva Directory used a sentence fragment model for site descriptions, although they tended to be fairly descriptive and devoid of misspellings, key wording, or promotional language. In more recent years, they have begun using full sentences, at least for the most part. Allowing for differences in editor style, most of its site descriptions, and particularly the newer ones, are, not lengthy, but well written and descriptive of the company or organization, and of the site.

There are a few scattered site titles that consist of the domain name rather than the actual site title, but they are the exception and not the rule. Site titles do not include extraneous keywords, either.

Usefulness - 21/25

The Aviva Directory is not nearly as large as DMOZ, BOTW, AMRAY, or the Yahoo! Directory, but it has sufficient content to be useful, and it is organized in such a manner that a user should have no trouble finding what he is looking for.

There are no empty categories, and it is clear that its editorial staff have added the majority of the sites listed in the directory, as the quality of its listings is quite good, including its regional categories, which is an area where many general directories fall down.

Category descriptions are provided for each of its categories, and most of them are well written and informative, although not article length, as are category descriptions in the R-TT and Jasmine directories. However, as a fairly new feature of the Aviva Directory, on-topic articles are included for some of its categories, which is something that can be expected to be expanded to other categories in the future.

The Aviva Directory is accessible through a mobile device, such as a smart phone of iPad.

The only thing that the Aviva Directory is lacking, as far as its usefulness goes, is in content. However, it is growing in size every month, so it becomes more valuable all the time.

Extra Content - 2

The addition of articles to some of its categories adds valuable textual content for the sake of being indexed by the search engines, but it also adds interesting information and facts to users who are navigating its categories. These articles also point to related categories, which may also be helpful. Articles can be accessed randomly, as they are displayed, four at a time, on its index page, or they may be found while browsing the directory's categories and subcategories, as well as its readings area.

Not otherwise included in this evaluation, the Aviva Directory also includes a blog directory, one that accepts free submissions. The Aviva Directory employs a staff of editors who actively seek and add content to both the main directory and the blog directory, which are supplemented by submissions. Its readings section also includes interesting articles on an eclectic assortment of topics.

Overall Ranking - 85%

On the basis of my review of the Aviva Directory on Sunday, August 31 and Monday, September 1, 2014, I have assigned it a ranking of eighty-five percent.

Comments

There are older and larger directories, but the Aviva Directory is growing every day and is surely one of the more reputable directories on the Internet. Well indexed, and more reasonably priced than the Yahoo! Directory and Best of the Web, it should be one of the first places that a site owner will turn to in order to promote a new site.

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