Directory Journal

On January 31 and February 1, 2013, I reviewed the Directory Journal, assigning forty-nine out of a possible one hundred points to the directory.
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Web Directory Review of: Directory Journal

Reviewing the Directory Journal was difficult because it responded very slowly, so I had to do a lot of clicking and waiting. I don't know if this is normal for this web directory because I have never spent much time with it before. Perhaps something is awry with their server tonight, but no one would ever use the directory as it is tonight, because it is maddening having to wait as long as five minutes to get from one category to another. My connection is good, and I am not having any trouble elsewhere on the Internet, so I don't believe that it's on my end. Eventually, the server quit working at all, and I had to suspend my review. I began this review on January 31, but had to give up on it, returning on February 1, 2013 to complete it.

Aesthetics - 2/5

The site design of the Directory Journal is simple in appearance, but not unpleasant, although it is somewhat marred by advertising and other promotional material. I also dislike the fact that it requires vertical scrolling, which is something that I expect from internal pages but not the main page of the directory.

Apart from the standard category structure, the Directory Journal employs an interactive world map, and a section that highlights top categories.

Taxonomy - 3/10

The top-level category structure of the Directory Journal combines categories from the Open Directory Project with those from the Aviva Directory.

Each category name is followed by a number in parentheses, and it was unclear what the number represented. At first, I thought it reflected the number of web sites listed within the category but the numbers didn’t match. On further examination, I was able to determine that it counted the number of subcategories beneath the category in question.

Apparently, the directory software does not include an above the line or below the line feature, so differing subcategories are mixed in together. This isn't a problem when there aren't too many subcategories in one place but, for example, in its Regional/North America/United States subcategory, topical subcategories such as Arts and Entertainment, Maps and Views and Science and Environment are mixed in with the subcategories for the fifty states and Washington DC. Given the likely limitations of the directory software, this could be avoided by including the states within a separate subcategory called "States".

Quality Control - 6/10

Site titles and descriptions are mostly appropriate, in that they are reasonably descriptive of the web site content, although a bit skimpier than I would like. I am not seeing inappropriately key-worded descriptions. The directory uses sentence fragments in site descriptions, which is not my preference but it is fairly standard among web directories.

Maintenance - 3/10

I have not found any dead links, so I suspect that the directory uses an automated process to remove them from the public side of the directory. On the down side, I am seeing a large number of empty categories. In some cases, the category structure goes down as many as two levels past the last actual web site listing. There are also many subcategories with only one listed web site.

Google Page Rank - 5/10

The main page of the Directory Journal has a Google Page Rank of 5. Second-level categories drop down to Page Rank of 4, but all of several third-level categories that I have tried lost their page rank altogether. In accordance with the criteria that I have established for evaluating Google Page Rank, I will be adding one point to the GPR of the directory’s main page because it does transfer page rank to the second-level. In the second round of evaluations, I will probably tweak the criteria to reflect positively on those directories which retain page rank beyond the second level.

Alexa Traffic Rank - 3/5

The Directory Journal has an Alexa Traffic Rank of 30,851.

SEO Ranking - 3/5

The SEMRush Rank for the Directory Journal is 40,153, its SEMRush Search Traffic is 13,298, and Majestic SEO shows 7,738,177 backlinks. 92,100 pages from the Directory Journal are indexed in Google.

On a search for "web directory", the Directory Journal doesn't show in in the first ten pages of Google. It shows up in the middle of page 7 in Bing, and near the bottom of page 8 in Yahoo.

Directory Content - 4/10

At first glance, it might appear that the Directory Journal has more listed sites than it has. Looking more closely however, it is revealed that much of what might appear to be site listings are actually links to internal submission pages, prompting users to list their website in what would otherwise be an empty category, of which there are many.

There is some content in the directory that may have been listed internally by editors, such as municipal sites in Regional categories, but most of what I would expect to find from editors seeding categories, such as church and school sites or, in the Computers topical category, links to open source site and the like, are missing. Most of what I am seeing are what were, in all likelihood, paid submissions.

SEO Content - 4/5

Directory Journal maintains several active blogs, all recently updated, on such subjects as directories, search, how-to topics, business, shopping, and others. It also offers some webmaster tools, which can be found elsewhere, but which may nevertheless be helpful. These include domain IP lookups, domain availability checks, IP to hostname lookups, and others.

Cost for Review - 3/10

Directory Journal offers both annual and permanent listing plans and, within each of these plans, web site owners may choose either regular or featured listings.

A regular annual listing costs $59.95, which allows the site owner to list up to three deep links from the site. Featured listings cost $99.95 and, for the extra $40.00, the site owner can list up to five deep links from the site, and featured listings appear above regular listings in the directory. In my opinion, featured listings may give a slight edge to the site listing, as do the deep links but, in most cases, these detract from the usefulness of the directory.

The costs for permanent listings are $159.95 for a regular listing and $249.95 for a featured listing. Again regular listings allow up to three deep links, and featured listings allow five. Permanent listings permit the listing of telephone numbers and addresses, as well as linking to social profiles.

Reputable Practices - 10/10

Listing policies and prices for site listings appear to be spelled out clearly, and I see nothing to suggest any misrepresentation.

Extra Credit - 3/10

Directory Journal offers an affiliate program that pays 20% for each sale referred to the directory. Banners and text links are supplied for this purpose.

Overall Ranking - 49/100

From my evaluation, the Directory Journal achieved forty-nine out of a possible one hundred points.

Observations

I was unable to complete my review after starting it yesterday because the Directory Journal's server crashed. Today, its server is very slow and it is cumbersome trying to navigate its categories.

Both from the way that the directory is setup and from the advertising language used on the site, my impression is that no one is intended to actually use the directory, and that its purpose is solely to sell backlinks.

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