Directory Journal

On the basis of my review on November 18, 2013, I have rated Directory Journal at seventy-seven percent.

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Directory Journal has been in our top ten during the first, second and third quarters of 2013, placing ninth, fifth, and fifth, respectively. Each quarter Web Directory Reviews looks at twenty web directories, ten of them being the top ten from the previous quarter, while the others are being reviewed for the first time.

For the purposes of our evaluation and rating, we will be looking at the directory from the perspective of a potential directory user, assessing the directory's features and performance in five general areas: aesthetics (10%), content (25%), intuitiveness (20%), quality (20%), and usefulness (25%). Of necessity, there is generally some overlapping between these areas.

While search engine optimization and site submission information are not used in our rating of the directory, we always provide this information for those who may be interested in it.

While relatively new in the web directory industry, Directory Journal has come a long ways in a fairly short time. The directory was established in 2007. The Google PageRank of its index page is five, its second-tier pages have a PageRank of four, and its third-level pages range from zero to two. Its Moz Domain Authority is 65/100, and the Page Authority of its index page is 71/100.

The Alexa Traffic Rank of Directory Journal is 20,512, and its SEMRush Rank and SEMRush Search Traffic numbers are 108,072 and 3,441 respectively.

The directory has accumulated 623 Facebook likes, 631 Google+ clicks, 295 Twitter tweets, and 17,902 StumbleUpon stumbies, so the directory is quite active in the social media.

There are a few options for site submissions. The review fee for a regular submission is $59.95 per year or $159.95 for a permanent listing, while featured listings are $99.95 annually or a one-time payment of $249.95.

Regular listings allow up to three deep links, and featured listing allow up to five. Links to social profiles, as well as telephone numbers and addresses may be added to its permanent listing plans.

Now, we will continue with the evaluation of the directory.

Aesthetics 6/10

While I am aware that not everyone would agree with me, my opinion is that the index page of the Directory Journal has a cluttered look. There is altogether too much going on and, while most of its advertising is to internal pages or features of the directory itself, or to other services offered by the company, the appearance is one of a lot of advertising.

My preference is for an index page that does not require scrolling; however, while vertical scrolling is required in order to view the entirety of the Directory Journal's index page, its interactive navigation map and main menu are above the fold.

The directory's upper-level categories are arranged in three columns of six items, which are a mixture of from one to three words in length, but the lack of symmetry is somewhat alleviated by folder icons preceding each category item.

Internal pages are well arranged, with plenty of white space. Featured listings appear at the top of the category, but are clearly set apart from its regular listings. Upper-level categories include category descriptions, but some of its internal category pages do not.

Content - 20/25

Directory Journal was scanned by my Scrutiny program last night. Set to stop at 200,000 links, the directory topped out at that amount. Of the 200,000 links that were checked, Scrutiny flagged 45,100 of them as bad. However, at least half of these were from external content other than outgoing category links.

These included several poorly formed links, such as http://www/, http://Google/, http://none/, http://gamil/, http://yahoo/, http://n/a/, http://None/, and http://-/, as well as links in which one URL was glued onto another (http://whois.domaintools.com/http://www.RentersOnline.com). I'm not sure what that was all about, but these accounted for roughly a quarter of the bad links that were found by Scrutiny.

The last time I ran Scrutiny on the Directory Journal, it found a low number of bad links, but I didn't let it run as far as 200,000 links.

With nearly one-fourth of the links that were assessed flagged as bad links, it's difficult to determine the amount of actual content contained within the Directory Journal, but my previous assessments were that it contained a reasonable amount of content.

Clicking through its subcategories, I am seeing quite a few empty categories, particularly within its Regional tree, which is sparsely populated.

Intuitiveness - 17/20

Directory Journal uses a taxonomy that is well considered and intuitive, and its use of @links and above/below the line features are an additional aid to navigation. These featured are not always used appropriately, however. For example, the United States category of its Regional tree include @links for Real Estate and Shopping above the line, with its state categories, rather than below the line, with the topical categories.

Category descriptions are found for many of its categories, but are missing in others, particularly its lower subcategories. Still, this is better than many other directories, which do not include category descriptions at all.

As I mentioned earlier, the directory does place featured listings above regular listings, which is a negative as far as intuitiveness goes, but this is negated somewhat by the fact that its featured listings are clearly set apart from its regular listings, reducing confusion.

Quality - 16/20

While the directory permits up to three thousand characters for a site description, far more than most other directories, this space is not utilized in practice. All of the site descriptions that I have come across use the sentence fragment model, and many of them would benefit from the use of more words.

However, the site descriptions used do not include misspellings or promotional language. Site titles are mostly appropriate.

From the content included in the directory, it is clear that directory staff are actively engaged in adding content to the directory, and that submitted sites are reviewed before being added to the directory. However, there are a lot of empty categories that should, preferably, be seeded with sites, or otherwise removed.

Usefulness - 18/25

There are quite a few empty categories in the Directory Journal, especially in its Regional tree but I have come across more than a few of them within its topical subcategories as well.

Directory Journal's Regional tree is not particularly useful, given a lack of substantial content within that part of the directory.

Apart from the web directory itself, Directory Journal maintains an active article directory, various guides, and several blogs, as well as webmaster tools.

Overall Rating - 77%

On the basis of my review on November 18, 2013, I have rated Directory Journal at seventy-seven percent.

Comments

Upon further assessment, I realized that I had graded Directory Journal down too low on content. The directory does have a large amount of content, at least so far as I was able to determine, as my scan topped out at 200,00. I had graded the directory down for empty categories, which I also graded it down for under Quality. While there is, of necessity, some overlapping in my evaluation areas, this was excessive. I have adjusted Directory Journal's score in the Content section upwards by five points.

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