09/09/14 00:01 Filed in: Directory Journal
Directory Journal was evaluated for Web Directory Reviews Org on Monday, September 8, 2014.
This will be my seventh review of Directory Journal, since it has been in my top ten since I first reviewed it on January 31, 2013. In the first quarter of 2013, it was #9. For the second and third quarter, it was #5, moving up to #4 in the fourth quarter of 2013. It was our #1 directory in the first quarter of 2014, and #2 in the second, with some differences in the evaluation criteria taking place between quarters.
Online since 2007, Directory Journal has earned a good reputation, reflected in its SEO metrics. Its Google PageRank is five. The Alexa Traffic Rank is 41,555, the Majestic Trust Flow is 56, and the Citation Flow is 52. Moz Domain Authority is 54/100, Page Authority is 62/100, Page MozRank is 6.22, and Page MozTrust is 6.13.
The fee for submitting a regular link is $59.95 per year or a one-time payment of $159.95. A featured link is $99.95 per year or a one-time payment of $249.95. Regular links allow up to three deep links, while featured links appear above regular links, and allow up to five deep links. Permanent listings may also include links to social profiles.
Those of you who have read several of my reviews are probably tired of the repetition but, for the sake of those who may be reading just this one review, I need to clarify that, unlike other directory reviews that you may have read, I look at each directory from the perspective of a directory user, rather than for its SEO value.
By their nature, there is a degree of subjectivity in any review, and mine are no exception. I try hard to be fair, but certain aspects of any review will come down to a matter of opinion. I do follow a set of published criteria, which are subject to change between quarters, and the criteria used for each quarter are archived.
My review will be divided into five areas of evaluation, some carrying more weight than others. These are: aesthetics (10%), size (25%), intuitiveness (20%), quality (20%), and usefulness (25%). In some cases, I may add up to five additional points for extra content, in order to acknowledge useful aspects of a directory that aren't covered within these assessment areas.
With that, I'll get on with it.
Aesthetics - 7/10
As I've mentioned in previous reviews, the index page of Directory Journal looks a bit busy, and it is. I prefer everything to fit above the fold, but its main menu and image map are all above the fold, it isn't necessary to scroll in order to reach its directory content. Below the fold are blurbs from its own blogs, some social media stuff, and links to its webmaster tools.
Its header has a white-smoke background, while its logo is in blue and black. In the lower part of the header, a navigation bar links to its site submission page, articles, guides, and pages highlighting newly listed sites, and popular listings. Below the header is an image map of the world that can be used to access the directory's regional sections. Top categories are to the left of the image map.
Beneath that is the upper-level category menu, composed of three asymmetrical columns, in blue text on an Alice-blue background. To the right of that, with a green-beige background, is a link to Directory Journal's new local search directory.
Below that are several blocks advertising various aspects or sections of the directory, including its SEO services and blogs.
Size - 25/25
In order to approximate the size of a directory that I am going to review, I use a program called Scrutiny to scan the domain, excluding any subdomains. This gives me a count of the total number of links on a domain; since it does not differentiate between outgoing category links and navigation links, it is not an accurate representation of the number of sites that a directory has listed but, since every directory is evaluated using the same method, it is suitable by way of comparison.
I have limited Scrutiny to 500,001 links, considering that any directory that has in excess of 500,000 links is a large directory, giving it full credit in this area of the evaluation. Please review the evaluation criteria for further information on the rating in this area.
Intuitiveness - 16/20
The taxonomy of Directory Journal is intuitive, and there is certainly enough content for it to be useful as a web directory. Its organizational structure makes use of @links, above and below the line features, and other amenities that can be helpful to someone who is browsing its categories and subcategories.
Every time I review Directory Journal, I mention this but, every time I come back, it's still there; for some reason, they mix topical @links (Real Estate, Shopping)in with geographical categories in the United States section of the regional tree, rather than placing them below the line with the other topical categories. This isn't done in the Canada category.
Overall, Directory Journal's taxonomy makes sense, but they do have regional categories within some of their topical trees, which doesn't make a lot of sense. If someone wants to look for something regionally, why not send them to regional?
But most of its categories and subcategories are well organized, I didn't come across many empty categories, although there are quite a few with only one listed site. Sites are generally placed in appropriate categories. Featured listings are displayed above regular listings; otherwise, listings are displayed in alphabetical order.
The directory's in-site search works well, returning sites and categories related to the search word or phrase entered.
Quality - 15/20
There are some empty pages, but not very many of them. Each category has a category description. Also fairly brief, they are well written and uniquely authored.
The majority of the site titles that I came across were representative of the actual site title, although there were some that consisted of the domain name rather than the site title. Although Directory Journal allows up to three thousand characters in a site description, most of its listed sites have fairly brief descriptions. Some used grammatically correct sentences, but most were sentence fragments.
Usefulness - 20/25
As I mentioned earlier, Directory Journal has enough content to be useful to a directory user, and it is organized well enough to be found without much trouble. Its categories and subcategories include descriptions, which is helpful.
Although longer, more descriptive, site descriptions would be helpful, it would be unreasonable to expect a directory the size of Directory Journal to modify each of the site descriptions in the category. Viewing its most recently added sites, it seems that they have descriptions that are slightly more descriptive than many of those that have been in the directory for a time. I don't know whether this reflects a change in policy or if this just happened to be the case today. Grammatically correct sentences would be nice, but far too many directories use the sentence fragment model.
Extra Content - 3
Directory Journal includes several blogs, publishing well-written, uniquely authored, interesting content, although most of them have not been updated recently. It includes webmaster tools that some may find useful, as well as an affiliate program.
Overall Rating - 86%
As a result of my evaluation of Directory Journal on Monday, September 8, 2014, I have rated it at eighty-six percent.
Directory Journal is rich in content and well organized.