GoGuides Directory

As a result of my review of the GoGuides Directory on June 17, 2013, I have assigned a rank of 75% to the directory.

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During the second quarter of 2013, we are using a different set of evaluation criteria than was used during the first quarter. As we will be reevaluating the ten top directories from the first quarter, these directories will be reviewed using a different set of criteria, so it is quite possible that the result may change.

Also, when one of our top ten directories from a previous quarter is reevaluated, it is not compared against the previous assessment, although those comparisons may be made after the fact.

During our first quarter assessments, the GoGuides Directory was number two, behind the Yahoo! Directory.

The chief difference between the assessment criteria used during the first quarter and that which is being used in the second is that we are now looking at each directory from the perspective of a potential directory user rather than a submitter or search engine optimization professional.

We will, however, add some SEO statistics for those who are interested in them, but such things as Google PageRank will not affect the rating that we assign to the directory being reviewed.

Approximately 29,700 pages from the GoGuides Directory are indexed by Google. The directory's main page has a Google PageRank of 5. Clicking into some random categories and subcategories, it appears that second-level categories generally have a PageRank of 4, while I didn't come across any third-level categories with PageRank, which does not necessarily imply that none of them have PageRank.

Its SEOmoz Page Authority is 69, and its MozRank is 6.04.

GoGuides has an Alexa Traffic Rank of 66,475, an SEMRush Rank of 4,253,324, and an SEMRush Search Traffic rating of 5. Its MajesticSEO number is 726,507.

The GoGuides Directory has 707 StumbleUpon stumbles, 23 Twitter tweets, and 178 Google +1 clicks.

Two basic submission options are available. Its Easy Submit service costs $69.95 as a one-time fee, which may be paid by PayPal or by credit card. With the Easy Submit option, submitters may submit only the URL, a valid email address, and payment of the fee, and the GoGuides staff will review the site and compose an appropriate site title, description and keywords, as well as placing it in an appropriate category. Titles, descriptions and keywords may also be completed by the submitter, if desired.

The Express Submit option requires that the site be submitted to an appropriate category, and that all site submission information is supplied, and appropriate according to the directory's guidelines. The cost for a review using this option is a one-time payment of $39.99.

The site description requires a minimum of fifty characters but no more than two hundred characters.

The above information was supplied as a matter of possible interest only, and will not be used in assessing a rating. For the purposes of evaluation, we will be looking at five basic criteria, each worth as much as 20%. These criteria are: Aesthetics, Content, Intuitiveness, Quality, and Usefulness. Up to five extra credit points may also be assigned.

Aesthetics - 16%

The main page of the GoGuides Directory has a clean, simple look, and a rather cute logo. Except for its colorful logo, the directory uses a basic blue text on a white background.

The top-level category menu takes up only a small amount of monitor real estate, surrounded by a large white space, but its main menu is perhaps busier than it needs to be, as they are all spaced closely together, with three or four subcategories for each top-level category.

There is also a lack of symmetry in the choices made for its top-level categories, with some consisting of only one word, others two or three, and an inconsistent use of the ampersand.

Its listings pages use a khaki color for site titles which, while not terrible, is also probably no the best choice.

Content - 14%

The directory includes a reasonable amount of useful content, but there are also a lot of empty categories, particularly in its regional tree, but elsewhere in the directory as well.

The latter observation may be a matter of intent rather than neglect, however, as some directory operators believe that submitters are more likely to submit a site when an appropriate category for the site's topic is included in the directory, even if it is empty. Directory users are not well served by empty categories, though.

As the GoGuides Directory has been around since 2001, I would think that someone might have had time to seed these empty categories with at least a few useful sites. I could be wrong, as I have no inside information about the GoGuides Directory, but I get the feeling that not very many new listings have been added by directory editors in recent years, and that its growth has been almost entirely through paid submissions.

Intuitiveness - 15%

The category choices made by the GoGuides Directory are reasonable, and a directory user shouldn't have much trouble navigating the directory. The directory uses @links when appropriate but doesn't overdo it.

There are some areas where the directory would benefit from the ability to use an above or below the line feature, as is found in many other directories. As an example, in the directory's Local, Regional & World Tree, within the North America subcategory, the child categories are, in the first column: Resources, Bermuda, Canada, and Greenland. The second column includes Hispanic or Latino, Mexico, Saint Pierre & Miquelon, and USA.

The Resources category is used as a way of separating topical categories that might otherwise be placed above or below the line in directories where that feature is possible. That is better than mixing them in with the other subcategories, but not entirely intuitive.

I am also unsure about the Hispanic or Latino subcategory. It doesn't fit with the other geographically oriented categories and, as it has only one listing, may not be necessary.

Lastly, it's a minor thing, I suppose but, if they are going to include category names as lengthy as Saint Pierre & Miquelon, without feeling the need to abbreviate, why use only three letters for the United States? It's really more of a matter of aesthetics than intuitiveness, I suppose.

Quality - 12%

The GoGuides Directory, like so many others, uses sentence fragments rather than grammatically correct sentences more often than not. It also doesn't help that the directory limits site descriptions to two hundred characters.

The result is that, while many of its descriptions are reasonably well done, given their choice of sentence fragments over full sentences, many others are not.

I am also seeing several obviously promotional descriptions, including some that make claims that cannot possibly be true.

I am including a few samples that shouldn't require elaboration below, taken from different categories.

Charity Navigator
By guiding intelligent giving, we aim to advance a more efficient and responsive philanthropic marketplace.
http://charitynavigator.org/

Conference Bites
The best quotes from the latest events and conferences.
http://www.conferencebites.com/

ReLache Body Art Index
Browse all that you need to know about body art including body paintings, branding, corsets, cupping, piercing and tattoos.
http://www.relache.com/

CanadaMotorCar.ca
With a huge inventory that's updated daily, we're sure to have the perfect used car for your needs!
http://www.canadamotorcar.ca/

Radical Middle Newsletter
Official website offering thoughtful idealism through current articles.
http://www.radicalmiddle.com/

All Time 10s
Our mission is to provide a funny, irrelevant and informative top 10 list of just about everything.
http://www.youtube.com/user/alltime10s

Point-Travel
Offers price comparison on Internet travel deals and discounts.
http://www.point-travel.com/

Dell - Depend on Dell
Depend on Dell for simple solutions in tough times.
http://www.dell.com/dependondell

In selecting the sample site listings above, I do not mean to suggest that they are representative of the totality of the work found in the GoGuides Directory. The directory includes at least as many titles and descriptions that are reasonably well done, given the directory's self-imposed limitations.

I did not come across very many bad links in the GoGuides Directory. The Scrutiny program times out on a lot of its checks, but that does not usually indicate a bad link. It did not find very many that appeared to be bad links within the directory listings found in the GoGuides Directory.

Usefulness - 16%

While the GoGuides Directory includes a lot of empty categories, which work against the usefulness of the directory as a directory, it also includes a reasonable amount of useful listings, enough so that the directory would be useful to someone wanting to use it as a directory.

One exception to this would be its Local, Regional & World tree, which doesn't have nearly enough listings to be useful to anyone.

Within a category, listings are sorted by rankings assigned by directory editors, using one, two or three little people images to indicate those sites that the editors have determined to be of more value. Those with three little people images will appear first, in alphabetical order, followed by those with two little people, then those with one little person, while those which have not been ranked are last.

I haven't looked at enough of the listings to have a good idea as to how effective this is. On the one hand, if the GoGuides editors are doing a very good job of rating sites, it might be helpful for a directory user to view the better sites first. On the other hand, if these ratings are assigned without appropriate comparisons being made, or for reasons other than the usefulness of the site, then potentially useful sites might be listed so far back that directory users won't come across them. Of course, listing sites purely alphabetically has its own set of problems.

I tried a few random searches, and its in-site search appears to be working well.

I am not finding any category descriptions, and I believe that this reduces the effectiveness of a directory

Apart from directory listings, the GoGuides Directory includes a fee-based service that can be used to track link-rot and spam. There are also a number of webmaster resources available on the site

Extra Credit - 2

I will give the directory an extra point for some of its non-directory content and, despite the potential for problems with it, the "little people" site ratings is intriguing, and something that requires extra effort on the part of the editors if it is to be done well.

Overall Rating - 75%

As a result of my review of the GoGuides Directory, I have assigned a rank of 75% to the directory.

Comments

I like the GoGuides Directory. It is one of the older directories on the Internet, and it has been fairly consistent. For these reasons, I was a little surprised when I totaled the numbers and found that it has scored only 75%.

The two things that contributed most to its lower comparative rating this quarter are the low number of listings in its regional tree, and elsewhere in the directory, and the fairly large number of descriptions that weren't particularly descriptive.

Submitters tend not to want to submit sites to regional trees, in large part because the most appropriate categories for site listings tend to be far down into the roots of the tree, on pages that don't have PageRank.

Some directories are tackling this problem by offering free or reduced rates for submissions to its regional trees, while others are expending much of their editor time in building up their regional trees. I am employed full-time with a directory that I do not own, and I would estimate that more than eighty percent of my time is spent in the directory's regional tree, and I'm not the only editor working at building up the regional tree.

Another possible solution to the regional problem might be to find ways to make regional listings more valuable. Adding a large amount of peripheral content to a regional tree might entice search engine spiders, and possibly result in higher PageRank.

goguidesjun2013

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