17/06/13 15:34 Filed in: Jasmine Directory
On the basis of my assessment of Jasmine Directory on June 17, 2013, I have rated the directory at 78%.
In our first quarter reviews for 2013, Jasmine Directory tied with the Best of the Web Directory, ending up in the #8 spot on our top ten.
The top ten directories from the previous quarter are placed in competition, not only with one another, but with ten other directories, each quarter. In this case, we're using a different assessment criteria in the second quarter than that used in the first, which could shake things up.
In the first quarter, we tried to balance the two uses of a web directory, those being as a resource to directory users who may potentially be looking for online resources, as well as their benefits to webmasters or search engine optimization professionals looking to improve a site's standings in search engine result pages.
In the second quarter, while we will be looking at the SEO stuff, directories will be evaluated only on their potential uses as a web directory, which is, after all, what they are supposed to be. This should separate the true web directories from the sites that are using directory scripts to sell back links, and nothing more.
Jasmine Directory was established in 2009, making it one of the newer, but respected, web directories. It uses a Tolra directory script module.
First, let's look at the SEO stats.
The main page of Jasmine Directory has a Google PageRank of 4. While not every category tree is the same, for the most part, second-level pages have a PageRank of 3, although at least one maintained a PR of 4. Third-level categories have a PageRank of from 0-3.
My SEO program is showing no pages indexed in Google, but copying and pasting text from its internal pages into a Google search box shows this not to be true, which I already knew when I found that its internal pages had PageRank. Surely, this has to do with a glitch in the SEO program or perhaps Google has blocked my ISP again. As a directory editor, I do searches throughout the day, every day, some of them automated, and, from time to time, Google gets mad at me and blocks my ISP for a few hours. It has nothing to do with Jasmine Directory, and I am mentioning it here only to let you know why I am not reporting the number of its pages indexed by Google.
Jasmine Directory's Alexa Traffic Rank is 22,869, and its SEMRush Rank is 464,305, while its SEMRush Search Traffic is 443, and its MajesticSEO number is 239,405. Its SEOmoz Page Authority is 70, and its MozRank is 6.38.
Jasmine Directory has had 22 StumbleUpon stumbles, 5 Twitter tweets, and 318 Google +1 clicks.
Costs for submission to Jasmine Directory are a one-time payment of $19 for a standard review, or a $39 one-time fee for an express review, which allows up to five deep links and placement above standard listings.
Now we'll get on to the evaluation, as per the second quarter criteria.
Aesthetics - 15%
Jasmine Directory using blue and black text on a white background, and a header bar that has a blue denim background, with white text. The result is easy on the eyes and not at all unattractive.
The main page does scroll vertically, which I generally don't like; however, this is alleviated by the fact that it is not necessary to scroll in order to view its main category menu, which is nicely centered on the screen.
For its top category choices, with one exception, Jasmine Directory uses two words connected by an ampersand. The exception is Regional, and that could be easily fixed by adding a word and an ampersand, such as Local & Regional, which would add symmetry to the main menu.
I don't usually like the use of icons in front of the main menu choices, and am not entirely sure why they don't bother me here, but they don't.
The directory's top-level category menu is not repeated in its subcategory pages but the directory does use a breadcrumb, which makes it easier for a directory user to know where he is at within the directory. But that has more to do with usefulness than aesthetics.
Subcategory displays include a lengthy, and often illustrated, category description, uniquely authored according to some spot-checking that I did using Copyscape. To the right of the category description are the site listings, with featured listings set off from the others by their placement on top of the category, as well as through the use of a gold icon.
Its subcategory pages effectively use white space to prevent a cluttered look, and to lend a feel of organization to its pages. I have not noted any misspellings or obvious grammatical errors within the directory text itself, and we'll look at site descriptions under another criteria.
The Scrutiny program examined 8,733 pages, which includes all pages accessible through navigation on the domain, and not merely category pages. Scrutiny checked 14,315 links, which includes internal links, not restricted to outgoing links. Of these, it found 277 links that it identified as bad.
By itself, that's not a bad percentage. Looking more closely, I can see that the majority of the links that Scrutiny identified as bad had timed out, which can be the result of something other than a bad link. Scrutiny is fairly aggressive, which can put a temporary strain in a server, which sometimes leads to timeouts, or it could be a connection problem anywhere between the Jasmine Directory server and the outgoing link being checked. There were some 404 errors but, without actually doing the math, which I suck at, I would estimate that 404 errors represent, at most, one-third of the bad links identified.
Clicking through many of Jasmine Directory's categories and subcategories, I believe they have added a significant number of useful listings since the last time I looked at the directory. While it doesn't have the volume of listings that can be found in the Open Directory Project of the Best of the Web directory, or even Aviva Directory, the first of these two directories have about a decade on Jasmine Directory, and Aviva Directory has been around a couple of years longer.
It also appears that directory editors have added sites on their own, rather than depending entirely on paid submission, since I am seeing useful listings that are not likely to have been submitted to a fee-based directory.
Its Regional categories are very light. There are no subcategories to its United Kingdom category, and only eighteen listings. Its United States category is subcategorized by state, but the largest number of site listings in any state is North Dakota, with seven, and two of those are mine, when I paid to add them the last time I reviewed this directory.
Intuitiveness - 17%
The taxonomy of Jasmine Directory is intuitive. It makes sense and is organized in such a manner that I don't believe a directory user would have difficulty navigating its categories and subcategories. The directory makes use of @links to refer users to related categories, as well.
Additionally, as I mentioned earlier, the use of a breadcrumb allows users to more easily assess their position in the category tree, and to backtrack without necessarily having to return to the index page and start over.
I am seeing listings in upper categories that could more appropriately be placed in subcategories. In fact, some of its first-level categories have multiple pages of listings when appropriate subcategories are in place to house some of these listings.
Its category structure is not very deep, and I believe that the directory has grown large enough to warrant adding a level or two to the directory tree. Once existing listings were moved to appropriate subcategories, that need could be more easily assessed.
Quality - 14%
Paging through the directory's categories and subcategories, I am seeing some very good descriptions, using full, grammatically correct, sentences. But I am also seeing some pretty skimpy descriptions, using sentence fragments.
Judging from the fact that sites placed in its upper-level categories seem to have the better descriptions, I am guessing that Jasmine Directory is implementing a plan to improve the quality of its site titles and descriptions, beginning, as would make perfect sense, with its upper-level categories. While I would have to say that sentence fragments are still the norm, Jasmine Directory is using sufficient text to adequately describe the content of its listed sites, particularly in the upper levels of its category trees.
I am finding some titles that use the domain name rather than the site title, but those are in the minority.
For example, looking at a few listings which appear in the order they are given here, at the top of one of its categories.
Offering one of the widest selections of bedding, bath accessories, and home decor at deep discounted prices.
Your source for quality silk floral wreaths, arrangements, tropical floral, wall decor and candles.
Soft furnishings for the home that includes luxury bedding, draperies, decorative pillows, poufs, lambskin & handmade area rugs and other home décor.
Mbmcarpentry.com: Vinyl Siding Prices
Calculate the vinyl siding prices for your home and choose between different vinyl siding colors free.
In the above examples, the first one uses BedBathstore as the title of its site. I might be tempted to add spaces where they belong, since the habit of squeezing words together annoys me, but I wouldn't fault a directory that uses the title that it used on the site itself. However, the .com is not used in the title of the site.
The CK Wreaths.com site is no longer active, according to the notice on the site, so I would remove it.
The site given the title DefiningElegance.com uses, as its site title, Defining Elegance.
Mbmcarpentry.com doesn't really use a site title, but the name of the business name, as found in various locations in its site, is identified as MBM Building and Contracting or as MBM Construction, either of which would be an improvement over "Mbmcarpentry.com: Vinyl Siding Prices." The rest of that key wording could be added to the description, if necessary.
Usefulness - 15%
Jasmine Directory does have enough listed sites, of good quality, so as to be a useful resource, although more would be better.
The in-site search feature is useful, returning site listings and categories that are appropriate to the search terms used.
The category descriptions used by Jasmine Directory are excellent. If I am interested enough in a topic to browse through related categories, informative category descriptions are a helpful resource, and I don't think they could do anything but attract search engine spiders, as well.
An active blog is also featured, covering an eclectic assortment of topics.
Extra Credit - 3
While many directories include a blog, the Jasmine Directory blog is regularly updated and includes a wide variety of topics.
Additionally, Jasmine Directory includes a section where they list recently rejected sites, including the reasons why they were rejected. The domains are not hyperlinked, so they are not inadvertently giving a back-link to a rejected site but this gives a clearer picture as to why a site submission might be rejected. This is helpful because not every directory has the same policies. Some will simply correct problems, when the site listing itself is admissible, while others will reject submissions to inappropriate categories or with site titles or descriptions that are clearly outside of the boundaries of the submission guidelines.
Overall Rating - 78%
On the basis of my assessment of Jasmine Directory on June 17, 2013, I have rated the directory at 78%.
Although some other directories may be rated more highly at this point, Jasmine Directory is one of my favorite directories. As mentioned a couple of times already, I truly love their lengthy category descriptions, and am confident that this will result in improved indexing and PageRank, or whatever might come along to replace Google PageRank in the future.
While there remain problems with some of its site titles and descriptions, I am seeing improvements in this area, and expect to see further improvement in the future.
Relatively new on the web directory scene, Jasmine Directory has distanced itself from other directories that were created around the same time, as well as from several that have many years on Jasmine Directory.
I have paid to have my sites listed in Jasmine Directory, and will surely pay to have additional sites listed, as I can afford it, and its prices are affordable.
As we view the future of the web directory industry, Jasmine Directory is one to watch.