11/06/14 23:43 Filed in: Jasmine Directory
On June 11, 2014, Jasmine Directory was reviewed for Web Directory Reviews Org.
Jasmine Directory is one of the youngest and smaller of the directories that have made it to the top ten of Web Directory Reviews Org, yet it has been among the top ten since the first quarter of 2013, which is the first quarter that we began reviewing web directories. Jasmine was the #8 directory in the first quarter, #3 in the second, #4 in the third, #3 in the fourth, and #5 in the first quarter of 2014. Due the changes in the assessment criteria between quarters, a directory does not necessary score the same in subsequent evaluations.
Jasmine Directory was established in 2009, first appearing in the Internet Archive on June 5 of that year. The Majestic SEO Trust Flow of Jasmine Directory is 52, while its Citation Flow is 42. Its Moz Domain Authority is 63/100, and the Page Authority of its index page is 70/100, its Page MozRank is 6.95 and its Page MozTrust is 6.26.
I explain this on every review and I know it's redundant, particularly for those who have read several of my reviews but, in the event that this is the first of my reviews that you have read, please understand that my objective is to view each directory from the perspective of a potential web directory user, rather than as a site submitter or search engine optimization professional.
Traditionally, the purpose of a web directory was to guide users to useful information on the Internet. In order to achieve this, a directory must have content, and its content should be organized in such a way that someone will be able to find what they are looking for.
In the evaluations that I conduct for Web Directory Reviews Org, that is the perspective that I seek, in rating each directory in areas of aesthetics (10%), content (25%), intuitiveness (20%), quality (20%), and usefulness (25%). In addition, I sometimes add up to five extra content points for useful features of the directory that aren't adequately assessed elsewhere.
The cost for a review of a standard submission to Jasmine Directory is $59, as a one-time fee, while an express listing is $89, also for a lifetime listing. Express listings may include up to five deep links, and are listed above standard listings. As a fairly new feature, express listings will also include a unique, 300-word review of the website, which is linked from the site detail page.
New to Jasmine, submitters are now given the option to choose a nofollow link.
Aesthetics - 8/10
Jasmine is one of the prettier directories that I have come across. Although its design is relatively simple, it works. Its header appears on a light blue denim background, with white font colors, while the remainder of its page uses an off-white background with blue and black font colors, a white background, and a light gray background.
It main menu, centered beneath the header, uses an off-white background, with blue font colors for its top-level categories, and black text for the, from three to five, subcategories that are listed below each upper-level category name.
There are fourteen upper-level categories, arranged in two columns of seven, each consisting of two words connected by an ampersand, with the exception of Regional.
According to the directory's advertising page, Jasmine Directory does allow category-specific (125x125 and 200x250) banner advertising, placed after the first or second paragraph of the left-side category description, with no more than two ads per category, as well as home-page advertising but, thus far, I haven't come across many categories that included advertising; its Web Directories category displays three ads, and its Internet & Marketing category has one, plus a placeholder.
My view on third-party advertising is that it does distract from the directory, while simultaneously monetizing it, providing resources that may be used to maintain the quality of the resource. There are pros and cons to third-party advertising and, when used appropriately, this should be reflected in my reviews. For example, the presence of third-party advertising might prompt me to lower the directory's grade in the aesthetics area but, if the financial resources they provide are used to hire editing staff or to add additional content to the directory, this should result in an increase in the directory's score in other areas of my evaluation.
Content - 10/25
In order to determine, comparatively, the number of outgoing category links that a directory has, I use a program called Scrutiny. Each directory is scanned prior to beginning my evaluation. Scrutiny is fairly aggressive, and it has crashed at least one directory temporarily, so I limit my scans to 400,000 links. Some of the links that Scrutiny finds are navigation and other internal links, rather than outgoing category links, so the number that Scrutiny comes up with is not a true figure of how many links a directory has, as the real number would be lower than that.
By way of comparison, several of the directories that I have evaluated have greater than 400,000 links, and Scrutiny found 28,543 links in Jasmine Directory, making it, I believe, the smallest of the directories that have made it into our top ten, although there may have been a smaller one in the first quarter of last year. Last quarter, Jasmine had 27,153 links, according to Scrutiny, adding more than a thousand links since March 14.
According to my criteria for this quarter, any directory with fewer than 50,000 links would receive ten or fewer points in this area of the assessment, which is a significant decrease from last quarter, although the actual number of links in the directory has risen, not lowered.
Still less than comprehensive, Jasmine's Regional categories are sparse, although much improved from the first time I looked at it, and I did not find any empty categories. Because Jasmine's Regional categories have been improved, rather than remaining stagnant, I will not deduct further points for this.
Intuitiveness - 18/20
The taxonomy of Jasmine Directory is unique, and it is effective. Its category name choices and organization are intuitive, and its structure is supplemented by the use of @links.
Although express listings appear above standard listings in categories, they are easily distinguished from one another, and I have not come across any that were badly misplaced.
Jasmine Directory has recently implemented a policy of marking editor-added sites with "EP" graphic, for "editor's pick." The idea behind this is that directory users can determine which sites were added through a paid submission process and which were added in order to build up content for the directory.
Quality - 17/20
Jasmine Directory uses a sentence fragment model in site descriptions, and the tendency is for them to consist of only one sentence fragment, and this includes those added by directory staff. Titles generally represent the actual title of the listed site.
I am not seeing any significant problems in spelling or grammar, except as noted above, and neither titles or descriptions are spammy or promotional. There are some exceptions, such as in its Newspapers category:
One of the most popular and highest-rated news websites on the Internet.
Within the category are examples of site descriptions that are more representative of other descriptions found within the directory:
ABC News represents the news section of the American Broadcasting Company.
Other directories that I have worked with have discouraged the repetition of the site title within the description, but I personally don't mind that as long as it's not done habitually, as it isn't. However, this description is not particularly descriptive. It gives no information about either the company or the contents of the website.
During its scan of the Jasmine Directory domain, Scrutiny flagged only 390 links as being bad, and a review of the flagged listings shows that only about half of these were bad links, and perhaps less than that. Jasmine Directory's server withstood a scan from Scrutiny without complaint.
As I mentioned earlier, sites are placed in appropriate categories, and I didn't come across any empty ones.
Usefulness - 21/25
Although Jasmine Directory contains a comparatively low number of outgoing directory links, it has no empty categories, that I am aware of, and there is useful content on each of its pages. The continued growth of the directory will increase its usefulness. Its content is well organized and easy to find.
Jasmine Directory excels in the area of textual content, particularly with its long, uniquely written, category descriptions, which are included for each category. Category descriptions are a standard feature in most web directory scripts, yet many directories do not utilize them, however obvious they may appear as a means of textual content. On-topic category descriptions are also helpful for directory users and site submitters alike.
Longer, more descriptive, site descriptions would be another way in which Jasmine Directory could provide textual content, and better inform its users, since a well written site description would allow someone to know which sites they might be interested in visiting. Descriptive descriptions also facilitate better search results. I strongly encourage directory operators to begin providing longer, more descriptive site descriptions.
Extra Content - 3
Recently, Jasmine Directory began a policy of including unique (300 word) reviews of express listings. Although I don't know how many sites this has been applied to thus far, since I didn't come across any of them, this will serve to add textual content to the directory, as well as increased visibility to its listed sites. Additionally, its "EP" graphics allow users to know which sites were added by directory editors. The directory also allows business descriptions, addresses, telephone numbers, and social media links. The domain includes an active, and useful, blog, as well as other readings on a variety of topics.
Overall Rating - 77%
On the basis of my assessment of Jasmine Directory on June 11, 2014, I have given it a rating of seventy-seven percent for the second quarter of 2014.
Jasmine Directory's rating was adversely affected, in large part, by a change in my assessment criteria in the area of content. Nevertheless, the quality of the directory is very good, and it can be expected to continue to improve with additional content.
The directory's shining point is its beautiful category descriptions, and I hate to see them marred with advertising. Yet the advertising spoken of on its advertising page, and the couple of examples that I have seen, are not particularly obtrusive. If the additional revenue is used on additional content, the trade-off may be a good one.
Apart from additional growth, the one major source of improvement that I could suggest would be to institute a policy of longer site descriptions. Even as little as two sentences would help: one describing the business or company, and another describing the features of the web site itself.
Overall, the staff at Jasmine Directory are doing a great job. Adding more sites to the directory will make it an even more valuable resource.