15/09/14 03:03 Filed in: Jasmine Directory
On Sunday, September 14 and Monday, September 15, 2014, Jasmine Directory was evaluated and rated for Web Directory Reviews Org.
It should be no secret that Jasmine Directory is one of my personal favorite directories, and it has also been among the top ten directories each quarter since I began evaluating web directories for Web Directory Reviews Org. That's not a given, since some of my favorites haven't made it into the top ten. To the best of my ability, I follow the published criteria and let the numbers make the decisions.
Submissions to Jasmine Directory are fee-based; standard submissions are $59 and express submissions are $89. Express listings are displayed above standard listings in their categories, plus they are marked with a gold emblem. Additionally, express listings may include up to five deep links to the submitted site, plus other amenities, such as links to a Twitter account and RSS feed.
New to Jasmine, the directory staff will provide a unique review of accepted sites, one hundred words for a standard listing, three hundred for an express listing. I can't tell for sure from the submission form but I believe that this is in addition to the regular site description.
Either way, I'd much rather the directory staff write the description to a site that I am submitting because I submit my sites to several web directories and have trouble coming up with unique descriptions each time. It also shows active involvement by the directory staff, and that is always a good thing.
By the way, submissions to Jasmine Directory, whichever option is chosen, are one-time submissions. Unless something changes with your site, to make it ineligible, it will remain in the directory once accepted.
The Google PageRank of Jasmine's index page is six, and its internal pages also have ranking. Its Alexa Traffic Rank is 10,603. Its Moz Domain Authority is 64/100, its Page Authority is 70/100, its Page MozRank is 6.8, and its Page MozTrust is 6.78. Its Majestic Trust Flow is 51 and its Citation Flow is 44. These are pretty impressive stats for a directory that has only been around since 2009, if you're impressed by statistics.
I don't use SEO statistics in the rankings that I give to web directories, however. I try to view them from the perspective of a potential web directory user. As such, I rate each directory in five areas, some weighted differently than others. They are: aesthetics (10%), size (25%), intuitiveness (20%), quality (25%), and usefulness (25%). Up to five extra points may be assigned for positive qualities that are not sufficiently covered within these areas.
That said, I'll get on with it.
Aesthetics - 8/10
This is the seventh time that I have reviewed Jasmine Directory since I first evaluated it on February 2, 2013. Its look hasn't changed much, but that's okay; I like the way it looks. There's nothing fancy about it but it's one of the nicer directories that I have seen.
It's not perfect, though. Its Regional category is the only thing preventing its main menu from being symmetrical, as all of its other upper-level categories consist of two words combined with an ampersand.
I appreciate directories that can fit their entire index page above the screen. Jasmine Directory doesn't do that, but the important stuff -- its main menu -- is above the screen.
There is no overt advertising in Jasmine Directory. There is some advertising, mostly to other web directories, but they have the appearance of suggestions, in support of the industry, rather than of advertising.
Size - 11/25
Since it would be unreasonable to expect me to page through every category and subcategory of each directory that I review, counting up the links, I scan each directory using a program called Scrutiny, by Peacock Media. Scrutiny reports the total number of links on the domain (not counting subdomains), and that is the number that I base my rating on. Since Scrutiny doesn't differentiate between internal links and outgoing category links, this number is higher than the actual size of the directory, but since I evaluate each directory using the same method, it's useful for the sake of comparison.
Scrutiny found 42,048 links on Jasmine Directory. Since Jasmine was established in 2009, it is approximately five years old, which means that Jasmine has added about 8,410 links per year. Please see the published evaluation criteria for this quarter for further information about the rating assigned in this area. The criteria for evaluating this section will probably change next quarter so that it is based entirely on the number of links added per year rather than the total number of links, but that hasn't been determined yet. At any rate, once I've published the first review in a quarter, I'm stuck with the criteria for that quarter because it wouldn't be fair to review any one directory by a different criteria than another.
Intuitiveness - 19/20
Jasmine's taxonomy is familiar, in that it is similar to many other web directories, but it's not a copy of DMOZ, as are so many others. Its category structure is unique, yet easy enough to figure out where things are supposed to be.
Browsing its categories and subcategories is an easy task. Things are arranged sensibly, and Jasmine Directory uses @links when they are beneficial, as well as above and below the line capabilities. Sites are placed where they might be expected to be found. Although express listings are listed above standard listings in a category, they are clearly set apart so as not to be a source of confusion.
Additionally, Jasmine features lengthy, generally well-written, unique category descriptions, which can be helpful to users browsing its pages, as well as to site submitters.
Lastly, its search feature is effective in single and multiple-word searches.
Quality - 17/20
Perhaps the thing that I like least about Jasmine Directory is one that it shares with many other directories, including DMOZ and Yahoo! Directory, which is the fact that it uses sentence fragments rather than grammatically correct sentences in site descriptions, and this is true of submitted sites as well as those added by directory staff.
Site descriptions tend to be very brief, often only one partial sentence. At a minimum, I would like to see at least two full sentences in a site description: one describing the business, product or organization, and another describing the features of the website.
Jasmine's new policy of including a unique review of each submitted site will help if it is implemented as described, and has been used in some of the more recently submitted sites that I have looked at. Although the description of the site within the category may be a very brief sentence fragment, the detail pages may include a more descriptive description. I'd still rather see full sentences in site descriptions, however.
Other than that, I am not seeing overtly promotional language or misspellings within site descriptions, and titles are generally the actual title of the site.
All of its pages appear to work as anticipated, and I have come across no empty categories. Scrutiny flagged a few bad links, but very few, and it didn't balk while being scanned, as some do. Significantly, it is clear that the directory staff actively seeks out useful sites to add to its directory, not only because these are tagged with an "EP" label, but because its categories include a large percentage of quality sites that are unlikely to have been submitted for paid inclusion.
Usefulness - 22/25
Jasmine Directory contains significantly fewer links than other directories in the top ten, and many that haven't made it into the top ten. However, there are no empty categories that I am aware of, as the directory staff has seeded each of its categories with useful content, so it can be said that each of its pages includes useful content. If, like many other directories that I have looked at, Jasmine Directory includes a lot of empty categories, its rating in this section would have been significantly lower.
An area in which Jasmine Directory really shines is in its category descriptions. While some otherwise reputable directories, such as BOTW, have determined to have no category descriptions at all, despite the fact that nearly every directory script includes this as a regular feature, the staff of Jasmine Directory have set themselves apart with lengthy, well-written, unique, useful category descriptions, many complete with illustrations. This takes time, but it enhances the aesthetics, intuitiveness, quality, and usefulness of the directory.
Extra Content - 3
I believe that I acknowledged Jasmine's use of an "EP" graphic to flag sites that were added to the directory by directory editors during my last review of the directory, but I am seeing it more in evidence within the directory now. There is also the fact that they have extended unique descriptions to standard as well as express listings, although express listings are offered longer reviews. Detail pages may include business descriptions, addresses, telephone numbers, and social media links, as well as an RSS feed, although some of these features may be reserved for express listings. Also new to the directory is an on-page SEO tool. Of course, some of these things were already credited within the other areas of my assessment.
Jasmine includes an active blog covering a variety of topics, and one that I make a habit of reading even when I am not reviewing the directory.
Overall Rating - 80%
Based on my assessment of Jasmine Directory on Sunday, September 14 and Monday, September 15, 2014, I have rated it at eighty percent.
Although, as I have stated many times, I would prefer to see longer site descriptions, as long as Jasmine Directory continues to continue doing what they have been doing, they will become noticeably better while others may have stagnated.