JoeAnt

The JoeAnt web directory was reviewed for Web Directory Reviews Org on March 19 and March 20, 2014.

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JoeAnt is one of the older directories in the industry and, aside from the Open Directory Project, perhaps the oldest active volunteer-driven web directory. The general directory first appears in the Internet Archive on March 2, 2001.

JoeAnt has been in our top ten since we began reviewing web directories in the first quarter of 2013, when it came in number five. Its was number eight in the second quarter, largely due to a significant change in our review criteria, and in our third and fourth quarters it again came in number eight.

Its Google PageRank is five at its index page, and its second-level pages have a PageRank of four. I didn't come across any third-level or lower pages with rank. Its Moz Domain Authority is 60/100, while the Page Authority of its index page is 66/100. The Alexa Traffic Rank is 23,222.

JoeAnt has had 19 Google+ clicks, 20 Facebook likes, 36 Twitter tweets, and 118 StumbleUpon stumbies.

The cost for submitting a site to JoeAnt is $39.99, as a one-time payment. Another option is to register to become a volunteer editor, in which case it may be added for free, so long as the directory's guidelines are adhered to.

Although none of the above has any bearing on my evaluation or rating, I like to include it for those who are interested. For the purpose of my review, I will be viewing the directory from the perspective of a potential directory user.

To that end, I'll be evaluating the directory in five areas: aesthetics (10%), content (25%), intuitiveness (20%), quality (20%), and usefulness (25%). Additionally, I may award up to five extra points for useful content or features not generally found in other web directories.

Aesthetics - 6/10

The design of the JoeAnt directory is simple yet elegant, and quite comfortable, using pastel tones and either black or blue text on a white background.

JoeAnt's upper-level category name choices are asymmetrical, but the white space between the three columns of categories is ample enough to cover for it. Beneath the main topical menu are links to its blog directory, its regional directory, and to its independent business affiliates. To the right of the main menu, its top editors are recognized, and there is a FAQ and a brief history of the directory.

There are no third-party advertising blocks on the directory's index page, but its subpages include a banner ad on top of the site listings, and another beneath. Without the advertising, I'd probably rate the aesthetics of the directory as an eight, or maybe a nine, if I were feeling kind.

Content - 17/25

When I scanned the JoeAnt directory, it found 164,211 links. This includes internal links, such as navigational links, and is a couple of thousand more than it found when I last reviewed this directory in December. This places it somewhere in the middle of the directories that have made it into our top ten, as far as quantity goes, as we have had some directories top out at 400,000, while others have had substantially fewer than this.

Paging through its categories, I didn't come across any empty categories in its topical section, although there were several in its By Region tree.

Intuitiveness - 17/20

The upper-level category name choices and organization are fairly standard, and easy enough to figure out. Beyond the index page, the structure strays from some of the other directories that I am familiar with but it appears to be fairly sensible. I don't see any use of @links or above and below the line features, but JoeAnt does use See Also links, which can guide users to categories with similar content.

Someone looking for JoeAnt's regional tree might miss it, since it's not among the other upper-level categories, but it's plainly labeled as "By Region," so I wouldn't count that against them.

Quality - 15/20

JoeAnt uses a sentence fragment model in site descriptions, and the length tends to be on the light side. Nevertheless, most of the descriptions in JoeAnt are reasonably descriptive. Site titles used in JoeAnt generally reflect the actual title of the site, as well, but there are some exceptions, particularly where the use of the domain name, or keywords, are used in lieu of the actual title. Below, are a few examples that I came across, with my comments in parentheses.

Antique Timepieces and Furniture in Colorado (Antique Timepieces)
Information about antique clock repair and items for sale. (vague)

FlexiCommercial Vendor Finance (Flexi Commercial)
Can tailor vendor and business equipment finance solutions based on specific needs. (vague)

Make-stuff.com (Make-Stuff)
Gifts and projects, holiday crafts, gardening, recipes, a kids' section, and resources.

Power by Proxi
Leaders in wireless charging technology. (promotional, vague)

TechLore.com (TechLore) or (Techlore)
Community about consumer electronics. Find articles and reviews about home video and audio, gaming, cameras and camcorders, portable video, cell phones, PDAs, and peripherals.

I did not come across any examples of clear promotional language or misspellings. From my observations, I would estimate that the majority of sites listed in the directory were added by JoeAnt's editors.

When I scanned the JoeAnt directory, Scrutiny found quite a few bad links, and I came across a few of them as I was checking for the actual titles of listed sites.

Usefulness - 20/25

There is sufficient content for the directory to be useful, it is well organized and, with some exceptions, reasonably well described.

Except for its By Region categories, I did not come across any empty categories. However, the By Region section doesn't have a lot of content. Someone browsing its regional tree would probably become frustrated by the lack of content in that section of the directory. I will point out that the By Region section of the JoeAnt directory serves a different purpose than that of the regional categories in other web directories, in that it is supposed to house only sites that serve only a specific region, which is, by necessity, self-limiting.

JoeAnt's in-site search works well, as long as site descriptions include the keywords necessary for them to be found by search. JoeAnt does not use category descriptions.

JoeAnt uses a rating system, in which directory editors assign from one to three stars to a listing based on the editor's assessment of the quality of the website. Sites are sorted, within each category, according to this rating system.

Extra Content - 1

As one of few active volunteer-driven web directories on the Internet, I will assign one extra point to JoeAnt for its volunteer program. Volunteering with an active directory, such as JoeAnt, is a great way for someone to learn the web directory industry.

Overall Rating - 76%

The JoeAnt directory was evaluated on March 20, 2014. On the basis of my evaluation, I have rated it at seventy-six percent.

Comments

However it fares this quarter, JoeAnt is one of the better directories on the Internet. The use of category descriptions would be a significant improvement.

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