Skaffe

Upon my evaluation of the Skaffe directory on December 14, 2013, I have given it a rating of seventy-two percent. This should be enough for it to place in our top ten for the fourth quarter of 2013.

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Our last review for 2013 is of the Skaffe web directory. Skaffe is a general comprehensive web directory that was probably established in 2003, as it first appears in the Internet Archive on October 26th of that year. Apart from its web directory, Skaffe includes a blog directory and a new Facebook directory, although we will only be evaluating the web directory here.

Each quarter, Web Directory Reviews Org evaluates twenty web directories; these will be the top ten directories from the previous quarter, as well as ten additional directories. Since this is our first time looking at Skaffe, it is one of the challengers in our fourth quarter of directory evaluations.

The index page of Skaffe has a Google PageRank of four. The PageRanks of its second-level pages range from two to three, and its third-level pages range from zero to two. Its Moz Domain Authority if 51/100 and its Page Authority is 59/100. The Alexa Traffic Rank of Skaffe is 71,556. Skaffe has had 26 Google+ clicks, 30 Twitter tweets, 6 Facebook likes, and 333 StumbleUpon stumbies.

Skaffe accepts free, standard review submissions from 6:00 pm on Friday to 6:00 am on Monday. An express review is available for a one-time fee of $44.99. Unlike some directories that accept free submissions but never approve them, Skaffe does approve free submissions that meet its guidelines.

Since the second quarter of 2013, Web directory evaluations done by Web Directory Reviews Org are conducted in such a manner as to give weight to the perspective of a potential web directory user, rather than assessing the directory's value to a site submitter or search engine optimization professional, although a directory that meets the needs of the end user will probably serve well for SEO purposes as well.

In our review, we'll be looking at five aspects of the directory, and rating it according to our findings. Aesthetics is worth a maximum of ten percent of the final score, content has the potential of twenty-five percent, intuitiveness and quality twenty percent, and usefulness twenty-five percent. While this is done sparingly, as much as five extra points can be awarded for merits that are not otherwise covered under these criteria items. Our assessment criteria for each quarter is published on the Criteria page of the site.

Aesthetics - 7/10

The Skaffe directory is colorful yet, for some reason, it isn't gaudy. While I might generally find the use of so many colors to be too noisy, I think it works.

I wish its top-level category menu wasn't so lacking in symmetry. Some of its top-level category names are one word, while others are as long as three, four if ampersands are counted as words. In its "Gov, Law & Politics" category, "Government" is abbreviated, without the use of a period, although spelling the word out would not make the category any longer than "Computer/Internet Technology," in the same column, so it seems that the abbreviation is unnecessary.

Its subcategory-level pages include an ad for other features of Skaffe, as well as one for Skaffe Category Advertisements, which I believe would act somewhat like featured sites, except that they are placed above the subcategory menu, which is mildly annoying. Nevertheless, Skaffe is a good looking directory.

Content - 16/25

Earlier today, I scanned the Skaffe directory using Scrutiny, a program that determines the number of links on a domain, including the number of links that are bad. Scrutiny found 165,351 links in the Skaffe domain. Since Scrutiny does not differentiate between outgoing directory links, navigational links, and other links found on the domain, which would include both its blog directory and its Facebook directory.

Skaffe has a reasonable amount of content, but several of the other directories that I have reviewed topped out at 200,000, which is the point at which I have Scrutiny set to stop.

I did not come across many empty categories in its topical categories, but there were quite a few in its regional tree. There is also a fair amount of useful content in its regional categories, however.

Apart from its general web directory, Skaffe includes a blog directory and a Facebook directory, although the latter is very brief, at this point in time, being new. The directory also has a games section and links to various webmaster resources.

Intuitiveness - 18/20

The taxonomy of the Skaffe directory is unique, although most of its upper-level categories have their counterparts in other directories. At twenty-four, Skaffe includes more of its categories at the top-level, which is neither good nor bad, I suppose. The category name choices are intuitive, and I am not seeing any unfortunate redundancies, other than a couple of regional trees within topical categories.

Skaffe utilizes @links and above and below the line features, which not only makes for an attractive presentation, but assists anyone browsing the directory's categories and subcategories.

Businesses or sites that include a brick and mortar location may be located by post or zip code, as well, which is kind of a nice feature.

Category descriptions would be a welcome addition, but I'll discuss that further under the usefulness criteria.

Quality - 16/20

My Scrutiny program can be quite aggressive, and it has caused some directories to slow to a crawl or even crash, but Skaffe's servers handled it nicely.

Scrutiny flagged 21,341 links as bad links but I don't use that as a hard number. In the case of Skaffe, at least half of the links flagged as bad were 401 and 403 errors, many of which are not actually bad. Several others were timeouts, which can occur for a number of reasons, and do not necessarily represent a bad link. Roughly one-quarter of the flagged links were 404 errors or ones who returned the error prompt, "A server with the specified hostname could not be found." Of these, each of the several that I checked were indeed bad. Every directory of reasonable size is going to have some bad links, even those that use automated processes to detect bad links.

Skaffe uses the sentence fragment model for site descriptions, but I am not seeing any promotional language, misspellings, or obvious grammatical errors, apart from the fact that sentences are not complete or grammatically correct. Site descriptions used in the Skaffe directory are generally descriptive.

For the most part, site titles reflect the actual title of the site. I am seeing some that include keywords, besides the actual site title, but these may well be holdovers from the time when the directory's guidelines allowed this. Today, although its submission guidelines ask for the site's actual title, its video tutorial still suggests adding keywords to the title, but it's not a fresh video.

Additionally, sites appear to be listed in appropriate categories.

Usefulness - 15/25

While not as large as some of the other directories that we've reviewed, the Skaffe directory certainly has enough content to be useful to a directory user, and it is organized well enough for it to be found. Users should have little difficulty browsing the directory's categories and subcategories. Alternatively, it's in-site search works very well, and, as I have mentioned already, the addition of a search by post or zip code is also a nice feature.

One flaw in the directory's usefulness is its lack of category descriptions. The addition of category descriptions would be a significant resource to potential users of the directory, since, if someone is interested in the topic that he is browsing in the directory, a description that offers useful information about these topics would be helpful. Well-written, unique category descriptions will also offer direction to submitters, and provide valuable content for search engine optimization.

Overall Rating - 72%

Upon my evaluation of the Skaffe directory on December 14, 2013, I have given it a rating of seventy-two percent. I believe this will be enough to place the Skaffe directory in our top ten for the fourth quarter of 2013.

Comments

Skaffe is one of the better directories on the Internet, if not one of the largest. Like many of the older directories, it uses a misguided sentence fragment model for site descriptions, originating most likely with the Yahoo! Directory or the Open Directory Project, at a time when most Internet users were on dial-ups and resources were at a premium. It is my opinion that, as newer directories accumulate the content to compete, their addition of longer, more descriptive site descriptions and, more significantly, category descriptions, will place these older directories at a disadvantage.

Nevertheless, Skaffe's sentence fragments are reasonably descriptive, and done well. The implementation of category descriptions would be a huge plus for this directory.

skaffe-dec2013

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