Skaffe

The Skaffe web directory was evaluated for Web Directory Reviews Org on Friday, June 20, and on Sunday, June 22, 2014.

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Skaffe is the last of the directories I'll be reviewing this quarter. Each calendar quarter, I review twenty web directories for Web Directory Reviews Org, and Skaffe makes twenty.

Established by former Go Guides in 2003, Skaffe was one of at least three directories that were spawned after Disney decided to discontinue its Go.com directory in 2001.

I have reviewed Skaffe twice before, as it has been in our top ten for the past two quarters, coming in at the #9 spot during the fourth quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014. Directories that make it into the top ten are reviewed again the following quarter, competing against one another, as well as ten additional directories.

The Majestic SEO Trust Flow for the Skaffe directory is 49, while its Citation Flow is 35. Its Moz Domain Authority is 49/100, and the Page Authority of its index page is 57/100, its Page MozRank is 5.49 and its Page MozTrust is 5.87.

Sites may be submitted to the Skaffe directory for free on weekends, from 6pm Friday to 6am Monday (EDT). Otherwise, the fee for an express review is a one-time payment of $44.99, which also offers an expedited review.

As a very nice feature for site submitters, the status of a submission may be checked by entering its URL in the space provided.

When I review a directory for Web Directory Reviews Org, I do my best to look at it as a potential web directory user, rather than as a site submitter, and I rate each directory in five areas, some worth more than others. These areas are: aesthetics (10%), content (25%), intuitiveness (20%), quality (20%), and usefulness (25%). I sometimes award up to five additional points when I find something useful that isn't generally found in a web directory.

Aesthetics - 7/10

Colorful. It's hard to believe that so many colors could be used on one page without looking outlandish, but Skaffe makes it work and, in my opinion, it works very well.

Its main menu consists of twenty-four upper level categories, arranged in two columns of twelve each. Its upper-level category name choices are asymmetrical, with some being one word, while others are two or three, not counting ampersands.

In one of its upper-level categories - Gov, Law & Politics - the word, government, is abbreviated, although if it were spelled out, it would still be two characters shorter than Computers/Internet Technology, which appears in the same column.

Although Skaffe is far from the only directory to do this, since the Open Directory Project (DMOZ) introduced the idea years ago, the idea of colorizing the Kids and Teens category annoys me, made worse by misspelling it as Kidz and Teenz, using the full contraction when an ampersand is used elsewhere. The fact that a light gray background is chosen for this category name on the menu, while a white background is used elsewhere, exacerbates the problem further.

In fact, given the colors that are going on throughout the Skaffe directory, the colorized category name might be less objectionable here than in other directories, if not for the use of a gray background.

There are no third-party advertisements on Skaffe, but there are first-party banner ads, for its flash submission tutorial, as well as category advertisements for website ads, allowing listed sites to be highlighted on top of the category pages, which is similar to premium or featured sites in other directories.

Skaffe is an attractive directory despite my objections to its main menu display choices, although its main menu prevents the directory from receiving nine or, possibly even, ten points in this area of my assessment.

Its internal pages display subcategories and listed sites very well, making good use of @links and above or below the line capabilities.

Content - 21/25

Since I am not about to page through every category and subcategories, counting each outgoing link, one by one, I scan each directory with a program called Scrutiny, which determines the full number of links found on the domain, and flagging those that it determines to be bad.

Scrutiny does not differentiate between outgoing directory links and internal links, such as navigation links, so this number does not accurately measure the number of links included in the directory; that number would be less than the number recorded by Scrutiny. Still, this is valuable as a comparison tool.

Scrutiny found 164,006 links on the Skaffe domain, which is a lower number than was found when I last evaluated Skaffe on March 21, 2014, so I would guess that they cleaned out some bad links. By way of comparison, I limit the number of links scanned in a directory to 400,000, and some of the directories that I have reviewed have topped out, having more than 400,000 links, while others, even in my top ten, have fewer links.

Intuitiveness - 17/20

Although not the best, as far as aesthetics is concerned, Skaffe's category name choices are intuitive, using a reasonable organizational structure.

As I mentioned during my last review of Skaffe, I am somewhat bothered by its use of regional subcategories within some of its topical categories, since there is a Local & Regional tree that could be better utilized.

Skaffe does make good use of @links and above and below the line features and, as a rather nice feature, sites representing brick and mortar businesses and locations can include a zip code or post code, which can be searched on.

Some listed sites are given one checkmark, while others receive two checkmarks, and sites are displayed, within each category, according to the number of checkmarks received. My assumption is that Skaffe's editors rate each listed site, but that is not made clear within its documentation, as far as I can see.

Skaffe's search feature works well in one-word searches, at least when that word is included within either the category, site title, or site description, but it doesn't so so well with multiple-word search phrases.

For example, although Skaffe includes a regional category for the town of Apache Junction, Arizona, and there are a couple of sites listed there, a search on "Apache Junction, Arizona," with or without the quotation marks, returns anything containing any of the three words, and it does so without giving preference to those that include the exact phrase.

The first return is for the Apache Software Foundation, while the second return is for a web hosting company that uses servers with Apache. It isn't until the fifth response that one of the two sites in Apache Junction, Arizona is included. The other one appears as the number seven result.

However, in a search on "Apache Junction, Arizona," a link to that category is included at the top of the search results, so users will have little problem finding sites within the town.

Quality - 15/20

Several of the listings that I have come across in the Skaffe directory use domain names rather than actual site titles, and Skaffe uses sentence fragments rather than grammatically correct sentences in descriptions, and many of them are on the skimpy side of descriptive.

At a minimum, I believe that a description should consist of two sentences, one introducing the business or organization, and another describing the features included on the website.

Many of the sites listed in Skaffe are ones that appear to have been added by directory editors. There are empty categories in Skaffe, although I did not come across a large number of them. There are several categories with only one listed site, but I don't view this as being a major problem.

There are, however, very few, if any, listed sites using promotional language, and I came across no misspellings.

Scrutiny flagged more than 20,000 links as bad but I spot-checked several of them, and they were actually working links. This can be called by network or connection problems, resulting in timeouts, or other reasons. Scrutiny doesn't handle dynamic links well, for one thing, and a large number of the links that it flagged as bad were internal dynamic links.

Usefulness 16/25

While not as large as some directories that I've looked at, some of which have more than 400,000 links, Skaffe has enough content to be useful. Apart from a few problems, which I outlined in some of the other areas of assessment, above, its content is reasonably well organized and intuitive.

There is room for improvement in its site titles and descriptions, but Skaffe is far from being the worst that I've seen in these areas. Sites are listed in appropriate categories, which aids users in finding whatever it is that they are looking for.

Unfortunately, Skaffe does not use category descriptions. While reviewing a website for inclusion within the directory, each site is evaluated for content, so it seems reasonable to expect that directories contain content, as well.

If done well, category descriptions could add textual content to the directory, encouraging indexing by search engines, and providing information for directory operators and site submitters. As such, category descriptions could serve as a resource.

Extra Content - 1

Skaffe allows site submitters to check the status of their submission, which is nice. Skaffe also includes a Facebook directory, as well as a blog directory, although both are fairly light on content, at this point.

Overall Rating - 77%

On the basis of my evaluation of the Skaffe web directory, conducted on Friday, June 20, and Sunday, June 22, 2014, I have assigned it a rating of seventy-seven percent.

Comments

There are thousands of "internet directories" on the web, and most of them are scams and garbage. The Skaffe directory is one of the good ones. I have several sites listed there, and as I build more sites, I'll list them in Skaffe as well. Skaffe isn't perfect, but it's a valuable resource.

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