Skaffe

Skaffe directory was reviewed for Web Directory Reviews Org on Wednesday, September 24 and Thursday, September 25, 2014.

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I was scheduled to review the Yahoo! Directory first, then Skaffe. But, for some reason, the Yahoo! Directory has been down for the past few hours, which seems odd to me. However, I'll move along to Skaffe, and come back to the Yahoo! Directory later.

Skaffe has been in my top ten since I first reviewed it in December of 2013. It came in #9 then, during the fourth quarter of 2013. In the first quarter of 2014, it was again the #9 directory, and last quarter -- the second quarter of 2014 -- it had moved up to #7. This will be my fourth review of Skaffe.

Its Google PageRank is four, and its internal pages have rank as well. Its Moz Domain Authority is 49/100 and its Page Authority is 58/100, while the Page MozRank is 5.45 and the Page MozTrust is 5.69. Its Majestic Trust Flow is 55, and its Citation Flow is 44. Its Alexa Traffic Flow is 88,205.

Skaffe accepts free submissions on weekends only. Those who are looking for an expedited review can choose it paid option, which is a one-time fee of $44.99. If not accepted into the directory, all but a $10 processing fee will be returned. Three category advertisements are available for each category, at a cost of $49.95 per month, $39.95 per month, or $29.95 per month, for first, second, or third-place positioning respectively.

In my reviews of directories for Web Directory Reviews Org, aesthetics is worth as much as ten percent of the total score, the size of the directory is twenty-five percent, intuitiveness is twenty percent, quality twenty percent, and usefulness twenty-five percent. Plus, I may add up to ten points for useful content not otherwise covered within my review.

Aesthetics - 7/10

Skaffe breaks some of the rules of design, or at least of what I generally consider to be good ideas, but it does it very well, and I consider it to be one of the prettiest web directories that I've come across. With at least seven different colors, I'd think it would look loud, and I suppose it does, but in an attractive way.

It is not without its flaws, however; the greatest of which is its "Kidz and Teenz" category. Many years ago, DMOZ decided, against my argument, as I was a meta editor there then, to colorize its "Kids and Teens" category, which looks dumb enough, but then every other general web directory on the web copied the idea, some even misspelling the words, as Skaffe does. As if things couldn't be worse, Skaffe's "Kidz and Teenz" category is on a light gray background while the rest of the main menu is on a white background. Given the several colors that are used in Skaffe's design, the colorized letters would be less objectionable than I find them to be in most directories, but the gray background is just wrong. Its "Kidz and Teenz? category is why I am not giving Skaffe a nine in aesthetics.

Another problem with the look of the directory is that its main menu categories are asymmetrical, with its upper-level category names ranging from one to three words, some connected with an ampersand, others with the full conjunction. In its "Gov, Law & Politics" category, the word "government" is abbreviated when, if it were spelled out would still be shorter than another category in the same column, "Computer/Internet Technology."

Skaffe is an attractive directory, nevertheless. Its internal pages have advertisements to some of its own features, such as a flash submission tutorial, and there is space for three website advertisements above each of its categories. Although I haven't come across any actual ads, there are ads for ads. However, they would not present differently than premium listings do in many other directories.

Size - 14/25

Size refers to the number of outgoing directory links contained in a directory. However, since it is wholly impractical for me to browse through every page of a directory, counting up the links, I use a program called Scrutiny to scan the directory. Scrutiny tells me the number of links that it has found within the directory domain, excluding subdomains. This include internal links, such as navigational links, so it is not an accurate accounting of the number of outgoing directory links but, since every directory is evaluated in the same manner, it is a useful indicator.

This quarter, I am also considering the age of a directory, giving credit to directories that may not have been around as long as some of the others, but which have added a large number of links per year.

Skaffe has been around since late 2003, making it approximately eleven years old. Scrutiny found 165,572 links during its scan of the directory, which calculates to about 15,052 links per year. Please see the evaluation criteria for this quarter for an explanation of the score given in this area of the assessment.

Intuitiveness - 16/20

The taxonomy of the Skaffe directory is reasonable, but not perfect. Its category structure is unique, and not borrowed from DMOZ, as are so many other directories, but category names are intuitive, and its organization is fairly good. The directory incorporates @links and above and below the line features.

Although Skaffe is a general directory, with a regional category tree, some of its topical categories include "By Region" categories, rather than simply listing these sites in the larger regional tree. Oddly, its News & Issues > Newspapers > By Region category includes @links for Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Central America, Europe, Middle East, Oceania, and South America, all of the categories that are referred to have no listed sites, except for Europe, which has one. The North America and Polar Regions categories are not @links but they contain @links to other categories, mostly with no listed sites.

When I was an editor with the Open Directory Project (DMOZ), we would refer to this as an @link farm. There are pros and cons to @link farms. When they lead, eventually, to categories with relevant content, they can be helpful to someone who has chosen to browse a topical category looking for a regional site. In this case, however, nearly all of the categories being referred to are empty, and the @link farm serves only to confuse and frustrate users.

Nicely, sites that have a brick and mortar presence may include a zip code or post code, which can be searched on. This is a useful touch. Listed sites are given from one to three stars, and they are displayed, within the category, according to the number of stars they were assigned. My assumption is that Skaffe's editors rate each listed site, although I don't know what the criteria is. I feel a little bad, however, because I have several sites listed in Skaffe, and I don't think any of them have more than one star. In case you're wondering, no I am not grading it down for that.

Site searches do well on single-word search terms, but not as well with multiple-word search phrases, as it seems to search for each of the words individually, and without giving preference to those that include the entire phrase.

Overall, it's easy enough to find what you're looking for in Skaffe.

Quality - 16/20

Several of Skaffe's listings use domain names in lieu of the actual title of the site, although it seems that I am finding fewer of these than I did the last time I reviewed Skaffe.

Skaffe uses sentence fragments rather than grammatically correct sentences, for the most part, but some of its listings include full sentences. The directory is largely devoid of promotional language or misspellings, and site descriptions are somewhat descriptive, albeit on the skimpy side.

In my opinion, a site description should be descriptive of the site. At a minimum, it should consist of two sentences, one describing the business, organization or product, and another describing the features of the site itself. A web directory is a web site, and it is reasonable to expect a web site to include grammatically correct, complete sentences. Why wouldn't we expect the same of a web directory?

Below are a few examples that I came across in the Skaffe directory, although most of its listings are better than this.

Art Forum@Lucid Café - International directory of art, search by category, gallery and service.
Address: N/A | Tel: N/A |
URL: http://www.lucidcafe.com/gallery/artforum.html

netweed - Platform for alternative arts and culture projects.
Address: N/A | Tel: N/A |
URL: http://www.netweed.com/

FastCash.org - Read about the good, bad and ugly side of the payday loan industry. United States consumers only.
Address: N/A | Tel: N/A |
URL: http://www.fastcash.org/

rama777 games - Play the largest selection of free online games
Address: N/A | Tel: N/A |
URL: http://www.rama777.com/

Money-Zine.com - Provides information on personal finance, investing and career development.
Address: N/A | Tel: N/A |
URL: http://www.money-zine.com/

Usefulness - 17/25

Skaffe is not as large as most of the other directories in my top ten, but it does contain enough content to be useful. There are a few problems with its organizational structure, as I have outlined above, but it's reasonably well organized.

Sadly, Skaffe does not use category descriptions, a feature that is standard in every web directory script that I am familiar with. Category descriptions can be useful to directory users and submitters alike, as well as providing textual content to be spidered by search engine spiders, potentially increasing the SEO value of each category page. The lack of category descriptions is the chief reason for Skaffe's loss of points in this area of the assessment.

Its content is difficult to read on a standard smart phone, which would approve according to the size of the screen, but I was able to find my way around the directory on my smart phone.

Extra Content - 3

Besides its main directory, Skaffe includes a blog directory and a Facebook directory, although there are not a lot of listed sites in either. There is also a game section, and some webmaster resources. Although they aren't user features, I like the idea that Skaffe accepts free submissions on weekends, and that site submitters can check the status of their submissions.

Overall Rating - 73%

Upon my evaluation of the Skaffe directory on Wednesday, September 24 and Tuesday, September 25, 2014, I have rated it at seventy-three percent.

Comments

The chief reason for the lower score that Skaffe received this quarter, as compared to last, is the change to the way in which the size of the directory is assessed. Weighing the number of sites added per year against the total number of sites works in favor of a younger directory, such as Jasmine, but against an eleven year-old directory like Skaffe. I don't know whether a rating of seventy-three percent will be sufficient to keep Skaffe in our top ten this quarter, but it will remain one of my favorite directories nevertheless.

The most significant area in which Skaffe could gain points include the addition of category descriptions, although there are some simple improvements that could add a few points in aesthetics.

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