World Site Index

On April 21, 2013, I evaluated the World Site Index topical web directory and rated it at 70%, according to the criteria used for the 2nd Quarter of 2013.

Operating through a TOLRA Directory Script, the World Site Index has been in operation since 2004. Its first entry in the Internet Archive was on July 13th of 2004 and, although it has undergone a few design changes over the years, the topical web directory has been using the TOLRA Script from the beginning.

The main page of the World Site Index has a Google PageRank of 5. Its second-level pages that I reviewed had a PageRank of 3, while its third-level categories had PageRanks that ranged from 0-3. I didn't go through each of its fourth-level categories but those that I did look at had no PageRank.

Its seoMoz Page Authority is 65, the mozRank is 5.82, and its mozTrust is 0.

The directory's Alexa Traffic Rank is 82,350. Its SEMRush Rank is 603,423 and its SEMRush Search Traffic is 335, while its MajesticSEO backlink number is 546,282.

The World Site Index has had twenty-five StumbleUpon stumbies, eighty-four Twitter tweets, and forty-seven Google +1 clicks.

At this time, submissions to the World Site Index are fee-based, but entirely reasonable, with a standard review costing £7.99 as a non-refundable fee, while an express review is £14.99. Express reviews offer the advantage, not only of speedier review times, but links to five internal pages from the site may be included, and express listings will appear above standard listings in the category for a period of one year. A currency converter is available.

In my 2nd Quarter round of reviews, I have been evaluating web directories from the perspective of a directory user rather than through the interests of a webmaster or search engine optimizer, using an evaluation criteria that differs from that used during the 1st Quarter of reviews.

Aesthetics - 5%

At first glance, the World Site Index doesn't look much like a web directory from its index page, which is something that I am inclined to like. However, in this case the index page includes an animated banner ad, an animated block ad, another banner ad below the top-level category menu, and a Google AdSense banner near the bottom, which detracts from the aesthetics of the directory. Its subpages include a Google AdSense tower ad along the right margin, which is not overly distracting.

The directory uses a basic white background with blue header text and black content text.

Its top-level categories are a mixture of one, two, and three words, some using an ampersand while others use the conjunction, so there is a definite lack of symmetry in that respect.

Content - 15%

Although not nearly as large as the Open Directory Project or Best of the Web, the World Site Index certainly has enough content to be useful as a web directory. Its published statistics state that it has 29,993 listings in 4,155 categories.

Intuitiveness - 18%

The taxonomy of the World Site Index is similar in many ways, but is not a copy of the Open Directory Project. Good use is made of @links, and uses category and subcategory names that are intuitive. An alphabetical category list is also available as an alternative.

Quality - 15%

I have come across some empty categories but, on the positive side, I haven't come across any sites that were obviously misplaced. Rather, sites are placed in the most appropriate subcategory.

The program, Scrutiny, found very few badlinks when it scanned the World Site Index, and a good percentage of those were server timeouts, which might simply indicate a high load on the server, or perhaps even connection difficulties. Regardless, the percentage of badlinks found was very low.

For the most part, titles appear to represent the actual titles of the sites being listed, and they use capitalization appropriately and consistently. There are some exceptions, such as the one below:

Toni Allen tarot reader, astrologer & creative artist
Toni Allen. Tarot reader & astrologer. Learn tarot online or with Toni's new tarot book. Healing gemstone jewellery, tarot cards and pagan goods for sale.

However, these are the exception rather than the rule.

Descriptions show a variety of editor styles, with some using complete sentences, while others use sentence fragments. Generally, descriptions are shorter than I would like but they are reasonably descriptive, neither devoid of keywords or weighted down with them.

Two things are clear. Submissions are subjected to review, where titles and descriptions are edited to conform to the directory's guidelines, and sites are being placed in appropriate subcategories. Additionally, it seems clear that the World Site Index does utilize editors who seek out quality websites, adding good content to supplement the hit and miss of paid submissions.

Usefulness - 15%

Browsing through the categories and subcategories of the World Site Index, as mentioned above, it is clear that the editorial staff of the directory regularly adds content, and that submitted sites are not simply accepted into whatever category they are submitted to, with whatever titles and descriptions they were submitted with, but that editorial discretion is appropriately used.

The in-site search used by the directory works well, returning search results that are relevant to the searches made.

However, there are no category descriptions. The use of category descriptions can serve to assist directory users as well as submitters in determine what type of content is expected to be found in a particular category. Well-written, informative, and unique descriptions can also serve as content that will be spidered by search engines.

The World Site Index does include a mobile web directory designed for easy access by mobile devices such as smart phones, iPads, and etc. There isn't a lot of content in its mobile directory yet, but they've made a start.

There is a blog, but it was last updated in September of 2008. With that, I can empathize, as I have a terrible time keeping up with blogs myself.

Extra Credit - 2%

I'm going to give it a couple of extra points for the mobile web directory, however sparse it is at this time, as well as the currency converter.

Overall Rating - 70%


I don't know whether it will make it into the top ten, but the World Site Index is one of the better directories in that it serves a purpose other than selling backlinks to webmasters and search engine optimizers, as is the sole purpose of many of the thousands of directories that can be found on the Internet.


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