World Site Index

On the basis of my review of the World Site Index on August 8th and August 9th, 2013, I have rated the directory at seventy-four percent.

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World Site Index was last reviewed on April 21, 2013. It made it onto our Top Ten list for the second quarter, coming in #10, with a rating of 70%.

I apologize for the lateness of this review, which was supposed to have been completed on August 8th. However, the World Site Index uploaded a design change in the middle of my evaluation so I had to start over.

This quarter, we'll be using the same basic criteria as we used last quarter, except that the values have changed somewhat. Aesthetics is worth only ten percent of the total score, for example, with the additional ten percent being assigned to content and usefulness, which are now worth five percent more than during the second quarter.

During the third quarter, the top ten web directories from the second quarter will compete with one another, as well as with ten additional directories.

Established in 2004, the World Site Index is a general topical web directory, using a TOLRA directory script. According to its terms of use, TOLRA Micro Systems Limited is identified as the owners of the directory.

World Site Index has a Google PageRank of two on its index page, which may be significant for site owners trying to decide which directories to submit their sites to, as World Site Index had a PageRank of five last April. Its internal pages have no PageRank today while, less than four months ago, it had third-level pages with a PageRank of three. Approximately 83,300 of its pages have been indexed by Google, and it does show up on a search of its domain name, so it has not been removed from Google's index.

I hope that this is a temporary situation, not only because I have some sites listed in the World Site Index, but because I am rather fond of the directory. Other than mentioning, however, we don't get involved in issues of search engine optimization in our actual reviews.

World Site Index has an Alexa Traffic Rank of 94,572, an SEMRush Rank of 1,110,575, an SEMRush Search Traffic of 107, and a MajesticSEO number of 492,082.

The directory has had 26 StumbleUpon stumbles, 85 Twitter tweets, and 50 Google +1 clicks.

Submissions to the directory are fee-based, with two options. For a £7.99 non-refundable fee, a standard review will, if accepted, appear below express listings. Express reviews cost £14.99, which is a non-refundable fee. If accepted, express listings may include up to five internal page links, which must be accessible from the site being listed. Express listings will appear above standard listings for a period of one year, after which they will become standard listings.

During our third quarter review, as we did during the second quarter, we will be viewing the directories that we evaluate from the eyes of a directory user, looking for aspects of the directory that might make it useful to someone who wanted to use the directory to find an online resource.

In this, we will be assessing five basic criteria: aesthetics, content, intuitiveness, quality, and usefulness, and assigning percentage points in each of these areas.

Aesthetics - 2/10

The index page of the World Site Index is very busy, and not all of it is directory content. More than a fair share of the index page consists of advertising, which detracts from the general look of the directory. These ads continue into the directory's internal pages.

Additionally, the directory uses a mixture of top-level category names with one word and two words, some combined with an ampersand, while others use the conjunction.

Some of its second-level categories appear beneath the upper-level categories on the index page, but some categories show only one, while others show as many as nine.

I have to struggle to find something that I like about the aesthetics of the World Site Index web directory. It does use black and blue text on a white background, which is easy to read, and it doesn't look much like a web directory at first glance, which is nice.

Content - 17/25

The World Site Index has a fair amount of content, although it is not as large as the Open Directory Project, Best of the Web or, perhaps even Aviva Directory. There are quite a few empty categories, however.

I ran the Scrutiny program on the directory for about fifteen minutes. It found quite a few bad links but, percentage-wise, no more than in the average directory.

Intuitiveness - 17/20

The World Site Index uses standard category names, which are easy enough to understand. The taxonomy of the directory is good, in that it is well-categorized, and sites are not listed in inappropriate categories. Additionally, the directory makes good use of @links

Apart from its category structure, the World Site Index includes an alphabetical category list and an in-site search, as alternative means of finding content.

Quality -

As I mentioned earlier, site listings are not inappropriately placed in higher-level categories, as seen in several other directories. There are some empty categories, and many others with only one site, but I don't consider one site in a category to be a quality problem.

Scrutiny found some bad links, but not an overly large percentage of them.

The directory uses sentence fragments in site descriptions, but appears to enforce its quality standards as they relate to site titles and descriptions.

STOP


Okay, I have never come across this before but, part way through my evaluation of the World Site Index directory, the design of the directory was changed completely, and for the better. I am going to start over with my review but, for the sake of whatever, I will leave my original assessment, as far as it went, here. However, only the assessment below will be used in rating the directory for the purpose of this review.

Below is what the directory looked like when I began my review.

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Aesthetics - 7/10

The new look is a huge improvement over the old. It now uses black and green, with some blue text, on a mostly white background, and the new design has been optimized for use on mobile devices. It has a completely new design, including a new logo.

The new design utilizes some advertising as well, but it is far more tastily done than before. For one thing, there are fewer ads and, for another, they are more clearly defined, set apart from the rest of the directory.

The directory's index page does scroll horizontally, but its entire main menu appears above the fold, so that is not a problem.

Its top-level menu remains asymmetrical, using a combination of one-word category names, and two-word category names, combined with either an ampersand or the conjunctive. It still presents an imbalanced number of subcategories beneath the top-level categories on the menu. However, the presentation is improved.

Below the fold are Directory News, Web Development News, and Social & Search News, as well as a footer with additional information and internal links.

Content - 17/25

Although the directory's design has been changed, its content remains the same. The World Site Index has a fair amount of content, although it is not as large as the Open Directory Project, Best of the Web or, perhaps even Aviva Directory. There are quite a few empty categories, however.

I ran the Scrutiny program on the directory for about fifteen minutes. It found quite a few bad links but, percentage-wise, no more than in the average directory.

Intuitiveness - 18/20

The World Site Index uses standard category names, which are easy enough to understand. The taxonomy of the directory is good, in that it is well-categorized, and sites are not listed in inappropriate categories. Additionally, the directory makes good use of @links

Apart from its category structure, the World Site Index includes an alphabetical category list and an in-site search, as alternative means of finding content.

Additionally, its new design offers a cleaner look, at both the main menu and subcategory level, so that both its categories and its site listings stand out clearer.

Quality - 15/20

As I mentioned earlier, site listings are not inappropriately placed in higher-level categories, as seen in several other directories. There are some empty categories, and many others with only one site, but I don't consider one site in a category to be a quality problem.

Scrutiny found some bad links, but not an overly large percentage of them.

The directory uses sentence fragments in site descriptions, but appears to enforce its quality standards as they relate to site titles and descriptions. Most of its descriptions are descriptive, and I am coming across very few site titles that I would consider to be inappropriate.

Overall, it is clear that the directory does subject submitted sites to a review, where titles and descriptions are edited to conform to the directory's editorial standards. As I have submitted sites to this directory, I know that the World Site Index requires submissions be made to its deeper-level categories, which tend to be the more appropriate, and the fact that I am not seeing misplaced sites suggests that directory editors are maintaining quality control in this area as well.

The use of full sentences and longer, more descriptive, site descriptions would be perhaps the most significant improvement that could be made to the World Site Index, in my opinion.

Usefulness - 16/25

As I browse through the World Site Index, I can see that its directory staff adds content to the directory, as well as maintaining its editorial standards for submitted sites.

Its in-site search feature works, and search results are relevant to the search words and phrases that are inputted.

One fault that I have with the directory is that it does not make use of category descriptions. Uniquely authored and informative category descriptions would add much to the experience of a directory user, as well as providing content to the directory apart from its outbound links.

Extra Credit - 1

I am going to give the World Site Index an extra credit point for surprising me with a new design in the middle of my evaluation, and because it is quite likely that, with a new design, additional features will be added over the next few days and weeks.

Overall Rating - 74%

On the basis of my review of the World Site Index on August 8th and August 9th, 2013, I have rated the directory at seventy-four percent.

Comments

Since my last evaluation of World Site Index in April of this year, the directory has dropped from a Google PageRank of 5 to a PageRank of 2, with none of its interior pages showing any PageRank at all. I am hoping that this is the result of a temporary fluctuation in PageRank due to a recent Google update, and not a downgrade of the World Site Index directory.

I don't always keep up with who may or may not be in trouble with Google, and a large part of me wishes that Google wasn't able to exercise as much control as it does.

Nevertheless, I do feel obligated to mention such things when I come across them. However, my evaluations have more to with the usefulness of a web directory for a directories original purpose, which was to direct or guide people to useful information on the Internet.

Matters such as Google PageRank relate to a directory's secondary purpose, as it relates to search engine optimization and site traffic. While I will mention such things, they are not a part of my evaluation.

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