Yahoo! Directory

Upon my evaluation of the Yahoo! Directory on Friday, December 6, 2013, I am rating it at seventy-five percent.

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The Yahoo! Directory is a pioneer in the web directory industry. From its beginnings as a web directory, Yahoo! has branched out in every direction, to become a household word, at least in households that have a computer and an Internet connection.

Anyone looking for a safe, reliable, and authoritative directory to which to submit their site couldn't go wrong with the Yahoo! Directory, as long as they can afford the price. Although the Yahoo! Directory does accept free submissions for non-commercial sites, the chances of acceptance are low. In my experience, the directory's regional categories are the best choice for free submissions, but it's always worth trying. Otherwise, the Yahoo! Directory charges a $299.00, non-refundable, annual fee for consideration of a site for inclusion in its directory. Most websites, of reasonable quality, are accepted via its paid submission option, but titles and descriptions are almost certain to be modified.

The main page of the Yahoo! Directory has a Google PageRank of eight, and subpages seven levels down in its category tree often have PageRank. Its Moz Domain Authority is 100/100, and the Page Authority of its directory's main page is 90/100. Its Alexa Traffic Rank is four, with only three domains on the Internet ranking higher. The directory has had 57 Google+ clicks, 178 Facebook likes, 318 Twitter tweets, and 314 StumbleUpon stumbies.

There is little doubt that a listing in the Yahoo! Directory would be good search engine optimization, but not everyone can afford it. Again though, if you cannot afford the cost of a paid submission to the directory, try submitting your site to it regional categories. If it is a non-commercial site, it may be accepted. I have made something in the neighborhood of fifty free submissions to the Yahoo! Directory, and six of them were accepted. Plus, I have had one other site listed by Yahoo! Directory editors even though I hadn't submitted it.

But that's not the focus of this review. Each calendar quarter, Web Directory Reviews Org evaluates twenty web directories according to published criteria. At the end of the quarter, the top ten directories are posted to the site, and these directories will be in competition with one another, as well as ten additional directories during the following quarter. The evaluation criteria is subject to change between quarters, so even though a directory may not have changed significantly from one quarter to another, its rating may change.

In our web directory evaluations, we try to look at the directory from the perspective of a directory user rather than someone who is looking for a good back link, but we include the information above because it is important to a lot of people.

In our view, however, the best back links are from directories and websites that are designed, not for search engines, but for human visitors.

We will be looking at five general areas, with differing values. These are aesthetics (10%), content (25%), intuitiveness (20%), quality (20%), and usefulness (25%), the percentages representing the overall value of each area. For example, aesthetics is worth only ten percent of the whole, while usefulness is worth twenty-five percent.

Aesthetics - 5/10

There is nothing particularly pretty about the Yahoo! Directory. Using dark blue or black text on a white background, and almost no graphics other than a very simple logo, the directory's design is minimalist.

Its fourteen categories are arranged in two columns, each in its own box, with the bottom block being used for a link to new additions, and an RSS subscription link.

Some of its upper-level categories are one word, while others are two words separated by an ampersand, but this lack of symmetry is offset by the fact that each category is enclosed within its own box on the main menu.

Content - 18/25

The Yahoo! Directory is one of the largest and most established on the Internet, and the first choice for any new site owner who can afford its submission rates. Also, Yahoo! Directory editors do seek out sites to add to the director on their own, I know, because one of mine was added without it having been submitted. Additionally, sites may be submitted for free, and are sometimes accepted into the directory.

There is no doubt that the Yahoo! Directory has as many or more listings than most any other directory on the Internet. However, the Yahoo! Directory banned my ISP while I was scanning it, using my Scrutiny program, so I was unable to determine a number of links or the percentage of bad links that might be included. My published criteria states that, if a directory cannot be scanned for any reason, five points will be deducted from whatever number of assessments points I might have otherwise awarded the directory.

While the Yahoo! Directory's topical categories are fairly well built out, its regional tree contains several empty categories and fluff, although there is still a fair amount of content there. Its low regional content is probably why they are more likely to accept free submissions to its regional tree.

I would be awarding the Yahoo! Directory twenty-three out of a possible twenty-five points in this area but, due to my inability to scan the directory, that score will be reduced to eighteen.

Fortunately, I use my Verizon hotspot as an ISP so all I have to do is reboot my phone to obtain a new, unbanned ISP number, so that I can continue my evaluation.

Intuitiveness - 15/20

The Yahoo! Directory's taxonomy is reasonable, and its category and subcategory names are fairly intuitive. Plus, the directory makes good use of @links and above and below the line capabilities that can help a directory user navigate its content.

As I noted during my last review however, many of its topical categories include a "By Region" subcategories, creating little regional trees within the topical area of the directory, which is a bad practice. Although @links within its regional tree will point back to these topical-regional categories, I don't believe that I am alone in finding this practice to be confusing.

Its regional categories have a lot of empty categories, which is made worse by the fact that these categories show a number in parenthesis, which would seemingly indicate that there are sites listed there.

While it is possible to search within the directory itself, the default is its search engine, which includes Google results and takes you away from the directory. In order to search the directory alone, it is necessary to click into its advanced search features.

Quality - 15/20

As is the case with most older directories, the Yahoo! Directory uses sentence fragments rather than grammatically correct, and complete, sentences in site descriptions. Plus, the directory frequently uses domain names in lieu of site titles. Site descriptions are skimpy, and often devoid of useful keywords, but no more so than the Open Directory Project.

Usefulness - 20/25

There is no argument that the Yahoo! Directory is useful, given its large amount of content, a fairly intuitive taxonomy, and brand recognition, which leads to people using its directory as a resource.

Detracting from its usefulness is a lack of category descriptions, skimpy site descriptions, a regional tree that contains too many empty categories, and a search box that defaults to its search engine rather than directory.

Extra Credit - 2

Many of the problems found within the Yahoo! Directory were the result of decisions made more than a decade ago and, given the size of the directory's database, would be all but impossible to correct at this point. Recognizing this, I will award one extra point.

The directory includes an active suggestion board, allowing directory users and submitters to make suggestions or offer comments to directly staff, who often participate in the discussions. I will give another extra point for that.

Overall Rating - 75%

Upon my evaluation of the Yahoo! Directory on Friday, December 6, 2013, I am rating it at seventy-five percent.

Comments

If not for the fact that the Yahoo! Directory banned my ISP the moment I began scanning, its rating would have been eighty percent. The Yahoo! Directory is a pioneer of the web directory industry, and an active dinosaur, but I couldn't treat it any differently than I would any other directory.

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