Yahoo! Directory

Web Directory Reviews Org has reviewed the Yahoo! Directory on Sunday, June 15, 2014.


The Yahoo! Directory is certainly one of the oldest directories on the Internet, if not the oldest. I know that the Open Directory Project (DMOZ) began in 1998, since I was involved early on; although I don't know just when the Yahoo! Directory was established, it first appears in the Internet Archive on January 17, 1999.

I have every reason to believe that it is also a contender for the largest directory on the Internet, although I would give the edge to DMOZ on that one. However, when I try to scan the Yahoo! Directory, it bans my connection from accessing the directory.

There is no doubt that the Yahoo! Directory is one of the most reputable directories on the Internet. Its Majestic SEO Trust Flow is 65, and its Citation Flow is 57. Its Moz Domain Authority is 100/100, and its Page Authority is 89/100, while its Page MozRank is 6.59 and its Page MozTrust is 6.45.

It is difficult to get a link in the Yahoo! Directory for free. Although the directory does have a free submissions option for non-commercial sites, very few are accepted through that route. I have had more luck having sites accepted to its regional categories than anywhere else; in fact, I don't know that I have ever had a free submission accepted anywhere other than its regional tree, and very few of those are successful. Most paid submissions are accepted, but the cost is $299 per year, as a non-refundable fee.

During my reviews for Web Directory Reviews Org, I try to view each directory from the perspective of a directory user, rating each according to its strengths and weaknesses in five general areas: aesthetics (10%), content (25%), intuitiveness (20%), quality (20%), and usefulness (25%). I may also assign up to five extra points for useful content not generally found in web directories, or which are not adequately dealt with in either of the other assessment areas.

Aesthetics - 5/10

The Yahoo! Directory uses a minimalist, retro design, with fourteen upper-level categories displayed in two columns, each enclosed and centered within a box, using dark blue or black text on a white background. Other than an search box, the main menu, and a small logo, there is very little on the index page of the directory.

Its top-level category name choices are asymmetrical, with some consisting of one word, others two words, and others two words joined by an ampersand.

Content - 19/25

The Yahoo! Directory is one of the largest web directories, I am sure, but, according to my review criteria, when a directory does not allow me to scan, five points would be deducted from whatever score I might otherwise have given it in the content area.

The topical categories of the Yahoo! Directory are very well represented, but its regional section includes several empty or near empty categories. Having more than 400,000 links, the Yahoo! Directory would be given between 24 and 25 points in this section so, due to the empty categories in its regional section, I would award it with 24 points in the content area, with five points subtracted from that.

Intuitiveness - 17/20

The taxonomy of the Yahoo! Directory is strong, overall. Its category name choices are reasonable and its organizational structure is intuitive, making good use of @links and above/below the line capabilities.

The directory's regional categories can be frustrating for a user because so many of its Cities categories have no content. Even when a number in parentheses indicates that there are sites listed in a category, often this proves to be only an @link to another part of the directory, after drilling down several useless clicks.

The directory includes a functional search box but it defaults to searching Yahoo's search engine, which is supplemented with Google results. In order to search the directory alone, it is necessary to use its advanced search features, and this may not be entirely clear to the directory user.

With each category, results are displayed by popularity rather than alphabetically, by default, although a user can choose to display them alphabetically.

Quality - 14/20

The Yahoo! Directory uses sentence fragments rather than complete, grammatically correct, sentences in its site descriptions, and these tend to be very brief indeed. As anyone who has submitted sites to the directory can attest, even paid submissions are generally stripped of all about a few descriptive words, resulting in descriptions that usually consist of one very brief, partial sentence. Strangely, a lot of the sites listed in the Yahoo! Directory use the domain name rather than the actual site title.

I don't know how actively this is done currently, but Yahoo! Directory editors do seek sites to add to the directory, as I have had one site listed in the directory that I never submitted, paid or otherwise. Still, I suspect that the majority of sites that have been added to the directory in recent years are those that have been submitted through paid inclusion.

Sites are nearly always placed in appropriate categories, with one exception: there are several sites listed in its topical categories that would more reasonably be placed within its regional tree, no doubt paid submissions that were accepted into the categories they were submitted to.

Usefulness - 20/25

The Yahoo! Directory has a lot of content, categorized well, and placed in appropriate categories. There are, however, no category descriptions, which is a lack that I see all too often in web directories.

When written and used effectively, category descriptions can be a significant aid to directory users and submitters, while adding textual content useful for search engine optimization. While the Yahoo! Directory certainly rates high in whatever SEO metric you might want to use, a link on a page that includes textual content relevant to the topic of the site is more valuable than one that is listed on a page that includes nothing other than other links.

The fact that the Yahoo! Directory's search defaults to its search engine is unfortunate, since someone who wanted to use a search engine would be unlikely to begin at its web directory.

Still, the Yahoo! Directory's content and organization makes it a useful web directory resource.

Extra Content - 1

Unlike most other directories, the Yahoo! Directory includes a suggestion board where users can make suggestions for improvements in the directory. Other users can vote on these suggestions, and Yahoo! Directory staff take part in discussions from time to time.

Overall Rating - 76%

On the basis of my assessment of the Yahoo! Directory on Sunday, June 15, 2014, I have given it a rating of seventy-six percent.


Were it not for the fact that the Yahoo! Directory does not permit its content to be scanned, it would have been rated at eighty-one percent. It is a strong directory and, although I cannot afford to pay the annual fee for paid inclusion in the directory, a listing in this directory would be a strong back-link. The Yahoo! Directory does occasionally accept free submissions, so it is always worth the effort to make the submission, particularly if one of its regional categories would be a good fit.


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