A great Web directory has to do more than convince people to submit their links. It has to convince everyday visitors to come to the directory to find sites or other resources they’re looking for. A directory’s job is to offer value to those users, and those users in turn offer value to webmasters who list their sites. But with the Web directory market being a fairly saturated one, what makes one directory stand out among the others?
We took a look at some of the top directories on the Web by ranking several key quality metrics. You can find a table with our final results below, and then keep reading to see how each of those scores was calculated. Whether you’re looking for new directories to use, or you’re looking to improve a Web directory of your own, you’re bound to find something interesting in our list of top directories.
|Best of The Web||7||6||1||9||8||10||0||6||19||8||74|
|Famlily Friendly Sites||6||3||3||4||8||10||3||7||17||7||68|
|Earth Web Directory||4||0||4||7||5||8||3||8||5||3||47|
How We Scored Each Web Directory
We ranked these Web directories using the collection of factors below. Each factor was assigned a certain number of points, and then those points were added to achieve the total points for each directory. Here is how we assigned those points for each category.
Note: The data used to calculate these point values was accurate as of March 2013 when the evaluation was completed.
This is a value of 1 – 10 points as found in Google’s own toolbar PageRank for each site.
We awarded 1 – 10 points based on each site’s reported Alexa Traffic Rank, as found at Alexa.com. Below you can find out how many points were awarded for various Alexa Rank ranges.
- Alexa Rank in the top 100 = 10 pts
- Alexa Rank from 100-1000 = 9 pts
- Alexa Rank from 1000 – 5000 = 8 pts
- Alexa Rank from 5000 – 10,000 = 7 pts
- Alexa Rank from 10,000 – 25,000 = 6 pts
- Alexa Rank from 25,000 – 50,000 = 5 pts
- Alexa Rank from 50,000 – 75,000 = 4 pts
- Alexa Rank from 75,000 – 100,000 = 3 pts
- Alexa Rank from 100,000 – 150,000 = 2 pts
- Alexa Rank from 150,000 – 200,000 = 1 pt
- An Alexa Rank over 200,000 received no points.
We also factored in a more subjective evaluation of each Web directory’s content quality with a score from 1 – 10. Each site was reviewed by someone with experience in the Web directory industry to determine these scores.
Content quality determinations factored in things like typos, poorly-written site descriptions (such as SEOd-to-death descriptions blindly accepted from site owners submitting links), and additional value-added content on the site, such as blogs.
Design & User Experience
Each Web directory could also earn 1 – 10 points based on its usability and design elements. Aesthetics were considered, but usability was the primary concern. Cluttered sites that were difficult to navigate lost points. So did directories that loaded slowly.
Backlinks pointing toward each directory were also considered, and they were assigned 1 – 10 points based on the following backlink ranges. This backlink data was retrieved using Ahrefs.com.
- Backlinks < 10k = 1 pt
- Backlinks from 10k – 25k = 2 pts
- Backlinks from 25k – 50k = 3 pts
- Backlinks from 50k – 100k = 4 pts
- Backlinks from 100k – 250k = 5 pts
- Backlinks from 250k – 500k = 6 pts
- Backlinks from 500k – 1m = 7 pts
- Backlinks from 1m – 10m = 8 pts
- Backlinks from 10m – 20m = 9 pts
- Backlinks of 20m+ = 10 pts
Empty Web directory categories add no value to visitors, and they waste people’s time when they’re trying to browse for sites. So directories were penalized if we found these empty categories. Each directory earned from 1 – 10 points. They received 10 points if we found no empty categories. And they could earn as little as one point if we came across a lot of empty categories while browsing the site.
Add-Ons & Affiliate Programs
Each Web directory above earned 1 – 10 points based on extras they offered to site visitors. This includes tools, template downloads, blogs, newsletters, affiliate programs, and more. Points were earned based on not only the number of extras, but also their quality.
Premium directories are most valuable to their customers when they offer clear pricing structures. Unfortunately some directories have very complicated pricing schemes. So we assigned 1 – 10 points to each, based on the clarity of their price structure as advertised on their sites. The clearer the policies, the more points they earned.
Age of the Directory
Each Web directory earned one point for every year it has existed. We obtained this information from the sites themselves when possible, and from other data (like WHOIS records or off-site announcements) if the site owners didn’t make that clear.
Domain authority is a ranking that SEOmoz gives to websites. We assigned 1 – 10 points for each directory based on their domain authority rankings, as per the ranges listed below.
- Domain Authority of 0-10 = 0 pts.
- Domain Authority of 10 – 20 = 1 pts
- Domain Authority of 20 – 30 = 2 pts
- Domain Authority of 30 – 40 = 3 pts
- Domain Authority of 40 – 50 = 4 pts
- Domain Authority of 50 – 60 = 5 pts
- Domain Authority of 60 – 70 = 6 pts
- Domain Authority of 70 – 80 = 7 pts
- Domain Authority of 80 – 90 = 8 pts
- Domain Authority of 90-100 = 9pts
Those are the things we looked at when choosing the top directories. That should give you a better idea of where our point totals came from and why each of these directories ranked where it did. You can find other Web directories that might be of interest to you in our own directory here at Web Directory List.