Aviva Directory Interview

Web Directory Reviews Org conducted an online interview with Jeffrey Behrendt of the Aviva Directory, a well respected general web directory that includes a regional tree, as well as a separate blog directory. Established on February 16, 2006, the Aviva Directory runs on a PHP Link Directory (PhpLD) script.

WDR: May I ask why you decided to start a web directory?

Jeffrey Behrendt: I had used several other web directories and was disappointed with them. Often, I would look at the directories that were supposed to be good and think that I could do a better job.

WDR: Other than yourself, do you have any paid staff?

Jeffrey Behrendt: Yes, we have a team of paid editors.

WDR: Are your staff paid by the edit or for the time that they work?

Jeffrey Behrendt: The editors are paid by the time worked rather than by the number of edits because I believe that this ensures that quality take priority over quantity. We aim to offer the best listings rather than the most listings.

WDR: Having looked through the Aviva Directory, it looks like you're on your way to doing pretty well in both areas. Does the Aviva Directory have an active volunteer program?

Jeffrey Behrendt: No. Our editors are paid for their time.

WDR: What are your submission requirements?

Jeffrey Behrendt: The primary requirement is that the website be a quality website. For Aviva Directory, this means that the information on the website is original, appears to be accurate, the business behind the website is real, there are contact details, the site is professionally presented, and free of errors.

As for technical requirements, we require titles to be the official website name, and the listing to be in the most relevant category. We only list websites that are in English or with substantial English content. For site descriptions, five hundred characters is the maximum. We try to ensure that website descriptions are as meaty as possible.

WDR: Is the payment of a fee required for submitting a site to the Aviva Directory?

Jeffrey Behrendt: Yes, there is a fee.

WDR: Are you optimistic about the future of the web directory industry?

Jeffrey Behrendt: Certainly, for "quality" web directories. There will always be a need for people to find quality websites quickly and easily, and without any spam.

WDR: What are your future plans for the Aviva Directory, let's say, in the next couple of years?

Jeffrey Behrendt: We plan to keep increasing the usefulness of our directory.

WDR: Other than creating back links for webmasters, what purpose does a web directory serve today? Do real people still use web directories?

Jeffrey Behrendt: Our traffic statistics show us that real people are still using directories. If you are unfamiliar with a topic area, having a list of the best sites in the subject area is a great way to start research and exploration of the topic.

WDR: I will say that I own several domains, a few of which are listed in the Aviva Directory, and my statistics also show that I receive direct traffic from my listing there, as well as the advantage that there is to be gained in the search engine search results from a listing in a good quality directory. I ask that question because I keep seeing tweets from SEO people to the effect that no one uses directories anymore, and I know that not to be true as it pertains to the better quality directories like the Aviva Directory.

Do you have any ideas as to what changes might be necessary in order for the web directory industry to remain viable in the future?

Jeffrey Behrendt: They will need to emphasize quality in everything they do. A directory will always be relevant if it helps users find quality resources on a topic.

WDR: Thank you very much for being willing to speak to our readers. As you may know, the Aviva Directory tied for third place in our list of the Top Ten directories for the first quarter of 2013, and will be in the running during our second quarter as well, using a different set of criteria. Again, thank you for your time, and we will always be interested in your comments on our reviews, our review criteria or anything else that we do.

Web Directory Reviews Org interviewed Jeff Behrendt of the Aviva Directory on April 4, 2013, and the review was published on April 5, 2013.