CannyLink

On April 18, 2013, I reviewed the CannyLink Internet Guide, a topical web directory that has been online since 1997, and rated it at 36%.

cannylinklogo
Created by one individual, and owned by Traffic Connection, CannyLink has been online since November of 1997, first appearing in the Internet Archive on May 2, 1998. The directory went through several design changes over the years, adopting its current design by January of 2004. In March of 2007, CannyLink began using a phpLD directory script.

The topical web directory's upper-level categories are Arts, Business, Education, Entertainment, Family, Finance, Health, Hobbies, Home and Garden, Industry, People, and Reference.

1,420 of its pages have been indexed by Google. Its main page has a Google PageRank of 5. The second-level categories that I looked at had a PageRank of 4, and its third-level categories ranged from no PageRank to a PageRank of 4. I viewed several of its fourth-level categories and didn't see any with PageRank.

Other statistics include:

Alexa Traffic Rank - 132,880
SEMRush Rank - 3,834,104
SEMRush Search Traffic - 8
MajesticSEO Backlinks - 979,845
seoMoz Page Authority - 62
mozRank - 5.76
mozTrust - 0
Stumbleupon Stumbies - 28
Twitter Tweets - 8

Submissions to the directory are fee-based. Regular submissions are $19.95. The featured submission fee is $29.95, and the topic sponsor fee is $39.95 per year. Listings made in the directory on the basis of regular and featured submissions do not expire.

Additionally, CannyLink offers press release creation and distribution services. For a PR creation and posting on CannyLink, the cost is $59.95. The cost for creation of a press release and distribution via RSS, Google News, and MSN News, the fee is $89.95. PR creation with extended distribution is $169.95.

Now that the preliminaries are out of the way, let's get on with the review. In the second quarter of 2013, I will be looking at directories from the perspective of a prospective directory user, rather than as a webmaster or search engine optimizer.

Aesthetics - 8%

My first impression, seeing the vertical tower ad in the right margin of the directory's index page, was that which I always feel when I see advertising on a web directory, and that is that it looks tacky. However, on further inspection, I can see that it points to another section of the CannyLink site, being that of its press release creation and distribution services. In that sense, it's just an internal link.

Putting that aside, the blue-amber-buff header looks templated, but not altogether horrible. The contents of the index page fits easily onto one screen, and that's always a plus. I suppose I'd like to see the suggested directories in the same font as the rest of the text, but that's not a major concern.

The directory's Entertainment subcategory names use a mixed upper and lower case, which needs to be fixed. For example, we have:

LESBIAN & GAY
MAGAZINES
Magazines
MAGICIANS
Movie News
MOVIE TITLE'S
MOVIES
Music

Please note that there are two categories for "magazines," one in upper case, the other in lower case. At first, I thought that the first one was LESBIAN & GAY MAGAZINES but no, MAGAZINES is a separate category, as is Magazines.

Another error that I've seen more than once is the use of the possessive when the plural is intended. In the above list, we have MOVIE TITLE'S. The intent is a plural but the use of an apostrophe makes it a possessive. Elsewhere, I have seen "Resume's" used when "Resumes" was intended.

Lastly, since all of the top-level category names consist of one word, except for Home and Garden, I think I would try very hard to come up with one word that could appropriately represent this category, for the sake of symmetry.

Content - 10%

Site statistics posted on the directory's index page state that there are 66,188 active listings in 12 top-level categories and 2,494 subcategories. Scrutiny, a Mac-based SEO program, shows 57,011 links; this includes internal links, but I don't believe that it counts multiple listings of the same URL as more than one link. For a small to medium sized web directory, that's not bad. I have browsed through several of its categories and subcategories, and haven't come across any that were without an ample number of links, even at its deepest levels.

Intuitiveness - 10%

The taxonomy of the CannyLinks directory does not appear to be a copy of any of the other directories that I have looked at. The category structure makes sense, and the top-level categories are repeated in the left margin of each of its subcategory pages, making it unnecessary for anyone to have to return to the index page in order to switch category topics.

I would question the placement of some of its subcategories. For example, I think I would look for "Teenchat" in People/Chat Rooms rather than in the Family tree, and I would make it two words - Teen Chat - rather than pressing them together.

There are other subcategories whose names and/or placement don't seem to be overly well thought out, but I will admit that, over the years, I have changed my mind several times over some of this stuff.

Quality - 0%

The quality of link descriptions is not good, I am afraid. Site descriptions range from no descriptions at all to several lines of promotional verbiage, many of which use the first-person.

For example, from the Family/Home Pages category:

Adam & Amanda's Pages
- Clearly the best looking couple on the web, and English too!

Ainai
- has baby pics and other info available. Visit now.

Allan Family

Allen and Drew

Alosa Family
- Alosa emails addresses. If you are an Alosa, you may submit your address for publication to webmaster@alosa.com

Andersen Kids
- Natasha, Amanda, Chenisse, Derek, Jordain.

Anderson, Jana and John
- featuring Gracie, dirtbikes, softball, wedding stuff, and anything else we want to post.

Anderson, Rich and Stacy
- learn all about the Anderson Family. Where Rich works, what Stacy likes, meet our dog!

Apgar, Eric & Karen

Arbiv Family
- from Lybia to Israel.

Aurich - Hutchison
- Lee, Helen, Karen & Paul.

Featured listings directly beneath Business:

Wiju - Classified ads search engine
Wiju helps you save time, search in hundreds of websites at the same time.

Al Asher Trucks
Rents and sells a large, diversified inventory of late-model, pre-owned bucket trucks, digger derricks, and specialized equipment from a broad range of well-known manufacturers.

Bail Bond Company Web Design
Slingshot Digital has worked with bail agencies across the country since 1999. We have successfully assist bondsman with their online marketing including, web design, SEO and PPC advertising. Contact us today for a free initial review.

My 3 Month Payday Loans
With so many borrowing options available it can be hard to choose which is best for your situation, whether it's a 3 month loan or a 24 month loan you are looking for we offer independent advice on the best practises to follow when taking out a short term personal loan.

Allied Asphalt Repair
We specialize in municipal and commercial asphalt paving, parking lot repair, and all types of maintenance.

New Business Leads
Fresh new business leads from the leader in exclusive access to new revenue opportunities for marketing, advertising, and media executives.

Servcorp Virtual Offices
Our Virtual Office packages give you the ability to easily and quickly expand into other markets, thus increasing your market share. By joining online you can instantly set yourself up with an address and a local representative in the city of your choice- anywhere in the world.

Others are not particularly bad, other than the fact that they are overly promotional.

Graduation Invitations Graduation Party
Everything you need for a brilliant graduation party, starting with the graduation invitations. Also graduation songs, party food, favors, gift ideas, cards, ecards, graduation party invitations, party games, speeches, graduation party planning, cakes, cupcakes, decorations, quotes, poems, graduation party ideas, announcements, clip art and more.

The Real Asset Company
Buy gold bullion with The Real Asset Co. and use our open market to set your own rates for physical gold and silver. Buy gold bars from the professional markets, stored in LBMA approved vaults in Geneva, London and Singapore, and use live gold price charts to inform your investing. Benefit from our flexible range of storage and delivery options and enjoy greater security and control with your gold investments. Choose to open your own personal vault account, and easily take delivery of bullion to your home. Open an account in minutes to test our platform with your welcome gift of a free ounce of silver.

Titles are often keywords rather than site titles. For example:

Generator
Energyst Cat Rental Power is part of Caterpillar Inc. and offers an extensive, modern fleet of Caterpillar Power Generation equipment from 20 kVA up to complete power plants installations. Besides this, Energyst also offers an extensive range of equipment for air cooling as well as liquid cooling. All based on temporary rental solutions.

Clearly the site title should be "Energyst," not "Generator." In fact, the first occurrence of the word "generator" on the index page of that site is under the "For Rent" area near the bottom of the page.

Site placement is often random or, more likely, sites are accepted into whatever category they are submitted to, probably with the title and description that is submitted.

As an example, the following sites are listed directly beneath the top-level Entertainment category:

Watch Movies Online
Miss your favourite program? Watch tv online and catch up with your favorite shows.

Atlanta DJ
Atlanta DJ DJ "E" has relocated to the Metro Atlanta area and has captured the likes of many fans here in Atlanta. AtlantaDJ DJ "E" is a true master of music and has DJ'd an event for the Neighborhood Charter School located in Atlanta.

Why wouldn't the first listing be listed in the MOVIES subcategory, and the second in the DISK JOCKEYS category, rather then directly beneath the top-level Entertainment category?

Other listings are just, well, bad. For example:

hd tv
bring tv to life with sony bravia hd tv, the latest in home cinema viewing.

broadband.co.uk
An Ofcom accredited broadband comparison and information site.

Diseo web Madrid
McAitor diseo web Madrid es una empresa especializada en diseo profesional de paginas web y posicionamiento de paginas web en Madrid, formada por profesionales en las areas del diseo grafico, diseo y programacin web, promocion y posicionamiento web, creaccion de sitios web y tiendas virtuales.

ANOVAGROUP
The ANOVAGROUP - Virtual Business Counselors.

Scrutiny found 66,188 links in the CannyLink directory, which included internal links. It found 5,520 bad links. The bad links all appear to be outgoing links, and the majority of them returned 404 errors, followed by 403 errors, and a combination of other problems

Usefulness - 8%

I could be wrong, but I am not seeing a lot of links that appear to have been added a directory editor, unless they are the ones that have no descriptions, so I am thinking that the vast majority of links are those that were submitted to the directory by webmasters and search engine optimizers, and that they were accepted into whatever category they were submitted to, with whatever titles and descriptions they were submitted with. This seriously detracts from the usefulness of the directory.

However, despite the fact that there are many sites listed in upper level categories that should have been placed in existing subcategories, there are also appropriate sites listed in the appropriate categories, so someone looking for something in particular might be able to find it. Unfortunately, many of these categories also contain sites that clearly don't belong there, and the lack of appropriate tiles and descriptions in so many of the listed sites also detracts from the usefulness of the directory.

Overall Rating - 36%

On the basis of my review, I have rated the CannyLink web directory at 38%.

Comments

By and large, the biggest problem with the CannyLink Internet Guide is its lack of quality control in issues of site placement, titles and descriptions. At this point, it would no doubt be quite a lot of work to fix it. This could be done one category at a time, while simultaneously exercising better control over submitted sites, ensuring that they have appropriate titles and descriptions, and that they are placed in the right categories. Beginning with the upper-level categories, this would put a better face on the directory.

However, the CannyLink Internet Guide might be a good choice for webmasters, as it has some PageRank that bleeds down into many of its subcategories, and you can submit your site just anywhere, with whatever title and description you like.

cannylinkapr2013

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