The GoGuides Directory was reviewed for Web Directory Reviews Org on Monday, December 8 and Tuesday, December 9, 2014.

The GoGuides Directory is one of a few directories that were created by former Go.com volunteer editors after that directory was closed. The directory first appears in the Internet Archive on February 20, 2001, so it is one of the older general web directories still in existence.

The GoGuides Directory has been in our top ten before. It was our #2 directory during our first quarter of reviews in 2013, dropping to #6 in the second quarter, then dropping off of our top ten in the third quarter.

As GoGuides is one of the more well respected directories on the Internet, and because it didn't lose out by much, I have elected to place it in competition again this quarter. However it fares as far as our top ten goes, GoGuides will remain a very good directory, and one of the few that I have all of my sites listed in.

GoGuides is one of my favorite directories but for the sake of the reviews that I do for Web Directory Reviews Org, I restrict myself to the published criteria so my favorite directories don't always make it into the top ten.

Each directory is evaluated in five areas: aesthetics (10%), size (20%), intuitiveness (20%), quality (25%), and usefulness (25%). Additionally, I sometimes award up to five extra points for content not otherwise credited during my review. These may include site detail pages, thumbnail images, and opportunities for user interaction, as well as active blogs, articles or associated forums.

Before I proceed with the review however, let's look at some things that don't count as far as the rating of the directory goes: SEO metrics and submission fees.

Its Moz Domain Authority is 55/100, the Page Authority is 62/100, the Page MozRank is 6.42, and the Page MozTrust is 5.82. The Majestic Trust Flow for GoGuides is 60, and the Citation Flow is 48. Its Alexa Traffic Rank is 99,743.

Submissions to GoGuides are fee-based, but there are a few options. Its Express option is the least expensive, costing a one-time fee of $39.99, and the submitter is required to locate the most appropriate category, and to add a title and description according to the directory's guidelines.

Its Easy submission option only requires that the URL and an email address be required, as the staff will complete the remainder of the information.

Another exciting option if, like me, you have a lot of domains, is the GoGuides Membership option. A membership costs $19.95 per month, but members may add as many sites as they wish. Submissions made through the membership program are auto approved, but must still meet the standards of the directory. The cost of a company membership is $149.95 per month. I use the Individual Membership option for my own sites.

Okay, let's get on with the review.

Aesthetics - 8/10

The GoGuides Directory has a nice, clean look. Everything fits onto one screen easily, and its logo is the best I've seen.

Although its overall look is pleasing, it is not without some problems. The main menu is busy, with a lot of stuff crowded together, and its upper-level categories could hardly be less symmetrical, ranging in length from one to three words, some joined with an ampersand, while another uses the full conjunction.

There is no advertising on its index page. There is, however, a banner ad on its internal pages.

Size - 13/20

In order to determine the relative size of a directory, I use a program called Scrutiny, which scans the directory domain (sans subdomains) and gives me the number of total links, which is what I use as a number. This number, of course, is higher than the actual number of outgoing links since it includes navigational and other internal links. However, since all directories are being reviewed in the same manner, it is useful for the sake of comparison.

Scrutiny found 283,437 links on the GoGuides domain. The directory has been online for approximately twelve years and nine months, so that calculates to about 22,230 links per year. According to my criteria, the point value for this section of the review is 13 out of a possible 25 points.

Intuitiveness - 17/20

The GoGuides Directory's taxonomy is unique, as compared to several other directories which use variations of the DMOZ taxonomy, but its category names and organization is easy enough to figure out.

For the most part, sites appear to be placed in appropriate categories. Exceptions include several sites that would be more appropriately placed in its regional categories, as well as several that could be moved into deeper-level subcategories.

The GoGuides makes sparing use of @links but they are in use when needed. Perhaps the directory would benefit from an above-or-below-the-line feature. For example, within its Local, Regional & World > North America > USA category, topical subcategories are listed within a Resources parent, where they could otherwise be placed above of below the line, if that feature were in use. Still, the position of the Resources category above the state categories is relatively intuitive.

Within each category, listings are sorted, first, according to a rating that is entered by the listing editor, and then alphabetically. When a site is listed in the directory, an editor assigns it one, two, or three points, identified by small people images. Those with three people are listed first, alphabetically, while those with two people are listed second, etc.

Its in-site search works well, even on multi-word key phrases, also presenting any categories that match the key word or phrase.

Quality - 20/25

GoGuides Directory editors do a very good job of enforcing the guidelines of the directory. However, one of these guidelines is that a maximum of two hundred characters can be used for a site description, which is not nearly enough for a truly descriptive description. For this reason perhaps, the directory also uses a sentence fragment model for its descriptions.

Within these limitations, its descriptions are generally pretty good, as I have not noted spelling errors, promotional hype, or inappropriate key-wording. Titles generally represent the actual title of the site, and my scan of the directory indicated very few bad links.

Each directory that I review is scanned by a program called Scrutiny, a program that can be rather aggressive, but there was no slowing in the performance of GoGuides during the scan.

Usefulness - 20/25

The GoGuides Directory isn't huge, but neither is it tiny and, while its regional tree has several empty categories, its topical categories do not.

Site descriptions are far briefer than I would prefer, but they are fairly well written and descriptive, given the restrictions. Category descriptions would be a welcome addition to the directory, as well written category descriptions can provide useful information to directory users, instruction to submitters, and textual content to be spidered by the search engines.

The directory renders fairly well on a mobile phone, although horizontal scrolling is required.

Extra Content - 1

The GoGuides Directory is well documented, as far as its help section and submission guidelines, including a questions and answers page. A webmaster's resource page is also included which links to sites that might be of particular interest to webmasters. As I mentioned earlier, I also particularly like its membership program.

Overall Rating - 79%

Upon my assessment of the GoGuides Directory on Monday, December 8 and Tuesday, December 9, 2014, I have rated it at seventy-nine percent.


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