JoeAnt

Web Directory Reviews Org evaluated the JoeAnt directory on Wednesday, December 31, 2014 and Saturday, January 3, 2015.

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JoeAnt is another directory that has been in our top ten since Web Directory Reviews Org began evaluating web directories in the first quarter of 2013. Over the quarters, its placement has been #5, #8, #8, #8, #8, #6, and #7.

JoeAnt was one of at least a couple of directories that were started by former volunteer editors with the Go.com directory after Disney decided to close that directory down. It first appears in the Internet Archive (WayBack Machine) as a directory on July 21, 2001.

JoeAnt has a Moz Domain Authority of 60/100, a Page Authority of 67/100, Page MozRank of 6.63, and Page MozTrust of 5.91. Its Majestic Trust Flow is 57 and its Citation Flow is 52. Its Alexa Traffic Rank is 34,812.

There are two options for submitting a site to the JoeAnt directory. A one-time, non-refundable submission fee of $39.99 may be paid or website owners are invited to join JoeAnt as a volunteer editor, after which they may submit their own site at not cost, although it will be subject to review by a senior editor.

For the purposes of Web Directory Reviews Org, directories are evaluated from the perspective of a directory user, so neither SEO metrics or submission details will figure into the rating that it receives.

I will be evaluating JoeAnt in five areas of assessment: aesthetics (10%), size (20%), intuitiveness (20%), quality (25%), and usefulness (25%). Up to five additional points may be added for extra content not adequately assessed within the other areas.

Aesthetics - 7/10


The JoeAnt directory is designed in pastels, and is fairly attractive. The directory's main menu consists of three columns and five rows of upper-level categories. The category name choices are asymmetrical, in that some are one word, others are two words, and still others are two words joined with an ampersand. Its appearance would be improved if the main menu columns were to be centered within its block, rather than left justified.

There is no advertising on its index page, but there are two banner ads on its internal pages, above and below the site listings.

Size 11/20


The JoeAnt directory is about fourteen years and five months old. In order to determine the size of a directory, I scan each directory with a program called Scrutiny, which found 166,524 links. This calculates to approximately 11,548 per year. Please see our review criteria for the fourth quarter of 2014 for further information about the scoring in this area of the assessment.

Intuitiveness - 17/20


Category names and the organizational structure of the JoeAnt directory are easy enough to figure out. The directory does include See Also links, but there are no @links or above and below the line capabilities. A breadcrumb navigation system is in place, which can help users find their way back to previous categories.

Sites are largely placed in appropriate categories, and its in-site search feature works reasonably well, returning sites whose titles or descriptions contain the search words or phrases sought. In that sense, the efficiency of the search is only as accurate as the site description.

Within the JoeAnt directory, sites are sorted according by rating categories that are assigned to them by the editor adding the site to the directory.

A site is assigned three stars if the editor considers it to be among the best in design, content, and navigation. Sites that are of good quality, rich in content, and professionally designed, but not quite up to the highest standards, may be assigned two stars. Other good sites are given one star. Sites that don't qualify in either of these categories shouldn't be listed.

Sites with three stars are presented first in a category, those with two stars second, followed by those with only one star. Lastly, sites that were not rated, for whatever reason, upon being added to the directory, will be displayed last in the category.

Within each section, sites are sorted alphabetically. For example, all of the sites in a category with three stars are sorted alphabetically, followed those with two stars, sorted alphabetically.

I hadn't noticed these before, but I did come across one site that had been given a "Sponsored" label, and listed first, above those with three stars. Although this may be discussed somewhere on the site, I was not able to located any documentation that related to "sponsored" sites, but I would assume that it requires the payment of a fee.

When a site includes audio, chat, downloads, games shopping, video, or requires membership, this is indicated by the editor adding the site to the directory. Sites owned by a JoeAnt editor are also flagged.

The JoeAnt directory's regional section is handled differently than the regional categories in most general web directories in that it is an optional field, intended only for business that have a brick and mortar location, and whose owners wish to have their site listed geographically rather than topically, or for online businesses that operate within a specific region only. When used, these sites will appear within the directory's "By Region" section.

For this reason, there are sites in the directory's topical categories that would otherwise be more appropriately placed within a regional category.

Quality - 18/25


Almost without exception, the JoeAnt directory uses the sentence fragment model for descriptions that were common in the early years of the web directory industry, but I don't believe that this excuses the use of anything other than grammatically complete sentences.

In other words, JoeAnt editors probably wouldn't list a website that used incomplete sentences, or otherwise habitually violated the rules of grammar, so it is my belief that web directories should be held to the same standards.

Additionally, more complete descriptions aid directory users in determining which sites to visit and provide for more satisfactory searches, as well as providing textual content to be indexed by the search engines, which aids the directory as well as the businesses and organizations whose sites are listed there.

JoeAnt is by no means along in this, since most of the older directories use sentence fragments rather than grammatically correct sentences. However, at its root, a web directory is a website, and websites should be held to the rules of language.

Indeed, the directory's guidelines on writing descriptions and titles directs site submitters and editors to "Use standard sentence format. That means use complete sentences, start with a capital and end with correct punctuation."

However, the same guidelines offer an example of a good description that uses sentence fragments. There is a contradiction there and, almost without exception, editors are using the sentence fragment model.

Although the maximum allowed length of a description is thirty-five words, some of the site descriptions used in JoeAnt are reasonably descriptive of the site, while others are devoid of keywords that would allow the site to be found on a site search.

No promotional language or capitalization errors are in evidence within the JoeAnt directory, and Scrutiny did not flag very many sites as being bad.

Usefulness - 17/25


The JoeAnt directory is not as large as some of the other directories in our top ten, but neither is it the smallest. It has ample content to be useful as a web directory, it is well organized, and there are very few empty categories.

However, there are no category descriptions, although a category description field is a standard feature of most directory scripts. When used, category descriptions offer information for directory users, serve to allow site submitters to better determine the appropriate category to submit a site to, and provide textual content to be spidered by search engines, benefitting both the directory and the sites that are listed there.

The JoeAnt directory is responsive to variations in screen size, which is becoming increasingly important as more people access the Internet from cellular phones and other devices with varying screen sizes and resolutions.

Extra Content - 2


With DMOZ, JoeAnt is one of only two major volunteer-drive web directories in operation, as far as I am aware, and it requires a great deal to manage a volunteer organization of any kind.

The JoeAnt directory is well documented, including its history, submission guidelines, volunteer program, and top editors. Apart from its main directory, JoeAnt includes a blog directory.

Overall Rating - 72%


Upon my evaluation of the JoeAnt directory on Wednesday, December 31, 2014 and Saturday, January 3, 2015, I have rated it at seventy-two percent.

Comments


Largely due to changes in my evaluation criteria between last quarter and this, the JoeAnt directory is not rated as highly as before. Thus, it may not make it into our top ten this quarter. Whatever the outcome, the JoeAnt directory is a fine directory, and one in which I am always pleased to have my own sites listed.

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