Jasmine Directory is a “paid web directory” (this is widely accepted term even if every webmaster should understand that a suggestion fee is not equivalent with “guarantee of acceptance”, rather someone’s time and effort is paid), submitters need to pay a review fee in order to suggest a website. (there is a difference between “suggesting for consideration” and “submitting and being assured of acceptance”).
Inclusion in Jasmine Directory is not guaranteed, which is good. Each suggested website is reviewed by an editor and only if the resource meets certain quality criteria it’s going to be listed; otherwise the review fee is refunded (although many directories won’t refund the review fee-which, by some extent is understandable-because we talk here about someone’s time).
For example, Yahoo Directory-one of the top first tier directories-has a clear TOS regarding the “consideration” (this is how they call it) of a website (citation source):
The current fee for Yahoo Directory Submit for initial consideration in the Directory is a NON-REFUNDABLE fee of US $299.00
Why higher quality web directories charge a review fee?
Well, as any other website, there are certain resources that are being used and which often are costly:
- A dedicated server (JD’s Alexa traffic is around 12k, so, I suppose they really need a dedicated server to handle that traffic)
- Technical issues (fixing deprecated PHP functions, improvements, creating new tools etc)
- Thumbnail Generator (I saw they’re using ShrinkTheWeb Premium to collect their listed websites’ thumbnails)
- Paying for marketing (Yup, without marketing you’re basically non-existent)
- Paying their editors to search and ad resources (check out this category, I am absolutely sure NASA haven’t suggested their website to JD…)
The first impression
The very first impression is a “wow” effect, the website is clean and the colors are well matched. The navigation is simple, offering access to everything a visitor may be interested in once landed on this website.
Based on two sections, a topic and a regional section, Jasmine Directory provides an easy and interactive user experience when it comes to the submission process. There are two types of reviews available: Standard and Express. The difference between the two is narrowed down to the 5 deep-links Express listings may have. All Express listings are displayed above the Standard ones.
The directory was registered in 2009-so it’s not very old-is included in Yahoo Directory, DMOZ, Business.com and other major directories. A blog is also featured, although it’s not updated as frequently as I’d like to.
Metrics (if anyone still cares)
- Age: five years (Contrary to general belief, nowadays the age of a website doesn’t weight too much. Although Google seems to give more authority to old domains, the age factor fades when when it comes to web directories because I’ve seen many ten years old directories filled with spam.)
- PageRank: 6 naturally flowing towards categories and subcategories.
- Domain Authority: 58
- MozRank: 6.90 (this is a MOZ metric calculated like PageRank is)
- Alexa: around 12K
- Google Page Speed Grade: 95% (A)
- YSlow Grade: 83%
What takes apart this directory from the crowd?
- Well, each main category and subcategory has its own unique article/description, making pages look more natural than just a bunch of hyperlinks.
- Relevant images in each category are also a nice touch.
- Each listing has its own details page featuring the website’s screenshot, business address, contact information and other details. The business address appears in a Google generated map (this is useful especially for businesses), which, again, sets Jasmine Directory apart from other directories.
- As soon as a website is listed, the details can be easily edited by its owner.
- An upgrade feature is also available for those who want to modify their listing for whatever reason.
- They reserve the right to edit a listing, or even move it to another category (if needed). This isn’t something I see too often, because, let’s face it, a web directory owner will list a website although the title uses the same keyword several times instead of refunding the review fee.
- They apply a high editorial discretion and I personally haven’t seen spammy titles and descriptions, which is again a good consideration for a directory as Matt Cutts clearly stated Google’s view about paid web directories.
- A rejection list is also made public.
What I don’t like is the relatively low number of categories. Some sub-sections from a few main categories like Health, Travel or Society (to name a few) could really use more subcategories.
“Jasmine Directory is a directory that does it right with high editorial standards and plenty of editor-added submissions. It is a well thought out site and easy to navigate. This is definitely a directory that I recommend.”
“As a long-time webmaster, directory editor, and reviewer, I have looked closely at a lot of web directories over the past decade and a half. As a webmaster, I have several sites listed with Jasmine Directory.
I receive direct traffic from its users, and have found my listings to be beneficial in my search engine positioning, and at a pretty good price. As an editor, I have never worked for Jasmine but I can appreciate its attention to quality.
As a reviewer, the fact that Jasmine has been in my top ten since I began reviewing directories speaks for itself. Let’s face it, there are a lot of really bad websites selling backlinks through a directory script, but they are not representative of the industry; the good ones, like Jasmine Directory, and several others, are the ones that represent the web directory industry.”
Ken Anderson, owner of Web Directory Reviews Org
Jasmine Directory is heading to a very good direction and I’d like to see more directories like this over the Internet. What webmasters should understand is that the web directory industry is dead as we knew it a few years ago. If you still think that submitting your website to a ton of free, spam directories can do any good, you are wrong.
A web directory accepting anything for a few bucks, is most certainly considered non-valuable and spammy in Google’s eyes. Fortuntely, I can’t say the same for Jasmine Directory-it stays away from such practices while on a good way from this point of view (as well as some other quality directories like DirJournal, Aviva Directory, BOTW, Ezilon, Abilogic, etc…).