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Should the ODP/DMOZ Use NoFollow Tags
What that change anything?
SEOMike

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464559 posted 9:43 pm on Sep 26, 2007 (gmt 0)


System: The following 5 messages were cut out of thread at: http://www.webmasterworld.com/directories/3460327.htm [webmasterworld.com] by webwork - 8:35 am on Sep. 29, 2007 (utc -5)


I think a nofollow tag would significatntly decrease the number of submissions to the site. The only reason that anyone I know submits there is to get g Google Directory listing.

Maybe the submissions I made over the last couple of months will come out of "limbo" now.

 

hutcheson

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464559 posted 1:59 pm on Sep 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

>I think a nofollow tag would significatntly decrease the number of submissions to the site.

I don't think submittal spammers pay that much attention to reality, one way or another.

ogletree

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ogletree us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464559 posted 3:00 pm on Sep 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

nofollow has done nothing to stop spammers.

hutcheson

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464559 posted 3:54 pm on Sep 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yeah, I think only the brighter ones (relatively speaking) pay any attention to it. And even those would notice that while dmoz.org may or may not put "nofollow" on links, that has no effect on what directory.google.com or AOL or other licenses do. (Which is fine: dmoz.org is only the "workshop": it's not there primarily for surfer access.)

centime

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464559 posted 4:42 pm on Sep 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

Firstly,

I don't see why you chaps are mentioning nofollow, the tag does not appear on any of the listings I've checked in dmoz.org

Secondly, where small directories have used nofollow, they're usually found out rather quickly,

Where the submitter is using submission software (a spammer to some people), it can take a while i guess before directories using nofollow can be weeded out of their submission lists

g1smd

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464559 posted 7:45 pm on Sep 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

The reason people loved ODP was the pagerank and the traffic it sent. <<

Ahem. Wrong end of the production line.

The directory is built so that people looking for information on a particular topic could find a bunch of sites covering that topic, with relative ease, simply by drilling down through the category heirarchy, or by using the internal site search to directly find that category and any others that are closely related.

[edited by: Webwork at 1:43 pm (utc) on Sep. 29, 2007]
[edit reason] Tidying up [/edit]

ogletree

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ogletree us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464559 posted 8:05 pm on Sep 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

The way I use it is search for a site that I know about and then find other sites like it. I wish it was more comprehensive. I wish they would nofollow the thing so they could add more sites to it. Only problem is nobody would want to work on it any more. That would show you real quick who the dishonest editors are.

hyperkik

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464559 posted 4:30 pm on Sep 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

Junk is junk. Adding "nofollow" won't inspire anybody to add junk to the directory. Good sites already get added to the directory, with the delay being an issue of manpower.

victor

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464559 posted 6:11 pm on Sep 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

nofollow is for links the site owner does not trust.

The nofollow attribute was devised to address a spamming issue created after the invention of Google -- blog comment spam. DMOZ predates the creation of Google. So no obvious case there for DMOZ to use it.

At the moment a site link is added to DMOZ, the site clearly is trusted -- otherwise it would not be added. No obvious case there, either.

There may be a case for some of DMOZ's automated tools to downgrade a link to nofollow if it trips some automated internal checks -- rather than immediately delisting it. (the automated checks are run every few weeks to look for link rot and other degradations). But I can't off hand think of any examples where that would be useful.

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464559 posted 6:23 pm on Sep 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

Should the ODP/DMOZ Use NoFollow Tags

I don't think so. The process required to be listed in the ODP negates the use of the nofollow attribute.

We all know that 95% of the submissions to the ODP are for the value it represents from an SE standpoint. While some of us use it one way, others use it another way. I'm going to guess the true value comes from the ODP clones that have managed to establish themselves as an authority in their space. And, from the fact that Google is using that data.

Human Edited content should not require use of the nofollow attribute. Also, the use/misuse of the nofollow attribute has really distorted things a bit. Talk about a misinterpretation of a guideline, whew!

Rosalind

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464559 posted 7:43 pm on Sep 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

At the moment a site link is added to DMOZ, the site clearly is trusted -- otherwise it would not be added. No obvious case there, either.

On the whole I agree with this statement. However, there is a case for adding nofollow in certain cases, when a link hasn't been re-reviewed by an editor in some time. We all know that links go bad, and that automatic checking isn't always enough. It might be a good idea to nofollow those links that haven't been revisited by an editor for a year or two, because they might have changed purpose.

proboscis

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464559 posted 7:57 pm on Sep 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

Human Edited content should not require use of the nofollow attribute.

Yes it should. In this case, it very well should.

The directory is built so that people looking for information on a particular topic could find a bunch of sites covering that topic...

Good. Yes. Then nofollow it so it can be just that, not something to be used, abused, and pissed at.

And the nofollow should carry over to the clones as well.

hutcheson

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464559 posted 8:03 pm on Sep 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

OK, so there's a hypothetical problem that old links might not be trusted. And one could just as easily suppose that new links might not be trusted. Certainly there was one vicious pornmeister that submitted lots of apparently attractive celebrity deeplinks to his site -- and then, as soon as each deeplink was added, he immediately converted that page to a porntal. I see a lot of websites that seem to have no other reason for existance than "grab links, then immediately transform into information-free marketroid activities." (At least, I can imagine no other reason for existance.) And so MY theory is that this would be a bigger problem if the webmasters who created such sites weren't so stupid and lazy -- if they spent two or three times as much work on those sites, the strategy might work.

And so, in order to protect the directory from THIS hypothetical problem, you could propose that all sites get the "nofollow" tag for some period of time (say, a year).

Of course, this hypothesis directly contradicts the other, and the solution is the diametric opposite of the other.

Which illustrates the utter futility of such speculation.

So, even if someone has demonstrated their sincere interest and competence by donating thousands of productive hours to the work, their speculation on the matter still should be treated with extreme skepticism. No, all that matters is what the reality is.

And for anyone who's interested in reality, it's there. You can check it. You can look at links. You can see which ones have been perverted. And after you've done a few thousand re-reviews, you may be in a position to see a pattern.

And for THAT work, you don't have to be an editor. The ODP is, well, OPEN. ANYONE can look at it. Anyone can make lists of categories re-reviewed, sites that seem off-topic, sites that seem content-free. And that's a kind of criticism that editors really respect. It shows genuine interest, as reflected in time spent. Competence or incompetence is immediately apparent in the quality of the information. It shows the kind of respect for other people's work that so many people are ready to demand BEFORE they've shown anything deserving it. (And anyone tends to appreciate and reciprocate that.)

In fact, it shows the kind of respect for someone else's work that says, "I know your time is valuable, I've done something to save your time by helping you work more productively." (That's the exact opposite of the "I'll suggest my site everywhere and force the editors to review it everywhere until they list it" attitude.)

And in fact, it contributes to everyone's understanding of what the problem really is, as opposed to what yet another someone who hasn't looked at any evidence thinks it might be. And once the real problem is understood, then the (_very_ competent) techs within the AOL and ODP communities can begin considering what the most effective solutions might be. That last step doesn't happen in an instant, but we can _all_ continuously contribute to collecting actual information about the real problems ... if that is what we care about.

And if that is not what we care about, who will (or ought to) care what our opinions about it might be?

vincevincevince

WebmasterWorld Senior Member vincevincevince us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464559 posted 3:53 am on Sep 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

no follow would be, I fear, treating the symptom not the real problem. The problem being that the directory is being abused both by those in a position of trust and those who submit in bad faith.

To me, it would be better to increase the strength of checks and balances. For example, encouraging multiple editors in each category but making decisions a 'balance of opinion' matter. Equally, if editors were able to 'edit' any category but only as a 'suggestion' to the assigned editors, things might speed up considerably. Finally, a user knows if he's seen an inappropriate listing - let him flag it as inappropriate so that it can be flagged for a recheck on the editor side.

g1smd

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464559 posted 7:33 am on Sep 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

I assume that by "balance of opinion" you mean "get two or three editors to review each listing"?

I trust other editors to do a good job adding sites. Any editor can check the logs for any other editor or category at any time. Anyone new is monitored for a while to make sure they "get it". Most categories will have seen at least several editors contributing to the category, so many problems are quickly noticed by someone else passing through. There is plenty of internal discussion about specific sites or categories when potential or real problems arise. Some of those problems lead to a change on the way editors as a whole work.

Simply requiring that two editors review every action would instantly cut productivity in half. Editors want to do their own work. Not many would volunteer to simply check the work of someone else. In any case if corruption is so rampant, two editors could merely co-operate and work as a pair approving sites that should not be listed.

So, you would still have inappropriate listings getting in, and productivity would have halfed not stopping them get in? That isn't progress. Once a site is listed, it is open to re-review by ANY editor, and every member of the public.

vincevincevince

WebmasterWorld Senior Member vincevincevince us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464559 posted 8:59 am on Sep 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

Once a site is listed, it is open to re-review by ANY editor,

Interesting... how?

g1smd

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464559 posted 4:37 pm on Sep 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

By simply looking at the category.

The listed sites, are listed in plain view.

The editor logs and the category logs can be seen by every editor.

There are plenty of internal mechanisms to get the eyeballs of an editor that can edit anywhere on to those listings, killing spam and removing listings which should no longer be included.

hutcheson

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464559 posted 1:53 pm on Oct 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

Well, it's actually even more general than that. Any site, listed or not, is open to review by any editor at any time. Many sites get multiple reviews without ever being listed. And many more sites get accidentally listed, then correctly deleted. (This is a much bigger problem than sites getting inappropriately rejected!)

There are internal forums where questionable listings are discussed. Usually, though, if you're familiar with the editing guidelines, the basis for the decision is easy enough to see. There aren't that many borderline sites, and when it comes down to it, everyone can do without them anyway.

Since false positives are so much bigger a problem than false negatives, it's fortunate that ANYONE--not just editors!--can check categories for inappropriate listings. Those can be reported at the Forum Which Must Not Be Named. Often an editor re-check will happen within hours, and everyone can obviously see the resolution.

Rosalind

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464559 posted 5:23 pm on Oct 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

OK, so there's a hypothetical problem that old links might not be trusted. And one could just as easily suppose that new links might not be trusted. Certainly there was one vicious pornmeister that submitted lots of apparently attractive celebrity deeplinks to his site -- and then, as soon as each deeplink was added, he immediately converted that page to a porntal. I see a lot of websites that seem to have no other reason for existance than "grab links, then immediately transform into information-free marketroid activities." (At least, I can imagine no other reason for existance.) And so MY theory is that this would be a bigger problem if the webmasters who created such sites weren't so stupid and lazy -- if they spent two or three times as much work on those sites, the strategy might work.

And so, in order to protect the directory from THIS hypothetical problem, you could propose that all sites get the "nofollow" tag for some period of time (say, a year).

Of course, this hypothesis directly contradicts the other, and the solution is the diametric opposite of the other.


No it doesn't, your logic is flawed. Just because some links go bad soon after they are added, doesn't mean that this is when the majority of links that eventually go bad are going to show problems. My definition of bad links here is not merely spam and porn, but also all those abandoned websites that don't have evergreen content. The bad quality of some newly added links doesn't make the old and forgotten links any better. You all know how it is when you clean out a cupboard you haven't looked at for a few years: it's a case of dust, dead spiders, mouldy socks, and the occasional Rembrant. The web is just the same.

hutcheson

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464559 posted 5:42 pm on Oct 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

Oh, that definition of "spam" isn't really relevant. (Outside of the "News" categories, of course.) Most informational content can be quite "old" and still useful. (Its use changes over time, of course.) And a corporate website may not change in structure, while its actual content is an up-to-date database (for instance, of items for sale, or scheduled performances).

But in my experience (looking at, for instanct, older site submittals) I simply do not see the pattern you hypothesize.

proboscis

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464559 posted 9:10 pm on Oct 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

nofollow is for links the site owner does not trust.

That's what it was originally for, it's evolving into having more uses. Besides just because one editor "trusts" a link doesn't mean it should be considered a trusted link.

[edited by: Webwork at 10:29 pm (utc) on Oct. 1, 2007]
[edit reason] Removed side issue comments [/edit]

hutcheson

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464559 posted 10:16 pm on Oct 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

>Besides just because one editor "trusts" a link doesn't mean it should be considered a trusted link.

There aren't two classes of links in the directory. There are only links that one editor has trusted, and links that aren't there at all. And you don't get to be an editor without convincing someone to trust _you_. So there IS a chain of trust.

It's not like a blog, where the blogger has certain links that, um, "one blogger has trusted", and other links that could be dropped by any drive-by spammer.

JS_Harris

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464559 posted 11:20 pm on Oct 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

nofollow belongs in many places, dmoz included imho.

The directory is a source of information, not a prized pagerank giving oracle as some view it. I think they should follow wikipedias lead in this case.

Take that with a grain of salt because I also believe that websites using google maps should nofollow the link of the map itself. Those maps show up on your site but they are "retrieved" via a normal links which passes pagerank to google, yeah, like they need it.

To paraphrase Matt Cutts, if your site isn't about maps, nofollow that Google map because its off topic!

relicx

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464559 posted 1:41 am on Oct 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

Awful idea. The ODP is exactly the type of site that should not use nofollow for external links. The links are supposed to reviewed by real, qualified people before being added. They are obviously backed-up and don't have enough manpower, but it is still the best thing we got when it comes to general directories.

proboscis

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464559 posted 5:11 am on Oct 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

And you don't get to be an editor without convincing someone to trust _you_.

Yeah, but how easy is that? All I have to do is come up with three good links and write accurate descriptions for them. I don't even have to give you my real name. Basically you trust me to add or not add sites to the directory just because I can spell and use mostly correct grammar.

Here's a question. Why wouldn't you want the links nofollowed?

Bennie

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464559 posted 8:55 am on Oct 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

OMFG.

#1. no follow has no place on the web. It breaks my heart that people defend it and think it even has a place. What a joke, natural links are natural - deal with it. Learn how to use them, at least try and compete.

#2 What effect would a no follow have anyway? Trusted sites get a free pass on no follows anyway (Ahem, wiki). ie. no follow links on 'trusted sites' pass link (trust?) popularity anyway. Search engines have NEVER clearly defined this, forming an opinion without testing is really quite silly.

#3 No matter what my opinion of the DMOZ directory, it's probably better than anything you have built. DMOZ is a trusted resource, like it or lump it. While it has major issues here and there it's still an amazing resource for relevance, especially for a bot.

#4 Implementing half no follow, half natural links where *you* think is relevant is beside the point. A good site contains only quality links. This includes DMOZ people, and always will I suspect.

#5 One could argue (using Google logic), that a good site would not include links to untrusted resources, this would inculde an adsense script imbedded in your page. Google need to be careful here as site owners have no *editorial* control over these ads (banning sites via a filter in my adsense is beside the point and after the fact - unscaleable for many - what about new ads and site targeting).

You are buying into FUD by thinking anything but links are natural and no follow is artificial. Argue all you want, this cannot and never will change.

What does the use of no follow say? Pr hording, untrusted links for your users perhaps? How will the algo deal with that I wonder? Not only now, but in the future? Would you even know what a no follow was if you were a white hat guru master?

jecasc

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464559 posted 9:31 am on Oct 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

Isn't DMOZ not only that valuable because many other sites link to it? I link to several DMOZ categories myself on my website.

What do you say: There are spammers on DMOZ? Then I should quickly ad no-follow to all those links to DMOZ. After all I don't want to promote SPAM and that should discourage spammers.

Hey why not put no-follow on every link? After all I link to several other websites, that link to DMOZ that links to spammers. And I have links to websites that have links to websites that links to DMOZ that links to SPAM. And so on.

Same for Wikipedia.

That should greatly improve the quality of the internet, when nobody puts links anywhere anymore just for gaining PR.

And as a sideeffect: That would finally lead us back to the good old times of the early Altavista where SERPS where purely ranked by the content of the website and not by ranking of ingoing links.

I just loved to wade through 20 pages of irrelevant Search results before finally not finding what I was looking for.

g1smd

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464559 posted 9:32 am on Oct 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

The ODP adding "nofollow" would have no effect on the thousands of downstream data users not adding "nofollow".

It's a non-starter.

vincevincevince

WebmasterWorld Senior Member vincevincevince us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464559 posted 9:48 am on Oct 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

I very much doubt that no follow would have any effect. I'm fairly sure that DMOZ links are handled entirely separately from normal links by Google.

RandomDot

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3464559 posted 11:03 am on Oct 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

There is no point for Dmoz to use the NoFollow tags - why in the world should it do that? - People in and behind Dmoz aren't building a website for search engines, but for the users of it - it's about making it into a directory of good resources on all the topics in the world you can think of...they're not a search engine listing every article in the world on any search - they're a directory of resources on various topics which is categorized accordingly.

For instance when I got into Dmoz and asked around in their forum about how things were done and so, I was told that the main job of an editor was not just to review submissions, but just as much to find noteworthy sites about the category in question and add them to the category - again - people are interested in the topics they edit - they like them - they usually find or know good sites here and there too.

There's alot of guidelines and bureaucracy about how to do things - merely to try to maintain as objective a resource as possible... not always possible with human beings - we all know the bad stories - but it's trying to do it - not a machine you know - and again editors aren't always that active and sites which are submitted the wrong place are sent to more fitting categories, which doesn't always have an editor.. it's not a 8-16 job you know and people aren't getting paid to do the job - they're not there for the money (unless it's one of those bad stories about editors who got kicked as fast as possible and won't ever get in again)

But again - it wouldn't change anything for Dmoz to add NoFollow tags - perhaps discourage most of the business world to submit their sites - but why would they do that - when they sometimes actually submit good and valuable sites for the directory? - Spam and bad submissions can be deleted and dealt with - and a note can be added about the domain name in question if they submit every week and so on.... so why in the world would they do it?

This 59 message thread spans 2 pages: 59 ( [1] 2 > >
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