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|DMOZ Submit / Resubmit / Submit Again Issue Revisited - Again|
When is Enough ENOUGH?
System: The following 13 messages were cut out of thread at: http://www.webmasterworld.com/directories/3460327.htm [webmasterworld.com] by webwork - 8:56 am on Sep. 29, 2007 (utc -5)
That whole dont resubmit thing is 100% not user friendly! DMOZ provides absolutely no status info, and moreover they're notoriously understaffed and some sections are known to know even be managed at all for months at a time. Moreover, does anyone recall the outage from about a year ago when they lost a ton of data?
So when I submit and get no response ... how the heck could I possibly feel good about just leaving it and knowing it will be handled in the order received? It is a ridiculous notion!
For the record, I am simply acting as Devils Advocate here.
>>>Resubmitting ~ tagged as a recent submission
>>competitors to keep submitting ~ end of the submission list?
The reason I ask this is that the implication has always been that resubmitting to DMOZ would move your site to the end of the list again which would therefor affect the review time-line. Are you saying that this would definitely not be the case? You say that "editors don't EVER _have_ to look at suggestions in any order." But then, perhaps some editors could be in the habit of always looking at submissions in order which would mean then that there is the possibility that competitors could bury a competing site in the queue by continually resubmitting.
So I guess the real questions here are:
1) Does resubmitting a site reset the submission date or once a site has been submitted are all subsequent resubmissions ignored?
>>unlistable, ~ resubmitting it ~ reputation
>competitors ~ bury a suite of sites owned by the same person
Again, acting as Devils Advocate here, the implication is that once a site has been deemed unlistable then continual resubmission of that site could flag the site owner as a spammer and could then affect the possible listings of other sites owned by that entity. If so, this could lead the door open to unscrupulous resubmission by a competitor in an attempt to taint the value of all sties owned by the original entity. Let's face it, it is a Dog Eat Dog world online and competitors sometimes take drastic actions to achieve their own goals at the expense of others.
You say "I don't know why you'd want to stuff your OWN reputation as a site submitter ~ I'm not going to set up a protocol to stop you."
But then any competitor wanting to do so would (could) probably take actions to guard their own identity such as alternate IP addresses, engaging others to submit from other IPs/Countries, and so on. IE., if a competitor was serious about this it would not be too hard to try and taint reputations within the submission list whilst protecting their own reputation.
So, I guess the real questions are:
1) Is it possible to taint one's own reputation by continually resubmitting a site that has been deemed unlistable?
2) Would that affect other sites owned by that entity?
3) Is it possible for a competitor to taint another's reputation for the purposes of affecting that entities sites?
4) If so, what protocols would/could be put in place to prevent this.
Again, I must state that these are not actions I would take myself not condone, I am simply suggesting their possibility and wondering what can be done to prevent them.
If a competitor was serious about something like this, he'd ask exactly the questions you're asking, so as to be in a position to subvert the process with confidence.
So it's clearly better for all concerned (except the really really vicious spammers, who don't get a vote) that we don't discuss the details too specifically.
But the simple attitude towards all "game the system" techniques is: you're not dealing with a robotic assembly line. You're dealing with people. People who, probably more than most people, hate to be manipulated.
The simple attitude towards protecting your reputation is: assume that your reputation tracks your actions: people who don't assume that, don't always get all that they deserve quickly, but they deserve all that they get. And once you lose your reputation, who cares, who even ought to care what you suggest?
The ODP is not about a process. It's about giving volunteers the power to build something useful. And yes, that empowerment may include exchanging information about the online activity of editors, site-creators and site suggestors -- whatever editors know or can find, that might be relevant to tracking down abuse.
Hutcheson, I appreciate your position and agree with your concern about specifics, hence my questions were more general rather than specific.
Perhaps we could boil it down a bit further this way:-
1) Does resubmitting a site to DMOZ send it to the end of the queue? (regardless of how that queue is accessed internally)
2) Is there anything a competitor could do adversely affect the reputation of the owner of another site within the DMOZ system?
3) Is there anything a competitor could do adversely affect the likelyhood of another person's site being accepted in DMOZ?
IE., we hear the mantra quite often from other sources that there is nothing, or at least very little, a competitor could do to harm a site's listing in any particular search engine. Does this also hold true for DMOZ?
|we hear the mantra quite often from other sources that there is nothing, or at least very little, a competitor could do to harm a site's listing in any particular search engine. Does this also hold true for DMOZ? |
A very good question.
Woz, they're interesting questions - and certainly ones that should be of concern to ODP editors - but for all the years that people have been asking Matt Cutts of Google "Can another webmaster do anything to hurt my website?" has Matt or Google ever come right out with an unequivocal answer to the question? Clearly Google is a much bigger deal, to most people, and holds themselves out as the "do no evil" company, but have we ever received a definitive answer to the question?
Not that I've ever come across. Why not? That's not too hard to figure out, right, Woz?
Perhaps the better question is: "Are there safeguards in place to address the issue of people attempting to trash another person's website by repeatedly submitting it?" Probably the only answer that can be given is "Yes". (I sure hope that' the answer.)
By comparison, doesn't Google require an authoritative email address to respond before Google will act on a request submitted to their page removal tool? That seems like a reasonable solution.
Does DMOZ seek to have an authoritative email address confirm that the inclusion request was an authorized act?
Another problem with inclusion requests might be that an outside firm - such as the company's (latest) SEO firm - might be filing requests for inclusion at various directories without the direct knowledge of anyone at the company's email "contact" address.
All that said it's still a good question: How does DMOZ assure that any "bad behaviour" is actually being initiated "by the applicant" and not some other fool? What steps does DMOZ take to assure they are dealing with the real party in interest?
Some of this "basic quality assurance" should be public knowledge OR made public knowledge. Therefore, I, too would like at least the basic safeguards illuminated.
Does DMOZ employ an "authoritative email verification" procedure?
If not, why not?
If so, then that would go a long way towards fending off that particular evil.
[edited by: Webwork at 12:46 pm (utc) on Oct. 4, 2007]
>1) Does resubmitting a site to DMOZ send it to the end of the queue? (regardless of how that queue is accessed internally)
There's no queue. There's a pool, which may be ordered in several different ways by the editors. But the most effective editing technique is to use the queue like an intelligent person would use search results -- don't take them in any particular order, but pick out the items that are most likely to be especially valuable, or quick to process.
>2) Is there anything a competitor could do adversely affect the reputation of the owner of another site within the DMOZ system?
Oh, yes, absolutely. Information is what reputation is based on. And every feedback loop we have, is meant for extracting information. The better we know what a site owner is doing, the more accurate his reputation will become -- whether that reputation is good or bad.
>3) Is there anything a competitor could do adversely affect the likelyhood of another person's site being accepted in DMOZ?
Everything you do affects probabilities in some ways. But I don't believe any of the results are really computable ... except that in the long run, I'm persuaded that following the ODP submittal policies works out best for everyone, and not following them works out not-well for the non-follower.
>IE., we hear the mantra quite often from other sources that there is nothing, or at least very little, a competitor could do to harm a site's listing in any particular search engine. Does this also hold true for DMOZ?
The difference between this and Google is that you're dealing with people. You're not giving commands, you're not buying services, you're giving information. You can't predict what they'll do with it, except you can assume they WON'T use it without verifying it from other sources. From that point of view, giving accurate information on a competitor may well help--or hurt--his site's chances for a listing. And that's all good.
>Does DMOZ seek to have an authoritative email address confirm that the inclusion request was an authorized act?
There are no inclusion requests, and there are no authorized acts.
It's all "suggest you review this site". And the site's creator or beneficial owner has no more right to make suggestions than anyone else on earth. In fact, if it were at all possible, we'd weight a suggestion from an independent surfer higher than a suggestion from someone related to the site. (But that's really not possible.)
>...How does DMOZ assure that any "bad behaviour" is actually being initiated "by the applicant" and not some other fool? What steps does DMOZ take to assure they are dealing with the real party in interest?
As you know, you can't tell which anonymous fool you're dealing with online. So you deal with patterns of bad behavior (whether they're characteristic of one fool, or common to a class of fools.) And you'd be amazed at what patterns people spot. It's like the burglar who always carefully wears gloves when breaking into houses to avoid leaving fingerprints, but always carries the same odd-shaped crowbar. Or always wears the same shoes. Or always takes the bus to the victimized neighborhood. Or whatever. No two criminals make the same stupid mistakes, but nearly all of them make some stupid mistake. And the police just gather evidence and look for patterns. How else could it be?
As always, thanks for taking the time to respond hutcheson, jim noble, et al. It's an important issue, one that I don't believe I've ever seen "aired so intelligently" in any public forum heretofore.
Great, well crafted questions, Woz and everyone else. Thanks.
But . . please . . don't let me stop the dialogue . .
[edited by: Webwork at 1:25 pm (utc) on Oct. 6, 2007]
Folks - try not to worry too much about what a competitor might do. As a webmaster I know that it is all too easy to fear that some spiteful person out there is somehow wreaking havoc with malice aforethought on our innocent sites.
But as an editor I can assure you that I have never once come across a case of anyone mass-submitting or multiple-submitting the site of a competitor. People simply don't do it. I can see why not. It would be far too much energy to expend on an exploit with such a doubtful outcome. Would it help or harm? You only have to look at the queries in this thread to see that people are very unsure on that point. And with reason. There simply isn't a clear-cut answer that fits every circumstance.
I have seen a case of this. _A_ case. Other editors have reviewed hundreds of thousands of suggestions without seeing a single one.
Look at it this way: the chances of an editor accidentally deleting a suggestion (because editors are human) are higher, SEVERAL ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE HIGHER, than the chances of this happening. The chances of an editor being physically stalked by a psychotic webmaster are higher than this.
So, unless you're aware that you've personally made more enemies than Saddam Hussein and Kofi Amman together, and you've cultivated those enemies for years to the point where they'd physically stalk you, and you've already hired around-the-clock guards for your person, vehicle, and residence -- then you've got far more likely things to be paranoid about. And don't forget lightning, tornadoes, even meteors. You could worry yourself to death twice over on the most likely catastrophes in your life, without getting close to this one.
Alrighty. Thanks for everyone's participation. It's time to put this thread out to pasture.
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