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DMOZ - The only game left in town?
YAHOO! devalues directory, LS/Zeal isn't exactly a directory.......

 5:38 am on Oct 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

No too long ago, there was talk here about the demise of ODP, Google adopting the YAHOO! directory and dropping Dmoz.

If YAHOO! doesn't think enough of their own directory to feature it in the default search results, it would be very surprising if Google would switch to it.

LookSmart/Zeal seems to contain disproportionate numbers of some commercial advertisers and non-profits/informational sites. Not very comprehensive and not very objective as an informational resource.

That leaves ODP. LookSmart is likely to be an MSN sneeze away from extinction, the YAHOO! directory could be in danger.

Will ODP be the one to outlast them all?



 6:17 am on Oct 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

Maybe! WebGuerrilla posted a thought that Google might start its own, given its new headquarters with a lot more room than necessary for its current number of staffers. Much of the remaining room to be taken up by a few hundred directory editors? We will find out, I suppose....


 6:21 am on Oct 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

The flip side -- you can get more than one (two) listings in Yahoo, and if you already have fair Google SERP's those extra listings aren't going to hurt, but push you higher.

There is a huge different between a non-profit and for-profit business.

In one you have volunteers and relative low overhead and the other paid employees and much more expenses.

It's also quite strange to see Yahoo's listing requests are on the rise, eh... since it's so "devalued"!


 6:47 am on Oct 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

Uh - there is still GoGuides and JoeAnt, both of which are spidered - GoGuides by pretty much everyone. One site (new)with only a GoGuides submission (for the heck of it) is in INK, Fast, Google etc.. makes my job easy ;)


 7:30 am on Oct 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

still GoGuides and JoeAnt, both of which are spidered

Both have very small data bases to be of any real use (yet) to the user

JoeAnt has only fairly recently been in a form to receive spiders but now does.

GoGuides - yes I agree with you, its frightening (gratifying) how quickly a new site there is spidered, by and appears in, Google


 7:33 am on Oct 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

"Both have very small data bases to be of any real use (yet) to the user"

Yep they are pretty small, but seem to be growing at a good clip and are attracting notice day by day.. i don't know if they will be ODP competition - they'd have to outsource for that, but the bang is definitely worth the buck in spidering alone.


 10:50 am on Oct 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

GoGuides [goguides.org] looks like a good clean set up, with some useful and well-designed features. I'd be more impressed if they'd also bought GoGuides.com, then I wouldn't have got 14 million popups (And I'm sure I'm not the first, and I won't be the last).

You have to ask what their business model is, especially as they claim to be 'independent' and are using volunteers. Banner ads will not pay the bills for long. Is it yet another being set up for future sell out to an ailing portal?

As for JoeAnt [joeant.com], I was suspicious the moment it asked if I could 'dig it' - phony hippies are much worse than the real thing. But it also seems much too clever for its own good; while indicating what gimmicks a site has, there's no interest in information or content.

There's also the small matter of a weird idea of ontology, and a search that does not indicate which categories the results come from, so little help when submiting a site. Won't last, I'll bet!


 11:50 am on Oct 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

Every directory has to start somewhere. IMO the fact that they are trying to build something worthwhile with unique databases is a noble quest. And it never hurts to have a couple of extra places to list. ;)

Back on the ODP - I think it will probably be the last big directory left standing. I honestly cannot see Google going to the expense of starting it's own when they can use ODP for free unless Netscape shuts the doors on it without even attempting to sell it off first.

Given its size, ODP seems to be doing a good job. I think it might be more in danger of corporate egos than anything.


 1:21 pm on Oct 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

Every directory has to start somewhere. IMO the fact that they are trying to build something worthwhile with unique databases is a noble quest.

My question is "can they ever build those unique data bases into som that is really useful?"

JoeAnt, if you look at their site shows 142 sites added yesterday (a fairly average day in the life of JoeAnt). That might lead to 50,000 sites a year being indexed. Unless they specialise, then they will never have a large enough general data base to attract the casual searcher after information.

GoGuides, selecting a topic like "travel" shows not enough depth (after a year and a half) to be of any real value to the casual searcher.

Both of them need at least 10 times the number of (active) editors to become viable in the long term.

Having said all that, I suspect (having some knowledge of the people involved in both directories :) ) that they are happy with building and more importanltly enjoying building their directories.


 5:48 pm on Oct 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

DMOZ's still the big one on the block, and there's a lot to admire about it. But it's definitely got its problems too...wasn't the site 404 for several days this month? GoGuides and JoeAnt seem very good though without a big partner like Google to help pull in new editors/submissions it may be hard for them to keep up. From what I've seen Zeal is growing very fast (I'm a Zealot there) and seems to be better run than ODP in a lot of ways. The connection to MSN is a key factor there, just like the Google connection is crucial for ODP. Helps to have influential friends :)


 7:28 pm on Oct 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

>DMOZ - The only game left in town?

Maybe no for long.


 7:59 pm on Oct 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

Every directory has to start somewhere. IMO the fact that they are trying to build something worthwhile with unique databases is a noble quest.

I do agree, fwiw, but it's a hard world, and that's just not enough. You can spot the signs early on; I have much more respect for those that learn from others' mistakes - there's really no need to repeat them!

ODP is much more likely to be challenged by a specialized directory that expands sideways, than an upstart taking it head on, however enthusiastic and ambitious its owners.

That's assuming they don't have rich pals!

But having said that, getting the software right could mean a major step forward - and from the outside, Goguides works very smoothly. But, not having the dot com not only deprives them of visitors, it will actually put people off returning - they'll be forever associated with The Cancer of The Web [pop up boxes]. And if you doubt that, talk to anyone not involved in web sites for a living!


 8:07 pm on Oct 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

I think that it is worth restating that a directory should not necessarily be judged by its coverage. If all the directories covered all sites then there would be little difference between them. I think that a significant proportion of the value should lie in the sites that they list and *how* those sites are listed.

By this I mean that I would rather have a category listing a dozen high quality sites, with good descriptions, than a complete category of 50 sites including some dodgy less useful sites that may waste my time when looking for information.

A minor example of an improvement over DMOZ is the Google version of the ODP. There they rank sites according to their PageRank. This of course puts dead sites to the bottom of the list and more "popular" sites to the top. Although PR is a dubious measure of quality, at least it is a value-added feature and more useful than an alphabetical listing for many types of search.


 12:34 am on Oct 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hey beachboy, I can't imagine Google starting a directory. It seems to me they're using technologies to build listings that appear to come from a directory. Like news.google.com

I personally see Yahoo's latest change as a prime example that the directory model isn't cost-effective, at least global directories. Many people attest to the success of theme'd directories covering topics very in depth, but the model of a big directory containing information about all of the web - dunno.

I do think DMOZ will be around for a while based on the number of volunteers they still have and continue to enlist every day.


 2:16 am on Oct 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

Honestly, I haven't a clue what the future holds for editor- or computer-compiled directories. Time will tell. Meanwhile, ODP worker bees keep on buzzing.


 12:42 pm on Oct 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

I do think DMOZ will be around for a while based on the number of volunteers they still have and continue to enlist every day

I agree that DMOZ will be around for a while. However although they do continue to enlist volunteers every day (makes it sound very militaristic that analogy) they are not enlisting enough to hold or reduce the queue of unreviewed. Last figure I saw was 1.4 million unreviewed, and there are 3.8 million reviewed sites.

And as DMOZ have the most (by far) volunteer editors, it would appear the JoeAnt, GoGuides et al stand very little chance of ever becoming comprehensive all purpose directories.


 8:54 pm on Oct 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

Sadly, that's probably right; the new kids on the block really have little chance of challenging ODP (the point of this thread!), while there is no doubt that the future is bright for specialist directories. :)

What seems increasingly likely, is Yahoo! retiring hurt, (ie abandoning its directory) and ODP imploding (if AOL-T-W don't pull the plug first). :(

With no natural successor. :( :( :(

I really hope that ODP gets its act together, but I suspect the clock is ticking, and internal morale really ain't high, in fact I can't recall a less 'open' period (over some three years). It's "heads down and slog away" - one of the most common Meta Mantras these days is 'back to work' - followed by 'Isn't there some more useful way to spend editing time'. Frightening; I think the volunteer thing gets forgotten at times.


 2:40 pm on Oct 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

>the new kids on the block really have little chance of
>challenging ODP

I donīt think "challenging" is the issue here. No with a OPEN directory. Improving it, using is foundation is much more likely to happen soon.

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