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DMOZ and Affiliate Links
What's the difference? Affiliate site and affiliate links.
mbennie




msg:478787
 5:24 pm on Apr 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

Just had an email from a DMOZ editor about a site that was submitted. The site in question is content rich with many pages of information on widgets and a public forum about widgets.

The site also had 4 affiliate links to widgets.

The one line email from the editor said "Sorry, we don't list affiliate sites."

Is this the standard?

 

motsa




msg:478847
 5:04 pm on Apr 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

why is it objective to give an advantage to a company that more or less accidently carries the strategic keyword in the official corporate name?

Why would it be more objective to deliberately misrepresent the name of a company in its listing title? That requires a deliberate exception to the guideline based on how "keywordish" the editor in question felt any given word was. How can that be anything but subjective?

rafalk




msg:478848
 7:11 pm on Apr 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

why is it objective to give an advantage to a company that more or less accidently carries the strategic keyword in the official corporate name?

Because editors are supposed to apply the same rule to all sites - that's objectivity. It's up to the site owner to decide on a company name, not the editor.

rfgdxm1




msg:478849
 7:20 pm on Apr 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Why would it be more objective to deliberately misrepresent the name of a company in its listing title? That requires a deliberate exception to the guideline based on how "keywordish" the editor in question felt any given word was. How can that be anything but subjective?

Right. The fact that because of the quirky way Google ranks things means that Burger King will do better than McDonald's because one has "burger" in the company name doesn't mean that the ODP should alter company names in the title. And, what if Google next month quits counting anchor text in the algo?

cornwall




msg:478850
 9:03 pm on Apr 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

FWIW the guidelines for titles in DMOZ, include the following. Its DMOZ's way of trying to make titles objective. My guess would be if the submitted title was perceived to be spam, then the editor would re-write it within the guidelines.

----------------------
Do give the official name of the site as the title. Generally, the title will be obvious and prominently displayed on the site.

Do give the official name of the business or entity as the title, if the site is about the business, organization, or other entity (e.g. a company's home page).

Do contain the full form and acronym if the business, organization or other entity is known by both, and both are used on the site.

Do derive a concise title from the site's contents if the title is ambiguous or would give the appearance of spam.

-----------------------

kctipton




msg:478851
 2:44 am on Apr 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

I thought this thread was about affiliate links.

Dynamoo




msg:478852
 11:33 am on Apr 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Oh it's the usual DMOZ bashing.

It starts of with a submitter with a spammy affiliate site that was rightly rejected, and then ends up talking about editor corruption and examples of poor editing. But that's how these threads go.

chicagohh




msg:478853
 2:24 am on Apr 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Mbennie, forget about ODP and work on acquiring quality inbound links. After all, ODP has no original content, it's a just a compilation of links. If they followed their own guidelines ODP couldn't list itself...

digihost... you crack me up!

Do what I do for clients that insist they must be listed in OPD, just PAY the editors to list the site. It's cheap, effective and you don't have to debate ethics in a public forum. If you run into an editor that won't accept cash, double the cash offer and step up to the next editor. Doesn't take long to find someone that will take cash.

It's about the money... :)

and again... funny, but true in the real world.

IMO this has been a great thread to read. I have no doubt that a few editors may be bad (just like politicians and cops), but I think the vast majority are good.

I used to gease the wheels at large companies when I was a headhunter several years ago. It is quite successful when done properly. I had never thought to try the same with DMOZ and I am sure I never will because I actually like the DMOZ concept. But, I think digihost has a good point... If your not getting in anyhow - what do you have to lose?

It has to be something the DMOZ editors have to be constantly aware of... IMO.

Joe

Canton




msg:478854
 4:14 am on Apr 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

I've read these posts with interest - I've personally come up against the same type of editors in DMOZ. Why don't we all just discuss the real issue here:

<rant>

Does anyone actually use DMOZ to search for anything? If so, doesn't it come after about 10 other engines and directories on your list?

Would anyone care at all about getting listed in DMOZ if not for PageRank and its affiliation with Google?

What's the deal with that affiliation anyway? - if I were at Google, I'd be embarrassed to be associated with a directory that has:

1) Such corrupt editors -- and some "high-horse, holier than though" editors thrown in for good measure (No offense to the legit editors in the forums and elsewhere)

2) Servers that seem to be constantly overburdened

3) An editor applicant review process that constantly rejects extremely qualified individuals from being editors, in a directory where it's often difficult to get listed because THEY DON'T HAVE ENOUGH EDITORS. I have a friend who is a DOCTOR (who has been online since 1995, very familiar with the Net and the ODP) who was repeatedly not accepted to a health-related category (for an sub-discipline in which he practices).

4) Absolutely no credibility whatsoever

</rant>

~Canton

rfgdxm1




msg:478855
 5:24 am on Apr 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

>1) Such corrupt editors -- and some "high-horse, holier than though" editors thrown in for good measure (No offense to the legit editors in the forums and elsewhere)

And, what evidence do you have that there is a material degree of corruption amongst ODP editors. Not that I am saying there are absolutely no bad apples. However, I see little evidence that there are many. There is a current thread in the Google forum where the value of links on pages with a certain PR are. Most ODP cats have such low PR, and so many links, bribing an editor isn't worth it. You could buy links from other webmasters cheap. Those relatively few cats at the ODP where PR is high enough that bribing to get links there are so few that little doubt they are closely watched by metas. Not to mention webmasters in the public looking for corruption. An inappropriate listing in such cats likely would stand out obviously. As for editors that list their sites in multiple cats, and delete/refuse to add sites of competitors, if the metas don't spot them first, their competitors will. These factors mean the corruption at the ODP will necessarily be low.

Dynamoo




msg:478856
 7:19 am on Apr 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

If you want to bribe an editor, don't start at the bottom, go right to the top and start with the metas. That way your submission will get rejected more quickly, and all your other submissions can be deleted from the directory with the minimum of fuss.

Frankly I find this whole thread offensive. Insinuations have been made against John_Caius and other editors in the usual DMOZ bashing, but mbennie STILL hasn't posted the site to the resource-zone. Could it be because mbennie *knows* that it's not eligible and doesn't want the embarrassment of it being dismembered in public?

cornwall




msg:478857
 8:22 am on Apr 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>Frankly I find this whole thread offensive. Insinuations have been made against John_Caius and other editors in the usual DMOZ bashing, but mbennie STILL hasn't posted the site to the resource-zone. Could it be because mbennie *knows* that it's not eligible and doesn't want the embarrassment of it being dismembered in public?

That statement sums up one of the problems in trying to debate anything to do with DMOZ. Participants tend to be polarised and fail to see the other point of view.

mbennie has had a beef here and both points for and against his position have been put. This is a public site, I would suggest more public than RZ.

However Dynamoo wants mbennie to post on Resource Zone so that he can be dismembered in public?

That remark tells us something about the moderating there and indicates why I would suspect mbennie has not posted there.

To restate my personal point of view from earlier in this thread, I do not think mbennies site will be included because of its affiliate links. However I do think mbennie has a right to a fair hearing without public dismemberment

stever




msg:478858
 9:02 am on Apr 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

cornwall, your points are always well-argued so I hesitate to disagree...

...but the problem with ODP debates on WW is the cloak of anonymity which is used by people alleging fraudulent activity.

Rightly, Brett has a policy that we should not talk about the specific (a website) but the general (how this issue relates to other websites). This seems to be (ab)used in this forum in a certain way.

If I alleged in the Google forum that rankings were based on Adwords spend, or that link text had no validity, people would correctly ask me for evidence of that theory so that we could discuss it. That doesn't work in this case.

I think in this case it was more a frustrated plea for some people to be able to see this site about which so many serious allegations were revolving - it would not matter whether it was RZ or not (although there would have been more beneficial for mbennie had alternate views from other editors really been wanted).

Earlier the site was visible for a short while and those who were quick enough to see it could have formed their own views.

In the time that I have been at WW I have seen myriad threads about ODP editor corruption in not listing sites. In those threads where I was able to identify the sites concerned (through profiles or RZ or other methods) I have yet to see one single site where I would have agreed with those allegations. YMMV.

Morgan




msg:478859
 9:31 am on Apr 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Holy moly, I just got accepted as a DMOZ editor, I sure can't wait to start going through submissions and risking someone's ire with every decision. Sounds about as fun as being a referee. All they can do is what they think they're supposed to do, and there are processes in place for if somebody really abuses their editing privileges. I doubt any of the editors are getting off on ruining someone's day. There's just no way to please everyone and have a decent directory.

Go back to the drawing board, get some input from other people, and keep trying to improve your site. That would've helped a lot more than ripping the editor here.

steveb




msg:478860
 10:09 am on Apr 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

"mbennie STILL hasn't posted the site to the resource-zone"

That said it all right there.

[edited by: NFFC at 10:11 am (utc) on April 8, 2003]

John_Caius




msg:478861
 12:06 pm on Apr 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

As stated previously, anyone who wants to know the site in question can sticky me.

In answer to a point made a few posts ago about qualified people not being accepted as editors, the following clarification needs to be made:

a) Editors are accepted on the basis of ability to critically review a site for whether it conforms with the guidelines, and to be able to give it an appropriate title and description.

b) Editors are not accepted on the basis of knowledge in the field.

c) Knowledge in the field can help an application *if* the applicant has demonstrated ability in a).

It so happens that I am particularly well qualified to review the content of the category being discussed earlier in this thread, since close colleagues of mine are currently treating one of the few cases to have shown up away from the far East. However, I didn't need to use this knowledge to spot the extremely prominent affiliate links on most pages of the site. The content could have been in a field that I was not personally acquainted with and I could have made the same assessment of whether or not the site conformed with the dmoz guidelines.

ettore




msg:478862
 12:37 pm on Apr 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well, maybe dismembered was a bit strong, let's say analyzed? :)

Aside from a bit of the usual ODP-bashing, I think this thread provided some useful info about affiliate links and how they are considered/analyzed in the ODP.

Trying to see all possible points of view, there's actually two possible "targets" (and thus meanings) for the original question "is this the standard?" posted by mbennie:

1) I have a site which have been rejected for being an affiliate site. Do you ODP editors confirm that this is the standard?
2) My site has been rejected by ODP editors for being an affiliate site. Do you fellow webmasters think that I have been treated fairly?

I think the answer to (1), as long as it was actually intended in such a way, has been given with plenty of details by ODP editors participating to this thread. I haven't seen points "for and against" here, but a general agreement expressed by editors. FWIW, I'll add mine: the site, as it is, will not be listed. Arguing further, and going tangential with the usual "dmoz is broken, editors are corrupted, servers are slow, etc.", won't add much to the discussion, won't change this decision and, IMHO, it's part of that usual OT drift which doesn't help much in trying to debate anything to do with DMOZ with ODP editors in a constructive manner.

The answer to (2) has been debated, too, and opinions on how consistent the ODP rules about affiliate sites, affiliate content, quantity and characteristics of the affiliate content in a site, etc. have been given. The opinions given shouldn't necessarily be the same of the ODP editors, whose participation is obviously limited to providing comments/answers to the (1) part of the question (at least until they keep their "editor's hat" on).

Fact is ODP editors don't hold The Final Truth in their hands, they just reserve the right to list sites based on ODP Guidelines, and give an interpretation of ODP Guidelines based on editorial judgement. Here at WebmasterWorld discussions on how "fair", "too strict", "effective/uneffective" etc. these rules are can (and should) flow freely. And yes, the main difference among this board and RZ is that here people can freely debate ODP Guidelines, over there at RZ the public is allowed to ask questions, can receive answers, can even suggest improvements, but is asked to avoid arguing about how "fair" the ODP Guidelines are and the ways in which ODP runs itself. Two different boards, two different purposes.

ODP editors participating in WebmasterWorld discussions should therefore accept that ODP policies for inclusion could be subject to debate, while webmasters should accept that these debates, whereas interesting and sometimes full of useful suggestions, aren't necessarily going to change ODP policies. At least, not in the short run, and sure not with the webmaster's needs in mind.

John_Caius




msg:478863
 1:21 pm on Apr 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Great post. :)

Just to add to that - any webmaster is welcome to disagree with the opinion of any individual ODP editor. ODP editors *are* individuals and have to use their personal editorial judgement on how to interpret how the guidelines apply to any particular site. From time to time you come across borderline sites that one editor would be happy to list and another editor feels should not be listed.

If you want specific guidance and a broader set of opinions on your particular site then Resource Zone is the place to go. As mentioned earlier, a good quality ODP editor will be perfectly happy to bow to a different opinion from more senior and more experienced editors. In fact, individual sites are very commonly debated in the internal ODP forums as to whether or where they should be listed, without the knowledge of the webmaster. Internal systems of mentoring and doublechecking new listings (greenbusting) help to make sure that editors learn to edit to a high standard as they progress.

chicagohh




msg:478864
 4:05 pm on Apr 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

John_Caius sent me the URL in a sticky...

One look and I could see why he did not include it.

Maybe the problem is that it is such an obvious attempt to shoot to the top on an unnerving subject that the site is viewed emotionally. IMO, it is just a site selling product chocked full of keywords. Heck, I have to pay Adwords, Overture etc to sell my alternative health care wares... mostly because I am a gimpy SEO person.

Joe

erikv




msg:478865
 4:50 pm on Apr 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Nevertheless, OD sometimes kicks you out of their directory for no reason at all--even if you have real content and visitors come by to read that content. But much to webmasters' pleasure--and it has been said here before--an OD listing is not necessarily the Walhalla of SEO...

A listing in OD is nice to have, but with alternative link-building, not crucial. And, as has been said in Post # 68: who really uses OD as a directory to search for sites anyway?

Yahoo is the directory most people know about, Google is what is used most of the time. Many people don't even know the OD exists--except for webmasters trying to get a better PR on Google. Isn't life great? BTW, the same holds true IMMHO for the Zeals of this world...

John_Caius




msg:478866
 4:54 pm on Apr 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

It is functionally impossible to delete a listed site from the ODP for no reason at all. There is a box that you have to fill in stating your reason for deleting the site - the delete is rejected if you leave the box blank.

Senior editors can check up on whether an editor is rejecting sites for appropriate reasons or not by reviewing what they typed into this box. They can also very quickly see if an editor is deleting more sites from the directory than they are adding and investigate further if necessary.

cornwall




msg:478867
 8:49 pm on Apr 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>In the time that I have been at WW I have seen myriad threads about ODP editor corruption in not listing sites. In those threads where I was able to identify the sites concerned (through profiles or RZ or other methods) I have yet to see one single site where I would have agreed with those allegations.

Whilst I would agree with your premise, I would also add that where corruption exists (take it from me it does - not bigtime, but enough), then the best way of getting it sorted is by email to the appropriate meta editor with an argued case.

Those that blow the whistle on real corruption therefore do not debate the points in public forums, that is quite counter productive.

As I said before it amazes me that webmasters of sites that do not comply with DMOZ guidelines, usually in the affiliate area, draw attention to themselves by complaining in public

Bernie




msg:478868
 1:01 am on Apr 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

The fact that because of the quirky way Google ranks things means that Burger King will do better than McDonald's because one has "burger" in the company name doesn't mean that the ODP should alter company names in the title.

agreed! it s not ODPs fault but Googles. Google uses the data of ODP and may think about taking care of that problem since they deliver results to web-users who won't understand why McDonalds is harder to find if you look for Burger than Burger King. (spoken here as a purely technical example!)

And, what if Google next month quits counting anchor text in the algo?

actually a pretty good idea if they did that only with the anchor texts of ODP-links and putting a focus on the keywords related to the category the site is listed in!

rfgdxm1




msg:478869
 1:35 am on Apr 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Many people don't even know the OD exists--except for webmasters trying to get a better PR on Google. Isn't life great? BTW, the same holds true IMMHO for the Zeals of this world...

Bad analogy. Zeal gets you to the top of page 1 at MSN for important keywords. Few people may use Zeal as an actual directory, but Zeal listings are very helpful to get found by searchers.

Dynamoo




msg:478870
 9:38 am on Apr 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google uses the ODP in all sorts of clever ways, partly to categorise SE results, partly to give an enhanced listing with the ODP entry and also to work out whats "related". The fact remains that the ODP is the only serious effort to categorise every significant website, and is this gives Google results (and others) an underlying structure and "understanding" of the web as a whole.

Also, don't forget the many downstream users of ODP data. There are some niche portals using ODP data that generate a significant amount of traffic. The ODP lists 500 downstream users of data, ranging from the Googles and AOLs of this world, to small specialist sites that use ODP data to enhance content. For example, I have one listing in the ODP database that has been used 118 times or so - with PageRank ranging from PR6 downwards.

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