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

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1474 posted 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?

 

cornwall

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1474 posted 5:33 pm on Apr 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

Have a look at the editors guidelines for affiliate sites [dmoz.org]

Shows you how they view affiliates. Little you can do to alter this.

Marketing Guy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1474 posted 5:37 pm on Apr 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

When you say content rich, how content rich was it?

How many pages of actual information (not directory structure, contact pages, about pages, etc)?

Is it a new site? Then the forum will be relatively unpopulated with no content?

Scott

mbennie

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1474 posted 5:45 pm on Apr 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

The site in question has 9 pages of widget information and a widget faq. Much of the content was contributed by an expert in widgets. The forum is new and only has 8 or 10 posts thus far.

The affiliate links in question are for products of interest to the widget enthusiast.

From the DMOZ guidelines:

General rule of thumb: Look at the content on the site, mentally blocking out all affiliate links. If the remaining information is original and valuable informational content that contributes something unique to the category's subject, the site may be a good candidate for the ODP. If the remaining content is poor, minimal, or copied from some other site, then the site is not a good candidate for the ODP.

Seems like the DMOZ club just gets more exclusive every day.

skibum

WebmasterWorld Administrator skibum us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1474 posted 5:51 pm on Apr 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

My experience has been that it varies by category and by editor. It's not very consistent. I guess it really just depends if the editor likes your site or not.

Sometimes just a few affiliate links on an otherwise outstanding site can send an editor into a tizzy and get the site deleted which is a shame.

Other times they get through with a decent amount of aff links.

It helps to go into the affiliate site building process (if an ODP listing is a goal) with the mindset of what info can I provide that will blow my visitors away and make them love the site rather than how can I make as much $$$ as possible.

rafalk

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1474 posted 7:43 pm on Apr 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

The site in question has 9 pages of widget information and a widget faq. Much of the content was contributed by an expert in widgets.

Can this content be found anywhere else on the web?

John_Caius

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1474 posted 8:41 pm on Apr 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hello, I'm the dmoz editor in question.

What really happened here was the site was built quickly on a very hot health topic (can we guess?), with half of each page dedicated to affiliate links to products meant to assist in treating said health problem.

If you look in the newly created category for this hot health topic, you will see high quality health sites like the World Health Organisation advice, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advice and links to news articles from the major news sources on the development of this health story. The site in question was not providing unique content.

Building a site like this in the hope of quick traffic and quick profit is not something the ODP supports. A similar situation occurred relatively recently on the Resource Zone board when a site was built quickly to cash in on the sudden death of a major pop star.

Nothing's to say you can't SEO the site as much as you can - it just goes against the ODP guidelines. Sorry.

<edit>

"Products for the widget enthusiast" - more like products to cash in on the widespread public unease currently being felt worldwide. The equivalent of selling all-over body suits after the anthrax scares in the US.

</edit>

Laisha

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1474 posted 10:31 pm on Apr 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

Building a site like this in the hope of quick traffic and quick profit is not something the ODP supports.

ODP now looks at motive in reference to whether or not to list a site? Is this a change of policy? Until recently, editors looked at content and decided whether or not there was content sufficient to be of value to searchers.

Receptional Andy



 
Msg#: 1474 posted 10:35 pm on Apr 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>Sometimes just a few affiliate links on an otherwise outstanding site can send an editor into a tizzy and get the site deleted which is a shame

I've seen this for a pretty big site with a great deal of content. The site was refused on the same grounds and later reaccepted when the links were (not particularly subtly) made less obvious.

kctipton

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1474 posted 11:11 pm on Apr 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think the site as described as well as which category to which it was submitted says a lot about the site.

rfgdxm1

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rfgdxm1 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1474 posted 11:21 pm on Apr 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

>My experience has been that it varies by category and by editor. It's not very consistent. I guess it really just depends if the editor likes your site or not.

Just earlier today I gave the thumbs down as an ODP editor on the basis of the site having minimal content beyond affiliate links. Which is all kinds of rare as I don't edit in spammy areas. If you read those guidelines, there is a lot of room for editorial discretion there: "If the remaining information is original and valuable informational content that contributes something unique to the category's subject, the site may be a good candidate for the ODP." How valuable is valuable? Now, if the site had more original content then any other site listed in that cat, obviously it should be added. However, in this case not only was the content minimal, but also submediocre. This is sort of like baseball. Some umpires are known to call a balk on a pitcher more often than others.

digitalghost

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



 
Msg#: 1474 posted 11:35 pm on Apr 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>Building a site like this in the hope of quick traffic and quick profit is not something the ODP supports

What? Why in the hell should ODP care about why a site was created? If the site has good and original content it should be listed without regard to the motive behind creating the site.

Arbitrary editor decisions like this one is the reason I don't even bother submitting sites to ODP.

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...

>>The site in question was not providing unique content.

If that's the case reject the site on those grounds, don't drag in the motives behind the creation of the site or the speed in which the site was created. I've seen groups of writers and devs crank out high quality sites in three days.

mbennie

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1474 posted 12:25 am on Apr 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

The whole issue smacks of over-zealous editors trying to select the sites they think people should visit rather than listing the available sites and allowing people to make their own decisions.

For the record, of the visits we've had 7.8% of the visitors bookmarked the site and 2.9% clicked the affiliate links in question.

This seems to suggest that people do find the site interesting and/or informative and the product links useful.

But...what do I know? ODP Editors definitely know what's best for the world's population.

rfgdxm1

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rfgdxm1 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1474 posted 12:49 am on Apr 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

>What? Why in the hell should ODP care about why a site was created? If the site has good and original content it should be listed without regard to the motive behind creating the site.

But was that the case with this site? This was described as a 9 page site, in a category with "high quality health sites like the World Health Organisation advice, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention". Now maybe if this site had 9 pages of material the WHO and CDC were totally unaware of, OK. Seems unlikely.

mbennie

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1474 posted 1:06 am on Apr 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

maybe if this site had 9 pages of material the WHO and CDC were totally unaware of, OK

By this logic there should only be 1 weather site listed in the ODP because the weather is the same everywhere and can't be unique.

Should FoxNews.com not be listed because CNN already has the stories? What about the Associated Press? Don't news agencies rely heavily on AP articles?

What about Amazon.com? They don't write the books or make the products. It's really just a big affiliate scheme.

We all disseminate the same information albeit in different formats. If the Internet were restricted to only original thoughts and ideas, it would consist of a handful of pages (and I'm fairly certain that ODP Editors wouldn't be the authors of said pages).

I still maintain that the ODP has overstepped their bounds and is trying to make determinations about which sites they feel people should visit rather than listing the available choices and letting people make their own decisions.

I also think that the editor in question made it quite clear through his remarks that he has a personal problem with a site that tries to make a little bit of money in exchange for disseminating information. Guess they should ban FoxNews and CNN. These sites are blatantly trying to profit from being a source of news and information (gasp).

steveb

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



 
Msg#: 1474 posted 2:26 am on Apr 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

"This seems to suggest that people do find the site interesting and/or informative and the product links useful."

What difference does that make? I can put up a few photos of Britney Spears and lots of people will find it interesting. I can put up affiliate links to some place that sells her records and those could be useful. Why on Earth would you think a site like that should be listed in a Directory dedicated to original content?

Frankly it is mind boggling.

Make whatever kind of site you want but if you want an ODP listing then MAKE SOME ORIGINAL CONTENT.

rfgdxm1

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rfgdxm1 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1474 posted 3:15 am on Apr 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

>I still maintain that the ODP has overstepped their bounds and is trying to make determinations about which sites they feel people should visit rather than listing the available choices and letting people make their own decisions.

If you want something that lists everything and anything on the web, Google is that-a-way. People can choose to use the ODP, choose to use Google, choose to use both, or choose to use neither.

mbennie

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1474 posted 3:16 am on Apr 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

The question isn't about having original content....The question is what constitutes original content?

One of the most popular sites in the world (Alexa ranking 279) is a one page site with a collection of links to news articles. Original content rarely appears yet they have multiple DMOZ listings.

Sometimes original content is the format of the site and/or the links that are selected. Original content can be a selection of links based on a theme.

The DMOZ guidelines regarding affiliate sites and original content are to prevent hundreds of listings in a category that all have the same information presented in the same manner. Some examples are certain travel sites and online stores.

For the record, the content on this particular site in question is original - not copied and pasted. The content is an amalgamation of information found via various sources both digital and otherwise.

If you happened to be a big Brittney Spears fan and had links to news articles about her and wrote articles about her life and times, that would be original content. It wouldn't matter that the same information could be found from a variety of other sources. If you had affiliate links to her records, that should be of interest to anyone visiting the site.

There are thousands of sites like that in the DMOZ.

If you had a site that was basically a copy of Brittney Spears official site with slightly different graphics and text styles then that's a different story.

I challenge the DMOZ editor in question to take another look at the site he turned down and, using DMOZ's own guidelines,

"Look at the content on the site, mentally blocking out all affiliate links. If the remaining information is original and valuable informational content that contributes something unique to the category's subject, the site may be a good candidate for the ODP. If the remaining content is poor, minimal, or copied from some other site, then the site is not a good candidate for the ODP."

I don't think the DMOZ was originally put together so that a small group of Editors could decide which sites they liked and point the rest of the Internet population in the direction of those sites.

rfgdxm1

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rfgdxm1 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1474 posted 4:06 am on Apr 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

>I challenge the DMOZ editor in question to take another look at the site he turned down and, using DMOZ's own guidelines,

Note this part of the guidelines:

"In general, ODP editors should enter sites that represent the following:

"Original, unique and valuable informational content that contributes something unique to the category's subject.

"Contrasting points of view on major issues. The ODP attempts to cover the full breadth and depth of human knowledge, representing all topics and points of view on those topics."

Note also this part:

"In short, editors should select quality sites and lots of them."

Note the use of the words valuable and quality. Those are subjective criteria.

>I don't think the DMOZ was originally put together so that a small group of Editors could decide which sites they liked and point the rest of the Internet population in the direction of those sites.

Then you would be in error:

[dmoz.org...]

"We will make every effort to build a high quality and comprehensive directory. We will make every effort to evaluate all sites submitted to the directory. However, we do not guarantee all submitted sites will get listed. We will be highly selective and judicious about sites we add, and how we organize them. Sites that we do not routinely list are outlined in our submission policies and editorial guidelines. "

Note that "We will be highly selective and judicious about sites we add, and how we organize them." What do the words highly selective and judicious mean to you? The idea behind the ODP was to have a directory of quality sites, which also reflected diversity, in the sense that all sides of an issue be included.

kctipton

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1474 posted 4:18 am on Apr 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Editor discretion (within the leeway described in the guidelines) is what makes ODP good and bad, depending on which side of the submission fence you're on. If you get in, you think the editor is a genius for recognizing the greatness of your site. If you don't get in, then the editor is a corrupt and incompetent half-wit.

1milehgh80210

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1474 posted 4:19 am on Apr 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Looking thru a few dmoz sites at random..
A LOT must depend on the category! In some cats (think commercial),many sites have almost no content at all (much less original).
In other cats (university research for ex.) its all content.

mbennie

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1474 posted 4:41 am on Apr 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

I may as well be talking to a brick wall because it seems the editors that have responded in this thread have very small closed minds and are more concerned about defending their authority and decisions than they are about building a comprehensive Internet directory.

From the DMOZ Editorial Guidelines:

Editors should consider the following for each site:

  • Is the site's content/information identical to other sites? - A site should not mirror content available on other sites. Qualifies

  • Does the ODP include the type of site you want to add? - The site should not be on the list of sites the ODP does not generally include. Qualifies

  • Is the site complete? - The site should have working links and content rich subpages. Links should not bring up 404 pages or subpages with no content. If a web site is still under construction it is not a good candidate for the Open Directory. Sometimes sites may have broken links, poor design, or other "quality" issues, yet present information that is difficult or impossible to find on the Web. Consider adding these sites to the ODP. Even with some flaws, if the content is rare and unique, the site may be considered very useful. Qualifies

  • Is the site current? - A site that claims to provide time-sensitive information should be current. If it is not current, determine the site's archival or research value. In rare instances, a site that used to be current may still contain valuable articles, links and other resources. For example, an antiques newsletter that hasn't been updated in 2 years may still contain valuable articles and information on antique buying and appraisal. However, a site that claims to provide daily current events news that hasn't been updated in several months or even years, may no longer have any significant value. Qualifies


  • Is the site available and does it load completely? - The site should load in a reasonable time and be consistently available. Design alone is rarely a valid reason to deny a listing for an otherwise content rich site. The only time design may be a factor if it renders the site unreadable. Qualifies

    Where in these guidelines does it say...Do you like the site? Do you approve of the motive behind the publishing of the site? Do you think the design is nice?

    It doesn't because they shouldn't be factors.

    And no, it's not a matter of 'my site wasn't included so the editor is a nitwit'. I have quite a few sites that aren't included and wouldn't qualify for inclusion. I have even more sites that are included. The editor made a bonehead decision in a matter of minutes based upon his personal prejudices and he isn't man enough to consider the possibility that he erred.

    Write that into the social contract.

  • Chris_R

    WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 1474 posted 4:50 am on Apr 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

    It depends on the editor and the category and of course - money.

    We all know sites on the Internet that are pretty much just content copied from other sites.

    Almost every local news station has content that is grabbed off the wire and copied everywhere else.

    If they do it - it is smart business.

    If some shmoe does it - it is spamming.

    HEck - even most search engines now just have listings from somewhere else.

    steveb

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



     
    Msg#: 1474 posted 4:54 am on Apr 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

    "it seems the editors that have responded in this thread have very small closed minds and are more concerned about defending their authority and decisions than they are about building a comprehensive Internet directory."

    Uh, somebody needs a lay down.

    Only one editor to respond to you has looked at your site. Your comment is both rude and silly with that in mind. You have been told general ODP principles by other editors. It's ridiculous to then reply about your own site. We have no way of knowing if your sister is ugly or not.

    If you have questions about your site submission, go to resource-zone.com and post the URL if you want informed feedback.

    rfgdxm1

    WebmasterWorld Senior Member rfgdxm1 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 1474 posted 4:55 am on Apr 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

    >Editor discretion (within the leeway described in the guidelines) is what makes ODP good and bad, depending on which side of the submission fence you're on.

    Yep. ;) The guidelines have specific rules about what an editor can not use as a basis for rejection, such as commercial self-interest, or personal or political bias. However, if none of that is an issue, there is nothing in the guidelines that says the editor can't use discretion and just say "this site sucks".

    rfgdxm1

    WebmasterWorld Senior Member rfgdxm1 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 1474 posted 5:15 am on Apr 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

    >Where in these guidelines does it say...Do you like the site?

    "The ODP's goal is two-fold: to create the most comprehensive and definitive directory of the Web, and to create a high quality, content rich resource that the general public considers useful and indispensable. In short, editors should select quality sites and lots of them.

    "Consider the relative value of a resource in comparison to others information resources available on your particular topic. Relative value refers not only to the quality of the site, but also to its ability to contribute important, unique information on a topic.

    "In general, ODP editors should enter sites that represent the following:

    "Original, unique and valuable informational content that contributes something unique to the category's subject.
    Contrasting points of view on major issues. The ODP attempts to cover the full breadth and depth of human knowledge, representing all topics and points of view on those topics."

    I *like* quality sites with unique and valuable content. Quality and valuable are subjective terms. Different editors will have different standards. In this case, through editor discretion you got the thumbs down. This is just the way things work.

    mbennie

    10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 1474 posted 5:34 am on Apr 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

    there is nothing in the guidelines that says the editor can't use discretion and just say "this site sucks".

    There isn't anything in the guidelines that says an editor shouldn't exclude all sites with blue text. Based on your logic should sites with blue text be excluded?

    The guidelines seem quite specific about what to exclude.

    They say nothing, zero, zilch, nada, about personal opinions on content or design. In fact, the way I read the guidelines it's all about adding as many sites as possible to cover a wide array of viewpoints while avoiding duplicate or mirror sites.

    This isn't about my site. I'll do quite well without the oDP. This is about the attitude in general and the arbitrary decisions that are based on personal prejudice and bias. It's also about little minds that get ego boosts from the power to say NO.

    True power comes from the ability to say YES. Small minds never seem to understand that though.

    Only one editor to respond to you has looked at your site.

    Exactly. So why are all of these editors who haven't even looked at the site coming to the defense of the one editor who did? Does being an ODP editor bestow some sort of infalliblity onto a person that other editors will simply back him up without any question?

    rfgdxm1

    WebmasterWorld Senior Member rfgdxm1 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 1474 posted 5:53 am on Apr 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

    >There isn't anything in the guidelines that says an editor shouldn't exclude all sites with blue text. Based on your logic should sites with blue text be excluded?

    But was it anything that arbitrary? Was this unquestionably a site with original, unique and valuable informational content? Consider that valuable is a subjective determination.

    >Exactly. So why are all of these editors who haven't even looked at the site coming to the defense of the one editor who did? Does being an ODP editor bestow some sort of infalliblity onto a person that other editors will simply back him up without any question?

    No. However, you haven't put forth any evidence the decision was totally unreasonable. If you believe so, than Resource Zone is the the most appropriate forum to debate such.

    mbennie

    10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 1474 posted 6:16 am on Apr 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

    Was this unquestionably a site with original, unique and valuable informational content?

    Yes, this site has unquestionably unique content not available on any other site in the category.

    Building a site like this in the hope of quick traffic and quick profit is not something the ODP supports.

    This is the reason for exclusion given by the editor in question.

    My motives for building the site are my own and speculation about what they are shouldn't form the basis of a decision to exclude a site. Hence, I still maintain that this is a case of personal prejudice and bias.

    I will not bother with the resource zone because I really don't need the ODP on this one. However, this whole issue has made me question both the validity of the directory as a whole and makes me skeptical about the future of the ODP. I believe that the project is doomed to mediocrity as long as personal prejudices are allowed to run rampant.

    rfgdxm1

    WebmasterWorld Senior Member rfgdxm1 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 1474 posted 7:16 am on Apr 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

    >>Was this unquestionably a site with original, unique and valuable informational content?

    >Yes, this site has unquestionably unique content not available on any other site in the category.

    You didn't address the last part, which asked if it was valuable? From what was posted earlier, this cat had sites like the World Health Organisation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed. Was this site in the same league?

    This 84 message thread spans 3 pages: 84 ( [1] 2 3 > >
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