|I'd like to endorse the idea of Google using Zeal instead of the ODP ... or at least equally along side it. It would also balance out the power of individual editors at either directory to make decisions on what the rest of the world should see in its search results (by cooling sites, etc). |
Although the RDF dump contains information about the 'cooling' of a site, there is no evidence it helps a site in the Google Directory or in the SERPs.
featured DMOZ sites [webmasterworld.com]
ODP and "cooling" - What does it mean [webmasterworld.com]
|I really like Zeal, however, and I am sad to see that they are sort of screwed now since MSN won't carry their results. |
I totally agree. The Zeal system of suggesting sites is superior. DMOZ should only allow editors to suggest sites...BUT allow people to become editors once in a while.
They do allow people to become editors. I became one just a few months ago after applying twice.
takagi, interesting point regarding cooling.
I've also found Zeal editors easier to communicate with and work with than ODP editors. I'd kind of like to see the power diversified between the two directories because of that. The site is faster and the submission process better. It is just a much better directory in my view because of these things.
source: Zeal Guidelines - English language [zeal.com]
|Sites must have English-language content to be included in the directory. It is also acceptable to add sites that are primarily in another language but include enough English content to be useful for an English-speaking audience. |
According to Google Zeitgeist about 50% of all searches on Google is done in a language other than English, so using a directory with only English sites or sites with enough English content doesn't sound logic to me.
[edited by: takagi at 2:24 pm (utc) on Oct. 7, 2003]
But the way Zeal currently deals with links means that if Zeal didn't change we STILL wouldn't see the Zeal link in our Google back links.
That's true. A Zeal listing did nothing for PR but you did get traffic. Can you imagine the chaos if DMOZ added a clicktracking CGI to the listing instead of the pure href?
I don't think Zeal would be a good option as its focus is mainly about English sites. I suggest that Google should take over ODP :)
My Zeal listing is still sending me tons of msn traffic.
Zeal listings have been an incredible source of traffic relative to what other directories provide. Of course that traffic is all due to MSN and not LS or Zeal itself. :(
Looksmart committed suicide a long time ago. But it has been laying there mortally wounded for a year and a half. Come January it will be out of its misery.
I can't speak for Zeal, but ODP editors do not have control over the dmoz.org search engine, which has a mind of its own.
|the power of individual editors at either directory to make decisions on what the rest of the world should see in its search results |
As for Zeal replacing ODP as the basis for the Google Directory, that is a business decision for Google, but I do not see the sense of it. ODP is both a more ambitious project (though with commensureately greater engineering challenges) and a more mature one (e.g. taxonomy and category development, though Zeal's growth is laudable).
If Google's reasons for having a directory are to provide 1) a starting place to spider as much of the complete web as possible and 2) an alternative mechanism for browsing/searching-- they obviously get no revenue from their directory-- why exchange a database with not only an extensive collection of non-English sites but commercial and even pornographic sites for a smaller, narrower one?
Zeal should change its link format to make itself page-rankable by Google. That would give them one shot of Google exposure without Google having to do a thing.
I'm a fan of having listings in various human-edited directories boost the Google ratings of sites. Being chosen for inclusion in any decent directory is a little like winning an Internet prize; it shows your site's been deemed valuable by people who regularly review such things. If Zeal isn't passing along ranking to the sites in its directory that's unfortunate, because im-hoe they deserve it.
Don't forget though that Zeal only lists nocommercial sites, so the "Zeal" part of the "Zeal/Looksmart" directory isn't a patch compared to the all-embracing scope of the ODP.
Zeal *is* pretty good though. LookSmart is pretty awful. It's a shame that Yahoo! didn't acquire Zeal instead because that could have been an interesting combination.
I edit at both Zeal and DMOZ, so I'm very familiar with both.
Zeal is better than DMOZ in some ways. It has a friendlier, small-community atmosphere. The points-driven system for gaining editorial access to other categories helps keep maintenance down. Editors (Zealots) don't have to wait on other editors' approval as often or as long. And the willingness to deep-link helps build a richer, more complete directory.
Zeal's big deficiency is its size. The ODP is still MUCH bigger. It's linking structure also leaves something to be desired.
I'm not in favor of Google dropping the ODP. There's too much value there. Also linking from Zeal might be good ... at least to treat it as a good place to get quality PR. But the fault in failing to do that is Zeal's, not Google's.
|It has a friendlier, small-community atmosphere. The points-driven system for gaining editorial access to other categories helps keep maintenance down. |
ODP is a larger editor community, but this is considerably broken down by the use of internal branch-specific forums and threads. For example, I edit in a branch of Regional for a western European country - there are three active editors in that branch and we are very frequently in touch via a dedicated forum thread, concentrating as a team on particular areas for a time, discussing the merits of particular sites etc. I doubt whether there are many dmoz editors who would like to participate in a friendly personal community and don't find that the dmoz internal forums provide that. The mentoring scheme, the greenbuster scheme, the editor awards (including specific awards for best new editor in each branch), the cat-check system, the internal editor feedback, the ability to make bug and feature suggestions directly to the ODP techie, the foreign-language forums and the famous Penguin Cafe are just some of the broad range of dmoz features fostering and developing the community.
A points-driven system for gaining editorial access is fundamentally corrupting, just as paying $5 for every site you list would be. If I gain more power and influence by listing another hundred sites then it's in my interest not to reject sites that don't meet the guidelines. One of my favourite dmoz activities is going through spammy unreviewed queues and investigating affiliates, mirrors, duplicates, domain networks and hidden redirects so that they can be labelled as spam and reviewed quicker each time they are resubmitted in the future. These days, I list far fewer sites than I delete, but I'd not be scoring points on a point-per-listed-site system. I could review sites twice as fast, but you'd not like it if I rushed through your site and didn't look at each bit.
The ODP community is large enough that they came across this problem of "click-through editing" a long time ago. Hence, there are no hard and fast rules about number of edits required to make a particular level. Promotion is dependent on factors including your previous experience and how well sites in your current categories are listed and described.
In the UK at the moment, there's a big furore about the new directory enquiries numbers - a centralised service now replaced by dozens of private companies, all with the number 118-a-b-c. The one with the biggest advertising campaign is currently the subject of a probe as to their dodgy dealings.
Same principle - you gain if you deal with things more quickly - result: customers may get cut off. In the case of a web directory, inappropriate sites may get listed, listable sites may get deleted. Quality of the web directory goes down.
>It's a shame that Yahoo! didn't acquire Zeal instead
Maybe they should. I doubt it would cost them very much right now, and their directory could badly use the boost in the noncommercial sector... since like Looksmart they like to handle the lucrative commercial center on a for-pay basis, it might be a good fit for them.
The Zeal community should try to approach them somehow.
>Honestly, I'm not a big fan of the ODP. The site is so slow very often and seems like the redheaded step child of Netscape.
Use the mirror at ch.dmoz.org. Obviously Netscape didn't consider direct users of dmoz.org a priority. However, people who do want to use ODP data easily can. As for the issue of Zeal and Google, that Zeal encourages excessive listing of deep links makes it unsuitable. This works for Zeal because of the way people use LS. It wouldn't work for Google though.
>...The site is so slow very often
For the past week or so the various forums have had nothing about it being slow (or about submittals failing, which is one of the more sensitive symptoms of performance issues), which I take to mean that the performance tuning is beginning to come round.
Nonetheless, I'd recommend using directory.google.com (which is integrated with a comprehensive search index) or one of the European mirrors whenever you can. Of course, the mirrors' searches, and all the licensees' site submittals, will still link back to dmoz.org.
I've tried to get this discussion of making Zeal Google-crawlable going on the Zeal improvement board:
I could use someone to second me and you seem to agree with that notion. :)
I want to submit website on Zeal.com.but it only allow uncommercial website add in it,my websites are all commercial,how i can submit to it?You are a zeal editor.Can you give some advice?
thanks in advance!
Commercial sites have to pay for inclusion in the Looksmart directory.