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Getting into DMOZ in a few days
How often does it happen?

 9:20 am on Oct 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

I got used to the fact, that you need a few months to get listed in DMOZ - all sites I managed to get there needed about 3-4 months before they were listed, and other aren't listed after more than half a year, and I hope they still might be eventually.

But recently, I submitted to DMOZ a page of my Institute (I work at an University), and it got listed in the same week. I wonder is it the case of unusually efficient editor of this category, or the rules for university sites are different (DMOZ trusts them more than private sites).

Anyway, has anyone else managed to get listed in DMOZ in shorter time than a week?



 9:46 pm on Oct 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

It's a trade-off. We'd like to have new people working on our site, but at the same time, we want to protect all the work we've currently put in from being undone.

Since the categories we're talking about are the very spammiest ones, A) new editors applying for those categories are frequently the kind of spammy black-hatted people neither you nor I wants in charge of the category, and B) the submissions the category gets are so numerous and so bad that a brand-new editor is unlikely to be able to sort them out, and even if he or she has the best of intentions, is likely to make the category worse by publishing some of the malicious spam sites.

If you're trying to become an ODP editor in a highly abused topic, I recommend becoming an editor in a smaller, less spammy, less trafficky area, and then once you've learned the editing system well, apply for the messy category.


 9:49 pm on Oct 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

bears5122 -- will you share the percentages?

What percentage of unique applications are declined from commercial categories compared to non-comm ones?

I'd be surprised if there is a big difference, but it sounds like you have better info.


 11:21 pm on Oct 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

The whole principle of letting someone edit a directory that has a website of their own in it makes a joke of the entire DMOZ concept imo.

I certainly wouldnt associate the words "Quality" and "DMOZ" together as some editors here try to claim. With so many quality sites missing and so many sites not listing because an editor doesnt want a competing site in their section, or has given two or three listings to sites they favour, including even sub-domain sites!, its become outdated, biased and offers little value to anyone going to the site.

Time for Google to totally detach itself from the directory, reduce the PR on all of the clone DMOZ directory sites on the net to ZERO (which offer nothing but duplicate content anyway)and recognise that its a closed club for editors to look after their own interests.

Sure, in non commercial sectors you may get a genuine editor at a uni for example that wants to list related sites on a certain subject matter in an unbiased way. However, these kinds of editor are thin on the ground. Where you have commercial sectors with big money keywords, you have corruption and DMOZ is full of it imo.

At the moment the only reason for submitting a site to DMOZ is for the back link advantage from all of its clone sites and being in Google directory. Without this advantage it would be dead within a week as no one would bother with it, including a volume of editors who whilst "Doing it for no payment" get the pay off from including own sites with strong descriptions in several places in the directory for backlinks.

Good luck to anyone who is on the waiting list waiting to get in. Chances are its not that your site is awaiting review, its that the editor of the section has conveniently left it to one side for their own interests.

Its a junk directory and the sooner Google see this the better.


 11:58 pm on Oct 14, 2005 (gmt 0)


Well said. I couldn't have said it better myself. I knew a lot of people were thinking the way I was about this whole Dmoz thing. Its really a joke at this point.

Maybe they should start asking for paid listings and pay employees to do the screening of the listing instead of volunteer editors who have their own interest in the category they are editing.

Its unforturnate that a few have to ruin the good work of many.

Its too bad that many of us who have been waiting for ever to get in has to get hurt on Google rankings because we don't have a listing on Dmoz.


 12:12 am on Oct 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

bears, I'm a little puzzled at you asking this, because I'd have thought the answer was painfully obvious. There are basically no new editors accepted into high-spam-target categories, because (1) we'd like to give them a chance to build up a reputation for honest editing before exposing them to such temptation, and (2) if they are honest, they probably don't KNOW all the slimy tricks webmasters practice. In other words, it is not fair to other editors, to submitters, or even (especially!) to the applicant. An editor must do a significant amount of good work (and demonstrate a commitment to learning the necessary skills) before having to deal with the toxic waste dumps of the internet.

That is how we almost completely avoid the problem (of webmasters protecting their own sites) that is so often alleged by dishonest, ignorant submitters who can't imagine any god but their own bellies.

Some other facts that should be obvious, but apparently aren't:

(1) within the ODP, your influence is pretty well limited to what you do with your own keyboard -- the edits you make, and the example they provide for other editors. You can't force people to do ANYTHING; you can't even impose priorities on other people. All you can do is show good work, and tell curious onlookers how you did it. Even whether the onlookers follow your example or not, is out of your control. So even if 99% of all editors had joined to add their own site (which is an absurdly high estimate, given the number of non-editors' sites that have been added), that would only be 70,000 out of five million listings -- not even 2% of the total!

(2) But in fact it is true (with the ODP as with all volunteer organizations) that a few hundred highly active editors have done a majority of all edits. It is especially absurd to suppose that someone has reviewed hundreds of thousand of sites across tens of thousands of categories, merely to block a few doorway/drop-ship/affiliate/banner-farm competitors.

(3) much more common than all kinds of abuse together are simple mistakes: we make a mistake and add a spammer's site -- I estimate that's happened over a million times. Now, the malicious webmasters assume that's our site, that we're imposing on the other spammers, but it's really the other way around: we're the victims, we've been imposed on: our mental filters simply aren't perfect.

(4) Which brings up the final point: it's a directory, not mount Olympus. I haven't met a perfect editor yet: even claiming perfection for oneself is a pretty good way to get an editor application rejected. You may have noticed that in the forums, by the way: numerous people will claim that their perfect applications were rejected; on the other hand, I've heard a number of accepted editors (after a bit of experience) express amazement that they got in at all with such an error-filled application.

A cynical person might see this as a way of distinguishing between people who know it all ("you can't tell ME anything!") and people who have not yet reached the stage of life where they are no longer capable of learning anything. But I'm trying not to take cynicism seriously this decade.

[edited by: hutcheson at 12:13 am (utc) on Oct. 15, 2005]


 12:12 am on Oct 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm one of those folks whose site got listed with my suggesting it to DMOZ.

I've no idea if someone else suggested it, or if an editor happend across it and listed on their own.

It was a pleasant surprize however it happened.


 1:13 am on Oct 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

I don't think I've mentioned it yet in this thread, but it's worth repeating for the sake of those who truly aren't aware of how the directory works: it's impossible for one editor to leave a competitor's site "off to the side" and thereby prevent it from being listed. There literally isn't any way to "guard" a site this way. Unless the submissions have been outright deleted (and that is very easy to spot,) the worst a bad editor can do to your site is to ignore it himself, which doesn't stop the submission from continuing to appear in the inbox of every other editor who works in that category path. Even if an editor truly was prejudiced against your site (or if your site doesn't work on the browser he chooses to use, as a more benign example,) it would still get listed just as quickly as it would have had that particular editor never been born in the first place.


 1:18 am on Oct 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

“There are basically no new editors accepted into high-spam-target categories”

- By this you mean “Commercial Categories” i.e. where the expensive adwords are. So if you got in first a few years back to act as editor for a commercial sector, your made now because you rule the roost and no one else can get in to edit or take it over.

“We’d like to give them a chance to build up a reputation for honest editing before exposing them to such temptation”

- Are, so you are beyond corruption?, but anyone new might be, so lets make sure we put a stop to that. And who exactly decided that YOU were the experienced oracle on what sites should or should not be listed and what sectors new editors should or should not be allowed to edit? And who exactly decided that you are more honest that most other webmasters and are not acting in your own interests?

“That is how we almost completely avoid the problem (of webmasters protecting their own sites) that is so often alleged by dishonest, ignorant submitters who can't imagine any god but their own bellies

- Right, I see, so it’s just dishonest, ignorant submitters that question your supposed integrity and experience of listing a website – You really are self-opinionated about this aren’t you!

The fact here is that you edit in a closed directory club. It has zero regulation imposed on it, it has ZERO alleged management structure, the webmaster cant complain to anyone other than a meta editor (who is possibly the problem anyway), they cant contact anyone because the principals are nameless and faceless and senior meta editors hide behind made up nicknames and either don’t want to reply to emails or cant be bothered to reply. By god if a sector of the internet needs regulation it’s your DMOZ directory!

All in all it’s a closed club that looks after its own. Why a public company like Google which is owned now by shareholders should want to be associated with something that could potentially come to haunt it later due to corruption allegations is beyond me.

You’re seriously deluded if you think you are somehow making a difference to the quality on the internet- Your not. Far too many sites are not in the directory that should be and far too many sites have multiple listings because the editors want the sites to have them (for possibly own reasons) and other sites listed should be removed due to quality reasons, currently the directory is of a poor standard, has far to many biased listings put there by the website owners that are also editors and overall the directory is in a mess.

All in all, the concept is seriously outdated and floored.


 1:40 am on Oct 15, 2005 (gmt 0)


I don’t agree with you because if it’s a commercial category with say one senior meta editor, by the mere fact that they choice to ignore a site in the pool they MAYBE in effect helping their own cause.

Also, as stated on this forum by poster Hutcheson, a new editor cant get involved with a commercial category so it’s the old names (policing in their own way) the sites they do or don’t want listed in there own category with NO one to stop them.

Furthermore, the notes that editors write about sites are not open to the general public for scrutiny – They should be. It should fall as part of the data protection act imo and webmasters should have the right to see all notes written about their sites by editors – If DMOZ is such a goody, goody honest organization run by straight honest editors volunteering their valuable time for the good of the internet, why shouldn’t these notes be available?

If a meta editor decides they don’t want a site listed or don’t want other editors to include it they can simply put notes to the effect that the site is say “A known spammer” without substantial evidence, and bingo the site doesn’t get listed. Webmasters have the right to know this kind of information imo and ALL editors should be fully accountable for their actions this way webmasters themselves could quickly see which editors are corrupt and which ones are not irrespective of how high up the tree the meta editor in question is.

Good luck to you anyway, but DMOZ is crying out for regulation if you ask me.


 2:19 am on Oct 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

>by the mere fact that they choice to ignore a site in
>the pool they MAYBE in effect helping their own cause

Well, no, not really. Imagine if I ignore a site in a category I edit. (In my case, that probably means it's a Flash-only site, but you can imagine I'm doing it because it's a competitor, if you like.) Now the site sits there for eight months until a different editor gets to it. Wow, that's an eight-month delay I've imposed on the site, right?

But now imagine an alternate universe in which I had never volunteered with the ODP in the first place. The same site would have sat there... for eight months, until the other editor got to it. My presence, ignoring that site, hasn't actually harmed it or slowed its progress in any way.

>Also, as stated on this forum by poster Hutcheson, a new
>editor cant get involved with a commercial category

That's not what he said at all. He said a new editor can't begin with one of the huge, spam-barraged categories several of us were discussing earlier in the conversation. Smaller commercial categories are open to new editors, and once they learn how to use our editing system (and prove that they can be trusted with it,) they're welcome to apply for the larger, messier categories.

>If DMOZ is such a goody, goody honest organization run by straight honest
>editors volunteering their valuable time for the good of the internet,
>why shouldn’t these notes be available?

You're joking, right? It's because we don't want spammers to see what kind of spam gets caught and how, of course. I may be a goody-goody, but I'm not TOTALLY naive. ;-)


 5:52 am on Oct 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

RichTC, I thing you're overcritical. It's an obvious risk that commercial categories might be corrupted, but it doesn't necessarily mean we have to call DMOZ a junk.

Google can hardly manage with competitive keywords as well.

I started this thread to emphasize the fact, that there are categories so completely noncommercial, that you can get listed in a few days, because probably the editor needn't to worry that submitted site is a commercial spam.

In hobby categories it were, in my experience, a few months, instead of days in educational category.

So I wouldn't be surprised if inclusion in commercial category would take a few years :) And as well it might be a good solution - most businesses go bancrupt after a few years anyway, so they worth listing IF they are good enough to survive longer. Let's call this idea "A DMOZ Sandbox", to make it sound familiar. Apparently, I don't say it exists, but I think it wouldn't be bad idea at all. Of course, would be better if it were annonced officially.

Neither DMOZ nor Google are bound to be a free advertising charity so they have a right to deny listing a commercial site it they like.

If it were truth that commercial categories were edited by corrupted editors, the best solution would be to make a rule banning all commercial sites from the whole Directory. With no commercial categories and no commercial sites, noone could accuse DMOZ for being unjust.

And the balance of PageRank would be moved towards educational and non-commercial sites. Even now, educational sites have important share of all PageRank in the internet, and they would become even stronger.

But if we're not crazy enough to suggest removing all commercial sites from DMOZ, we must accept the unevitable. And the best solution to protect against dishonest listings is, in my opinion, to accept very long delays in listing commercial sites.

It's difficult to find an impartial criteria for determining the quality of a commercial site. It's raw age is the closest thing, because spammy sites are unlikely to exist for longer than five years (the worst are thrown away after a few months if using most spammy tactics) and serious companies exist for longer than 10 years, and you obviously would like to buy from someone who is in businness for many years rather than someone who just started and might go bancrupt in months.

I guess we have to accept the delays in some categories, even if you may get frustrated seeing how quickly you get listed in the others. I build sites for long and I got used to the fact, that building a good site is a matter of years, no matter how hard you work. By building a site I mean not only coding it and writing its content, but also making it noticed by people, getting out of sandbox and into DMOZ and everything what distincts a new site from established one.


 9:10 am on Oct 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

If it were truth that commercial categories were edited by corrupted editors, the best solution would be to make a rule banning all commercial sites from the whole Directory. With no commercial categories and no commercial sites, noone could accuse DMOZ for being unjust.

But if we're not crazy enough to suggest removing all commercial sites from DMOZ, we must accept the unevitable.

I'll share a little secret: This has been discussed by the DMOZ editors. Until now we have decided not to make this big step. But who knwos what the future will bring.


 10:53 am on Oct 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thats a good idea. DMOZ need to make this move and remove all commercial sites. This can be the only way forward for it, next to google breaking away from using the data to power its own directory and giving zero pagerank to all clone duplicate directory sites.

Any sector with expensive keywords like say, Travel, Jobs, Insurance, finance, etc, etc has possible corrupt risks associated with it, so making DMOZ a non commercial directory could restore some credability to it.

For a start a good immediate move would be to delete more than one entry from DMOZ for a site in a commercial sector. A commercial site should NOT be listed more than once in DMOZ and three times upwards should certainly not be right, not with the volume of backlinks thats given to the site in question for each listing.

As for a DMOZ sandbox, what tosh, it should not be up to DMOZ what sites Google should or should not list in its directory or its SERPs by way of giving or taking away back links. As for a company and its financial stability again that is not the DMOZ editors concern, the internet should be free for all information highway with no commercial advantage or disadvantage just because a site is backed by a PLC or by a mom and pop business. Its not for DMOZ to try and strangle small business start ups because an editor thinks they may or may not survive. That very point confirms a bias to certain sites in commercial sectors.

Just to clarify a MAJOR point here and that is that Google is now a public company, it has its own filters against problem sites and has its own sandbox etc relating to commercial sectors. It is corruption free to a certain extent because it has no human intevention and hence cant be corrupted very easily.
So why then spoil that by using potentialy biased, corrupted data from DMOZ to power its own directory and give credit from dmoz clone directory sites which in turn help push sites listed higher up the serps due to the backlink advantage.

In closing, no webmaster has an issue with DMOZ regarding non commercial sites. Our web design company has worked on thousands of sites, those in non commercial sectors tend to get listed in a reasonable length of time. A high volume of the commercial ones either dont get listed, held back, or removed if they make to much impact, imo due to DMOZ corruption problems.

DMOZ editors mention severe back logs in some sectors so perhaps if they removed commercial sectors from the directory and just worked on non commercial areas it could become a usefull resource facility - Currently i maintain my stance that in its current format it needs to be dropped by Google ASAP for the good of the internet.


 11:14 am on Oct 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

Although the overall story might be true there are a lot of errors.

- keywords: DMOZ doesn't care about them, so for us they are not a problem
- backlinks: DMOZ doesn't care about them, so for us they are not a problem
- "making DMOZ a non commercial directory": DMOZ is already a non commercial directory
- "DMOZ sandbox": there isn't such a thing
- "it should not be up to DMOZ what sites Google should or should not list in its directory": and it isn't, G itself decides what to put in its directory
- "Its not for DMOZ to try and strangle small business start ups because an editor thinks they may or may not survive": it isn't and we don't, but if you think a company will survive because of a DMOZ listing you are totaly wrong
- "Google cant be corrupted very easily": haha, its result are full of corrupted sites
- "DMOZ editors mention severe back logs in some sectors": no, we don't see them as backlogs, it would only be if we cared about the suggestions being processed within a specific time, we don't

- "delete more than one entry from DMOZ for a site in a commercial sector" : there is a special sector at R-Z (the public DMOZ forum) to report caes like this, they will always be looked at

- "potentialy biased, corrupted data from DMOZ": if you have prove please report them, if not you are just insulting all DMOZ editors
In the country I live we have a proverb (translated) "a landlord trusts his guests as he trusts himself".


 12:41 pm on Oct 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

> Until now we have decided not to make this big step

Of course, a significant downside of such a decision exists, at least for those of us who edit outside of those relatively few commerce areas that the most prolific DMOZ detractors actually give a fig about.

If the areas that some blather about as if the dmoz listing is the make all or end all for sites in that field were removed, I suspect the remaining cats would see a massive influx of suggestions for submission.

It seems likely to me that a multitude of commercial sites would suddenly spring forth a 3-3500 page section of 'purely informational' content (not unakin to the hordes of made for adsense sites which arose and still arise) and then start filling forums far and wide with much of the same pablum that exists today - it takes too long to get listed for informational content, I was listed in X and deserve to be listed in R now, editors are evil, yada, yada, yada, yada, snooooze.

Oh well, there's better things to do today, and as I have elected to not edit in the spam pits, I'll probably even fit in some editing, and I'll enjoy it too, whether it's from a submission suggestion or from a site I find elsewhere.



 2:50 pm on Oct 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'll share a little secret: This has been discussed by the DMOZ editors. Until now we have decided not to make this big step. But who knwos what the future will bring.

I find it reasonable. There is Froogle and other dedicated services for finding products and services, mixing it with finding information as takes place in Google results is confusing. And non commercial site as DMOZ occures even more difficulty in managing the listings of commercial sites.

But there is a serious problem, that commercial institution can use non-commercial websites to promote themselves and still exploit advantages of DMOZ listing.

a multitude of commercial sites would suddenly spring forth a 3-3500 page section of 'purely informational' content

Exactly. And they can use their own domains or a new ones as they please, and just add links from its informational pages to their commercial site to pass PageRank and keyword theming and thus bump positions of their commercial site in Google. Its practised already with success.

Its not for DMOZ to try and strangle small business start ups because an editor thinks they may or may not survive.

But also its not for DMOZ to help such business startups. DMOZ is not a charity advertising company, neither is Google. DMOZ role is to point user to established authority sites, not starting up small companies.

giving zero pagerank to all clone duplicate directory sites

It would mean manual PR manipulation, and I believe Google wants to avoid it. Anyway, all DMOZ clones I get hits from appear to have PR0 or very small anyway, at least so appears when I check them.

Google (...) has its own filters against problem sites and has its own sandbox etc relating to commercial sectors

I'd say it's worse, as one of my informational non-commercial sites was sandboxed for 3 months and other is still sandboxed, it's already 10 months. But I agree with a necessity of sandbox and wait patiently.

In closing, no webmaster has an issue with DMOZ regarding non commercial sites.

Oh, I've got plenty of non-commercial sites I wish they were in DMOZ but they aren't :))

But yes, I understand the point of commercial sites. It's much easier to acquire edu backlink to commercial site from DMOZ listed edu page than get this commercial site do DMOZ itself. Live is hard, isn't it?


 3:41 pm on Oct 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have a non-commercial (for now at least) site.
If I ever do monetize it, it will be to sell my own software.

As it turns out, my old software created a lot of very unique content.
I submitted to DMOZ about 4 years ago, and found my site listed maybe 4 months after that.
It was a complete surprise, a hit from some Latin American site which was WAY off topic.
That site was a DMOZ clone, something new to me at the time.

Getting into DMOZ in just a few days? Lotsa luck. There are social climbers
who spend their whole lives trying to get into high society. I never saw the point of it.

If DMOZ snubs your site, then let it be.

What does DMOZ know about via6ra, real estate, loans, travel .. (you name it) anyway?

Suppose DMOZ actually does kick out all the commercial sites?
Sounds scary at first. If you have a commercial site (and I have no real gripe about those)
BUT it also excludes all your competitors.

Think about it. In the 1960s cigarette commercials were banned from television.
All the tobacco companies screamed and moaned .. until they found their profits went up.
Advertising costs were eating them up alive all this time,
now government regulations relieved them of this, equally.

If this comes to pass, commercial sites as a group may rank a little lower than
say birdwatching societies, church socials, historical and scientific info etc.

If somebody wants your widgets and you do your job right, they will still find you.
I certainly will. Right now I'm looking for rat traps. Yeah.
Norway rats in the attic. They drive me f***ing crazy.
If/when I search, it won't be for bird watchers, more like a hungry snake,
or still more likely sales + rat traps + fast delivery. Bird watchers need not apply.

Interesting concept. DMOZ dumps all commercial sites.
Kinda levels the playing field, c'est ne paws?

Maybe at long last we will stop hearing about DMOZ 'corruption',
and return to the protozoa (scrapers) who cannot write their own copy.
That's more fun anyway. Best wishes (burp!) -Larry


 4:53 pm on Oct 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

The problem with it would mostly be determining what was a 'commercial' site and what wasn't. If we ditched the commercial categories, we'd still want to list informational pages written by commercial people. So then commercial sites would all start wasting their time writing, or usually copying from someplace else, 'informational' pages of variable quality and flooding the noncommercial categories with those.

I think it would be a lot more productive for them to spend their time working on their actual commercial site, which will help their customers and eventually get them listed in the ODP, rather than spend their time trying to create 'noncommercial' mirrors of their site that wouldn't be anything but a ODP-created hoop to jump through and still wouldn't get them listed much sooner than 'eventually' once everyone and their brother was doing it.

That's just my inconsequential personal opinion, though. (-:


 5:24 pm on Oct 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

Rich, it is extremely odd that when we tell you that new editors have to go through the same trust-building process that old editors go through -- a process that has nothing to do with people who aren't editor applicatants -- you hear that as a claim that old editors are somehow different trustwise than new editors. If new editors DIDN'T have to go through the same process, there would be some basis for your reasoning. But the truth is the exact opposite as what you are saying.

As for "commercial" sites: that's really an ambiguous term. Does "commercial" mean "advertising, that is, pure promotions" or does it mean "having to do with commerce, that is, with actual business providing actual goods and services". You guys tend to lump the two together. I see that as disingenuous, if not downright malicious. There is a very important and fundamental distinction between the two. The ODP tries very hard to list the second kind of sites while NOT listing the first.

The concern Rich expressed about "money keywords" is (as has already been mentioned) not an ODP concern. But it is not a BUSINESS-COMMERCIAL concern either. It is purely and simply and ADVERTISING-COMMERCIAL concern. And -- we'd LOVE to have ANYONE's help weeding that kind of sites out when they creep in.

You worry about nobbling competitors? In that kind of business we LOVE people who nobble competitors, and we fervently invite each and every one of you to help us nobble your competitors (even if, and especially if they are ODP editors!)

Genuine BUSINESS-COMMERCIAL sites are a different matter. Our Regional editors tend to prize them. And there are certain retail categories where small businesses provide a valued service. (Of course, they are perfectly mutually exclusive with the "high-keyword-cost" industries!) But nonetheless, it is likely that there are better ways to find such sites (Google Local or Froogle, for instance), and it may be that THAT consideration eventually leads the ODP to focus on something else -- or challenges the ODP to experiment with different approaches. Or, in fact, challenges someone else to use the ODP as a springboard to build something useful. (Lots of possibilities for people with vision and industry!)

But the fact that the ODP is useless for promoting sites that are useless except for promoting other sites, is (for its editors and users) ... one of its most precious and valued unique attributes. That means (at least, if we're doing our job well ) everyone in the advertising business should hate the ODP and all its effects. I don't think we're doing as well as society needs, but we're better than anyone else -- and that is no small achievement.


 6:47 pm on Oct 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

It's kind of the chicken and egg thing with DMOZ. You are supposed to choose a small category to edit and earn trust. Typically the small categories that you get accepted into has little to no submissions. You can't build up edits at all.

The thing that really hurts is that many of the areas in DMOZ are filled with corruption and so on. Look in the dating, adult, real estate or finance sections to see what I'm talking about. I've had editors e-mail me asking for money to be accepted and forwarded the e-mail on to abuse. That editor still edits that category and a few more. To say a new editor needs to earn trust when a large percentage of DMOZ editors are there for alternative reasons seems questionable.

My suggestion for DMOZ is to add a no follow tag to all the links. I mean with such an honest group of editors, this wouldn't matter. It would cut down on submissions and fraudulent editors immediately. I have a feeling though that won't happen.


 7:26 pm on Oct 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

>Typically the small categories that you get accepted into has little to no submissions. You can't build up edits at all.

No, you can't, not at all ... unless you have the "active-editor" mindset. The "slave-to-submitter" mindset just doesn't work there. You have to find sites. But this is no secret: how many times have active editors explained how real editors find sites? I KNOW that message has gotten out -- with but little trouble you could even find dozens of posts whining about those nasty old elitist/arrogant/uncontrollable editors who take URLs from anywhere and don't restrict themselves to what they're spoon-fed: and what's the typical editor response? "Yeah, ain't it great, look what we can do, all by ourselves! Is this worth helping on, or what!"

As for the "nofollow" suggestion, it's been made quite often. But THINK, man: What does the ODP produce? a website? no, not really. The website is just a workshop and demo. The real value of the ODP is the RDF -- the XML-formatted database that ANYONE can use, and that hundreds of sites do use. What the workshop/demo site does is pretty insignificant, compared to all the licensees, hosts, and users (from Google and AOL on down.) And we have no control over what they do with their links.

And as for the conclusion, again, I think you're mistaken. A sufficiently unsuccessful doorway spammer (and this means, of course, all but the top ten per keyword) will follow any advice, no matter how bad. If he thinks that an ODP editorship represents power (and, if as stupid and venal as the breed usually runs, he's congenitally incapable of thinking anything else) then he'll try for it. Reality doesn't enter in. No, that's no solution.

Actually, I think the approach of giving privileges that represent opportunity for service devoid of great potential for gain (and thus weeding out the jerks greedy for instant gratification, which is almost definitional of the unsuccessful doorway spammer), would work much better. Oh, but that's what's already being done.

And ... another line of defense: abuse reports are (in general) reviewed more quickly than any other kind of suggestion (either from inside or outside the ODP.) Lots of people are incapable of seeing anything but abuse, and so there is certainly a population of idiots going around in forums saying, "I reported geocities for abuse for having ten thousand links, and nothing has happened yet!" You can't guage by sound and fury.

But you can perform your own experiment. Pick a category that looks bad. Report the worst of it, and see what happens and when.


 11:30 pm on Oct 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

wow, whats your motto - "Why use five words when you can say it with five hundred!"

its amazing that you want to defend DMOZ so much. As for editors and power, its a fact that Google gives weight to back links from DMOZ and its clone directory sites - end of. Backlinks to sites in commercial sectors where pay per click rates are high are a major advantage.

The only reason why we tell clients to submit to DMOZ is because of the potential back links to be gained if they get let in - nothing else.

Can anyone remember the last DMOZ referal they got? We work on sites with 1 million plus visitors a month and they dont get one click from the directory - imo the only people that use it now are webmasters and editors!.

As long as editors can include own sites and grant more than ONE link to their sites and ones they list in DMOZ they will gain from the back link advantage and that is the reason why some editors do the job and also why so many are corrupt.

To have any credability at DMOZ what so ever (and currently i genuinely believe it to be very corrupt, of little use and at an all time low)dmoz need to either:-

- Not list commercial sites at all
- Use no follow tags on links
- ensure that any site has a maximum of ONE link only
- Stop giving clone sites access to the data feeds - Its duplicate content anyway so why do it
- Ask google to power its own directory and not use DMOZ data.
- Ask google to zero all PR from clone directory sites and provide google with a list of the sites it feeds the data to to assist it.

Any of the above would be a good start, but frankly i have more chance of knitting fog that seeing DMOZ clean up its act. The editors like it how it is because it suits their cause!

Its certainly time now Google is a Public company for it to disassociate itself from anything that can be potentially corrupt, thats for certain.

Interesting thread this, but a complete waste of time as nothing will change (still, at least the newbies will see whats going on if nothing else)


 11:43 pm on Oct 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

> "Why use five words when you can say it
> with five hundred!"

to reverse that Q, why use 400 words when
"see prior msgs" would have conveyed your viewpoint about as well as merely repeating yourself.


 12:35 am on Oct 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

If you want brevity and simplicity, Animal Farm will fully serve your needs: just choose a permutation of "good", "bad", "ODP", and a fourth word of your own choosing. But understanding involves stepping beyond judgmental Newspeak and looking at system interaction.

And I don't really care to defend the ODP. It is enough that people understand it: they may then proceed to love, hate, or ignore it, depending on how well it conforms to their goals. So long as your emotion conforms to the facts (the ODP goals and your own goals), I rejoice in it. Spammers' frustration, surfers' bewilderment, librarians' delight -- all may be appropriate.

And the decision to try to help it or not -- it's yours, I have no power over it. Just as the decision to build your own website is yours, I have no power over it.

In the face of the incessant but absurd assertion that editors have "power" -- I'll repeat: You have absolute power over any power that editors who think they have power have!

If an editor is doing nothing, is THAT power? Hardly: you yourself have fully as much power to do nothing as an editor does! So the only power an editor has is to act. But those actions have to be within the goals of the project -- otherwise ANYONE can report them via an abuse report.

But, irrational and ludicrous and contemptible as it may seem, you'd be amazed how many people file abuse reports on the entire population of humanity (and then, in a further exhibition of insane irrationality, choose one ODP editor as poster child) for NOT doing some particular action! Hey, all of you who think an editor is abusing that way: Get even with them, today! Plop yourself down and do nothing right back! And if that's not enough, then don't do all the same things tomorrow too! And then don't repeat the action, for as many days as it takes. But, I warn you, everytime you post in a forum, you're losing your power by acting, and thousands of ODP editors gain another day of power over you.


 3:07 am on Oct 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

>its amazing that you want to defend DMOZ so much

Why? Don't you feel any pride in the websites you work on?

I'd think it would be a lot odder and more suspicious if ODP editors *didn't* say "Well, I think it's a useful site and here's why" whenever this came up. Then you might have a point in guessing editors are really only just hacks who sign on to list their own site and then ditch the place. As it is, you don't really need a telescope to see a cow in front of your face. We're the sort of people who like directories, and we think ours is useful, and we're likely to explain how if anyone asks us. Where's the mystery here?


 6:18 pm on Oct 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

That is how we almost completely avoid the problem (of webmasters protecting their own sites) that is so often alleged by dishonest, ignorant submitters who can't imagine any god but their own bellies.

My oh my, Mr. Hutcheson, what a language! You seem to really believe that webmasters who dare to question DMOZ editor's actions (even in the mildest possible way) are, in your terms, always "dishonest, ignorant. malevolant, greedy, ..." whereas DMOZ editors are always clean, always right, always honest, always ...

Always ... even in cases when they "edit out commercial sites out of a category" in such a way that they wipe out a number of COMPETING sites to the waiting list or to some obscure corner of DMOZ, while half of sites left behind are purely (or mainly) commercial, INCLUDING the editor's own site ...


 6:57 pm on Oct 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

The last person I heard THAT particular story from, had come to the conclusion that it was the editor's site based on the facts that the webmaster and the editor's sister shared, um,

(1) one of the most common names across Catholic/Orthodox Europe
(2) the first letter of their last name, which happened to be one of the three or four most common initials;

Odd how one sister spoke Portuguese as a native language, and the other -- Russian. But, still, obviously the same person: the OTHER evidence was overpowering.

And the sites had been sitting in that category for years, while the editor secretly nursed this passion and conspiracy, before suddenly exploding into action -- somehow, by unknown means, coercing yet ANOTHER editor, in another country, into doing the vile deed.

Michael Moore couldn't have made up that story, and Oliver Stone wouldn't have swallowed it!

Then, offline, I met up with a guy who really believes that the September 11/2001 atrocity was jointly planned by George Bush, John Kerry, and other members of their college dining club as an excuse for invading Afghanistan -- apparently the college club had a great need for the natural resources of that region (but whether arid mountains or abandoned Russian small arms, he wasn't clear.)

I don't see why the two conspiracies can't be related -- the ODP may well have been set up to support the as-yet-unrealized invasion of Outer Mongolia, and stirring up dissension among irrational people is a critical part of the exercise.

But if so, that part of the story has not yet been divulged to me. So I'll continue to believe people who haven't done something irretrievably dishonest (like lying to me, or setting up a white-label affiliate site, or running for Congress.) And people who'd rather believe that the universe is in a vast (left/right/middle)-wing conspiracy to get them, are welcome to include me in their list of enemies: I'd be honored.


 7:07 pm on Oct 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

are welcome to include me in their list of enemies

I'd rather guess that what might really get you in someone's list of enemies might be the repeated usage of abusive language to qualify people you don't know and whose only (but deadly?!?) sin is to have doubts in your belief that DMOZ editors are to be considered saints by default.


 7:45 pm on Oct 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think, if you'll actually read my post, my protest is rather against people who will believe anything, no matter how irrational, no matter how contrary to evidence, in order to bolster a personal attack against a person whose only evident guilt is having been associated with the ODP.

But yes, my default approach to people is to assume they're not conning me -- unless they've given me evidence to the contrary. (And volunteering for the Friends of the Public Library, or the local synagogue, or the Red Cross, or the ODP, is NOT such evidence.) And, actually, psychological studies have shown that people who DON'T take that approach are more likely to be habitual deceivers themselves. So I'm on good ground and in good company in making a connection between people who put faith in unsupported accusations, and people who are most likely habitually unethical.


 8:17 pm on Oct 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

unless they've given me evidence to the contrary


 8:54 pm on Oct 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

Well, and of course it all depends on what you call "evidence." We do hear about genuine problems, and the sheer number of ex-editors in SERP perp forums should indicate how seriously we take real problem.

But the vague character assassinations that you so love -- without any corroberating details -- say a WHOLE lot more about the character of the people who repeat them (and the intelligence of the people who believe them) than they do about the ODP.

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