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Time for DMOZ to change

Googles reputation hangs in the balance.

     
12:00 pm on Nov 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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This post is why its time for the current situation with DMOZ and its relationship with Google to seriously change for the future good of the internet and Googles reputation.

1. itís a known factor that back links help a sites position in Google and a listing in DMOZ is a back link.
2. DMOZ feeds thousands of clone directory sites with its data hence a link in DMOZ means thousands of back links get created to your site.
3. A clone DMOZ directory is duplicate content anyway and surplus to requirements yet they feature on the net in their droves and frankly most of them need removing. DMOZ assists in getting more junk on the internet by feeding these useless directory sites with its data and at the same time they give more back links out to the sites featured. We only need one directory and thatís Yahoo as far as im concerned.
4. DMOZ has a percentage of corrupt editors out for their own cause, where you have big money keywords you get corruption. Google adwords are very expensive in some sectors, so assistance in moving up the Google serps for a website for certain keywords by having more anchor back links is an advantage and of significant financial value.
5. As Google is now a public company it should not be connected in anyway to any site that is possibly corrupt or has a percentage of corrupt staff. It should now break away from using DMOZ data.
6. DMOZ by its own submission cant cope with the editing job anyway and has thousands of categories that are out of date with dead links, incorrect descriptions not been updated and often a bias to the editors own or friends sites.
7. DMOZ is not in anyway regulated, it has no management structure as such that is publicly known and is not accountable in anyway for what it does.

Now as I see it because of the weight given to back links by Google an editor is in some cases indirectly getting a nice payoff as they can decide who they do or donít want in the category they edit. If a competitor comes to get listed they can simply ignore it, they can waffle around this factor as much as the editor likes but at the end of the day they decide.

Also, back links are highly valuable to a site especially in commercial areas. For a site to obtain as many ďOne WayĒ back links as DMOZ and its clones provide working without a DMOZ listing in its own right takes a long time and costs a site money as not all sites will give one way back links for free as DMOZ and its clones can.

As I see it, if you build a great site, you donít want some idiot copying it do you?, yet in the case of DMOZ they not only let you copy the data but they actively encourage it, why Ė back links of course!

Having now worked on various sites over the last five years and seen some get listed, some ignored, some taken out I have come to the conclusion that DMOZ has certain corrupt editors within it and that DMOZ can no longer cope with the size of the internet and the submissions as a result.

Google and DMOZ should now take the following action:-

1. Google should delete Page Rank on DMOZ all together, just grey bar it out on every page so that sites are not getting unfair page ranked back links
2. All clone DMOZ or related clone directory sites should be removed by Google from its index on the basis that they are duplicate content.
3. DMOZ should adopt a policy of no follow code on sites listed and insist that no other site should copy its data.
4. DMOZ should deal with all listing requests in order of when they were submitted. I.e. a site submitted on the 1st Jan 2004 should be looked at before a site submitted on the 1st Jan 2005.
5. If an editor finds a site not listed they think should be, it should be added to the same list to be reviewed in date order after the first one has been dealt with.
6. If the editor is turning a site down it should give reasons, not keep webmasters dangling and advise what the webmaster should do to improve their site in order to get listed.
7. DMOZ should be regulated and have a proper management line structure and the public should know who they are. They should be properly named and be fully accountable for their actions.
8. All data in DMOZ including editorís notes should be made wide open to the general public. Under the data protection act individuals have a right to know exactly what data and notes are made about them by companies. DMOZ clearly is in breach of the data protection act by being able to secretly write notes about sites which it keeps from the public view.

If DMOZ wants to gain any credibility it should adopt the above measures.

Meanwhile, if Google as a public company continues to use the DMOZ data and does not take action imo to clean up this relationship and the way it uses the DMOZ data, it will be a short matter of time until some serious corrupt allegations come to the surface which may ultimately damage Googleís reputation and its stock market value.

Its Time to act now...

5:28 pm on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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What you heard was not what happened in reality.
8:46 pm on Dec 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I don't really mean to revive this thread but upon reading it, I came upon this post that I feel expresses the frustration of people whose sites are NOT listed.
-----------------------------------------------------------
Jim Noble-Here's a real life situation that happened to me last night.
I live in the UK, one of my sons lives in New Zealand, and I want to send him a case of wine for Christmas. For economic reasons, it would be best to find a NZ based shipper.

The DMOZ NZ/../Shopping/Wine and Beer category quickly gave me a choice of several and the order was placed. I don't claim that the category is complete, but it did the job.

As an exercise for the reader, try to come up with a Google search string which would achieve a similar result, untainted by wine merchants selling NZ wine on other continents :-).

OTOH, if I want to track down a handbook for an obscure motherboard, it's Google every time.

-------------------------------------------------------------
Now, one store got that order. But how many more were unlisted? Sure Jim got his quest filled but because another merchant did not get his site listed he missed out on the business. And if it was more complete in that category, Jim might have gotten better service at a better price.
I, personally don't wish the dmoz to go away. It does fill a need. It's just a shame that it's not better organized. Order thru chaos. Granted, not near as bad as Wikipedia but still needs improvement.
Typical of an all volunteer staff.
However, I think there is appearing to be an inordinate amount of seo's sneaking in and manipulating. And it seems that dmoz is not really looking at what is going on. Something I reported was brushed off once. And I never have gotten that bit of gnawing out of my gut since. Funny thing is, this particular seo's sneaking that I was reporting has now gotten what he deserves. Some of his sites have been banned in google and the rest have either gone supplemental and lost all pr.

7:33 pm on Dec 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Now, one store got that order. But how many more were unlisted?
Apart from one website currently showing 404, none :).
8:51 pm on Dec 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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If there is a New Zealand-based winery who isn't listed in the ODP and can't be easily found in Google or any other source either, then they're not exactly losing business over this. Jimnoble wouldn't have found them and bought from them anyway. (-:

It isn't a zero-sum game. If customers can't find your competitor's online store they may get frustrated and buy something else, or decide not to buy anything, or buy something from the local mall instead of online. It doesn't necessarily mean they'll spend hours searching for different search engines and directories until they come across your business instead. (-:

9:04 pm on Dec 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Oops, I should have been more clear. There are none awaiting review in that category. There could be others that have never been suggested there.
11:18 pm on Dec 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

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hutcheson said........
So if you think there's corruption -- is that just the evil that lurks in YOUR mind, or can you spot even one case? We'd like to know!

i bet you would!

i'll admit to being a DMOZ editor with a few cats / subcats and a few editor names

i'll admit to "creative editing" (corruption is such an ugly word)

i don't go to extremes like some editors, i only "creatively edit" what benefits me (and a few friends)

i do list other sites that get submitted, but not all, and i often move submissions from competitors to other (wrong and unedited) categories, partially to preserve the value of the links to my sites and partially to prevent my competitors getting any benefit from listings in dmoz

i never take money from webmasters, i never put more than 1 listing in per site, although i do sometimes submit a second listing and movie it to another (edited) subcat for someone else to list

i don't log in very often, but i do try to check all my cats at least once a month just to appear active so the metas leave me alone (worked ok so far)

why do i do it?
1 - because i got fed up waiting for sites to get listed
2 - because each listing passes on good link value
3 - because other editors partake in "creative editing" and some have "creatively edited" my submissions

i don't particularly enjoy editing DMOZ - i do it because it's "necessary" - if i don't do it, a competitor might, and they would get the link value instead of me

i would like to see DMOZ become a good quality directory and would be happy for the nofollow tag as proposed by Rich.

11:37 pm on Dec 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Railman,

Thats a very interesting post and i for one truely respect your honesty.

It works for you and putting aside the implications of editing in this way i can see why you do it.

Your in business to make money with your own sites and unless you got some sort of advantage from being an editor your time would be spent better elsewhere.

If you are the editor of a commercial section where big money keywords are involved and you have own sites in that sector you are not going to want to give away listing to a competitor site that may then give them any advantage.

Its obvious you are not the only editor working in this way and thats why the no follow rule would not be introduced - fair play to you for telling us how it is from your experience

11:50 pm on Dec 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

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RichTC - yes it does work for me although i'm not in the "big money" stuff
it could work for you too (so long as certain metas continue living in cloud cuckoo land!) - so why aren't you doing it as well?
12:18 am on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Because most of the sites we work on are in commercial sectors often with high number of sites per section.

DMOZ dont want to give new editors large sectors to start off with hence those editors that are already selective control them - you do have a valid point, if you cant beat them join them!

I guess many webmasters have already done this, it would certainly have been an advantage if i was an editor and some of the sites ive worked on over the years could have been listed straight away in dmoz - its a great backlink advantage from the offset for a site.

Good luck to you anyway, your post confirms what we all know - cant see anything changing mind you

RichTC

12:56 am on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

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start off editing for a smaller cat, maybe non-commercial
build up edits, login and edit regularly to start with, stick to the rules - the metas check up on new editors

when you have a good few edits under your belt, volunteer as a greenbuster to blitz submissions for cats where there are no editors - this will build up your total edits (i assume they still do greenbusting - not checked for a long time as i have the cats i want)

you can also volunteer to help with reorganising other cats / subcats - means renaming cats, creating new subcats, moving stuff around - it can all build up edits

when you have enough edits, apply for more cats
eventually you can apply for something more suitable to your business needs

share the editing with a colleague because it can be very boring, but make sure you both know exactly what you're doing

if trying to get multiple editor logins, use different ISPs and email addresses for each editor name - don't forget to use the right ISP each time you login - makes it more difficult to track you down

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