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Time for DMOZ to change
Googles reputation hangs in the balance.

 12:00 pm on Nov 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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 DMOZ by its own submission cant cope with the editing job anyway and has thousands of categories that are out of date with dead links, incorrect descriptions not been updated and often a bias to the editors own or friends sites.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...



 5:56 pm on Dec 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Poor hutch.

I happen to be married to a man whose area of research is Monte Carlo simulations, and has been for 25 years.

I showed him your post and he said you must be light-years ahead of him, in a galaxy quite different from our own.

Cheers. I'd love to get drunk with you, we'd make headlines in the morning.


 10:47 pm on Dec 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Headline-making is too much like advertising. (But your husband would know about the drunkard's walk....)


 11:51 pm on Dec 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

>> motsa, hutch, how about a little bit of help? ;) <<

I'd help by anal-retentively correcting some of those lyrics but then I'd have to admit that I'm listening to the song now and that just wouldn't do. ;-)


 7:21 pm on Dec 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

dmoz is owned by america online...

Once you realize what this means, self-important metas and the cats being corrupt doesn't surprise me thou I am glad to know I am not the only one sees this. Perhaps the only thing has not been mentioned is the multiple editors that is really one person thou he is listed as different screennames throughout various cats and basically controls entire portions of the ODP for himself.

The rest of the rant is off for me, irrelevant, my beef is with the corruption and the control that is exercised by a small set of editors over the entire US portion of the dmoz, all of whom are bent on the same thing, which means they follow their own agenda and they do what they want, at their profit and our detriment.

Try having been listed, then being removed by this person, just to see that person list their own site, for commercial gain.

Being listed DOES increase link-pop noticeably... But did it increase traffic? Not for me and my site, the actual visitors/month never changed between not being listed, then being listed, and not again.

Is it right? NO!
What can you do?
You can press criminal charges, put some in jail, but unfortunately this wouldn't stop the hardline criminals, all it would do is scare off the few good guys that are left... Way I see things, 9 out of 10 people are only out for themselves, what else is new?
Build your own directory.
And don't link to dmoz, don't use dmoz to build your database.
That's what you do, then the bs is over, if only for you. Other than that it's a waste of time, we do agree.


 8:20 pm on Dec 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think the interest in this thread is mainly historic. dmoz.org had an important link with Google, perhaps still does in a very small way as a (mainly) good directory.

Not too much now though, I wrote a small site, applied to dmoz got listed after a few months and got a 'PR2 link' wow. I'm mildly pleased.


 9:28 pm on Dec 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Try having been listed, then being removed by this person, just to see that person list their own site, for commercial gain.

can you tell us the outcome of the abuse report you filed on this


 10:24 pm on Dec 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

topsites - I can guarantee that your site was in fact added by the editor you think is your competitor. A senior editor unreviewed it for very good reasons.

Of course, I doubt you will ever believe it, since you are stuck in the fantasy of the ODP evil empire where there are 12,000 editor names, but there are only a few editors and they are all your competitor.

Of course we know DMOZ is unimportant - but if so, then why waste your time complaining about it.


 12:00 am on Dec 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

podman, who ARE you?


 3:39 am on Dec 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

This is too funny ... I can confirm what podman said about topsites site is correct --- IT WAS ADDED BY A COMPETITOR and deleted by a senior editor unrelated to that industry! ---- the exact opposite of what topsites is alleging and ranting about! lol

topsites - where did you get the information from that its was a competitor that deleted the site? ... or did you just make it up?


 1:19 pm on Dec 6, 2005 (gmt 0)


I heard the good news that you were reinstated as a meta only a few months after having the privilege revoked by management.

Belated congratulations.


 5:28 pm on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

What you heard was not what happened in reality.


 8:46 pm on Dec 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)


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)

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)

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



 12:56 am on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

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


 1:35 am on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

So they track an isp address then to see if the same person is applying to edit a section under a different name.

Interesting. Obviously not so easy with dynamic isp users with AOL, yahoo etc but easier with a company that may have the same static isp number.

If DMOZ dropped the backlink advantage by dropping clones and using the no follow they could stop these problems overnight. Fact is the editors like it how it is, for obvious reasons.

Hmmm, the more this is discussed here the more evident the problems are - at least more of this is comming out in the open. Webmasters need to be aware of this problem

Google should drop using dmoz data asap, a corruption issue could reflect badly on them, its just a matter of time imo


 4:25 am on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

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

A strange sort of honesty.
Since when is corruption seen as honest?
Did he give any evidence for his claims? Or are you so eager to believe corruption must exist?


 4:52 am on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

A strange sort of honesty.
Since when is corruption seen as honest?

Hear, hear.

Railman, you sound like you're proud of it. Of course, this could just be trolling, and you have nothing to do with DMOZ at the moment. You've already shown yourself to have no problem with dishonesty, so why should we believe what you're telling us now?


 5:11 am on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

Trust me and believe me since I lie and cheat.


 6:22 am on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

If a DMOZ editor confesses to cheating, he must be lying because cheaters never tell the truth.

Yossarian, where are you?


 11:37 am on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

>>Did he give any evidence for his claims?

yeah, like i'm gonna say "oh, i edit ...regional/obscure/websites/ and hey, you see the 5th listing that says 'Obscure LLC - Useful information about obscurity' - well it ain't a website about obscurity, it's one of my widget sites"

come on, get real!


 4:59 pm on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

Oh, it's theoretically possible he's telling the truth. There certainly are people who join the ODP and list their own sites in a favoritist way. We wouldn't have mechanisms for dealing with it if it didn't happen. I'd go so far as to say there have been many such instances.

However, this part: "i often move submissions from competitors to other (wrong and unedited) categories," makes me wonder if railman has ever actually edited in the ODP at all. If an editor moves a submission to a category with no named editor, it automatically appears in the inbox of an editor higher up that tree. I edit categories that have subcategories with no editor, and this happens to me all the time.

Well, regardless of whether or not railman is fibbing about being one of them, I think we can all agree that it's a sad thing when people are actually willing to tell lies and inconvenience other people over something as minor as a link from a directory page. We're usually talking about a link from a PR3 page with 50 other links on it, folks. It's a shame that some people value their integrity so little. I can understand why people would be tempted to lie or cheat for a million dollars or something, but for an Internet link that sends little traffic and you could buy a better one for search engine purposes for $20 flat? What's the world come to, really?


 5:50 pm on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

over something as minor as a link from a directory page. We're usually talking about a link from a PR3 page with 50 other links on it, folks. It's a shame that some people value their integrity so little. I can understand why people would be tempted to lie or cheat for a million dollars or something, but for an Internet link that sends little traffic and you could buy a better one for search engine purposes for $20 flat? What's the world come to, really?

This is the point isnt it... Its not just a link from a directory. Clone after clone after clone copy your directory data so that one link is duplicated on many, many sites. In fact one DMOZ link can be reproduced over time on over 5000 sites by the time all the scraper sites move in and other sites copy it.

In fact in your own directory you list 300 or so (havent looked for a while, so could be more or less) sites that publically state that they use your directory data - thats 300 back links to kick you off to start with. Top sites such as google directory and alexa use your data. So we are not talking about ONElink are we!

I have to say flicker it does get my back up when dmoz editors like you claim its just one minor link that webmasters should forget about. I dont for one moment believe that you genuinely believe that yourself.

If a DMOZ link is so minor then why not introduce the no follow code and be done with it and stop other sites from copying your data!

The reason you have these corruption issues is because the internet has moved on since DMOZ started and Google can charge as much as a few dollars a click for some of the sought after keywords - Hence if an editor can get his commercial site to rank high from backlinks its a very nice advantage to have that is financially worth his while doing hence this is the pay off!.

Finally, you have a poster here that claims to be editing in DMOZ in this way - it may or may not be true (although imo hes telling it how it is)and dmoz should imo be working to eliminate any risks what so ever of having even a minor chance of possibly being seen as in any way corrupt yet DMOZ continues to do absolutely nothing about it

Nothing is or will change as long as DMOZ continue to operate as they do. And Google should as a public company detach itself from DMOZ whilst it remains in its current format forthwith imo.


 6:25 pm on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

>I dont for one moment believe that you genuinely believe that yourself.

I do, actually. I don't think an ODP link can save anyone's business. I have to delete 404 websites that went out of business from the directory every week. If an ODP link was so great, that wouldn't be happening.

There are non-ODP-listed sites in the top ten of any Google search I can think to run, and there are ODP-listed sites buried deep in Google's SERPs. I don't believe Google even counts links from ODP clones. And GoogleGuy says over and over that Google doesn't give extra weight to ODP links. It's no magic bullet.

I like the ODP because I like its structure. I even use it for many kinds of web searches. But as far as SEO goes, I really and truly think that a link from Linda Sue's Awesome Harry Potter Homepage is just as good as an ODP link.


 6:38 pm on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

Oh, and...

>DMOZ continues to do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about it

...that really is not true at all. On a daily basis the ODP successfully identifies and rejects dishonest applicants and site submissions. After the fact, bad listings are still removed (I've removed some myself) and bad editors are still shown the door.

I'm skeptical of railman's claim because some of the details he gave make no sense, but I have no doubt that somewhere in the ODP right now, there is a bad editor similar to the kind he describes who has not yet been caught. That doesn't mean nothing's being done about it. Many more such cases have been prevented by the hard work and keen attention of decidedly non-corrupt meta-editors. I understand that you don't care for the ODP, and that's your prerogative, but claiming that "nothing's being done" to ensure directory and editor quality just isn't true.


 8:02 pm on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

"On a daily basis" DMOZ defenders post messages in this forum saying that no corruption exists in the ODP.

This 146 message thread spans 5 pages: < < 146 ( 1 2 3 [4] 5 > >
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