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This 76 message thread spans 3 pages: 76 ( [1] 2 3 > >     
What if Google drops the ODP?

 10:21 am on May 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

There was some discussion in the Google on Yahoo thread a few weeks ago about the possibility of Yahoo forcing Google to drop their Googl'ized ODP [directory.google.com]. I don't think it is out of the realm of reasonability that Yahoo would require that as a contract provision. After all, the odp is a competitor.

What would be the overall effect to you, if Yahoo told Google to dump the ODP as part of a new contract provision?



 10:26 am on May 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Not much at the moment but I think the implications for other webmasterworld users and for me in the future could be large!

I think it perfectly reasonable for Yahoo to require this and now you've brought it up Brett, quite likely.




 10:28 am on May 20, 2002 (gmt 0)


It would probably kill me :)

What would Google have for it's directory listings, Yahoo?
I don't see this happening as the ODP is one of the last merit inclusion that exists.


 10:30 am on May 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

ARGH! That'd be me screwed! damn.


 10:31 am on May 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

I think Google will force the ODP to be a lot more picky on the sites it adds into the database. I believe Google are firmly committed to it, but they realise it needs tightning up.

But as for Google dropping it - No way!

I will bet a bottle of whisky on it!


 10:34 am on May 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Wouldn't it be viable to just filter out the ODP listings from the Yahoo search results?



 10:36 am on May 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Google doesn't show "odp" listings on Yahoo at all nwilson. We are referring to the Googl'ized version of the ODP. [directory.google.com...]

>ODP is one of the last merit inclusion that exists.

Agreed, but I don't see Yahoo too concerned about "merit".


 10:40 am on May 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Oh! Sorry, I misunderstood.



 10:41 am on May 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Looking at the cold hard business case, I think it is likely that Yahoo will insist on DMOZ going.

The really worrying question is how Google will handle the DMOZ links in this case.

How would they factor DMOZ links in the PR equation, 'the same', 'less' or 'no value at all'.

Presumably the boost from the Google Directory would vanish, leaving just the normal PR value of the DMOZ link.

If so, this is pretty worrying, but it could be worse.

nutsandbolts, is that a bottle of whisky for each of us?


 10:43 am on May 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Google doesn't show "odp" listings on Yahoo at all

If that is the case, how come my listing shows up?

brotherhood of LAN

 10:45 am on May 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

It wouldnt worry me too much because at the moment, I have little to lose and more to gain!

Although I admire the layout of the ODP (its open source, worldy, free type approach), Yahoo! at least gets me listed quickly and exposes me to good traffic.

Just seems like ODP is always lagging a little behind, dragging its heels to keep up with the times. Then again, it won't prove a success if big fistycuff companies like Yahoo! force google to give it the boot!


 10:46 am on May 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Nothing really, ODP lost it's grip a long time ago (but there is still some excellent editors there), it's to big to many sites which aren't good etc.
The first time ever i noticed a different for a site was when google included the description it was a well written description, and then visitors increased to the site, and then i realised how important it was with a nice description in the title tag too, after that i changed the title tag, and then it just increased.
So if Google drops DMOZ, yes dmoz will almost stop to exist.
Many of the editors at dmoz (in my belife) is editing because they now they will get recognition for it, but if no one uses the data they have compiled they will not continue (imho).
And AOL is using DMOZ data very little, Lycos is using it very little as well, FAST is using only to categorize the results nothing more (no push in the listing because of an dmoz listing except the inbound link).
Inktomi is using it as description, and it's nice way to get in to inktomi fast so that's what i will miss.

(edited by: lazerzubb at 10:55 am (utc) on May 20, 2002)


 10:49 am on May 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

I still believe that if Google dropped ODP it would lose some of it?s own credibility. Lets face it ? Google and ODP are the last free ride basically. Yes you can get into other SE?s for free but I see that coming to an end within the next year or so. And why mirror the Yahoo Directory in the Google Directory?


 10:51 am on May 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

perhaps google will dispose of it's directory and use dmoz behind the scenes to categorise sites into topics. if that is the case dmoz is still important.


 10:52 am on May 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

<< AOL isn't using DMOZ data anymore >>

Sure they are. They update their directory/ODP quicker than anyone else. At least my ODP listings always show up there first.


 10:55 am on May 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

yes, they use it, but very little according to me.


 10:55 am on May 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

If I was Google I would not switch to using the Yahoo directory because it would make Google totally dependent on a proprietary source. This would be sort of like making yourself a junky being dependant on the Y! pusher. Accept Ceaser's coin, accept Ceaser's rule. ODP is at least open source.

The other problem is that Y!'s directory is just too small.

Obviously ODP needs a lot of tightening up. If I were Google I would wait until AOL lets it molder to the point of collapse and then buy ODP at rummage sale prices. AOL's online unit is still bleeding red ink.

(Like Bertalsmann just did with Napster.)


 11:01 am on May 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

I suppose we are speaking about:


The possibility could be that Google will replace the DMOZ directory with the Yahoo directory.

It could be a pity, especiallly for new sites, since DMOZ is still free; for Yahoo.com there is an annual fee.


 11:23 am on May 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

I would think Google will only drop ODP once Google´s categorisation/theming function is ready.

On the other hand I would not be suprised if Google will need ODP´s category descriptions as a frame base for that function.

Personally I would bet Google will never drop ODP for something inferior as Yahoo. They have never done that in the past.

The only time they will drop ODP will be when Google has figured out a superior computerised version of it.


 11:26 am on May 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Google's not going to stop spidering dmoz.org presumably, so the ODP effect on a lot of listings will continue regardless. Personally, I value the DMoz.org effect on Google rankings more than the Google directory listings themselves.

By switcing directory.google.com and using Yahoo! descriptions in the Google SERPs, Yahoo!'s webmaster income would surely increase. There's also a profile benefit for Yahoo! from the association (oh how roles reverse...).

Does the AOL/Netscape/ODP relationship come into this? I guess that AOL wouldn't care much, they just want a decent search for their paying customers.


 11:32 am on May 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

IMHO the ODP is one of the major attributing factors to gaining quick entry into google and decent page rank., if you get accepted that is ;)

I have had sites gain PR5 simply by the DMOZ listing !

If Google switched to using Yahoo dir listings instead how would Y! calculated relevance ? ( there was a thread on how Google PR was affecting Y! SERP's a while ago I beleive but I cant find it now)

Alec Doggone

 11:50 am on May 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

I'd be all in favour of Google dropping ODP.


 11:57 am on May 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

>Does the AOL/Netscape/ODP relationship come into this?

If I were AOL, I would have REQUIRED the ODP to continue on Google as part of any agreement.

For me, if Google drops the ODP, I would lose some respect for them. The ODP is one of the things that keeps Google clean and within the playing field of thier mission statement.


 12:01 pm on May 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

There's a theory I subscribe to (at the moment) that we'll be seeing greater divergence between the commercial and informational web, and that G intends to remain THE player on the informational side.

Dropping an "informational" directory (with all its faults) in favour of a commercial one, would obviously disprove this theory pretty fast.

IMO, much of Googles success comes from working "outside the box", particularly in eschewing commercial decisions adopted at their cost, by the also-rans.


 12:04 pm on May 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Yahoo may act stupid once in a while, but Google certainly doesn't, which makes this a moot speculation. After all, according to some link that was recently dropped here, Google would remain profitable even without the money from Yahoo. They're in it for the long haul, so they won't let external short term interests reduce their own usefulness to the searchers.

In other words, I'll worry about Google dropping the directory when it happens... ;)


 12:05 pm on May 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

>It wouldnt worry me too much because at the moment, I have little to lose and more to gain!



 1:06 pm on May 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

In the early days of Google they probably needed Yahoo, but do they now need Yahoo bearing in mind their dominant position ?

Obviously the commercial implications will have a large bearing on the outcome, but I can't see Google being held over a barrel by Yahoo when they have so many other search partners to fall back on.

The ODP need to get everything in check otherwise Google may use the "Yahoo told us to drop you" line instead of the "some of your editors are selfish" one.

Personally, I'd be pleased to see someone go head to head with Google and offer a real alternative (I'd prefer it to be someone other than Yahoo! but if that's the best we can get then so be it). Competitive arenas call for innovative ideas, we need search engines to be on their toes.


 1:26 pm on May 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

I might stand to gain slightly if Google dropped the ODP and used Yahoo's directory, because I have more listings in Yahoo than in the ODP. (Free listings, at that). But I don't think the difference would be significant, because the pagerank isn't very high in the Yahoo and ODP subcategories where sites like mine are listed.

As for Google's credibility, I don't think it depends even one iota on whether Google uses ODP data in its directory. Very few users know or care where the Google directory data comes from. All they care about is whether they get accurate results when they type a string into the search window.


 1:27 pm on May 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

1) It would be illegal
2) It would be stupid

Sorry, but I just don't get why on earth they would do this.

Google has proven time and time again to be above petty profit considerations and looking for the long term.

Yahoo sucks. ODP has its problems, but at least it is free.


 1:45 pm on May 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

What makes you think it would be "illegal"?

This 76 message thread spans 3 pages: 76 ( [1] 2 3 > >
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