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The DMOZ effect on SERPs
Alex997




msg:4488026
 3:49 pm on Aug 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

So I have been trying for 2 years over and over to get into the DMOZ directory as this is supposed to be the highest authority directory out there - and finally last week I got in!

Now I have confirmed my listing is in the google index and - wait for it - A BIG FAT NOTHING in SERPs improvements.

What a total waste of effort that was!

Anyone else seen any positive impact to be listed on dmoz.org?

 

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4488068
 6:09 pm on Aug 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

No one link is going to make or break your site if it doesn't generate actual traffic. My site is DMOZ listed, in 3 places according to GWT, and I've yet to see a visitor with DMOZ as the referral.

DMOZ doesn't advertise and I've never been sent to DMOZ from a search engine so the odds of them generating traffic is minimal. I'm fairly certain that, to Google, the value of DMOZ isn't what it once was. They probably stopped holding it on a pedestal around the time when some editors were accepting payment and Google closed their clone copy of it.

aristotle




msg:4488081
 6:52 pm on Aug 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

My sites used to get a trickle of traffic from DMOZ, about 5-10 visitors per month per site, but that was back in 2005-2007. Now there's hardly any traffic from them. I think there's been a similar pattern with the Yahoo directory. I don't have any sites in it, but I read somewhere that it doesn't send nearly as much traffic as it used to. The way that people use the web has changed.

Sand




msg:4488084
 6:55 pm on Aug 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

There's no magic bullet and never has been. Everything good helps incrementally. And never expect quick results.

atlrus




msg:4488085
 6:58 pm on Aug 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

Link from a DMOZ could be quite dangerous these days. Lots of scrapers and paid directory use DMOZ as a "base", so your link could appear on a ton of "questionable" websites overnight. It wasn't a problem back when google simply discounted links like that, but today...

robzilla




msg:4488088
 7:15 pm on Aug 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

What were you expecting? It's 2012. Just because the cached page shows your link doesn't necessarily mean that the link is in (full) effect for your site's rankings...

Be glad you got the listing, as with any other decent link, and move on to the next.

Sand




msg:4488096
 7:54 pm on Aug 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

Link from a DMOZ could be quite dangerous these days.


I'm going to be blunt for a second here. My apologies if it comes off as rude, but:

If your site's history and overall profile is so shady that you're scared of the impact that an editorial link placed on a respected site might have on you, you have much bigger issues to worry about.

Ralph_Slate




msg:4488149
 11:35 pm on Aug 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

@Sand, the comment about a DMOZ link being dangerous is that spam sites basically copy DMOZ - including links - so that a single editorial link on DMOZ could blossom into hundreds of links on hundreds of spam sites.

netmeg




msg:4488157
 11:54 pm on Aug 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

I still don't believe it. I have links in DMOZ going back to when it was founded. I have tens of thousands of DMOZ scrapers. And I have stellar rankings and traffic increases every single year (as do the clients who were also put in Yahoo and DMOZ over ten years ago) I don't care what you think about Google, they're smarter than that.

mrguy




msg:4488174
 1:48 am on Aug 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

I don't care what you think about Google, they're smarter than that.


Really, then we are they asking everyone to run around like chickens with their heads cut off to remove links they may have or may not have aquired themeselves?

If they can not discount links on their own and want webmasters to do it, then I really question just how smart Google is.

scooterdude




msg:4488230
 11:16 am on Aug 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

I had a look at a dmoz for a category I've been trying to get into, its filled with the usual mix of big brands,decent non brands, and sites which leave me wondering , how did that get in there :)

I then checked the SERPs for obvious keywords for some of the non brands, by the way some of these sites had like TBPR 5,

I also checked the best traffic estimators I know and trust a little,

Not one of the non brands ranked for anything, or had traffic comparable to the average site in the sector, and they were not new sites, that was a surprise cause I know from experience dmoz used to matter, in a good way

Naturally, things might be different for other categories

zehrila




msg:4488233
 11:36 am on Aug 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

I have about 4 to 5 sites listed in Dmoz, in all honesty i saw boost in my serps for all those sites.

Elsmarc




msg:4488240
 1:00 pm on Aug 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

@netmeg - Same here. Years ago DMOZ was a significant factor. It was one of the few directories back in the old days that I did get links into, but I have no idea how significant it is these days. I do know back in the old days, a listing in DMOZ wasn't so much to drive traffic to a site so much as it was considered a "good" factor in a site being ranked by search engines.

@mrguy - I have has sites up for years going back to 1995. Other than in the mid- to late 1990's I haven't done link building. None the less there are thousands of links to my sites from many "bad neighborhoods". There's nothing I can do about it, and it's probably the same with you. If you *really* "...run around like chickens with their heads cut off to remove links they may have or may not have aquired themeselves..." you're pi**ing in the wind. It can't be done. First of all there are too any of them, and second most don't have valid contact info (and if they do they don't care and aren't about to remove links to your site(s) just because you ask them to). Sometimes you really have to sit back and ask yourself whether what Google is "asking" you to do makes sense or not. Many times it doesn't.

netmeg




msg:4488242
 1:15 pm on Aug 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

I don't think a DMOZ link particularly helps you in 2012, but I'm balls out sure it doesn't hurt you.

scooterdude




msg:4488248
 1:26 pm on Aug 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

back i the day, first thing I new about a random unsought dmoz link was when a site of mine went from page 10 to page one in one bound :)

I was wondering what had happen when I say the first referral fro dmoz in the stats,

That was a long time ago :)

Sand




msg:4488277
 3:53 pm on Aug 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

a single editorial link on DMOZ could blossom into hundreds of links on hundreds of spam sites.


I understand what you're saying, but again, every site on the internet that's been around for a year or more has hundreds of spam links pointing at it from various scrapers and 'domain info' sites. If your site is susceptible to being harmed by those links, then that's indicative of a larger problem (either in the marketing or overall development of your site).

I know this is cliche, but it's true: if you create valuable content and market it to the people who care, your site will have enough positive signals that you don't need to worry about people scraping your directory links.

Ralph_Slate




msg:4488456
 4:13 pm on Aug 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

I don't think you realize the volume of seomoz and Wikipedia spammers. On a random representative day, according to WMT, I got 600 organic links. Not bad, huh? But I got 1,400 Wikipedia spammer links the same day. I suspect that likely overpowers the organic links.

Elsmarc




msg:4488459
 4:35 pm on Aug 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

Let me get this straight - On one day alone there were about 1,400 links to your site put into Wikipedia by someone or a "bot"?

atlrus




msg:4488662
 2:08 pm on Aug 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

I still don't believe it. I have links in DMOZ going back to when it was founded. I have tens of thousands of DMOZ scrapers.


You don't believe what exactly? As you yourself said - you have thousands of dmoz-scraped links, which was exactly my point.

Whether you believe those links hurt you or not, the fact is that you've got thousands of "questionable" links to your website in exchange for just 1 good link, i.e. the one from dmoz itself. In other words - you've done yourself more bad than good.

@Sand
I understand what you're saying, but again, every site on the internet that's been around for a year or more has hundreds of spam links pointing at it from various scrapers and 'domain info' sites. If your site is susceptible to being harmed by those links, then that's indicative of a larger problem (either in the marketing or overall development of your site).


This is absolutely NOT true. A lot of good websites got hit by Panda and Penguin. And I have websites 2-3 years old ranking well with only a handful of links. For those websites acquiring thousands of spammy links in a day would = oblivion.

netmeg




msg:4488667
 2:20 pm on Aug 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

In other words - you've done yourself more bad than good.


You couldn't be more wrong. I don't really care what you believe or act on for yourself, but I'm not letting it go when new people could be sidetracked into thinking *this* nonsense is the cause of their search engine issues. This is a red herring.

atlrus




msg:4488699
 3:07 pm on Aug 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

You couldn't be more wrong. I don't really care what you believe or act on for yourself, but I'm not letting it go when new people could be sidetracked into thinking *this* nonsense is the cause of their search engine issues. This is a red herring.


I don't understand what is the point you are trying to make.

To me it sounds that you are saying that at this point in time getting thousands of spammy links overnight doesn't carry any potential for google to give you the boot. Because this is exactly what you would get with a dmoz link - thousands of spammy links, overnight.

mark_roach




msg:4488705
 3:19 pm on Aug 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google knows about, and can easily ignore, links from DMOZ clones.

In the early days of Webmaster Tools the external link report appeared to be 3 seperate reports merged together. There were a bunch of links ordered alphabetically, then another bunch again in alphabetical order, and then a final list of links.

That 3rd set of links were all from DMOZ clones. I think they were worthless back then and can't believe they would be harmful now.

atlrus




msg:4488717
 3:46 pm on Aug 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google knows about, and can easily ignore, links from DMOZ clones.


Are you 100% certain, that's the question.
A lot has changed recently. Evidence from few years back is worthless today. What the evidence does show today is that spammy links could hurt you. Therefore we are presented with the following:

1. Spammy links could hurt you, thousands of spammy links overnight = higher chance to get hurt.

2. Dmoz is a guarantee for thousands of spammy links overnight.

3. Dmoz link = one good (?) link.

4. Is it worth the risk? Because while I cannot be 100% sure you would be hurt, you can't be 100% sure you wouldn't.

At the end of the day - you make your own mind. My mind is already made up - I have not seen the evidence of google being smart, so I would play it safe.

I do have dmoz listed website, but just like netmeg - I got those links years ago. The thousands of spammy links showed up overnight years ago and now they just trickle in every day, rather than the initial outpour of spam.

Elsmarc




msg:4488756
 5:36 pm on Aug 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

@netmeg - I agree. An advertiser on my main site put me in contact with his "professional" SEO guy. One of the things he immediately focused in on was how many external links are pointing to my main site which did a dive on 25-28 July 2012. He was very concerned. In an email a few days later he essentially said he was checking backlinks many of his other customers had from scraper sites and such and he concluded that it probably wasn't an issue. He told me he had never worked with a site the size of mine, much less one that had been on the internet as long as mine so he didn't well understand the significance.

I will say one thing, it pretty well demolished my opinion of "professional" SEO people (not that I had a good opinion of them prior to this event) even though my advertising client raves about how good he is. He was even unaware of URL parameter settings in WMT and their importance in forums (not to mention other dynamic sites). I will say *I* was pretty much unaware of WMT until Google trampled my main site. So - I did what I had to, which was to jump back into SEO again part of which was learning every aspect of Google's WMT and I also signed up with Bing's version of WMT and have dived into that.

@atlrus - I see you've been here since 2004, as have I, so I give you your due. But I think you're fooling yourself. If a web site becomes popular at all there are going to be thousands of scraper sites linking to it. I haven't done any SEO in years. The "drop off the cliff" my main site took kicked me into action to look at the "current state of the art". I now believe that the more "spammy" links to a site there are (not counting purposeful SEO spamming blogs and such), the more popular / well known it is. I have a hard time believing Google isn't aware of that aspect. We *all* know we can't "clear" those spammy links from other sites.

That said, there is a difference between spam from scrapers vs. spam posts on web blogs and such that many SEO people used to "help" their clients. I loved this one (I apologise if I'm breaking a link rule here): [talkingpointsmemo.com...]

As an aside, my main site took a 3 week dive (and I do mean DIVE). It's now slowly clawing it's way back up despite a few hundred thousand "spammy" links to it from scraper sites. I don't expect it to reach the height of it's past peak of January 2011, but one never knows.

creative craig




msg:4488765
 6:03 pm on Aug 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

The age old Dmoz debate - I didn't realise it was that time again already?!

SevenCubed




msg:4488779
 6:17 pm on Aug 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

I've mentioned elsewhere that I do very little link building but DMOZ is one that I do submit to. Without going into the finer details -- from my observations they have helped and not hindered. I suspect the value of a DMOZ listing is not in the number of visitors that they send you but in the implied recognition (by search engine algorithms) that at least human eye balls have assessed the site prior to listing it thereby validating it's content. But yes even DMOZ is susceptible to clever spammers.

I also think it's wrong to say that duplicate content from DMOZ clones has been scraped because DMOZ openly encourages downloading their entire index through (weekly?) file dumps accessible to anyone. You cannot steal what is being given away freely.

Elsmarc thanks for that outbound link. That satisfies my need for finding one nugget each day here that I can walk away with and reflect on. It's at least 15 minutes since I read it and I'm still grinning. Wow wow wow, talk about years of forum spamming coming back around to bite companies in the rear end. And though I can feel (just a little bit) of sadness for the unsuspecting companies who have been taken advantage of by fly-by-night "SEO experts" from years gone by it's ultimately their own fault in many cases due to an inability to spot a charlatan a mile away -- or like attracts like. Also noticed that the letter is coming directly from the affected company rather than the SEO link builders. I presume they are sipping pina coladas somewhere on the shore, offshore, untouchable by laws of other countries.

Elsmarc




msg:4488806
 7:45 pm on Aug 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

I do sorta feel sorry for the companies. It's sorta like hiring a plumber or roofer. If you don't know anything about it you hire someone to do it for you. There isn't any type of certification or other dependable way to make judgements on how good a specific SEO person or company is. It's a shot in the dark, and considering these days *everyone* says they're an SEO expert, how is a company to know which one to hire, much less what methods they will use and why? I'm getting pretty good at it myself now that I've jumped back into it after quite a few years of being out of the loop with respect to what is going on... ;)

Sand




msg:4488877
 11:12 pm on Aug 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

This is absolutely NOT true. A lot of good websites got hit by Panda and Penguin. And I have websites 2-3 years old ranking well with only a handful of links. For those websites acquiring thousands of spammy links in a day would = oblivion.


If you aren't focusing on making your site a brandable asset, you're going to left behind. That's the direction Google is moving in, and if you're not doing everything you can to get there, you're going to miss the boat.

With that aside:

From what I have seen, Penguin isn't purely about link volume. It's about having a certain volume of inbound links that are designed to manipulate search engines through optimized anchor text. I have not seen a site hit by any link penalty when the anchor text was [siteName.com] (or a variant there of).

Since DMOZ requires the anchor text in a link to match the domain, based on what I have seen, I absolutely do not believe that you would run into any problems unless your site name is keword1-keyword2-keyword3.com. In which case, your day is coming anyway (it's not a brandable asset).

For more anecdotal evidence, I have many sites listed in DMOZ, some of them with only a handful of 'real' backlinks (rest are from spammers). The many links I've acquired from spammers over the years haven't hurt me at all. Ever. No unnatural link reports, no penalties, nothing.

Regardless of all that, it comes down to this:

If you are depriving your site of *legitimate* exposure because Google has you feeling paranoid, then at best you are doing yourself and your site a disservice. At worst, you are quickly going to find yourself behind the 8 ball.

You will never get a site to succeed long-term if you play defensive.

Elsmarc




msg:4488897
 12:07 am on Aug 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

<snip> Since DMOZ requires the anchor text in a link to match the domain, based on what I have seen <snip>
I wouldn't bet my life on it, but I don't think that is a requirement, or at least it wasn't a requirement. I haven't been to DMOZ in years, though. Maybe that's a more recent requirement.
SevenCubed




msg:4488915
 12:53 am on Aug 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

Since DMOZ requires the anchor text in a link to match the domain, based on what I have seen


At one point I was a DMOZ editor and I don't recall that requirement -- unless it's a recent development within last 3 years.

I'll also add this comment to the OP question as to whether or not there is a DMOZ effect on SERPs -- in my opinion it is partially influenced by the individual editors and their ability (or lack of) to understand search engine algorithms.

Case in point: I had been in care of a segment that I optimized to the best of my abilities and within a few weeks of taking over the category I managed to get that category ranking on page one results for given search terms. Everyone was a winner, DMOZ got its due, the sites that were listed in that category got their due and collectively DMOZ and the sites listed moved above other commercial sites on page one -- and rightly so because they were legit businesses.

I SEO'd the category -- not from inbound link nonsense but by properly placing the correct link text for each site listed after I applied my own algorithm to their sites to determine what a search engine perceived them as being as compared to the keyword stuffed text that a previous editor had obviously just accepted as submitted by the site owners. I also rewrote many of the site descriptions, again after carefully analyzing the site.

So, at some later point I was content that I had done all I could to fairly maximize the category effectiveness and got bored. So, me thinks it would be good to then apply to become the editor of another category, and did.

That's when some "edit-all" (on an egotistical power trip no doubt) reviewed my request and low and behold -- stripped much of my 6 months of dedicated work to the bone then replied back to me that there was much more I could do with my current category before applying for a new one.

When I reviewed what he/she had done I was speechless. I had the current google version to compare it with compared to what the "edit-all" person had changed it back to. Mostly keyword stuffing had been placed back into effect. Over the coming weeks the DMOZ category drifted back into oblivion for those search terms. The only saving grace was that the sites listed within the category remained unaffected and continued to perform well. From that day onward I didn't change a single letter and didn't even bother to login so as to allow my editor privileges to expire -- I simply didn't want anything more to do with it.

This 44 message thread spans 2 pages: 44 ( [1] 2 > >
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