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Shopping appears be be shrinking at 1 to 2% per year.
In my little neck of the woods (Dmoz subcategory), I used to have 76 competitors a few years ago. It has now been reduced to 46.
Everywhere I look, most shopping categories are looking for volunteers.
I know that bigger is not better, and etailing is a lot more difficult now, than it was in 1999, but is this an indication that etailing is being consolidated amonst fewer players.
Or this just an indication that DMOZ has a lack of editors and they are unable to find quality sites faster, than sites are going out of business or being bought out.
Thanks for pointing out this really good piece of news. Shows the quality control is working! I am intrigued as to why you think its somehow a problem.
Despite clearing out all the deadlinks DMOZ has had a net increase in sites listed of 2467 sites during the month of June. How many other directories can claim that incredible level of growth?
DMOZ is NOT getting smaller.
I have heard that it is very difficult for a new editor to get a shopping subcategory, and their are few editors in this category.
I realize that shopping is probably one of the categories most subject to abuse, and may have a higher standard.
Anybody have historic monthly figures on the DMOZ shopping category, or does DMOZ only keep track of the grand total across the site?
Does DMOZ editors have access to these trends? DMOZ appears to be growing overall however the DMOZ shopping category is shrinking.
Unfortunately, AOL Ops is still working to restore our toolbuilders access to the needed resources, so a lot of things still can't be done properly.
The ODP pages do have counters, so whoever wants to can monitor growth. We used to have tools to do monitoring of toplevels, but unfortunately most of them aren't available at the moment. Reason see previous chapter. But: Yes, in theory we do have access to those numbers.
When comparing these numbers, please keep in mind that due to tool runs (details see remarks in the abovementioned ODP Reports) some weeks show reductions in listed sites, while others show growing numbers. Until graphical views are available again, only longer periods of time (like one months, half a year, ...) give valid estimates.
Anybody have historic monthly figures on the DMOZ shopping category, or does DMOZ only keep track of the grand total across the site?
But of course, anbody with a broadband internet connection and rudimentary progeramming skills could download the RDF files for two dates and do a comparison. Or - if you are not interested in to many details - you can use the wayback archive.
Whatever you do, please compare numbers you got the same way. The on-site counters tend to be different from those generated by counting entried in the RDF file for soem reason.
Looking at a few numbers (for example 120k back in 2003 and about 109k now - data was taken from the same source), you will notice that in the overall trend, shopping does loose size. Looking in more detail, one can notice that RoboZilla (our automated linkchecker) sorts out about 3k sites in every go (usually several times a year). Other tools remove sites as well.
From my experience there are a lot of reasons making a shrinking of Shopping more understandable. Let's face a few of them.
1) Editing listings for shopping sites becomes incredibly boring over time. Ever looked at 100 sites selling absolutely the same stuff, tried to find the differences, and come up with a good description for each?
2) Experience shows that most people pretending to be interested in editing a shopping category are not really. They are just interested in "Make $$$ fast". Of course there are exceptions, but they are the minority. (Brings me to what you have hears: Yes, it is more difficult to become an editor in a Shopping category. I don't think anybody needs a more detailed explanation why, huh?)
3) Our listing criteria changed over time. Nowadays we have much more strict guideliens than a few years ago on affiliate sites, product subsites, and other sites you would typically find in the Shopping branch. In a human edited directory like DMOZ, it takes many years till the remains from the olden days are sorted out.
4) Sites shut down a lot faster in Shopping. THey simply stop to exist, are bought by other companies, stop selling stuff, or disqualify as a shopping listing in another way. I don't have numbers to prove that, it's just my personal experience from a few years of editing. Thinking about it, the difference to the normal branches most likely are tge sites of those "Make $$$ fast" people who at some point realize that it's pretty hard to do that in the internet. :-)
I could go on with many other reasons, but from my point of view those are the most important.
<Please do not republish posts from other fora. Thank you.>
If you want extreme case of how bad state of DMOZ is Slovenian language category has only 876 links at the same time Slovenian Wikipedia is closing to 50000 articles being 27th largest wiki in the World! There are probably more links on Wikipedia then in DMOZ! Directory of Slovenian websites najdi.si has 57612 links! It is interesting how wikipedia has no problem in digging up enough editors to write 50k articles while at the same time there is nobody at DMOZ?
One reason for this is that there are few metas which understand anything more then English so World categories are neglected because unwritten DMOZ rule that it is better to have dead category then risk possible spammers getting in. :-(
[edited by: Webwork at 3:03 pm (utc) on July 9, 2007]
[edit reason] WebmasterWorld TOS [/edit]
Please keep the conversation proactive vis-a-vis our relationship with another volunteer organization, i.e., DMOZ. If you have an issue to present please stick to an analysis of facts that can be established by reference to verifiable source material of some authority or import. The fact that anyone's site didn't get listed or that anyone's application to act as an editor was rejected is a topic that we are not going to keep revisiting or rehashing.
[edited by: Webwork at 4:34 pm (utc) on July 9, 2007]
You have answered your own question. Why did you submit more than once? How do you think any directory (DMOZ or other) should treat and site that deliberatly flouts the guidelines they agreed to when they suggested the site?
On top of that you don't even know if the editor is a competitor.
Is it any surprise that the directory is getting smaller?
Its not excessive, but is pretty silly. All you have done is put your site at a disadvantage as each submission just overwrites the previous one with the new date. There is never a need to submit more than once - any more is not helpful to you or DMOZ (and a waste of your time)
>however because they are so slow in their operations it gives an
>impression of inefficiency
Slow? DMOZ is the fastest growing directory on the www and no other directory comes remotely close to DMOZ's growth rate.
>and then you start to wonder if they
>actually even looked at your submission.
As DMOZ is not a listing service and an editor is not there to process submissions (other directories provide that service), editors are under no obligation to even use suggested sites when they work on a category. Editors can use whatever source they like for new sites. The submitted sites is the worse and most inefficient way to find new sites to lisr.
>On top of that you don't even know if the editor is a competitor.
Given that each category has greater >200 people that can edit in it, I doubt all 200 are competitors.
>Is it any surprise that the directory is getting smaller?
Have you not read the messages in this thread? DMOZ is growing faster than any other directory and is NOT getting smaller (I did post in a message above the actual numbers to show this, but in the clean up it was deleted)
Interesting. Let's discuss. ;)
One of the reasons some cats are shrinking is because some editors only include their own sites, or those of their associates, and have shut out their competitors, even larger more reputatable sites.
you would never know that one editor wasn't listing some stuff there.
I in fact know that not only are some editors not listing competitors, they are only listing their own sites, and those of their associates.
there are more then 200 other editors that could edit in any given category...
200 editors cannot make a meaningful impact. Given the size of the ODP, any reasonable person can understand that.
Look, I'm not saying the ODP is riddled with self-interested editors. It is not. I'm only pointing out one reason why some categories are not growing.
Back many years ago there were two musts for any site:
1: Getting listed in DMOZ aka ODP
2: Getting listed in Yahoo's directory
I'm willing to bet that most people who have done any searching have used the results of DMOZ, very likely without even knowing it.
DMOZ has been abused many times and has had its share of problems. But it still is worthwhile to have a DMOZ listing.
I happen to know several DMOZ editors and just so you know there is at least one participating in this thread.
So while one category may be shrinking it is not true of the overall directory.
It is also possible that sites have been reclassified as well.
Plenty of reason for the observed changes outside of and as well as the one being discussed.
Anyone have those stats?
cbpayne, you right about that one.
In the past 2 years we had only 2 major competitors rise to the level of an authority, one died in progress.
Google Shows 17 sites for their version, that is another story.
There are 9 in DMOZ in a category in question(including 1 dead site and one that is aqua color- you know the old school type)
no editor for almost 2 years
I have a site that is based in US and has a most unique product set at any given time for the past 4 years, any of my competitors will tell you that.
The only problem I came across(suggested 2 times so far) is that the editor gets no access to the site due to the fact they are trying to access my site from an IP range that is blocked by firewall due to some A.W. running a bot from an IP range with in, or the user agent string contains a specific set of characters, and in reality could be identified as a spider(partially harvester, 'JAVA' for example).
So, god bless
1) insufficient editors (of that category, not DMOZ in general)
2) corrupt editors (of that category). Excuse my bluntness, but I'm just stating outright what others are insinuating- and I'm only saying that it's a possibility.
Both of these possibilities are concerns - valid or otherwise - held by many about DMOZ in general. That's why the issue is interesting, as this may be concrete evidence of more widespread problems.
Since that time not one site has been added to DMOz in that category. Of course g1smd probably has good reason to dispute such as observation since this is only one data point.
Back in the last millenium, we had some really bad experiences with sites that artificially generated "unique product sets." (Experienced editors will still reach for a blunt instrument if they hear the word "Vstore.")
Basically, for us, "product set" is not something whose uniqueness can have any conceivable significance.
Because its free and the belief that Google rewards sites that have been able to make it into DMOZ.... right? Remove Google from the equation and there would be the same number as posts as we see for BOTW, Skaffe, JoeAnt, Ezilon and all the other global directories.... ie... virtually none.
Why not challenge that assumption and try to establish if Google does in fact reward DMOZ listed sites? In my experience sites not in DMOZ get the same amount of traffic as similar sites not listed in DMOZ. The DMOZ link is just a link like any other from a PR0 page.
I know that in my area (regional) the number of DMOZ listed sites have not increased in years and those that are still there fall a long way short of being a selection of the best available. Similar scenarios apply to other regional cats.
But that is a quality control issue for DMOZ and if they don't address it, it is inevitable that parts of DMOZ will become increasingly irrelevant.... just like any other under populated and out of date directory.
Why would Google continue to give extra credibility to DMOZ listings if that continues to be the case?
"Because its free and the belief that Google rewards sites that have been able to make it into DMOZ.... right?"
Nope, you should ask yourself why Amazon, L.L. Bean, and all the rest are there.
The name of the game is exposure, that it is free is just icing on the cake.
Marketing 101 at its best.
Yes that category is shrinking, is that in and of itself important or is that category even important?
Well that is debatable.
Let's see you take the old list and remove all of the sites that have gone belly up, add in the stricter rules about what gets listed and is it really a surprise that one of the more abused (from whatever direction) categories shrinks.
BTW, I don't give a hoot one way or the other about this topic.
I just think you need to look at it from more than the viewpoint of I have a site and .... therefor ....
If the category shrinkage is important but DMOZ isn't what is one to think, that DMOZ isn't important but why would a site owner want a listing if it isn't important (just don't attempt explaining that to a marketing type).