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Is Google hurting the ODP?

   
3:09 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



It seems that everyone these days is having problems getting into ODP and many are talking about it. It also seems that, except for Google, this directory has little to offer. I may not have a good historical perspective but could this ODP "decendancy" come as a result of the Google ascendancy and Google's utilization of the ODP? The lack of volunteer editors; assumptions that a submitted site can't get in because editors are too busy (rather than a competitive rebuff); "gold rush mentality" purchases of expired domains existing on ODP; heavily spammed categories and other signs seem to point to the fact that SOMETHING made ODP of such supreme importance that it lured into its fold the very kind of people that may eventually destroy it.

I know ODP was heavily influenced from the beginning by volunteer editors eager to place their own sites but it seemed these inexperienced and eager people just added to the excitement. It seems now the sway of the top level editors has changed the entire character of this once dynamic project. This has held true in commercial categories I followed. My own self interest caused me to join, leave and now disregard this once important directory.

I don't think ODP can continue in any importance without significant COMMERCIAL categories and the spamming involved certainly makes them insignificant. Google's emphasis on this directory is still strong, attracting and creating opportunity for ever newer spamming techniques to ODP and I wonder, when Google casts it aside, if it will soon die.

3:29 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)



>> except for Google, this directory has little to offer <<

Oh dear. It's only the biggest, and many of us believe (probably most of us) the highest quality, directory on the net.

It's all too easy to let frustration with getting sites in there over-run into sweeping condemnations, which are not in the least bit accurate.

Yes it can be slow getting a site accepted.... but it is a MANUAL directory. ODP cannot sacrifice quality for quantity. And stories of corrupt editors are as old as the index itself (if you know of any, report them - if it's true they'll be out pronto).

Finally, if you feel that strongly about it, why not volunteer yourself? Many many good people put many hours per week into that directory... it's a lot more productive to join them than to throw stones at them from outside.

As for Google, ODP offers and excellent sanity check on its index (sites added manually there are pretty much on topic for their categories), as well as providing the excellent directory function itself.

3:55 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



An argument could be made that google is only as good as its choice of "authority" sites, it would seem wise to broaden that base of authority, dependence on one source for anything is just bad business.

When they lowered the PR on certain Yahoo! cats, they simply opened the door to a more nefarious type of spam, the pleas for spamreports increased significantly after the devaluation.

I'm not suggesting devalueing dmoz, but it may be a good idea to spread the authority around. There are some very good directories out there that should be considered for a higher level of consideration (PR).

It may also be a good thing to take some pressure off of a system that is pretty dysfunctional.

4:05 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



everyone these days

Everyone? :)

A few really longtime editors might, when prodded, say that "their" project is no more, not because of Google, but because of Lycos. Yes, Lycos; back in early 1999 you'll remember they were a major player. When they became the first non-Netscape licensee of the first RDF dumps they lent legitimacy, visibility, and commercial significance to what had been a geek experiment whose decision to use an open content rather than open source model earned them no small amount of vitriol at slashdot, and whose utter obscurity otherwise was difficult to exaggerate.

Visibility and commercial significance were a double-edged sword. It signalled the end of the pioneer era and the beginning of a consolidation period where all sorts of new rules and bureaucracies were established to deal with the new kinds of internal abuse and external spam. There were high-level departures. It was rumored ODP would not last through the end of 1999.

Of course, the rumors turned out to be false :).

4:14 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



DMOZ has lost all credibility with most people in the know..the fraud is rampant.I can still find editors any day of the week that will accept paypal payment for a listing.

Still you see Editors main drive is to list their own sites, their friends and assciates sites and will accept under the table payments to list you.

Just as you stated bcushion "My own self interest caused me to join, leave and now disregard this once important directory"

I suspect the majority of editors past and present have a similiar story..

Nice to see people speaking more truth about DMOZ..

DMOZ becomes less important with each day..

4:20 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



DMOZ becomes less important with each day..

To whom?

I do not have a love affair with the Open Directory, nor am I now or have I ever been an editor, but it is somewhat naive to think the DMOZ grows less important each day!

It is the single largest, human edited directory in the world and like it or not, they carry a great deal of weight on the internet and with many very high profile search engines.

Belittle them or praise them as much as you like, you are entitled to your opinion ... but don't put on blinkers just because you would prefer that they weren't quite as important as they actually are!

4:25 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)



Your rant, dauction, is extremely insulting and verging on the ridiculous.

If you know of such editors, why not report them? Go on... why not? Even if you do know any like that, to tar others with the same brush is inexcusable.

Liane is entirely correct. You should paint the world as it is, not how you would like it to be.

4:26 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Sorry Liane, didnt mean to hit a nerve ..
just pointing out the obvious..
They carry very little weight anymore..

I thought you would have seen whats been going on..Oh well

DMOZ is is less important everyday...

4:27 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Gee Napoleon..this is simply DMOZ waterloo..not the end of the world.

Whats insulting is that you all cheerlead DMOZ KNOWING the BS that goes on their.

4:38 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member chiyo is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Personally i think dmoz is useful, the main problem being that there is just too few resources and people to run it. Thre are so many GOOD people and enthusiatic volunteers involved, to look at it from another perspective

Solutions - someone buy it - like Google..

But my seond idea, and its just an idea and can be trashed, modified or built on..

Get rid of all the commercial categories. Its ridiculous to have volunteers running a commercial directory for no recompense at all. Commercial sites should expect to be pay to be listed - after all they do make money from their sites, and to many owners, its part of their business and a business expense. Let somone else run commercial directories - we already have Looksmart, Y! etc etc - or start a new one. In fact the Looksmart/Zeal demarcation in developing the Looksmart directory has merit and may even be working well!

Google can still use for data for it's main index, and let the combined forces of froogle, adwords, sponsored listings, and aggressive spam filtering and page rank and relevancy in its main index acheive almost the same functionality for commercial sites. (Maybe they can work out a deal with Y! /duck)

I love dmoz, but it does seem that at current financial support levels, it has problems, hence the second modest suggestion.

Of course, we are all shooting in the dark really. AOL are bleeding. Expenses, even smll ones like dmoz will be targeted very soon. Monetize it? Sell it? Build it? Who knows. As the financier, AOL/Netscape has the only opinion that counts.

[edited by: chiyo at 4:44 pm (utc) on Jan. 15, 2003]

4:40 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Sorry Liane, didnt mean to hit a nerve ..just pointing out the obvious..

I will repeat (as you seem to like to do that) ... obvious to whom? Please back up your claim with solid facts.

My question is; On a daily basis, how and where is the DMOZ becoming less important?

[edited by: Liane at 5:35 pm (utc) on Jan. 15, 2003]

4:42 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



If you go back to bcushions concerns ..he is very aware that there are major problems with dmoz..

He admits he knew even in the "begining" "I know ODP was heavily influenced from the beginning by volunteer editors eager to place their own sites "
This is true..we all know it's true.. we all know it's still true today.

"My own self interest caused me to join, leave and now disregard this once important directory"

Takes a big person to admit that.. and you think he is alone? you think he is in the minority?

The majority of DMOZ editors if they had the half the same decency would admit as much

Are there some good DMOZ editors..of course there are...but the majoprity are in it for the same reasons bcushion pointed out while thats totally unethical it goes downhill from theri into the downright corrupt..

My problem with DMOZ is the very notion that you let the prisoners run the prison..thats what is Ludicrous..

And it isnt some game..these Editors have the power to either include you are deny you/your company access to BILLIONS in revenues..

4:48 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Have exchanged email with former ODP editors who verify concerns expressed here. Seems lots of ODP editors are self serving and somewhat dishonest - not all by any means but enough to cause serious perception problems with me.
4:51 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



The nonsense starts on DMOZ front door.. 54,000 editors they claim ..and yet it takes for ever to get sites listed .if at all..

54,000 editors ...And they are all busy little bee's making sure everyones sites are getting listed, answering emails etc.. :laugh:

4:53 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)



So one guy (dauction) quotes another (bcushion) and suddenly it becomes fact. Ha!

I think its you my friend that needs to get real. ODP is used not only by Google, but by stacks of other influential players. I wonder why? NOT because it is how you choose to paint it. It is because it is the biggest and best human directory on the planet, by far.

Yes, some people can point out scratches on the surface, totally exaggerate them, and use single examples and present them as general. That's always going to happen with anything worthwhile. It's a sad aspect of human nature.

That doesn't alter the facts at all though.

Isn't it funny that you never explained why you have never reported all these corrupt editors that you know "will accept paypal payment for a listing".

I suspect the truth is that you have had a bad experience... maybe one of your sites that wasn't good enough got rejected? Or maybe you got rejected as an editor?

Who knows. Whatever - the ODP is here to stay becaus eit is a quality resource. Face it.

4:56 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Thats true Jackpot.. not all ..I know there really are good people over at DMOZ trying to do a good job.. but no way do they have control over most of these editors..they do as they please.. and unfortunately the unethical practises run rampant..

Kids running a candy store. except the stakes are much higher..

5:04 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Fact: ODP is getting better and better.
5:04 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Napoleon ..the fact that Google and othere se's use DMOZ has nothing to do with their business practises...

How many "other influential players" used Arthur Anderson How many used Enron..

And How many influential players use them know? ;)

You're showing what's in the pipline today..I'm showing whats coming down the pipeline...

5:06 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Now that I have everyone's blood flowing..I've got work to do..

I didnt make the stew and I dont have to sit in it...

5:09 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member digitalghost is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



>>the ODP is here to stay becaus eit is a quality resource.

Well, to all the other statements that are half-true, we can add that one.

The quality of a product or a resource typically has very little to do with longevity. Quality is subjective and in this case the concern doesn't seem to be over quality but rather the viability of OPD, and whether or not they can cope with the success they seem to enjoy as a directory.

As for anything on the web being "here to stay", well don't count on it. This entire industry is in its infancy. The people building towns based on proposed railroad stops were all quite sure that the railroad traffic was "there to stay".

5:10 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)



"I'm showing whats coming down the pipeline... "

No. You're showing nothing. Your just slagging something worthwhile off for the sake of it.

It's a very disappointing but understandable emotive reaction that some people demonstrate when they have been rejected.

Positive reactions:
a) Enhance your sites and re-submit
b) Join the directory and help improve it
c) If rejected on (b) ask why and act on the helpful comments you should receive.

Negative reactions:
a) Stand on the outside and hurl abuse.

Which do you fall into?

The latter achieves nothing at all. Continuing to make claims that are patantly not true achieves nothing.

By the way... I suspect you don't report editors who accept Paypal payment because you don't know of any.

If I were you I would think positive thoughts and sleep on it.

5:35 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ciml is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Thanks for the perspective, choster. Quality, as digitalghost points out, is subjective; so whether the "ODP can continue in any importance" really depends on your viewpoint.

dmoz.org and directory.google.com are both prominent in the link structure of the Web and therefore in Google's ranking for people who don't have other good links. For other people, the ODP is important just because it's the largest human edited directory of the Web.

5:38 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



dauction
DMOZ has lost all credibility with most people in the know..the fraud is rampant.I can still find editors any day of the week that will accept paypal payment for a listing.

Could you sticky me names, dates, places, please? I'll post the details on an ODP internal forum.

Thanks.

6:11 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member eliteweb is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



As an editor i've never been offered money for a listing to be accepted, and if i were i would not accept it. Feel the ground with your teeth and the curb with your nose. Remember just couz your not happy doesn't mean its bad. I have tons of listings not showing up yet. But I keep checking, and as an editor I can view category logs so I can see if they were deleted, modded and what not if its deleted then I can talk with the editor and see why, if its couz hes cr00kid then I goto a higher editor. bamm no foul play that ive found yet.
6:17 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



ODP is used not only by Google, but by stacks of other influential players. I wonder why?

ummm....because it's free?

6:20 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Could you sticky me names, dates, places, please? I'll post the details on an ODP internal forum.

Good one Victor ... I wouldn't hold my breath though. Could be a long wait! :)

6:44 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rfgdxm1 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



>As an editor i've never been offered money for a listing to be accepted, and if i were i would not accept it.

While no doubt this has happened on rare occasion, my guess is 99.99%+ of all sites listed in the ODP involved no bribery. Sure, the ODP may not be absolutely perfect, but then spammers manage to get doorway pages into Google, and get away with other SE abuse. At least for a while.

6:49 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



over 3.8 million sites

They have to be doing something every day to list nearly 4 million sites!

7:13 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



>> 54 000 editors ...And they are all busy little bee's making sure everyones sites are getting listed, answering emails etc.. <<

Umm, you have no idea. 54 000 is the total number of editors that have ever passed through the doors, not the number actually able to edit right at this moment. While I have no official statistics to back this up, I am willing to bet that a sizeable number of those 54 000 people joined, made less than 10 edits and never logged in again (i.e. they listed their own sites, and not a lot else). I believe that a significant number don't even log on even the once, after being accepted. As in any organisation there is a core of only a small percent, in this case out of possibly a thousand or so active editors, at any one time that are doing over 90% of the work. As editors move up the chain of command there becomes more and more work to do. Editors don't just list sites that are submitted. There are reviews of old listings, re-organisation of category structures, searching out blank, or non-conformant titles and descriptions, spelling mistake searches, and many other quality control functions including spam control, and so on. For even higher editors there are reviews of new editor applications, reviews of existing editors wanting more priveledges, following up abuse complaints, and a myriad of organisational and housekeeping tasks, including cleaning up after editors that are removed for abuse. Believe me, many people are kept very busy doing things behind the scenes. The ODP lists over four thousand new sites per day; no other directory even comes close to that. It will never be perfect, as humans do the work.

Is this yet another "bash the ODP" thread? This record has been played far too often and is beginning to wear out now. All these points have been made, and answered, before; the discussion is becoming very boring.

[edited by: g1smd at 7:54 pm (utc) on Jan. 15, 2003]

7:18 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member nffc is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



>Is this yet another "bash the ODP" thread?

It is a little, it will be the last one.

Now, please lets stick to the topic and to the general tone of WebmasterWorld.

"News and discussion for the independent web professional" sums it up pretty nicely.

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