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Backlogged ODP Category. Neglect or Nefarious Editor?

     
12:56 am on Mar 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I've got loads of friends in similar internet industries, and all have their sites in ODP's que for months and months now. So I did some research on the editors for those particular industries and sections and found that 98% of them, including the head editor all worked for those industries, either ran sites of their own or work for owners of the sites that are in the top 20. So the question remains, can they actually be corrupt enough to purposely leave other people's sites in the que and list their own and their employer's? Maybe thats the problem with human editors.. robots and spiders don't have greed.
1:00 am on Mar 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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> can they actually be corrupt enough to purposely leave other people's sites in the que and list their own and their employer's?

Yes, it happens quite a bit in the ODP. If you find this to be the case, you should report this to a meta editor.

I would not really call this corruption, because they do try to prevent this sort of thing from happening. It's more like the ODP has a few rotten apples.

1:10 am on Mar 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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If you believe this is the case, contact staff@dmoz.org about such. However, I'd like to point out that at the ODP, sites staying in the queue for many months is not at all unusual. Recently I went through unrevieweds in a number of cats that had greens as old as the year 2000. There was no corruption; this just happened to be a neglected backwater of the ODP. There a quite a few cats with backlogs over a year old. Thus, unless what you are seeing is that the only sites added in the last year happen to be affiliated sites of the editor, then this isn't necessarily suspicious.
1:22 am on Mar 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Gee, this is a surprise...

I got turned down as an editor by just that type of person. And oddly, my competitor's (their) site is in over a dozen categories, while mine still resides in the wrong one with the wrong description. No matter who I complain to, how nicely or nastily I complain or how often I do.

I've been (was) fighting this for over a year - I just dont care anymore.

Good luck to you though if you decide to fight it...
- Rob

1:25 am on Mar 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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rfgdxm1:

I did as you suggested and didnt even get the courtesy of a human response, corrected listing, listing moved to the correct category or even an "F You".

This of course also affects my Alexa info as that is where Alexa seems to be pulling it from - and they too haven't bothered to fix it. I did manage to get Alexa to update my company's contact info - but they ignored the rest of the email to them - or perhaps their bots or scripts default to DMOZ and I need to keep fighting till I get that listing fixed and moved...

Anyone who has had some success in some other fashion than already suggested, I'd love to hear how.

Thanks,
Rob

1:33 am on Mar 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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FoodPlaces, if you sent that to staff@dmoz.org and got no response, then I'd suggest that you contact a meta. From what I understand, even if staff considers it abuse and gives an editor the boot, they don't comment about this. Also, new editor applications are reviewed by metas, and not the editors in that branch. Thus, a corrupt editor wouldn't be able to nix your application.
3:42 am on Mar 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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while mine still resides in the wrong one with the wrong description. No matter who I complain to, how nicely or nastily I complain or how often I do.

Maybe that's part of the problem. Have you actually submitted an update request for the site or have you just emailed editors to complain? Not every editor actually pays attention to email from submitters, let alone responds to them. If you haven't tried submitting an actual update request (by clicking on "Update URL" in the category you're listed in), then I'd recommend you do that. After a month, if it hasn't been changed, you can inquire about it at resource-zone (see this forum's charter for the URL). That'll likely have better results than just complaining -- you might not get the change you ask for but you'll probably get a reason why.
4:02 am on Mar 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Another good reason to do this through the update URL form is that if an editor gives it the thumbs down, this will appear in the logs. There is no way that it can be proved you sent e-mails to the editor, or that he received them. Particularly if you suspect abuse, then you want to make sure to do this via the update URL.
4:11 am on Mar 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I submitted to a category with very few site awaiting review but till now it has not yet been added. Been like that for ... 4 months maybe? Even before I joined WW.

I don't know if it is corruption but I do know that my site will never get listed.

Can't even get my base URL in while there are others that can have deep links in multiple locations.

Ya, tell me that the editors are volunteers but are they adding just their own sites and then disappearing for good?

Ya, tell me that others have better contents. Ridiculous. Why don't you just say preferential treatments.

Sure, 4-5 months isn't very long, there are some that waited years...

Even if it may upsets you, dear metas and editors,

Humans does it slower.

4:31 am on Mar 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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If you suspect abuse with those multiple deep links kwngian, have you reported it as such? You guarantee that nothing will be done about it unless you do. There are also other possibilities. This could be a case where this is allowable. Or, they may have been added by an editor who has no involvement with the site, but didn't know the proper policy and added them in error. As for it being 4 months since your sites have been submitted, since this is not unusual at the ODP it could just be that they were submitted in an area of the ODP with an editor shortage. It may seem slow to you, however remember that from the ODP point of view, the customers are the users of the directory, not webmasters. In most topic areas, a cat that had been well edited in the past, but now it has been 4 months since any new submissions were to be reviewed, could be quite useful to the public users.
4:32 am on Mar 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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this is probably why google only human edits/reviews on complaints, because if they did it the ODP way it would not only take forever, but the "editors" would list their own pages on top for specific directories/keywords. ODP is an awesome idea, but truthfully, they need to switch to spiders.
5:19 am on Mar 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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if they did it the ODP way

You can't compare G to the ODP because G has enjoyed support from it's VC angels, and then from it's income. The ODP does not have that kind of support, or any revenue stream.

The ODP is under intense pressure because the substance of it's value lies in the fact that the ODP underlies the Google directory: the ODP is the gateway into the Google Directory. Without that value, the amount of people clamoring to get in would dry up.

Unfortunately the streets of the ODP are not paved in gold, they are paved in stone, and loose stones at that; A limited amount of editors and overburdened equipment can only go so far. This is not the fault of the ODP, I blame it on AOL. For a view of everything the ODP could be if it had proper funding just hop over to Zeal.

Is there corruption? I don't think so. I think there are rogue editors here and there. I think there are editors who are unjustly accused of it and booted off as well. Are there checks for countering the rogue editor? Yes. Absolutely. rfgdxm1 is giving you the straight scoop on how to deal with it.

In the end I think you have to step back and realize that everyone and their aunt wants to get into the ODP because of the Google connection, but the ODP isn't in the business of supplying content for Google.

In fact, the ODP isn't in business at all. And that may be part of the problem. (That's just an opinion, and not a statement of fact)

:) Y

[edited by: martinibuster at 5:24 am (utc) on Mar. 23, 2003]

5:20 am on Mar 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Read the Google forum. Somebody just today was complaining that spammers were dominating certain SERPs because the spamers were putting up new sites quicker than Google could knock them down. Thus, if we are talking about commercial searches Google has some definite problems, along with some you mention at the ODP. As for non-commercial searches, as I doubt ODP editors are cheating to any material degree at the ODP to favor their own sites, and amateur webmasters don't try to spam Google much, they are both equal.
5:26 am on Mar 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>Is there corruption? I don't think so. I think there are rogue editors here and there. I think there are editors who are unjustly accused of it and booted off as well. Are there checks for countering the rogue editor? Yes. Absolutely. rfgdxm1 is giving you the straight scoop on how to deal with it.

I've never seen any evidence that there is corruption at the ODP to a large extent. Sure, there are rogue editors here and there. However, they don't tend to last as long because competitors complain, and some meta ends up going after them. Thus, as a percentage ODP cats with biased editing are low. And, read the Google forum. People are posting there all the time that spammers are finding ways to beat Google. At least for searches in some competitive commercial areas, there are a lot of people who feel that Google has a spam problem.

>A limited amount of editors and overburdened equipment can only go so far. This is not the fault of the ODP, I blame it on AOL. For a view of everything the ODP could be if it had proper funding just hop over to Zeal.

A comment on this part. I am also a Zealot. At most times, the ODP software/equiptment is much faster on the editing side then at Zeal. I doubt that the average ODP editor would even consider the slowness even slightly a problem. I've wished it could be a little bit quicker when having to slog through a hundred greens, but few ODP editors ever have to do that. (Well, not "few", considering that metas, editalls, and editors of top level cats aren't that small in absolute number, but statistically a small percentage.) What is good for submitters at Zeal is that the paid Looksmart editors will review submitted sites within about a week if some Zealot with editing privs doesn't do it first. I can get any site that qualifies by the guidelines added to the Zeal/Looksmart database within a week. Heck, because I have so many excess Zeal points that I can't find a use for, in almost all cases I could just use those to become Zealot of the cat and add the site myself, with the knowledge that I can resign the cat after 14 days with no point penalty. At Zeal, there is no such thing as a site waiting in the queue for months. The paid Looksmart editors would never allow this. Thus, for non-commercial submitters Zeal is a whole lot nicer. Not to mention the fact that in almost all cases the traffic from a Looksmart listing is much better than an ODP one. I just checked my main site logs for March. Google directory hits are 17, and dmoz.org 10. This compares to over 500 from msn.com. I'm #1 on MSN because for all the important keyword searches because of my Looksmart/Zeal listing. This brings in lots of traffic. I'd consider losing those Zeal listings far more of a disaster than my ODP ones. Trust me on this. If you have a non-commercial site you care about, Zeal delivers hits.

8:12 am on Mar 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Why is it the ranters never go to resource-zone.com or never have their "websites" in their profiles?

Things that make you go hmmmm.

8:31 am on Mar 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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1. There is editor corruption in ODP

2. It is not widespread, but nevertheless apparent

3. Most sites wait in the queue for months because of editor shortage, not corruption

4. Editor shortage is a bigger problem to submitters than editor corruption.

5. Nothing against the rules in an editor having an interest in the category they edit..provided they do not take advantage of that.

6. If you have a complaint against an editor, it is pointless making a general complaint along the lines "editor A is corrupt because they will not list my site"

7. To get action email a meta (I would not advise staff, not many gerbils in that department) with a substantiated dossier of how you can prove that editor A is corrupt. In most cases the meta will act on it.
Take the time to establish a good case for corruption
Personally I can tell you that this works ;)

8. All of the above assumes that your site merits placement in ODP under their rules. No point in getting the editor dismissed if your site will still be rejected by a new editor who is a pure as the driven snow.

8:38 am on Mar 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>4. Editor shortage is a bigger problem to submitters than editor corruption.

This seems to be the big one to me. Probably worst in areas of the ODP that honest editors tend to want to stay away from, like Shopping. Finding volunteers who want to slog through spam likely is not easy.

9:01 am on Mar 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Sure, 4-5 months isn't very long, there are some that waited years...

Not being listed and waiting to be listed can be diiferent things.

I often find sites in my unreviewed queue that have been the in ODP pipeline for three or four months. They were submitted originally to an incorrect place, get sent somewhere else, but maybe that's wrong too (why should the original editor be an expert in the right category?), get sent to "misplaced" where the experts in category fitting hang out, and then get sent to me.

Each of those checks-and-pass on may take a month or more -- the site has to bubble to the top of the editor's list before they action it. And each of them denies another site a listing -- while the editor is passing on a site, they aren't spending their time listing another deserving one.

Sometimes, when the site appears in my category, it isn't for me either, I pass it on to. What a waste of everyone's time!

9:19 am on Mar 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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rfgdxm1,

Maybe you're right about the shortage of editors.

I wish they would not be so fast on rejecting applications just simply based on wrong submissions or grammer errors.

Everybody got to start somewhere and many wannabe editors are still not sure about the directory structures but eventually they will improve with guidance.

With the moving around of the sites listed recently as commented by the webmasters in resource-zone,it seems that the structure is confusing even for the experienced editors not to say for those who still do not have a firm idea of how the system works.Give people a chance to improve with experience.

What martinibuster says was a real wake up call on the harsh reality of the real world but as I have said, give people a chance metas and at least part of the problem will be reduced to a minimal.

And steveb, if you're referring to me, I expected to be flamed anyway, but pls get your facts right, I am a member of resource-zone under the same username. Otherwise you could do a search on my username and can find my site anytime. You google don't you?

2:01 pm on Mar 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>> I wish they would not be so fast on rejecting applications just simply based on wrong submissions or grammer errors. <<

They have to do that. The "job" you take on as editor entails:

"writing Titles and Descriptions for website entries, and placing them in the correct category".

If you can't do that, then you are going to get complaints from submitters that you messed up their entry, spelt it wrong, didn't make sense, misrepresented their site, or put it in the wrong category.

Well, we get those complaints from some people anyway; but it wouldn't be possible for a Meta editor to defend your actions as an editor if the edit was sub-standard in some way.

In the editor applications, the Metas aren't looking for perfection, but can usually recognise that an application is competant or not. This has nothing to do with how well you know your subject, or how many years you have been in the business; just simply how well you can write Titles and Descriptions and classify them by subject category.

The line has to be drawn somewhere; clearing up after editors that make a mess takes a long time.

4:47 pm on Mar 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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There are about a million listings sitting in unreviewed which I ignore every day -- so sue me and call me nefarious if you want :P We don't have enough editors to go and review every submission as promptly as y'all want. Also, did you notice it is spring break in a lot of the USA (and maybe other countries too)? Many of our editors are college students.
3:36 pm on Mar 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Commercial categories in the ODP tend to be terribly backlogged, categories such as Shopping, Computers/Software for example.

Indeed, shopping sites tend to require a particular skill and determination, because of the large amount of spam, affiliate sites, disguised affiliate sites, doorways, mirrors and just plain crap that fills up the categories. It's difficult to find editors with a proven track record who are prepared to wade through that lot to sort it out.

IMHO, commercial categories are one of the places where Zeal/LookSmart scores over the ODP. LookSmart will list virtually anybody.. at a price. But many business don't really care too much about the cost, so it's a good arrangement.

I've often wondered what would happen if Google decided to supplement the commercial categories with paid listings. It's not too hard from a technology point of view (other directories do it) and it would expedite listing for those sites who don't mind paying. You could still submit to the ODP for free, but with no guarantees of a timely listing. This is really the same principle that Yahoo! works on.

5:10 pm on Mar 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>Commercial categories in the ODP tend to be terribly backlogged, categories such as Shopping, Computers/Software for example.

Which may have to do with a lot of dissatisfaction with the ODP around here. WebmasterWorld tends to be crawling with commercial webmasters. They aren't pleased that the most backlogged queues tend to me the commercial ones.

5:36 pm on Mar 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

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To all that responded to my post via sticky or here... I am sorry if I havent responded to you yet - I wasnt trying to be rude or anything. I have been very busy with a company move that's been a nightmare taking forever (Verizon came to our old location to move the DS1s from there TO there. And then after over an hour of arguing with them, still not getting an expedited second install attempt date, and being assured the address records were correct on the order, they came back a couple weeks later to remove - and reinstall the phone lines in the old offices - it'd be funny I guess, if I didnt really need them ;-).

To make a long story short, after submitting an editor app for a category related to the one we were trying to get listed in (and being denied - and then point-by-point listing how they were wrong but ironically didnt care that the current editor in the related categories was committing all of the offenses they were guessing we would), our new listing has been put in place with the correct title and info, and the editor of that category and the other related ones is no longer listed as an editor for them. Seems to have happened after January (last time I checked).

- Rob

8:43 pm on Mar 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

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"commercial categories are one of the places where Zeal/LookSmart scores over the ODP."

Hardly. Listing any piece of crap site just because they pay a few dollars is certainly not what ODP or any directory interested in *quality sites* should do.

9:59 pm on Mar 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Hardly. Listing any piece of crap site just because they pay a few dollars is certainly not what ODP or any directory interested in *quality sites* should do.

I'm by no means a LookSmart apologist (although I like Zeal), but you could argue that the listings in commercial categories are often for pretty indistinguishable companies.

Look at it this way.. there are people who would be prepared to spend money to get into the ODP. The ODP doesn't want the money. It needs someone smart with a decent amount of traffic to connect the two together. And I'm not talking about the Topsites crap either ;)

10:14 pm on Mar 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>I'm by no means a LookSmart apologist (although I like Zeal), but you could argue that the listings in commercial categories are often for pretty indistinguishable companies.

Right. In the ODP widget sellers category you'll find sellers of widgets. In the Looksmart widget sellers category you'll find sellers of widgets. When it comes to the ODP, so long as you sell widgets and aren't just an affiliate site, that is enough to get listed.