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The only real value is that someone looking for the information will go there and find everything in one spot. The bad side of course is that not many people are going to go through 100 listings to find what they need. They'll look at maybe the first 25 but chances are they will use Google and find the top business.
So my personal advice is not to waste your time on trying to either get into DMOZ or make changes to improve your listing there.
Spend your quality time trying to get a higher ranking in Google by following the rules Google sets out.
[edited by: skibum at 3:15 pm (utc) on Jan. 20, 2004]
[edit reason] removed insults [/edit]
Unfortunately it seems that the Google Directory has not been updated from the ODP directory since November 2003. I have a site that was correctly updated in the ODP directory to reflect a domain change that resulted in many more backlinks. Unfortunately the Google Directory has not picked this up. This has very severely limited the improvement seen in Google SERP's for this website.
You'd be surprised at what you can do with that ODP listing and Google. If you plan a certain way, you can take advantage of your ODP description in many ways.
Its a free listing and one that can be of great benefit. Not only in the case of Google, but for any other source that uses the ODP feed.
P.S. Me personally thinks that PageRank is a dinosaur and will be removed from public consumption sometime soon. Just a wild hunch based on everything that has transpired over the past 18 months.
It is likely that spiders, including Googlebot, locate a lot of new sites in directories. And it is widely believed PageRank seems to count dmoz.org and directory.google.com as two unique and authoritative inbound links. But it's been repeated again and again that there is no extraordinary ranking boost given to a site listed in the ODP as opposed to any other site, and that relying on a listing in a major web directory has not been a sufficient marketing strategy for at least half a decade.
The subject of this thread is how DMOZ has no value on a Google ranking. It isn't about whether DMOZ is good for your website. If you happen to be near the top in a category in DMOZ, sure it will help your website, but not from the PageRank perspective.
Anyone who thinks that they can improve their Google PageRank...
I don't think it should be about improving PageRank. We all know, or most of us do, that PageRank is no longer the determining factor that it once was. It still is a major factor in highly competitive industries but, there are other factors at play and an ODP listing is one of them.
In the DMOZ category where my business is located, there are hundreds of competing businesses. Of these hundreds, there was only 2 who had their titles as complete keywords without mentioning their company name. All other listings showed the company name as the title. Of the 2 using strictly keywords, one belonged to the editor. The editor uses 2 keywords in Google, which results in over 1,200,000 listings in Google. He is at number one place.
After doing a serious research as to how important the anchor text was to Google, I discovered precisely why the editor used keywords in the listing's title.
I complained to DMOZ about this because the editor refused to modify my listing so that it would also include the keywords.
Just a few days ago, DMOZ (and probably not the editor) modified his listing to contain only his company's name. Now there are no listings in the category that contain keywords in the title.
I can state quite confidently that Google places heavy emphasis on anchor text. And this is almost non-existant in DMOZ.
[edited by: skibum at 7:51 pm (utc) on Jan. 20, 2004]
[edit reason] no keyword specifics please [/edit]
Incorrect. Read the editing guidelines, which are public.
"Do give the official name of the site as the title. Generally, the title will be obvious and prominently displayed on the site."
Generally speaking, what is the site title used in the anchor text is determined by the site itself. If there is a big banner at the top of the home page "Joe's Fuzzy Blue Widget Sales", and throughout the site it consistently calls itself that, then this is the proper title to use. Only if the site goes for brand as the title rather than a descriptive keyword name does it not get keywords in the anchor text.
LOTS of keyword anchor text there.
If you are aware of how Google implements its PageRank, it should be rather obvious that DMOZ directories, at least those with over 50 listings in the directory, obtain no real value in the page ranking for those URLs in the directory.
That presupposes that Page Rank is the only factor, or the most important factor in Google scoring, while in fact there are over a 100 variables.
The only real value is that someone looking for the information will go there and find everything in one spot.
We can't be so sure of that, unless we know for certain what those 100 variables are and are certain what is or isn't taken into consideration. Nor can we for other search engines, for that matter.
There are too many academic papers out there, some authored by folks who are high up in search today, that make reference to links from unrelated hub/authority sites for us to be able to ignore the possibility of there being a value-added with regard to some other factors taken into consideration in scoring.
If we think that the topical relevancy, on-page elements and text factors on pages that link to sites, as well as where the links to the pages that link to us come from are totally irrelevant to our search engine scoring beyond a shadow of a doubt, maybe we should start looking beyond the usual obvious to see if it's so or not so we won't miss out on something that's important, just in case our preconceived notions aren't as accurate as we think they are.
According to the Google ranking algorithm, DMOZ is probably worthless
"Probably" is the key word there. As long as it's "probably" and not definitely, which we can't any of us know unless we know what all the 100 variables are, why discount it altogether? Just in case it's "might be" worth something, how many of us are willing to paint ourselves into a corner with dogmatic SEO theology? We might just as well submit if the site is appropriate and ready, and them leave them alone and go about our business as usual.
Then earlier this week this site was added to DMOZ. Within 24 hours, Googlebot had crawled and indexed my entire site (about 10-12 pages at the moment).
I haven't checked if the site has finally gained a toolbar PageRank (don't really care, actually), so I can't speak to the exact topic of this thread -- DMOZ's impact on PR.
But I wonder if the DMOZ listing impacted the deep crawl? The timing seems too eerie to me to be just coincidental....
So in my completely conjectural opinion, I wouldn't be banking on a pagerank boost from a listing in any directory, though it might help your site's visibility in other ways.
Not surprising at all. Unquestionably Google regularly crawls dmoz.org. Thus, if Googlebot found a link to your site at dmoz.org, it would follow it. Grabbing 12 pages is trivial for Googlebot.
Not surprising at all. Unquestionably Google regularly crawls dmoz.org.
The whole directory? My site was added to a very, very deep regional category.
Grabbing 12 pages is trivial for Googlebot.
I'm aware of that. My other site has thousands of pages indexed. It's not that I'm questioning, it's the timing of the deep crawl. Just amazed me....
From what I believe I may have picked up hanging around here.
The DMOZ is a directory with high Page Rank,
Sites with high page rank are crawled often, and deep (no sexual meanings intended as to what G does with sites it likes) ;-)
G when crawling the sub-catagories would then find these links, and take that data back to be put away for new sites to go and crawl, at some point in the future.
G Also puts this info over in the PR info bit bucket to use for part of the calc for PR for after it crawls the site.
On the other hand, Google upon occasion takes a rdf dump from the DMOZ, massages it a bit, and imports it into the Google directory,and this is what feeds the G directory.
But on the other hand, mabey I do not understand a thing about what I may, or may not have learned hanging around here.
As for the topic, To a website, (for G)for Pagerank purposes, from the DMOZ you get a solid, possibly one-way link, that will pass a fraction the PR of the Catagory, depending on PR of the catagory, and the number of links it. Just like any other directory.
Just submit it, and forget it. Not worth near the attention it gets.
Hope I got at least part of that right.
It crawls the ODP. That's why the results of searches on site descriptions show dmoz.org pages, not the site being described. (And that's why you can't google-bash by asking to have your site description keyword-stuffed.)
I'm going to disagree about the ODP's impact on PageRank being trivial, because basically it's a hugely authorititave site with four million entries, most of which will pass some PageRank on to the listed sites. It's probably the biggest driver of PageRank on the web, a sort of reverse black hole if you like.
For anybody starting a site from scratch, an ODP listing means that you've arrived. From that point on, you'll get regularly spidered, be given some weighting in the SERPs of all search engines, and generally be visible to those people researching a topic. It won't lead to overnight success, but it's a first step on the "web presence" ladder. Of course, there are other ways of getting a presence too.
Look at it this way.. if you're not listed in the ODP either because the topic is backlogged or not eligible, you can maybe get PageRank through links from other sites. But I bet you that most of the mid-ranking sites you're likely to get links from get a large chunk of their PageRank from the ODP.
I've watched this closely on sites I've had listed, there's an initial PageRank boost from the ODP listing, and then when the Google directory updates there's another PageRank boost, and of course there's all the smaller PR directories adding weight too. The net result tends to be.. *tends* to be.. that your site will eventually end up with a PageRank one less than the ODP category you're listed in.
Johann, I can only assume that you've never had a site listed in the ODP or weren't paying attention to your PageRank once you had.