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Everybody knows that Google uses the dir to give certain site's a boost simply because they are in there.
Another reason DMOZ is usefull, is the simple fact that other SE's also crawl their site. And you get a quality inbound link that way!
There are plenty of copy's available of DMOZ on the net, so this even counts for other domains then dmoz.org
A directory with 6 million + items in it, isn't going to "die" because Google removed the reference from their front page.
I've yet to see the logs of any site that has been in the ODP for a while where Google directory hits weren't far less than the total number of hits from all the other clones combined, plus direct dmoz.org hits added. I suspect it has to do with the mindset of users. People who go to Google think "web search". Googlers just aren't the sort that are inclined to want to use a web directory.
Even if that's true, how much would it hurt dmoz? It may mean less directory-generated traffic to sites that are in the directory, but dmoz itself derives no benefit from Google Directory traffic other than increased awareness among SEO-conscious webmasters. If the change has an impact on that, the "hurt" to dmoz will still be minor.
If this were to result in a huge drop in the number of surfers using ODP clones overall, then I can see an argument that this means that the ODP is moving toward irrelevance. However, the truth is that there is little similarity between the ODP/Google connection and say the MSN/Looksmart connection. With MSN dropping Looksmart, LS basically is fading into obscurity now. However, the number of ODP clones is huge, as opposed to the number of sites using LS data. And, it may be that those people who were using the Google directory will still find it, even if it is one click farther away. Only a very small percent of Google users before this change were clicking on that directory link on the home page.
I joined up to help build a useful directory, not spend hour after hour deleting useless cr*p. It would be nice to be able to get back to doing that sometime.
LOL. ;) The same idea occurred to me. With Google making their directory far less visible, this may cause webmasters to consider being listed in the ODP not very important in terms of ranking well on Google. This is arguably a Good Thing from the perspective of an ODP editor.
As an editor, I'm not very sad (OK, I'm not sad at all ;-)). If it reduces the amount of crap we get, I'm all over that.
On the other hand, as a searcher I liked the fact that category links showed up in search results as that usually helped pull up the most relevent information on a topic...without having to wade through the useless deeplinks to travel, search, and other affiliate sites that just happened to contain the keywords I was looking for. That I'll miss. I don't find the current search results as helpful as they used to be. But I'm sure I'll live. ;-)
Natural? for MSN?
Without getting scatalogical, I'd suggest that what MSN considers "natural," even lawyers won't do without first getting drunk.
You have to remember that the Microsoft attitude is they haven't won unless someone else lost. And they haven't lost if someone else lost bigger. And they haven't lost bigger if they're still in business and the other guy isn't. In their world-view, economics is a negative-sum game, altruism is a mental disorder, and openness is a threat to their company and their nation.
I'd expect a MSN takeover to be more like the Looksmart/Zeal takeover, with less refinement and altruism, but a much bigger hammer. If they weren't in a hurry they'd start out by eviscerating and monetizing it, before feeding it into a power chipper. If they were a hurry, they'd shut the servers down by yanking out the power cord on their way out to a three-martini lunch. My bet is on them being in a BIG hurry.
I asked ODP about this and a meta editor (honcho to us) said that is perfectly okay?
How can it be that ODP approves of this? If the editor want ODP links, he should have to submit his site just like everybody else, and he SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED to use his profile for promotion of his ugly crummy affiliate sites.
I think it will affect DMOZ, but not to the point where it will die (or even close to it). If you volunteer for DMOZ you may thrive on the power you have, but I'm sure a lot of people edit on DMOZ simply for enjoyment.
Zeal did not die as a result of MSN dropping them, and although the directory may have lost some editors (speculation) it is still a large community. I'm sure DMOZ will exist similarly, even if Google drops them completely (which is a safe assumption based on the recent change).
The directory being somewhat buried is not the only change... the results don't link to the directory if the listing is listed. I think that in itself will likely be the largest change and will lead to even less traffic viewing the Google Directory, which will in turn make Google value it even less.
I'm more interested in what Google will do as an eventual alternative. It's obviously not a priority now, but I hope it will be in the future. Paid inclusion all the way!
Uh... because you're talking about a PERSONAL PROFILE PAGE, not part of the directory? Surely you do realize that the ODP ban on affiliate sites has do do with what we want listed in our DIRECTORY, and that it's no skin off our noses if people want to make those sites, make money off those sites, link to those sites from their personal pages, or anything else?
Boy, if the loss of the Google link to ODP makes these bizarre questions go away, I'll put up with the inconvenience of losing those useful little shortcuts to the Google category pages. (-:
the ODP ban on affiliate sites
Is this something new? (aside from obvious sites built from affiliate data feeds and pure link/banner farms)
Back on topic, if Google does keep the directory tab off, ODP could probably become one h*ll of a directory way beyond what it already is, which is already pretty darn good.
No, just poor wording on my part. The ODP doesn't accept sites that are *solely* affiliate sites--i.e. have no unique content of their own--and I'm giving jbgilbert the benefit of the doubt and assuming the link he's complaining about is in fact to a kind of site the ODP wouldn't accept. (-:
From what I have seen of ODP unreviewed queues, the problem isn't wheat byproduct, but pork byproduct. Even in totally inappropriate, non-commercial categories. :( Having dealt with mass deleting dozens of bot submitted spams in just a single, innocuous non-commercial cat, I shudder to think what things must be like is Shopping.
I think not. Google has demoted the directory because not enough people were using it. Why was that? Because directories are going out of style. So will Google invest huge amounts of money and time creating its own human-edited directory? Not likely! As for paid inclusion - Google is against that with good reason.
And more to the point, Google is recognizing that a Directory must be the foundation of the future of search, *if* personalization is seen as the future of search... and both Google and Yahoo think it is.
I don't foresee personalized search as becoming a prominent method of searching, personally speaking. I think the engine that can provide personalized searches based on the keywords supplied will always reign and this is a gimmick that a fraction of the people will use.
It may relate to DMOZ, but I don't think it will keep it alive in Google.
I don't think Google will adopt a paid inclusion type of directory. The theory and success of Google may relate to the fact that their search results are unbiased, and in essence a true mirror of web popularity. I think a directory they use will have the same theory behind it. How they will achieve this I am not sure.
Perhaps using pagerank and an advanced form of keyword grouping they could create an algorithm based directory. Who knows.