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Competitor removes our website from DMOZ

Competitor has become an editor recently and has now removed our website

     
8:19 pm on May 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Any help in this matter would be very welcome!

We have an important website for four years now. The website was the first of its kind in a european country. It is a simple website (only one page) but big and important in the relevant country. DMOZ als had a link for some years now to our website. But unfortunately the link disappeared this month. It appeared that a competitor (who owns a competitive website for only a few months now) became the editor of the DMOZ category. This competitor removed our website from DMOZ. Needless to say this could do us some serious harm in the near future due to decreasing PR value in Google.

What is the best way to deal with this problem?

8:24 pm on May 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

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1. Don't jump to the conclusion that a competitor did this. From what I understand, in most cases that this was assumed to happen, it did not.
2. Go to the dmoz public forum (Google search for it) and ask there (read guidelines there first)
3. Did you read forum guidelines here ("We are not the ODP help desk. Any specific questions about sites should be taken up through proper ODP channels")
4. Welcome to WebmasterWorld
8:48 pm on May 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Cbpayne, thanks for the reply.
I understand that this is not the ODP helpdesk or something like that. But I am just asking this question in this forum because it is a sensitive one.
I am 100% sure a competitor removed our site from DMOZ. The name of the editor is exactly the same as the owner of the new website. Furthermore I delinced a backlink from my own website when he asked for one. The reason for that decline was that he copied the concept of another one of our sites, including some text with some grammar errors we made.
You think I should ask this question in the ODP public forum? Isn't it better to file an abuse report?
9:06 pm on May 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I'd file an abuse report. The ODP help forum isn't a good place to publicize specific allegations. If you file the abuse report, you're guaranteed of the metas looking into your case carefully, and if you're right about what's going on, they'll definitely want to hear about it. Include all the pertinent details. It may be a coincidence (your competitor may not even have been the one to remove the site), but it sounds like you defiitely have enough cause for concern to file a report.
9:32 pm on May 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Thanks flicker, I just filed the abuse report. Hopefully the language isn't a problem (the relevant websites are not in english).
10:49 pm on May 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

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8:42 am on May 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Thanks choster. I just filed some additional information including evidence in the matter. Yesterday I was somehow too shocked to file all the details correctly.

Thanks again for your help here at Webmasterworld!

11:29 am on May 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

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WebFox

Provided you have drawn up a detailed, accurate and verifiable case, the chances are that a bad editor will be removed

All transactions made by DMOZ editors are logged and can be checked to see who has made changes or removals

I have found that most abuse reports I have made have resulted in editor removal. So the procedures are fair, and result in action provided you have made a strong case - but I would stress a strong case is more than just saying your competitor is an editor

though there was one editor that took 3 reports over 2 years to get removed, happily the third report did get them removed

12:25 pm on May 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I had an incident similar to that..

I launched a new website, and after a few months, submitted into DMOZ - without knowing the editor was the owner of one of my biggest competitors.

It finally got accepted, but it appeared that the editor had moved the site to a topic which it didn't even relate to (well, it did in some ways, but the original category I submitted in was the most relevant one).

So I contacted that editor and said it was 'Un-fair Competition' to move my site like that, and received a very arrogant reply.

I filed an abuse report and I saw that the editor was apparently kicked out after a few weeks :)

My site is back in its right place now, but I'm still not the editor (didn't want to be = too much work :))

Just tells ya, DMOZ does care! ;)

Sid

8:10 am on May 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Probably a good reason not to edit a category that you have a business in: people can't attribute motives to your mistakes.
8:18 am on May 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Why do people put so much effort into DMOZ. Most of the time you can get a link that is just as good with the time you spend worrying about DMOZ. DMOZ links have no more value than any other link. It has no special abilities. Google doesn't even think it is important enough to show to people any more. They took away the directory links from the SERPS and hid the directory listing under a long list of things under more.
8:30 am on May 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Yes, but the main reason I would think people use DMOZ (for links) is not DMOZ itself, but it's clones.

There are tons of them, and if you search for a DMOZ category in Google (ie. Art: Movies: Series), many of those sites you see are either DMOZ clones or web directories. So one link in DMOZ has a chance to get you 100s - and you know how much webmasters love links :)

Sid

8:33 am on May 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Yes, if you read this article:

[e-marketing-news.co.uk...]

You will see that Yahoo is now also trying to get into bed with ODP.


The way that I would classify it is, that our relationship with the Yahoo! directory is very similar to that which we have with Open Directory. We also have a relationship with Open Directory Project. The way that we look at it for Yahoo! search, with all of its comprehensiveness and quality content is that, if we can find that somewhere, whether it's with a Yahoo! property or a third party, we want to have that content, we want to have that information and we want it reflected in the Yahoo! search index.
8:37 am on May 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Very few people know that much about how things work. There is a missconception out there that DMOZ has some extra value and that your site will never do well unless you have one.

Those clones have very little value. DMOZ has a PR9 and at best you can hope to get your sites listed on a PR6 page most are much lower. There are no clones out there that have much PR so the links would be pretty much worthless.

8:45 am on May 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Well, lets phrase the question this way: do you know a general directory for the internet that has more credibility?

The value of ODP is increasing all the time as well. With 6K active editors it's pretty hard to beat. MSN, when they come online, are very likely to borrow heavily from them.

It's also a network effect. The bigger it gets, the more valuable it will be.

8:57 am on May 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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The answer is there are tons of directories that are much better to be in than DMOZ. I listing on on a directory in your area a lot of times is better than the DMOZ listing. Also who cares how well DMOZ is doing as a business. What matters is what real value do you get for being in there and some people spend a lot of time, effort, and heartache to get there. There is no real evidense that being in DMOZ helps that much for most people. I am sure there are a few circomstances where it is good but for most people there time is better spent getting more links elsewhere.

[edited by: ogletree at 9:13 am (utc) on May 25, 2004]

9:13 am on May 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Yes, that's true. It would be interesting to get some actual traffic statistics.

Another problem is that it may get harder and harder as time passes to actually get into the directory.

10:11 am on May 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I would add, that a DMOZ listing used to be much more worth in the old times, when DMOZ wasn't crowded with people who just apply/become an editor to add their website, and also when DMOZ had great PR in its categories.

I would say getting into a minor directory which gives you a PR5/6 link is much much more better than getting into DMOZ just because "everybody want's to" or "just for the sake of it".

I personally am not a fan of links from directories, I beleive in anchor text and link partnership strategies - where you get what you want, and not just a link to your website with its name.

But I think the real purpose of this forum ("Directories") is to discuss real web/niche directories and real things happening to them, instead of "I got rejected by DMOZ!" or "Help Help Help, I can't get into DMOZ!".

Well, that's how I would prefer this forum to be like - I'd love it if we start having real conversations instead of DMOZ ones.

Sid
PS; ogletree, thanks for your view! I never really looked at it from a "What is it really worth?" side, I just wanted to get listed just because everyone wants to :). Oh, and then theres PR and clones.

1:14 pm on May 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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As an ODP editor, I would tend to agree with the idea that the value of a listing is quite overrated by many webmaster/SEO types. I think it's a nice on-topic link to have, and though there's not much traffic to be had from it or its clones, it's probably quite targeted traffic, so I wouldn't say it's useless. However, from a search engine perspective, I can't believe it's going to help anyone very much. Not only are the pages relatively low in PR, there are tons of links on most of them, so they couldn't possibly be passing much on. And if you're a business, the anchor text will only be the name of your business, which you probably already rank #1 on (I should certainly hope so).

Because so many people believe that getting an ODP listing would turn their faltering e-business around, we have to deal with thousands of people trying to cheat by tricking us into listing a site of a type we do not list, getting multiple mirrors of their same site listed, and other even dirtier tricks I won't list here because I don't want to give anyone ideas. Sadly, the effect of this is to waste huge amounts of our time dealing with these people, slowing down reviews for everyone else... and the would-be spammers aren't even operating on a valid principle. I have to delete e-businesses that have gone out of business from our directory all the time; obviously our listing didn't help them. Those spammers who do manage to slip a listing past us must be very disappointed when they look at how little it's done for their goals a few months later. It's really too bad for everyone involved.

If your only goal is to improve your rating with search engines, I think spending any effort beyond a single 15-minute submission to the ODP is poorly spent. The hours spent tracking it and following up on it and worrying about it and feeling frustration, anger, or heartache would be entirely wasted. The hours spent trying to circumvent our rules would be entirely wasted even if you WERE one of the few for whom this temporarily succeeded.

If you have a non-affiliate website which has unique content, there is absolutely nothing to lose in submitting it to the ODP once and then forgetting about it. It will get listed eventually if it meets our criteria, and the link can't hurt you. But don't shoot yourself in the foot by expending any effort on it once you've done that. The link is really not all that. Links you get from other places are actually more valuable to your search engine placement than the ODP ones.

All in my unofficial personal opinion, naturally.

3:03 pm on May 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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>Probably a good reason not to edit a category that you have a business in: people can't attribute motives to your mistakes.

No, don't think like this. If you edit a category (and I speak from experience here!) the tinfoil hat brigade are going to assume you have a business there even if you don't; they'll often even assume they know which one it is. You have to get used to the fact that the obsessive financiopaths are going to interpret every move you make as an attempt to steal the obols off their mother's eyes -- because that's what they did (or would have done given the chance).

That's not just online, that's life: some people only join churches and charities to look for victims to con. And these people are going to assume everyone else there is running some sort of scam too.

When someone accuses you of doing nothing except for some sordid ulterior motive, you just figure they've told you the full range of motives _they_ can comprehend, and deal with them accordingly.

1:18 am on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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>No, don't think like this. If you edit a category (and I speak from experience here!) the tinfoil hat brigade are going to assume you have a business there even if you don't; they'll often even assume they know which one it is. You have to get used to the fact that the obsessive financiopaths are going to interpret every move you make as an attempt to steal the obols off their mother's eyes -- because that's what they did (or would have done given the chance).

And, if anyone edits an ODP cat that they have affiliated sites in, they'd better damn sure they can justify any editing they do in that cat 6 ways from Sunday unless they want to experience the wrath of metas.

1:45 am on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Which, rfgdxm1, was my point exactly.
2:17 am on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I would add, that a DMOZ listing used to be much more worth in the old times

From an ODP perspective a DMOZ listing is worth exactly what it adds in value to the OPD.

No other currency is relevant if you want to talk value or worth to ODP editors.

If it is a site with unique content then it is invaluable to the OPD -- because sites with unique content are the only things of value to the OPD. And something unique is priceless.

If it is a site with no unique content then it has no value to the OPD and won't be added -- or will be removed at high speed when spotted or reported.

Just to repeat myself to make the point painfully obvious: the OPD is not concerned about commercial value to webmasters or anyone else.

Understand that, and you should see a couple of obvious ways to leverage that to your advantage. Misunderstand that (as countless people seem to, to judge from many threads here and elsewhere) and the frustration will just double your dental bills.

2:27 am on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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All things can be improved, people or organisations that fail to see this .. fail.

As to what you said - what about a commercial site that provides the same products and services but at a much lower, much more competitive price?

3:01 am on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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It would be interesting to get some actual traffic statistics.

Sixteen page views so far this year from dmoz.org out of about 70 million.


2.3 X 10 (-5) percent is not too bad, right?

4:31 am on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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dmoz.org is unlikely to be a source of traffic, but rather those who consume the directories, such as Google and Yahoo.
4:39 am on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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dmoz.org is unlikely to be a source of traffic, but rather those who consume the directories, such as Google and Yahoo.

That is true.

There are almost twice as many page views from directory.google.com ... 31 this year so far.

A HUGE traffic source ...

4:54 am on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Clearly dmoz doesn't do much for your website.
5:15 am on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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ogletree

It is so there are more categories that are related to their site. The more DMOZ listings one can get, the more relevance there is to their site. Example, say I sell software for a certain topic, but I also have information and a forum. If I am just listed in the software category, people looking for in-depth information on that Ďcertain topicí will not find me in some search engines due to the fact that I am on page 2 instead of page 1 because some search engines donít show enough SERPs by default, which inherently drives alleged SEOís to stuff more listings into DMOZ and the other antics that go on. Then multiply than by 10,000 or so sites that use the DMOZ directory listing. I know you know this, and so do all the ones that live behind the pay Brett wall. (nothing wrong with Brett taking money for his efforts, that wasnít my point, but people that do not do SEO for a living cannot afford to pay Brett)

Thatís why the spamming SEOís, (these would be the ones without ethics of any kind, and that will catch up with them one day), go beyond just making their sites better by trying to manipulate competitorís sites by spying and the other unethical behavior they exhibit, do such things. (And I thought I didn't have a life)

Real professional SEOís should never have to stoop to such tactics and it only shows that the ones who do, do not know what they are doing. They are not any better than script kiddies and a lot less professional because at least script kiddies donít take money for it.

This is why I am starting a drive to expose every SEO trick there is. Because if everyone knows them they become useless and that takes a percentage of SPAM out of the SERPS. As a matter of fact, when I do purchase a product or service online, the first thing I do is go to DMOZ to see how many listings they have. I then go to the 3 major SEís and if the company shows up on page one of all of them, I will not purchase. This is because I know they have used a SEO'er and the price they paid for SEO directly effects the price of their products or services and Iím not going to pay to be spammed.

When the SEO's start to police themselves, the world will be a much better place.

6:32 am on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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DMOZ has never played any kind of signifacant role in SEO. I think it is the chicken and the egg thing. People think that because a lot of number one sites are in DMOZ that it played a role. It is the other way around. When a site gets to be number one there is a good chance a DMOZ editor will put it in. Those of us who know how to rank on Google and are good at what we do submit a site to DMOZ the right way and forget about it. We really don't care that much about it. If I ever hear someone talking about DMOZ I know that are new at this or have just never really caught on how things work. I have been at this a little over a year and when I first started out I said all kinds of stupid things. Including complaining about DMOZ. I read WW every day and have made over 1400 posts since then. I have been to a Pub Con and have many friends that are members here. I am not just making this stuff up it is from experience. There is no SPAM there is just the successful and the failures.

By Googles def we are all Spammers. We are just lucky all the corperations have not figured it out yet. If a large advertising agency figured it out and knew what was on this board they could drop us all out with their customers websites. If a really good SEO person had control of 100 of the websites in the Fortune 500 it would be impossible to rank on Google for anything. Thank god the people that do their other advertising are in charge of their web marketing.

There is another thread going on right now talking about penaltys. People complain about all kinds of things. If you are complaining you don't know what you are doing. They say we don't understand because we have not had that penalty. We have had snags on the road we just fix things and move on. We don't put all are eggs in one basket either. SEO is hard work.

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