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Directory Bias



10:34 pm on Jan 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Wouldn't it be a total shame if a directory editor reviewed your site, didn't approve of your content based on a biased attitude, and didn't allow your URL to be placed in the directory?

How would a company like Yahoo, or AOL know if an editor did such a thing?


12:35 am on Jan 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

You don't know. You don't ever know. That's true at both Yahoo and the ODP. The site might be added later (at either directory) if another editor reviewed the site. And only at that point would anyone know -- and of course at that point the information is moot -- the site has been added anyway. (The directory administration might have words with the offending editor, but you would never know about that.)

However, if you purchase services from a directory (such as the $300 review option from Yahoo) they will tell you what the results of your site review were.

The ODP, of course, doesn't sell review services, so the situation doesn't arise.


1:14 pm on Jan 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

If you pay for a review, you should have the right to either an explanation or a refund, in my opinion. I know Yahoo gives you one, and I wouldn't recommend paying to submit to any directory that won't give you one or the other.

If a directory is free, you'll just have to accept their editorial standards even if they don't favor you(especially if it's a little niche directory with one creator.) Some of the larger free directories, like the ODP, have some oversight by senior editors that you can call on if your site has really been unfairly treated (i.e. deleted by an editor who's in competition with you,) but if you say that's what happened and when they look it isn't (i.e. your competitor was the one who listed the site but then a senior editor deleted it because they noticed it violated site guidelines,) they're just going to ignore your complaint.


12:25 am on Jan 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

It just seems that when you browse the various directories, you oftentimes see sites and think, "How the heck did they approve that one?" LOL

I'm not exactly sure what guidelines or parameters directory editors use for allowing a site in, but it really would be nice if they based it on obvious factors.

For example, if you're working as a Yahoo directory editor and a website submission pops up on your screen, I'm thinking:

"Check the other major directories to see if it's been allowed...(Google, DMOZ, Alexa, whoever else...) If they allowed it, it can't be all that bad; check the site itself to see how relevant it is to the category it seeks to reside in; thoroughly check the site for content that is not racist, illegal, or jeopardizes someone's safety.

Of course, that's the simplistic view. I'm sure they have more guidelines than those.


1:01 am on Jan 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

There are all sorts of ways an apparently-unlistable site can get listed. Webmaster abuse is by far the most common, of course; but editor carelessness, error, or abuse occur; sometimes it's just a legacy of circumstances wherein nobody acted inappropriately. Or ... just possibly, the unlistability is only apparent -- the editor noticed something someone else might not have.

But the fact is...
"If they allowed it, it can't be all that bad"
just ain't true.

And yes, looking at other directories, when you're already the largest directory, is definitely contra-indicated. My experience when mining Yahoo is ... that you can find which of THEIR sites shouldn't be listed, by seeing which of them AREN'T listed in the ODP.

So ... we just look at the site itself, and let the other directories be what they will.


3:34 pm on Jan 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

"Check the other major directories to see if it's been allowed...(Google, DMOZ, Alexa, whoever else...)

Errr you just mentioned three sites that are all using the same data :)

Fundamentally, webmasters and editors look at their sites from very different perspectives. From the point of view of the webmaster, their site is a work of art, a deeply relevant and interesting site, and one that should definitely be listed. Editors are much more critical, and may view the site as being badly designed, lacking any interesting content and irrelevant.

Another typical webmaster/editor POV difference is that the webmaster things that their site should be listed because "it's just like several other sites that have already been listed". The editor will think that the site should NOT be listed for exactly the same reason.

Often this leads to accusations of bias and unfair play.. in reality, most of the time the problem is that the webmaster and editor see the site from a completely different perspective.


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