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If, for example, I search for "computers" from the DMOZ homepage, I get "Kristy's Desktop Creations for Kids!" (located in Kids and Teens: Computers), then "Computer Auctions & Resources by PCBuyer" (located in Shopping: Auctions: Computers), etc and so on.
So how does DMOZ decide who to list first? Some categories contain hundreds of entries, yet it seems one random site get's first listing. Is there a method to the madness?
First, you should be aware that the DMOZ site itself is not as important as the "downstream" licensees, AOL, Netscape, etc., since most consumers use the licensees instead of DMOZ.
The search function was made primarily for editors, as opposed to searchers, and is very -- um -- flakey. For instance, there was a time not long ago when a search for "jewelry" brought up nothing but FBI listings.
I will leave it to non-ODP editors to speculate as to how it is supposed to work. Not that editors have any "insider information," but it might give that appearance if I posted my own beliefs. :(