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What would be the overall effect to you, if Yahoo told Google to dump the ODP as part of a new contract provision?
I think it perfectly reasonable for Yahoo to require this and now you've brought it up Brett, quite likely.
The really worrying question is how Google will handle the DMOZ links in this case.
How would they factor DMOZ links in the PR equation, 'the same', 'less' or 'no value at all'.
Presumably the boost from the Google Directory would vanish, leaving just the normal PR value of the DMOZ link.
If so, this is pretty worrying, but it could be worse.
nutsandbolts, is that a bottle of whisky for each of us?
Although I admire the layout of the ODP (its open source, worldy, free type approach), Yahoo! at least gets me listed quickly and exposes me to good traffic.
Just seems like ODP is always lagging a little behind, dragging its heels to keep up with the times. Then again, it won't prove a success if big fistycuff companies like Yahoo! force google to give it the boot!
(edited by: lazerzubb at 10:55 am (utc) on May 20, 2002)
The other problem is that Y!'s directory is just too small.
Obviously ODP needs a lot of tightening up. If I were Google I would wait until AOL lets it molder to the point of collapse and then buy ODP at rummage sale prices. AOL's online unit is still bleeding red ink.
(Like Bertalsmann just did with Napster.)
The possibility could be that Google will replace the DMOZ directory with the Yahoo directory.
It could be a pity, especiallly for new sites, since DMOZ is still free; for Yahoo.com there is an annual fee.
On the other hand I would not be suprised if Google will need ODP´s category descriptions as a frame base for that function.
Personally I would bet Google will never drop ODP for something inferior as Yahoo. They have never done that in the past.
The only time they will drop ODP will be when Google has figured out a superior computerised version of it.
By switcing directory.google.com and using Yahoo! descriptions in the Google SERPs, Yahoo!'s webmaster income would surely increase. There's also a profile benefit for Yahoo! from the association (oh how roles reverse...).
Does the AOL/Netscape/ODP relationship come into this? I guess that AOL wouldn't care much, they just want a decent search for their paying customers.
I have had sites gain PR5 simply by the DMOZ listing !
If Google switched to using Yahoo dir listings instead how would Y! calculated relevance ? ( there was a thread on how Google PR was affecting Y! SERP's a while ago I beleive but I cant find it now)
If I were AOL, I would have REQUIRED the ODP to continue on Google as part of any agreement.
For me, if Google drops the ODP, I would lose some respect for them. The ODP is one of the things that keeps Google clean and within the playing field of thier mission statement.
Dropping an "informational" directory (with all its faults) in favour of a commercial one, would obviously disprove this theory pretty fast.
IMO, much of Googles success comes from working "outside the box", particularly in eschewing commercial decisions adopted at their cost, by the also-rans.
In other words, I'll worry about Google dropping the directory when it happens... ;)
Obviously the commercial implications will have a large bearing on the outcome, but I can't see Google being held over a barrel by Yahoo when they have so many other search partners to fall back on.
The ODP need to get everything in check otherwise Google may use the "Yahoo told us to drop you" line instead of the "some of your editors are selfish" one.
Personally, I'd be pleased to see someone go head to head with Google and offer a real alternative (I'd prefer it to be someone other than Yahoo! but if that's the best we can get then so be it). Competitive arenas call for innovative ideas, we need search engines to be on their toes.
As for Google's credibility, I don't think it depends even one iota on whether Google uses ODP data in its directory. Very few users know or care where the Google directory data comes from. All they care about is whether they get accurate results when they type a string into the search window.