GroupThink: Is It Too Late to Save DMOZ?

Filed in Directories by Matt McGee on October 6, 2008 10 Comments

GroupThink is where I turn the blog post over to you.

DMOZ logoDMOZ, AKA the Open Directory Project, has long been thought to be dead by most of the SEO community. “Submit and forget about it” is the common advice we’ve been giving out for a couple years now; obsessing over getting that trusted directory link just isn’t worth it. Worse, just last week Google dropped a part of their webmaster guidelines that recommended getting a link from DMOZ (and Yahoo).

But there may be life yet in DMOZ. Just last week, a post on the DMOZ blog hints that big upgrades are coming soon:

What does AOL have planned for DMOZ in the near future?
While it’s not quite ready for its prime-time debut, we can tell you that we’re actively working on an all-new DMOZ that incorporates an updated UI and an overhauled back-end infrastructure.

So, I’ll pose the question to you (those of you who aren’t busy at SMX East): Is it too late to save DMOZ? Can the Open Directory be revived and become more than just a “submit and forget it” link target?

Comments are open!

Comments (10)

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  1. Gyutae Park says:

    dmoz is toast, not only because it is poorly managedbut also because the way people are searching for information is changing. I mean come on, who still uses a directory to look for relevant info?

  2. Ryan Rose says:


    Going to have to agree that dmoz is toast. Gyutae hit the nail on the head. I can’t remember the last time I used a directory like dmoz to search for anything.

  3. A nice effort if it actually comes to pass but a bit too late in my opinion, not only for search marketers who wish to get sites listed in DMOZ but searchers. Who uses directories to search anymore nayway?

  4. Matt McGee says:

    So you guys are saying there’s NOTHING they can do at this point to save DMOZ? I agree with you that few people are going to directories to search. But what about the marketing aspect of it?

    That blog post says they had about 29k unique visitors PER DAY in August — do you not believe the number, or you think it just doesn’t matter at this point?

  5. MiriamEllis says:

    Well, now, this is the day for DMOZ news. What with Google removing them from their webmaster guidelines, I too an left wondering if DMOZ has a future, Matt.

  6. Miriam: the guidelines used to say, “Submit your site to relevant directories such as the Open Directory Project and Yahoo!” so (as Matt already pointed out) both ODP *and* Yahoo! have been “removed” –do you wonder “if Yahoo! has a future” as well? 😉

    Matt: when searching for topics that attract *lots* of spam, using ODP can (still) be very useful IMO!

  7. Feydakin says:

    I’m not sure than any architecture change would be successful without some personnel changes to go with them.. There is a certain amount of politics that simply can’t be overcome.. Webmasters being told their sites will never be listed regardless of the value of the site for one..

    The cliqueish attitude for another.. For a while you couldn’t post any negative thread about DMOZ anywhere without drawing one or more DMOZers out of the woodwork to argue with you about your opinion.. etc etc etc..

    I’m sure that the people that have been there for a long time feel that DMOZ is “theirs”, but while they use the “open” name, it seems like an awfully closed society..

  8. Inmuebles says:

    Problem with this kind of directories is, the editors are human beings, and humans tend to be corrupt. I was once offered a link in DMOZ for 200 bucks. What a joke…

  9. Eddie Baki says:

    Human Efforts trying to encompass the whole Internet such as Mahalo, DMOZ and those countless B2B Directories trying to make a buck etc are bound to fail – alone by failing to get any substantial critical mass of content

    Add to that the lack of page indexing, the above mentioned fact that no one searches through a directory, and hardly anyone knows dmoz aka open directory or its url; It is quite clear that dmoz is not relevant anymore, regardless of UI and Technical details they’re endowing it with.

    No Relevance = No decent Google rank for sites in dmoz in the long term.

    That is the marketing angle to dmoz

  10. Robin Dale says:

    I totally agree, that Dmoz is very poor in managing the submissions, but we should not forget that Dmoz is the directory which provides search results to many of the major search engines.

    And, i don’t think that it does not accept the submissions. If you submit your site in the proper category with proper details, no keyword stuffing in the title. It will definitely get approve. You will need to keep patience till it get approve. Also, you can ask them the status of your submission by mailing the editor of that category that you can find at the bottom of that category.

    You can find more details on my blog about the proper way to submit on Dmoz.

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