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in Websites - 07 Jul, 2012
by Tech Journalist - one comment
Why Submit to Dmoz, listing on Dmoz influence, and the Google Dmoz relation

Why Submit to Dmoz, listing on Dmoz influence, and the Google Dmoz directory

This will be the first of several articles we will write about dmoz, the value submitting and getting accepted.

For those not familiar with Dmoz,  here’s a small history of the directory:

ODP is the most popular web directory, in the early days of the internet it was with yahoo directory the 2 main internet directories;  Dmoz  was founded in 1998 as Gnuhoo, the Free Software Foundation objected to the use of Gnu. So Gnuhoo was changed to NewHoo.  NewHoo was acquired by Netscape Communications  later in 1998 and became the Open Directory Project (ODP). Netscape released the ODP data under the Open Directory License. Netscape was acquired by AOL shortly thereafter and ODP was one of the assets included in the acquisition. AOL later merged with Time-Warner.

Dmoz influence:

In the 2002 -2005 Dmoz had a huge influence in websites ranking (held almost 75% of the sites in 2003),  in 2006-2011 Dmoz directory had a big influence on websites ranking because, the main Search engine Google had a copy (mirror) directory on it’s own page: http://www.google.com/dirhp ; or directory.google.com  with a PR 10, and thus every website in the ODP had also a link from google domain, and thus gave the links from the ODP a big importance!

Google Dmoz directory

Google decided to terminate the Google Open directory in 2011,  so links on the Dmoz directory are no longer duplicated on Google domain and thus , the link Juice is reduced alot, sure many directories use the ODP data, but these directories are usually kind of banned or ignored by google because it considers them duplicate content, So since 2011 a link in the ODP is not worth more than a link on an equal PR page! On any other website.


Here’s a video from google explaining the new relation with Dmoz:

In a Video response to a user question: “What role does being in DMOZ play in rankings? I see some website in my niche ranked No. 1 and the only reason is because they are in DMOZ as their content is at best poor. Getting into DMOZ is impossible nowadays, so why does Google still use it?”

“It’s hard to tell sometimes why a site is ranking,” .. “Historically, Google has the link: operator, which returns the backlinks or some subset of backlinks to people, but we don’t show every single backlink that we know of in response to link: because we show that more on the Webmaster Tools side. You can see your own backlinks, but we don’t give a full list of all the backlinks to the people who would compete with you, and I think that that’s a pretty good balance overall.”

“So just because if you do link: you might see a link from DMOZ, and as a result think that’s why it’s ranking, it could be that there are other links,” he says. “High quality links that you aren’t seeing – that are coming from CNN, New York Times or something like that, so don’t just automatically infer from looking at the backlinks that you have either from Google or from Yahoo or even a third-party tool that that’s really all the links or all the links that Google trusts or anything like that.”

“DMOZ has been really great in terms of being a really good resource for people, but it is starting to show its age a little bit so there’s two or three sort of updates I can give you on how Google thinks about DMOZ, and how it treats the Open Directory Project,” he says. “There was a version of the Open Directory that Google had – the Google Open Directory or something like that – which would take Open Directory data and add value by sorting the stuff by PageRank, and not as many people were using that, so even though it was one of the first things we introduced (other than straight web search), I think recently we took steps to sort of turn that off.”

“It might still remain in a few properties, for example, in some Asian countries, it’s a little slower to type so it might be a little faster to browse through a directory so we don’t promise we’ve turned that off everywhere, but we have turned it off for a lot of different Google properties,” he says.

Cutts then discusses how Google will sometimes use DMOZ to fill in snippets in search results from time to time. We’ve discussed this at WebProNews in the past. Google will use the snippets created by DMOZ editors that tell it what a page is when they otherwise can’t see it, like if it’s blocked with robots.txt, for example.

According to Cutts, Google has been testing whether or not to even continue doing this, and says it’s too early to say whether this practice will remain in place or not.

“The last thing to know about DMOZ is that it’s not the case that there’s some special boost or some kind of reward for being in DMOZ,” says Cutts. “A link from DMOZ is worth the same as a link from anywhere else. It’s just the Open Directory tends to have a little bit higher PageRank. So as a result, a link from DMOZ might carry a little more PageRank, but if you get a link from a very highly reputable source…that can easily carry just as much or more PageRank than getting a link in the Open Directory Project.”