Whinging about DMOZ

Most webmasters with a website want to try and promote it. One way for a website to do better in the search engines such as Google is to have other websites link to it. This is considered a vote of confidence telling the search engines that the website might be good and worthy of ranking higher in the search results. A lot also depends on what website the link comes from, in that if the link comes from a more important website, then that link might tell a lot more to the search engine about importance of the website that it is linking to.

One website that historically has been a place to get a link from is a listing in DMOZ or the Open Directory Project which is a directory that lists over 5 million websites in over half a million categories. It is owned by AOL and is run by volunteers. The volunteer editors find websites on the web to add as well as consider suggestions made by the public. Not all websites get listed and there are probably more websites being created everyday than there are editor man-hours to even come close to reviewing them all. This means that backlog of websites is forever going to grow. The directory model of the web is probably somewhat dated now as the search engines have got so much better at finding things.

In the past it was widely considered that having a website listed in DMOZ would help it rank higher in the search engines as DMOZ was considered an authority site of some importance. It is probably not as important today, if at all. This meant that website owners were (and some still are) desperate to get their website listed there. As a result, webmaster forums were full of disgruntled webmasters constantly whinging about not being able to get a listing in DMOZ. All sorts of nonsensical allegations were made about corruption, cronyism, favoritism and a whole lot of other things going on at DMOZ as competitor website were listed and my website isn’t! DMOZ was widely condemned, mainly because their site was not listed. There were even threats of legal action because a competitor’s site was listed and they weren’t! It went on and on. If a myth was repeated enough times, it became fact in the minds of so many who wanted to believe how bad DMOZ was. Critics looked for any little thing to condemn DMOZ on.

DMOZ is DMOZ, they are perfectly entitled to run their website how they like. They owe no one anything. They have no obligation to any website to list it or not. Website owners cannot demand that DMOZ should be run the way they want it to be run. DMOZ should be run the way DMOZ wants to run itself. We all have that same right with our own websites. I can put links on my website to whoever I please and remove it whenever I please. Why should DMOZ be treated any differently?

If you want your website listed in DMOZ, then just follow all the good advice available and ignore the whingers. You may or may not get listed eventually. There is not a lot you can do about it. Its out of your control, so do not waste anything more than suggest your website once.