- Aug. 30th, 2006
- 21 comments
I had to write about it eventually. DMOZ is a horribly corrupt, flawed system. Personally, I hope it goes away. With the evaporation in importance of the Yahoo! Directory and the closure of Zeal, the writing on the wall is no longer just writing. It's happening. And with AOL running it, you may also wonder why your password hasn't been released for academic research on passwords.
That said, many SEOs are still a bit DMOZ-obsessed. Even if the pages themselves drive zero traffic, the links, for reasons I do not entirely understand still do carry a disproportionate amount of link-equity. Personally, I think this trend of their importance is downward. The directory pages themselves have large amounts of outgoing links, sparse copy, and look a lot like, well, directory pages. I doubt LinkMetro links carry much weight, either. Regardless, here are my thoughts:
1. Read the anal-retentive guidelines. They're totally silly, and some of the editors observe them like cult-members, but the dogma can work to your advantage, as most submitters do not read them. I'm an editor, and I don't reject listings for obscure reasons; but then again, I've never been a devout member of a cult. Wait 6 months — patiently.
One thing: Don't put any fluff in the description. Pretend you don't like your site that much, and you are totally disaffected. Pointless fluff and hype really ticks off editors (even me).
2. If that doesn't work, become an editor for a category like this one. Edit it for awhile responsibly, and then request a new category. Remember to read the anal-retentive guidelines. Pretend you're a devout cult member. For example, when you apply for the new category, never suggest 2 sites from the same author to a category — even if they are entirely different with 0% content-overlap. In fact, if you do that, they will reject you because L. Ron DMOZ dictates The Law as such.
When you're an editor, remember that even if there is nothing to do in your category, they will disable your account for not maintaining the category after four months. That means you should spend time changing capitalization and punctuation for no reason at all once a month or so.
Note: I have actually been rejected for suggesting 2 totally different sites by the same author to a category with broken links. I actually wanted to edit the category. Apparently DMOZ values the laws of L. Ron DMOZ so much that they fail to apply logic to their decisions. Or they just really like broken links in their directory. I also keep getting booted for not editing a totally mature category that requires few edits.
3. If all of the above fails, you may just want to talk to this guy. Maybe that will work:
I feel DMOZ will become completely obsolete over time. But these tips may help before the second coming, where Jesus presumably edits all categories with honesty and promptness. I've gotten a few things listed in the meantime
Update: BizMord brought up in the comments that getting a DMOZ listing can also actually hurt your SERP-relevence by causing the DMOZ description to be presented instead of the search engine's excerpted comment. He says this calls into question whether you even want a DMOZ listing. This is an interesting point. Supposedly, Google only presents the DMOZ information when its relevance calculations indicate that it is more relevant than the excerpted content. Unfortunately, regardless of relevance, a directory listing may not have a good call to action. To address that concern, you may use the following tag to turn off DMOZ in most of the major search engines:
<meta name="robots" content="noodp">
This echos the same thing that Jill Whalen has been saying regarding Yahoo directory listings for awhile, and what Barry Schwartz recently requested of Yahoo! directory listings. I see it as a trend. Everyone bought in to directories for awhile — even Google did with the "Google Directory." But now directories are just flat out obsolete. And I'm not even sure they can be trusted anymore. So just submit and stick with suggestion 3 if all else fails.