What’s the Deal With DMOZ?

The first step to starting a new website is adding your URL to the Open Directory Project (or DMOZ…it’s original domain name was directory.mozilla.org). DMOZ is one of the backbones of the internet. Getting your website into this PR 9 directory means being listed and categorized into the web’s largest portals, including Netscape Search, AOL Search, Google, and Alexa.

DMOZ Delays

The Open Directory Project is written and run by volunteer editors, much like Wikipedia. As a Wikipedian, I am immediately sympathetic to the challenges DMOZ faces, and the often thankless work of the volunteer editors who typically approve some 20,000 new URL’s per month.

Between October and December of 2006, DMOZ servers experienced a catostrophic crash. This took technicians until February 23rd, 2007 to sort out.

In the meantime, the internet is filled with disgruntled webmaster discussions about how it now takes over a year to get listed in DMOZ.

How Can We Help?

The first thing to keep in mind is that unpaid editors around the world are working pretty hard at an unglamorous job so we internet users can find our websites. Zach submitted ValueWiki.com to DMOZ in August 2006, and we are still patiently waiting. It is a bit frustrating to be 55,072 on Alexa, and still not be listed in Alexa’s directory. And 8 months is a good wait when the DMOZ FAQ claims the waiting process may be “2 weeks or more” (although in fairness, I suppose this is accurate).

Become an Editor

If you want to become a part of the solution, you can become a DMOZ editor. This is a pure act of open-source internet altruism. There are no time requirements, and you can think of it as your monthly internet Karma shot.

For what it’s worth, think of the power a DMOZ editor weilds, as sites like ValueWiki patiently wait in the balance. There are rumors of sites taking major search engine page ranking boosts just by being listed in DMOZ. So DMOZ continues to be an integral right of passage in a new website’s development.

Open Source Internet

I am not sure how much the general public is aware the internet runs on open source projects. Personally, I am still learning more about this every day. I expect to blog more about this in the coming weeks.

Update: For what it’s worth, as I write this, 55% of poll responders on Digital Point Forums will sign a petition asking Google to stop using DMOZ.


5 Responses to What’s the Deal With DMOZ?

  1. anon says:

    Hi Jon
    I have replied your mail some days ago.
    You didn’t revice my mail or you lost your interest?

  2. anon says:

    sorry for that.
    I have found your response
    but in “spam” directory
    I seems that our email title is not a good title.

  3. Jon says:

    Still interested and will send email to your spam folder again soon!


  4. penguinsoftheserengeti says:

    It is not essential to be listed in DMOZ. This was true in 2002, but it is not true in 2007.

    Google hasn’t refreshed its clone of DMOZ in two years. That’s a hint.

    DMOZ links are not valuable. In fact, they might have no value at all.

    There are plenty of sites that have been listed in DMOZ for over 2 years, and have no other link. Many of these sites have ZERO PR, yet are are listed on PR5-6 DMOZ pages, that have less than 50 links. Since these sites have no other link, you can measure the value of the DMOZ link directly. The DMOZ link is not enough to upgrade a website from PR0 to PR1. That’s a very weak link, an unnaturally weak link given the high PR of the page the link sits on.

    DMOZ is viewed as so worthless by its owner, AOL, that no backups are felt to be necessary, and a 2-month outage/blackout is taken in stride.

    And Google easily renognizes DMOZ clones, and does not count these viral links in PR calculations.

  5. Adeel says:

    Please download the last version of The AdBrite Method. It’s open today only.

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