Websynn Internet and Tech Blog

4Jun/112

DMOZ is dead – Why DMOZ is corrupt

It used to be that DMOZ was the end all directory that everyone wanted to have their site listed in. Being in DMOZ meant your site passed a human review, noted as not being spam and contained some quality content or material. Google even encouraged people to list their site in DMOZ, because if you were listed in DMOZ it gave Google a clear signal that your site passed the human test.

As DMOZ became more popular, they started to take on more and more editors to help them sort through all of the submissions they get on a daily basis. The editors would pick quality sites, and drop the low quality sites from the directory. Seemed like a great idea.

I have many sites, and about two weeks ago I submitted one of my sites to DMOZ. It's been years since any of my sites were actually approved by DMOZ. It's not because any of my sites are low quality, but because DMOZ never even checked my sites! I know this because I specifically track when dmoz.org comes in as a referrer. For those who don't know, DMOZ has a control panel that their editors log in to. This control panel is located in www.dmoz.org/editors. When they see URLs they need to approve, the referrer comes in as:

www.dmoz.org/editors/editunrev/listurl?cat=

After the cat=, is the category that you submitted your site to.

So let's say you submitted your site to this directory: /Arts/Movies/Genres/Sports/Baseball/

The referrer to your site would be:

www.dmoz.org/editors/editunrev/listurl?cat=Arts/Movies/Genres/Sports/Baseball

They click on the URL to look at your site, and determine if they want it added into the index or not. The editor then selects yes or not, and then they go on to the next site.

Well, here is where it gets interesting... after submitting one of my sites two weeks ago, I checked my logs today, and noticed that I got a referrer from DMOZ! I was excited to see someone actually looked at my site. Now here is where my blood started to boil. The IP for the editor was a competitor of mine!! Yes, DMOZ allows people within the SAME category to determine if you are going to appear or not. What competitor would say yes??

No wonder people are complaining left and right that no one is being added into the index. Competitors got signed up as editors, and now they are making sure no one else gets added into the index. This might not be the case for every category, but from what I saw today with my own site, and my logs, I bet it's the case for MOST of DMOZ!

People have questioned if DMOZ is dead for years. This proves that it IS. The site might be up and generating a ton of traffic from SEO's who are trying to get every possible link, but with this kind of corruption and scam, DMOZ is dead in my book.

Do you have a similar story? Post it here, so we can boycott DMOZ submissions. Maybe then the owners will listen, and drop all existing editors and start from scratch with a better background check!

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  1. If the DMOZ editors are actually doing this to their business competitors, then they are guilty of violating the U.S. federal RICO Act (Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization) and are risking criminal prosecution. They are also guilty of another federal crime: Restraint of Free Trade, also known as the Taft Hartley Antitrust Act.

  2. Interesting article. Hadn’t heard before what you were saying about competitors being able to view unapproved submissions.

    I can tell you that I have been able to get some sites listed, but others I haven’t been able no matter what I do, even while obsolete links can be found in that same category!

    Moreover, I tried complaining about this (I’ll be happy to be an editor for this category). This is the only place where I see any way to try and contact the site. And when I submit, all I get is a page with a link that says Go Back, which takes me back to the form submission page. (The page title says there was an error.)

    So for me, DMOZ is screwed up beyond repair. It’s dying a slow and painful death. I wish someone would put it out of it’s misery.



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