As of March 14, 2017, Dmoz.org, the Open Directory Project, will no longer be available. The word on the street is: DMOZ shutting down. If you go to the site’s home page, you’ll see the message from the editors:
As of Mar 14, 2017 dmoz.org will no longer be available.
This truly is the end of an era, where human editors were heavily involved in the editing of the web. If your website didn’t have a DMOZ.org listing, approved by a human editor, then it was VERY difficult to get a top search engine ranking at several of the major search engines, including Google. In fact, Google used to put a lot of weight into the human-edited directory DMOZ, so much so that you essentially got the “green light” to rank well if you had a listing.
As a result of Google liking DMOZ so much, they even had their own copy of the site, the Google Directory (which has been taken down, as well, a few years ago). We also had the Yahoo! Directory, which again was highly sought after by SEOs for listings. So much so, that there were several devious things that SEOs would do in order to get a better search engine ranking (and a listing):
– Crawl DMOZ and look for broken links. If you found a link or a listing, sometimes the domain name would be available for registration–and you could purchase the domain name. I remember a time when I would crawl DMOZ and then purchase domain names to either redirect to a current site for the link and trust value, or just to build a site on the domain.
– There were services you could pay for (SEO tools) that would tell you about domain names that were listed in DMOZ. You could then pick up those domain names or sites and redirect them for links and trust value.
– DMOZ finally caught onto the fact that SEOs were gaming their directory for links, so they got increasingly good at making sure each site listed in the directory went to a real live website.
– You could pay DMOZ editors to get a listing.
– One directory editor told me how to get a listing fast: submit it to his category and then he would recategorize it into the right category. That was an SEO guy who was a DMOZ editor.
– The fastest way to get a listing would be to submit to the local category for your city. So, if you were in Dallas, then submit to the Dallas real estate section if the site is a real estate site.
What’s sad here is that we’re now in an era where AI and other computers are now categorizing and approving websites. It’s no longer a volunteer-editor driven web world. Now, only a search engine algorithm decides whether or not a site is trusted. It used to be that a human approved a site, and a search engine trusted that human’s opinion. No longer.
DMOZ is Shutting Down.
On March 13, 2017 DMOZ should just approve all submissions. Especially those that have been waiting 7+ years to get their site approved.