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DMOZ is Dead

DMOZ is the Internet’s largest human edited directory. But the giant is dead long time back. It is quite ridiculous to think why Google still gives so much importance to the DMOZ listing when it is filled with broken, duplicate and promotional links.

The multilingual open content directory owned by Netscape is DMOZ Open Directory Projectmaintained by a large community of volunteering editors. However, there have been huge delays and flaws in approving links. Some webmasters have tried for years in vain to have their genuine websites listed. Visit some DMOZ categories in random and you can find that almost half of the listed links are broken or contain some unprofessional disorganized sites. How can an editor approve these sites but not allow genuine professional sites even if the correct category is chosen? So does this mean:

  1. The volunteering editors give favoritism
  2. Some of the editors are also search engine experts who try to have his/her client websites alone listed.
  3. The editor can also reject a site if he/she finds the site to be their personal site competitor.

The above possibilities cannot be ruled out. Yes, there are a large number of editors who practice the ones above. Any webmaster would accept the claim.Reasons for DMOZ being dead include:

  1. A large number of broken links. Don’t editors check these old links in the categories they maintain?
  2. Multiple submissions. Thousands of websites have multiple listings on DMOZ when DMOZ guidelines clearly states one URL per domain. How did the editors approve? Do they not find out if it was already submitted before approving it?
  3. Large number of promotional sites with promotional words listed. Again, this is against DMOZ guidelines. How come these are approved by editors when we hear stories from webmasters that their genuine websites are not being approved for years?
  4. Editor selection is weird. Existing editors’ come up with weird reasons to reject your application for becoming an Open Directory editor. Interested volunteers have reported that they have been rejected even after following all the rules and guidelines. The rejection mail states no specific reason for rejection.

With internet technology growing in a fast phase, users demand updates every second. DMOZ is old and outdated and does not fit the new internet trend. DMOZ has been killed by slow and greedy editors. It is high time DMOZ goes for a paid editor strategy or a paid & reviewed listing like Yahoo. It is even funny to see Google still giving all the importance to DMOZ by having DMOZ database as the Google Directory.Rumors are that DMOZ might soon be sold to and made into a paid directory. Let’s wait and watch the things which will unfold.

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16 Responses to DMOZ is Dead

  1. Mordant March 19, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

    I submitted a correctly and completely filled out application and was rejected within 24 hours using the generic message. If DMOZ needs editors so desperately, and they are not interested in someone with nearly 30 years of experience in the subject matter, a published author, who was not promoting his own sites, then I think you put those two facts together and you have a pretty good explanation of what their systemic problem is. They definitely should not take just anyone, but I gave them lots of reasons to accept me and none to turn me down. Plus, they desperately need editing on the page I offered to honcho, which had many off-topic and not very useful URLs — plus not nearly as many as would be needed to comprehensively cover the topic.

    It is arrogant to be that picky when you’re soliciting uncompensated volunteer labor. They should take any experienced and intelligent person on at least a trial basis, one would think.

    This reminds me of the one time I spent 30 minutes of my life I’ll never get back updating a Wikipedia article on which I’m a subject matter expert. It was not an extensive or controversial change and it brought much-needed balance to the piece. The next day the article had been 100% rewritten and replaced, and was even more deficient and parochial than the original. I could see a critique of my changes, or some edits to my edits, but a complete toss-pot replacement?! That was incredibly disrespectful to both myself and the person who wrote the original article. Why would anyone in their right mind devote conscientious time and effort to something in which their output could even potentially be unilaterally and without any kind of feedback, ditched?

    Guess how many more times I made any effort towards Wikipedia? You’re right — exactly zero. Same deal here.

  2. Paul April 8, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

    I submitted 5 websites during 18 months. No reaction and none got listed.

    My competitors are listed long time already so they get high google-results. This is unequal !

  3. Name withheld December 29, 2010 at 12:18 pm #

    DMOZ is most certainly corrupt; however, it is not clear whether it is truly dead because Google still seems to place a degree of value on websites that are listed in the directory.

    My experience with DMOZ.

    I am the author of a website that is the highest ranked in its niche. The website has tens of thousands of words of quality, unique content. It enjoys hundreds of visitors a day from most of the english speaking countries around the world. To put it into perspective, it often outranks the corresponding Wikipedia article (they continually jockey between search results 1 and 2 for all relevant keywords).

    I submitted my website to the corresponding DMOZ category over two years ago and the website has still not been included in the DMOZ category. I have two theories to explain this: 1) the category is not being looked after by an editor, 2) the editor has ulterior motives.

    Given the fact that an increasing number of online stores that are somewhat related to the category have been added, whereas my free resource (that does not monetize its content) has not been added, I am inclined to believe that the latter is at play here.

    My story is not unique; it is also endemic of the problems that plague DMOZ.

    The problem I have illustrated is emblematic of the corruption at the heart of DMOZ. Giving editors the power to add or remove websites at will is inherently problematic because it plays a huge degree of control in the hands of an (often) unqualified minority. It also violates many of the principles of an open internet because it puts the power of DMOZ in the hands of an oligarchical editorship.

    The real problem, however, is not DMOZ. DMOZ is systemically corrupt because it is a closed-source enterprise that governs a wide-range of content. The real problem is that Google still places some measure of value on DMOZ. Google ought to both devalue DMOZ listings in its ranking algorithm and disincentivize webmasters from using the service.

  4. Katie @ Women Magazie December 28, 2010 at 12:07 am #

    I have tried adding my site more than 3 times in last 2 years but it was not included in the directory, something is fishy for sure.

  5. Candy December 5, 2010 at 2:05 am #

    I think they don’t accept site with adsense in it. You’d better make your site without adsense before submitting to DMOZ. After they approve, you can add it back!

  6. David October 27, 2010 at 6:18 am #

    In June I submitted five different sites, all valid and good and above-the-board proper sites in various different fields, to DMOZ. As of today, only one has been accepted. DMOZ is dead, dead, dead, for all practical intents and purposes. One or two of my submissions not being accepted could be explained if editors have vested interests, which would be bad, though two are so neutral that there is no valid explanation other than to say editing is non-existent.

  7. Mike August 3, 2010 at 10:10 am #

    the strange thing is that google still put some weight to DMOZ. I have submitted 2 site 2 years ago and no one is listed, although they have a great value. i truly believe that DMOZ editors are paid to list the websites.

  8. dmoz is a fraud May 6, 2010 at 3:48 pm #

    dmoz is a complete fraud. Shame on all of you “editors”.

  9. David December 9, 2009 at 5:57 pm #

    DMOZ is complete crap. I’ve had people who claim to be editors ask me to pay them for my listing. I’ve heard of some people that have gotten paid for it. Can’t believe Google still has it around as a viable SEO solution. I’ve tried for 5 years to get my software site into it and it’s been rejected each time. I’m not paying to have it put in because it’s wrong and the DMOZ needs to go away. It’s gay just like the editors that play God in it!

  10. Pete November 30, 2009 at 12:49 am #

    Maybe not dead, but it doesn’t matter much anymore. maybe back 10 years ago DMOZ was “important”. not anymore. Goog wemaster tools at one point even suggested to list on DMOZ, but not the case anymore. infact, google doesnt really recommend sumitting directories anymore.

  11. Jeff July 8, 2009 at 10:16 pm #

    I didn’t even realize they still existed until I heard DMOZ listings improve a website’s SEO. Frankly, prior to my SEO effort a few months ago, I hadn’t seen a web directory since Yahoo removed their directory from their homepage, i.e. 1997-ish. I have serious trouble believing Google still relies upon DMOZ anymore. DMOZ really needs to let go of the reins and change it so submissions are automatically accepted and deleted after the fact if necessary. I do believe directories could work, but they need to be more comprehensive and the only way that will happen is if they open editing wikipedia-style.

  12. Code4Gold March 21, 2009 at 9:44 am #

    Isn’t it strange that any time somebody either blogs about DMOZ or posts a forum thread about DMOZ being dead, one of the DMOZ editors mysteriously appears to offer lengthy reasons as to why DMOZ is still viable? Webmasters only wish they could be so prompt in approving sites.

  13. Tom January 11, 2009 at 1:01 pm #

    Same problem here . Not any website accepted for more then a year !

  14. Joe Carter October 3, 2008 at 3:33 pm #

    I am not able to add my website for more than a year. I have submitted atleast a dozen times. Dmoz is dead and thats what Robert says too

  15. Danny Sam September 22, 2008 at 9:50 pm #

    Robert, glad to have you here. Thanks for the time in responding in detail.

    But do you still think that Google should give the juice for a link in DMOZ?

    Do you think that a paid review listing with paid editors like Yahoo Dir be the best solution for DMOZ?

  16. Robert Whittaker September 22, 2008 at 1:05 pm #

    I’m a volunteer ODP editor, and I thought I’ve give an unofficial reply to some of the points that you raise.

    Unfortunately, there’s not a lot we can do about the number of editors available to help build and maintain the directory. All the editors are volunteers, so help out by donating as little or as much of their free time as they feel able.

    There are currently just under 6000 active editors, while there are about 600,000 categories and over 5.5 million site listings. You’ll have to guess how many suggestions we get, since that’s not public information. But I’m sure you can do the math, and conclude that there are bound to be some areas that don’t get as much editorial attention as they could do with. While letting more people become editors would seem like an easy solution, we have to avoid the types 2 and 3 you list as much as possible, and also ensure that those we accept won’t be a drain on resources requiring constant supervision and clearing up after their mistakes.

    Now on the the four specific issues you raise:

    1/ Any broken links that can be automatically detected are already dealt with automatically. Though we prefer to leave them listed for a week or so in case it’s only a temporary problem. Unfortunately many problems can’t be reliable picked up automatically, and so require manual inspection from an editor. This takes precious resources away from other areas. However, if you spot any problem listings, please help us find and deal with them, either by using the “update listing” link on the category page, or by reporting them in the thread at the top of

    2/ The editing system does indeed show when a URL is already listed. But you’re misreading the guidelines here. What is not permitted is for a site owner to suggest their site more than once (not that this stops them). Editors are perfectly allowed to list a suggested site more than once, in accordance with the editing guidelines. For details see

    3/ I’m not sure whether you’re referring to promotional words in the ODP title and/or description, or to the content of the site itself. The latter is not a problem provided the site otherwise meets our site selection criteria at . However, if you spot any listings that don’t meet these criteria, or whose titles and/or descriptions don’t comply with the editing style guidelines at then please let us know by either of the mechanisms mentioned in 1/ above. Editors can make mistakes, and both websites and our guidelines can change over time.

    4/ Every rejection message either includes a specific reason or a list of common reasons. If there are no specific comments then one of the common reasons will apply. Being able to follow instructions, work independently, and critically evaluate your own work are all vital skills for an editor to possess. Since re-applications are generally encouraged, you should think of the task of working out and correcting the mistakes from previous applications as part of the application process. If a potential editor can figure it out, then that’s a good demonstration of essential skills. If he/she can’t, well then they probably wouldn’t make a very good editor.

    Finally, with regard to the rumours about BOTW, you do know where they originated don’t you? I wouldn’t believe everything that you read on the web…

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