Captured Technology

The DMOZ Debate: Is A Listing Still Worth It?

Mar 11 2011

But that is exactly what you get from all other directories, right? Well, yes, that is true. But DMOZ also offered a lot of link juice. With a page rank of 8, it was one of the highest authority sites you could get a link from.

A DMOZ listing practically guaranteed at least a PR 4 for your site. Google loved DMOZ, so SEO professionals and web site creators loved DMOZ as well.

Over the years, though, there have been a lot of discussions centering on whether or not DMOZ has lost its teeth. First came the complaints that site submissions were slow to get included into the directory, with some sites taking up to seven years before finally seeing the light of day on a DMOZ page. This led to accusations of biased DMOZ editors and, at its worst, paid hacks or corrupt DMOZ editors. Suddenly, “simple and straight-forward” were taken out of the equation, while “free” is now questionable.

Then came the claims that Google has devalued directories, including Yahoo Directories (no surprise there) and DMOZ (GASP!), in its algorithms. Nobody seemed to lament the effect of the downgrade on Yahoo Directory, which offered you a link for $299 yearly ($600 if you own an adult -- Read: PORN --site), but everyone went crazy over the thought of devalued links from DMOZ.

And now, there's the discussion of new DMOZ links not showing up on Open Site Explorer, and how, if your categories go deeper, your links just do not get indexed by search engines anymore. That is on top of the decreasing page rank as your category goes deeper. In other words, in finding the right category for your site, you end up in a low PR DMOZ page, and you won't even get indexed for the trouble. And because you are buried deep into DMOZ, it's uncertain if people would find your listing.

In short, these people are saying that a listing in DMOZ is just not worth it anymore.

So, is DMOZ ready for the SEO trash bin?

We think not. Remember that a link that goes into your site is good for two things: link juice and organic traffic. Having your site listed on DMOZ puts you on a page where your competitors are found, and, if for anything, that is still worth the effort.

More importantly, DMOZ remains to be an authoritative site. It still makes sense to have a listing with a PR 8 site.

If you are going to submit, though, remember that DMOZ is moderated by live editors. Your site has to pass their individual standards, on top of conforming to DMOZ's site submission guidelines. So if you want to practically ensure your site's inclusion to the directory, you must first select the best category for your site, take a look at what the sites already included in the directory have done, make sure your site is worth the inclusion, take a look at the site's FAQ and submission guidelines, and pray that the editor is in a good mood when your URL comes up for him or her to review.

Chris Barnwell has successfully submitted numerous client sites to high quality directories such as DMOZ.org.  Working for SEO Inc., he has seen various changes in the search engine optimization landscape throughout the years.

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