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I have read that getting your site listed in the open directory (DMOZ) can significantly help boost your site's ranking in major search engines. Is this an 'old webmaster's tale' or does it really help?

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@Kinopiko - In many places actually. I also saw a few tools that check site ranks / offer suggestions note the DMOZ status. –  Tim Post Jul 10 '10 at 16:26
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I submitted my website there many years ago, but never appeared. Reading this thread, I've tried again, but still have not appeared. Ironically I find domain squatters and credit card monkey business under the topic I submitted it to. –  delete Jul 29 '10 at 5:02
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@Kinopiko: Then report those sites. DMOZ editors take such reports VERY seriously and, when alerted to them, act quickly to remove them from the index. –  user1100 Jul 30 '10 at 13:12
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@Al - they don't seem to. I reported it via the email address listed seven days ago, but it's still there, and I received no reply. –  delete Jul 30 '10 at 13:35
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@Tim Post: Yes, the editor selection process is also broken. I followed their application process to the letter and was (eventually) refused - for unspecified reasons. I hate to sound pompous, but frankly I would have been a darn good editor - one of the reasons I applied was that I actually want DMOZ to succeed and thought I could contribute. The only advice I was given on being rejected was to keep trying. No thanks. –  boot13 Aug 2 '10 at 13:52
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5 Answers 5

up vote 28 down vote accepted

We did this (listed in DMOZ) for Stack Overflow, Server Fault and Super User.

Since then, I have noticed that the DMOZ text for Stack Overflow appears in a bunch of places.

http://search.dmoz.org/cgi-bin/search?search=stack+overflow

Open Directory Sites (1-5 of 5)

Stack Overflow - A language-independent collaboratively edited question and answer site for programmers.
-- http://stackoverflow.com/ Reference: Ask an Expert: Computers and Technology (1)

And I specifically note that our Google result summary is that exact text

http://www.google.com/#hl=en&source=hp&q=stack+overflow

Stack Overflow
A language-independent collaboratively edited question and answer site for programmers.

So I'd vote "yes", it is picked up by a bunch of directories still -- and Google.

More:
http://sites.google.com/site/jeanmanco/googleanddmoz

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We've also noticed what Jeff is talking about. A LOT of other sites use DMOZ content for their sites. So, you end up getting a lot of links out of it. Granted most of them are worthless... –  Micky McQuade Jul 11 '10 at 21:50
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For reference, if you want the DMOZ entry and backlink, but don't want the DMOZ summary as the snippet under your search results in Google, you can use the meta tag - <meta name="robots" content="NOODP"> –  Boylan Jul 11 '10 at 21:54
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How long did it take you to get listed? –  Tim Post Jul 28 '10 at 20:07
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DMOZ is really powerful platform and certainly can add rating and links in high quality. It has high page rank which could help rising the rank of every other site.

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Yes - DMOZ is a powerful link.

The thing about DMOZ is, the submission process is very easy, and free. A very high ROI for your time.

The more you agonize about getting approved, the worse the ratio of time spent vs. link value gets.

Submit it and forget it.

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Regardless of whether DMOZ is currently still useful, if they don't improve their process, it will gradually fade away and die. And I don't want to expend any energy on something so broken, no matter how easy it is to submit. –  boot13 Jul 29 '10 at 21:38
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People have been saying that for years. –  user1100 Jul 30 '10 at 13:05
    
you could make the argument that the opposite is true - every year that the DMOZ stays online, the site becomes more authoritative, and the more valuable the link becomes. Purposely avoiding the DMOZ because of an annoying submission process puts you at a competitive disadvantage –  swerdlow Jul 31 '10 at 15:00
    
I might agree with you if I hadn't spent any time actually looking at the quality and completeness of the information in DMOZ. Sure, some categories look good and are clearly maintained by editors who know their stuff. But others are seriously lacking. With no motivation to maintain quality, it's only a matter of time. The only thing keeping it alive now is the fact that the people maintaining it aren't paid. –  boot13 Aug 2 '10 at 13:44
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It's a good idea, but be prepared for a frustrating process.

From the perspective of a web site submitter, once a site has been submitted, it goes into a mysterious black hole. The only way to know that anything has happened with the submission is if it shows up in the DMOZ index, and that can take years. The submitter agonizes over this during the months after the submission. He wonders: Did I submit the site properly? Was there a technical issue with the submission form? Did some technical glitch occur after that? Did some human error occur in the process? Did it get lost in the shuffle? Did the topic editor die? Is he just sitting on a backlog of submissions? Was it rejected for some specific reason? If so, what was that reason? I know I could fix it if only I knew what the problem was! Was the site approved but somehow after that it got lost in the shuffle? Was there some other kind of technical glitch that caused it to get lost even after approval? And so on. The point is that if the site never appears in DMOZ, anyone who submits a site can only see a future of daily checking DMOZ and then sadly realizing that the site still isn't there. But maybe, just maybe, it will be there tomorrow.

I got into a long conversation with DMOZ editors in the DMOZ forums recently, and was surprised at their lack of interest in improving process. For them, it's just a hobby, and that's all it will ever be, until it finally (and mercifully) dies from irrelevance.

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In 99.9% of cases, it's simply that no one has gotten around to working in that area of the directory. No malice. No technical issue. It's really a question of numbers. There's over 4 million listed sites that need maintaining, probably three or four times more waiting submissions, and less than 10,000 active editors. Every listing is researched, the description rewritten, etc. Even moving at top speed an editor can do, what, maybe three or four an hour? And they're volunteers. I don't see how someone doing something for fun is beholden to go out of their way to help your for-profit site. –  user1100 Jul 30 '10 at 13:11
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I understand and agree that the editors are in no way obligated to do anything at all for any particular submission. But that still leaves two basic problems: first, there is a disconnect between what DMOZ could be, and (dare I say it) should be and what it actually is. Once the web in general understands this, DMOZ will receive a lot less attention, and everyone, including DMOZ editors, will be happier. Second, you say that in 99.9% of cases submissions are just waiting in the queue; no malice or technical issues are involved. But the submitter has NO WAY TO KNOW THAT. –  boot13 Aug 1 '10 at 15:34
    
There are sites offering money back guarantee of your listing in Dmoz say for around $300. –  AgA Dec 1 '12 at 12:11
    
@John: And how do they manage that? Perhaps they are DMOZ editors looking to make some cash. Which, by the way, is a definite no-no. –  boot13 Dec 4 '12 at 7:40
    
+1 for paranoia! –  user1721135 Feb 26 '13 at 14:14
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The DMOZ home page has a page rank of 8/10, and even sub-sub-sub-sub-categories still have decent page rank.

So getting a DMOZ link is definitely a good idea. One link on its own will only make a small difference, but like Jeff said, it is still used by many other sites too.

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