Why Getting Listed in ODP is So Hard?
The most comprehensive human edited directory of the Web since 1998. Dmoz has been the most admired than any other web directory and considered effective for search engine ranking, But the web continues to grow at staggering rates, millions of websites add up every month, and even the largest human edited directory can not keep up with the rapid growth of websites submissions.
In Dmoz public forum, there are hundreds of questions asked every day by public about their websites not getting listed in the directory. Many of them are obviously quite angry. They accuse editors of being corrupt and not being honest, certainly it is frustrating when a site submitted years ago does not get listed, and there’s no way to know what’s going on.
What happens when I submit my site?
Have you ever heard of “Submit to Dmoz, then forget it” theory? Why the hell they need to repeat this line over and over again to convince people? Well!.. Let’s look at what goes inside Dmoz directory once you submit your website.
Picture above is just an assumption how dmoz category could look from inside. As you can see there are hundreds of new websites already piled up to be reviewed in niche categories. Your submitted site will be just +1 in the category and will be on the bottom of all these sites.
How long does it take?
Many editors will ignore niche categories because they are filled with same kinds of websites, similar products and information, and in the end they all kinda look spammy! Just like you ignore spam mails in your mailbox, a good editor will only review a site with reliable information, and he will probably ignore any deep links or similar websites. An average editor can review up-to 5/8 websites in 30 minutes, with this speed he can only review maximum 15/18 websites per hour. Even with 20 active editors, it will take months to review and list all those websites.
In each parent category, there are 1/4 meta-editors, who can edit anything under his category, and in each child categories, there are 1 to 6 editors. Few are active, and most of them probably gave up.
I want to be an ODP Editor
People think once they become part of Dmoz as an editor they will set everything right, but the fact is, when you join, your editorial journey just begins. There are hundreds of websites to be reviewed before one can move up and edit in another category. If an editor wants to expand his editing categories, every time he has to fill a silly long from, telling how eager you are to edit this category and blah blah, and then a head meta-editor needs to review your application, it all takes time. Ultimate goal for any editor is to become a meta-editor or editall. But in order to be the meta-editor, one has to properly edit hundreds of websites and needs years of experience. You will need sheer determination and hard-work to achieve that status.
Google directory Vanished
Google directory by Dmoz seemed efficient and meaningful back then, when there were not many websites, and they were all manageable. But in today’s scenario, there is no way any humanly edited directory can sustain such massive volume of submissions. Google seemed to understand this and quickly adopted to this new changed environment. Which is obviously a good step.
But now Google directory is gone, what next? Is Google still using ODP data secretly to ensure ranking of some sites on the front page? Because those sites didn’t lose their ranking, after Google dropped its directory. When I searched some sites, I found that Google still uses website description from ODP to fill empty meta descriptions. Google bots didn’t just pick some random texts from page content for ODP listed websites.
Saran Chamling. (He loves the web technology, and enjoys designing, exploring and writing about it @saaraan.com).