The Open Directory Project (ODP), also known as dmoz (from directory.mozilla.org, its original domain name), is a multilingual open content directory of World Wide Web links owned by Netscape that is constructed and maintained by a community of volunteer editors. Cite: wikipedia.org
As many of you know, getting a website listed in the ODP DMOZ has provided in the past, an increase in the page rank weight factor in the search engine algorithms. In meeting with a couple of Google engineers at the 2006 Google Dance involved in improving search engine results, the weight factor given to certain categories of the ODP project have been limited in the search results algorithm. There was a Google Dance attendee present that spoke with the engineers about a certain DMOZ category that was severely limited from any other websites being added because the editor for this particular category had a conflict of interest. In fact, the editor was one of the website owners listed in this category and was preventing anyone else within a small group to be added to the list.
Google engineers have started taking more notice of this type of activity and are now taking a more proactive stance by what sounded like a change in the search algorithm to give less credit for links in this group.
One of the factors that is important to understand about the DMOZ is that other websites take the feed results from the DMOZ and produce it on their website. This has the effect of creating additional links for any website that is listed in the project.
We at Professional Web Services have tried for years to get listed in the Internet marketing area of the ODP. This has been a very frustrating experience and what we have read from others is in fact the typical reaction of most people trying to get their websites listed. The submission guidelines are very clear, however, once a website is submitted there is absolutely no follow-up emails from the ODP, or ever an indication that the website is ever reviewed.
Certain areas of the Internet have become like a closed knit group of individuals that go out of their way to prevent anyone else from gaining search exposure. Many of the large directories are simply no more than a link farm with old websites that are defunct. There is very little incentive for anyone or any editor to change the way it is currently being done.
We don’t have the answers, but we do know that this will become increasingly challenging for all the search engines to get a handle on. As the Internet adds websites at an ever increasing pace, the challenges facing other businesses to have their B2B or B2C websites found in the search engine results pages will become even more of an issue as time goes on.